[Review] Hannibal – Season 2

SCULLY DOES KNOW

Season 2 starts off with a brutally action-packed scene in which Special Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) has a showdown with our resident psychiatrist serial killer, Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).

How did Crawford find out? We return back to when Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is incarcerated at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. He now knows Hannibal Lecter’s true identity and is trying to figure out a way to bring him down.

I was incredibly surprised, like I’m sure many viewers were, by the opening scene in season premiere. So many questions were swirling in my head as how Crawford came to discover who Lecter really was. Instead, I felt that most of the season felt eerily quiet and slow. While the show did set things in motion, I felt that I spent most of this season going, ‘So when is that fight scene gonna happen?’ Turns out not until the finale.

Although the plot doesn’t necessarily plateau throughout the season, as key scenes unraveled the season’s overall plot, I found myself feeling very impatient with the show. The show went from such a high octane opening scene to literally making us wait months before getting to that conclusion. I’m not convinced that we needed to see that scene in the beginning as it was so memorable that it emotionally kept me from being in the moment, week to week.

Despite it being a gruesome show, I am still amazed at the striking visual imagery in almost every episode. As Hannibal tries to pick at the brains of his patients, he also captures the psyche of his victims in how he displays them. There’s a morbid poetry about that which heightens the horror factor for me.

As for our reoccurring characters, we’ve said some unexpected goodbyes and made unforeseen reintroductions to some of the major characters. While Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) frustrated me most of this season, I was surprised to see how Dr. Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) came to believe in Will. Of course, though her belief in Will lead to her demise, there was something bizarrely mesmerizing in how Hannibal captured his impression of our crime scene investigator.

However, I think my favorite performance by a reoccurring character this season was Michael Pitt’s Mason Verger. I only recall his character from the various Hannibal Lecter movies and he always came off as a disgusting but ridiculous character. I never gave Verger much credence. Michael Pitt certainly deserves an Emmy for his guest starring role as it is such a departure from his role as Jimmy Darmody on Boardwalk Empire.

He certainly captures the disgusting part very well but he also captures the immature and pestilent nature of that character. I love how his arrogance contrasts with Hannibal. It’s interesting how Hannibal is irked by him and it makes what happens to Mason that much more satisfying.

While the show made us wait all year to get back to that fantastic fight scene we saw during the season premiere, I have to admit that I was extremely satisfied with the finale. All season long we’ve been trying to figure out who has the upper hand in this cat and mouse game and you don’t really know until after the credits in the season finale. Apparently, Scully does know.

Rating

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