Thomas Harris reviews the first episode of Hannibal Season 2…
The second-season premiere of Hannibal opens big. Shockingly big. In fact, it would work as a season finale. A brawl between Mads Mikkelsen’s psychopathic Hannibal Lecter and Laurence Fishburne’s Jack Crawford. It’s been a long time coming but the manner in which it is pulled of is as audacious and brutal as anything we have been subject to over season one. Lecter fights as if trained in combat, Crawford, a bulking machine. From there, the episode flourishes.
Even when it slips into what it has down so well for the past year, it glistens with a bloody sense of originality. Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham is now behind bars, framed for crimes committed by Lecter yet Graham is aware that it is Lecter that is the darkness that haunts him. This allows for a playful change in tone. Fuller, with a sadistic glee nods towards previous films, with Dancy replacing Lecter as the psychopath.
For those concerned that season 2 is to move in a different direction, don’t worry. Hannibal continues to be the best procedural programme currently on television in that it works both as a Sherlock-esque detective show and an American Horror Story-esque horror series. It is rich with images that continue to haunt and moments of terror absent from almost all modern horror cinema.
The procedural aspect of Hannibal is moved to the side yet it continues to wet the anticipation of the viewers. A pile of bodies found caught in a stream are unusually decomposed giving both Lecter and Graham the chance to lock horns as to who can delve into the psyche of “whatever” committed the heinous crimes. In particular, the final image is one to haunt your nightmares for the foreseeable future.
Throughout season one, it was rightly argued that Hannibal was overflowing with beautiful, but pretentious imagery. The black stag is still apparent but there’s further meaning to the situation. As an opening episode, it succeeds in almost every field. The acting is typically impressive and the horror tinges with a sense of primal scream. Lets hope the series continues to flourish.