Finally, we get our first Hannibal-centric episode. At least more so than other episodes. The episode has a beautiful opening of an opera singer at an art gallery. Hannibal is in the audience and when the performance is over, he appears overcome by emotion and is the first to stand while clapping. This is really the first great look at what makes Hannibal so dangerous compared to the other serial killers Graham is used to catching. Hannibal is not some textbook psychopath.
This week’s episode of Hannibal had Graham continue to chase the Chesapeake Ripper. A man is found with organs harvested and Graham needs to determine whether it is the work of the Ripper or not. This was a fun episode because we get to see Hannibal go to work. Aside from seeing him kill in a flashback, this is the first time we know Hannibal is murdering people. The montage of him making dinner and choosing his victims is done expertly.
I haven’t done this a whole lot, but I want to take a moment to compare this show to Bates Motel. Both shows are interesting in their own ways, but Hannibal is easily the superior series. Despite the often times standard “killer of the week” set up, Hannibal has some of the most interesting character development I have seen in what is basically a cop drama.
In many ways, Hannibal is actually the more Hitchcockian of the two shows. I think this is because it truly utilizes the “bomb under the table” theory. We all know that Graham is chasing the Chesapeake Ripper, and we all know who the ripper actually is. We do know what Norman Bates will become, but it is not used in the same way Hannibal is used.
One of the best touches to this suspense are the dinner parties that Hannibal throws. We all know what’s really in those meals, but the characters don’t and that’s what makes things so suspenseful. [Editor’s note: In the last scene of this episode I was wondering if Hannibal’s comment was an inside joke to the viewers or one to his dinner guests, because, as guests of his lavish party, they were all cannibals.]
When thinking about the show recently, I couldn’t help but want for a bit more comic relief. The show tends to be all dread and I found it refreshing that tonight’s episode had some very nice black comedy moments. Black comedy seems perfect for the show and hopefully it’s something they pursue in the future.
The one thing that is still sort of bothering me is what happened to Abigail Hobbs? Her story and growing relationship with Hannibal was becoming an interesting dynamic to the show. There was a brief moment when she appeared in a dream during this episode. One would think that indicates she is not forgotten. Here’s hoping they bring her back in at some point soon.
Speaking of Abigail, I have seen the unaired 4th episode of Hannibal and will be reviewing it soon.