Okay, boys and girls, the day we’ve been waiting for (and dreading) is upon us: we’re starting to witness Hannibal Lecter in actual operation, and as one might expect, it’s truly chilling. Hannibal the series is officially a dream come true for Thomas Harris fans, and Mads Mikkelsen has officially staked his place as my favorite actor to portray the character.
Observing him from the outside and despite seeing evidence of his “work,” it’s hard to get one’s mind around his behavior (just ask Will). Hannibal is the picture (and indeed the fact) of refinement, exquisite taste, professional mastery, and, yes, likeability. As he tells his own psychiatrist (every good mental health professional maintains such a relationship), he has “friends, and the opportunity for friends.”
We get a chance to meet some of them this week, starting with friend Mrs. Komeda (Ellen Greene), who pinned him in the museum lobby after a spectacular performance by the Baltimore opera. Remember Red Dragon, and the headline of the Board member who fainted in court upon hearing what she’d been relishing at Hannibal’s legendary dinner parties? Yeah…
Rewind to present time as said Board member pouts mightily, chiding Hannibal over the memory of the dinner parties he USED to throw. It’s true, he grants, but he only hosts them when inspiration strikes. One cannot force the feast, the feast must present itself.
Seemingly on cue, up walks would-be friend Franklin. He’s not really a friend, you see, but rather a patient, toward whom Hannibal remains polite but reserved, as to do anything else would be professionally unethical unless Franklin acknowledged the relationship. Which of course Franklin does, because Franklin has boundary issues; hates that he has to pay to see Hannibal, because he knows that they could be good friends; frequents Hannibal’s personal environments by unabashed and admittedly not-quite chance. Hannibal smiles as he leaves, turning to Mrs. Komeda with a relaxed, “Who’s hungry?”
It has been a while, as Will Graham and Jack Crawford have noted, since the Chesapeake Ripper has struck. And with his (or her ~ no, his, Jimmy Price is certain) recent taunts via doomed Miriam Lass’ phone-toting forearm, Jack is continuing to fray around the edges. To the point that he’s experiencing visions of escalating intensity, hearing the phone ring from inside the drawer, then ring when there’s no phone, then seeing Will rise dead from the table in Miriam’s final form, maimed and autopsied. >mercy<
Shake it off to this latest corpse, possibly his next shot at capture. It appears that the victim attempted to “unsurgery” the Ripper’s incision, but no, Will discerns, the entry wasn’t by the victim, but rather from an attempt at internal cardiac massage. A serial killer trying to save his victim. That’s a new one.
Is it the Ripper? Probably. Is Will sure? More or less. Because Jack is going to nail him, and he’s not going to give Will the chance to shoot him, because he’s going to do that himself. Upon Will’s comment that he cannot just bypass due process that way, Jack speaks “Oh really?” but the real retort in glorious fine detail was, “You think that’s air you’re breathing right now? Hm.” Indeed.
Will’s still having some of his own visions, not-quite sleepwalking, not-quite hallucinating, but in any case disturbing. Peer-based conversations with Abigail Hobbs, nice. But overall, since returning to some classroom work (while not abandoning the hunt completely), he’s regained some semblance of routine and normalcy, and he’s looking better. (And Dancy’s looking great.)
For the sake of the series I’m deeply relieved to see it go this way, as the decompensation track he seemed to be on was A) unfaithful to the source material (now there’s a surprise), B) undermining of the entire series dynamic, and C) unsustainable, as we know he finds peace as a happily married family man repairing boat motors on the beaches of Marathon, Florida. (It was actually Will’s wife, Molly, who took down Francis Dolarhyde, go Molly.)
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