Holy crap! As I have always maintained Bryan Fuller is a bloody genius when it comes to constructing a thrilling hour of television whether it's comedic morbidity or dramatic wit, or whatever you want say Hannibal is classified as. The opening fight scene between Jack and Hannibal has been getting some big attention as it should. It lasts almost five minutes and every smack, throw, punch, and creative use of kitchen weaponry resonates on a visceral level. At first I thought it was surely a dream sequence (the fight was featured in the trailer for season 2 but I figured that would take place much later in the season once Jack started believing Will as would happen But the flashforward serves the show well because we all know where Hannibal ends up after a period of time and showing the fallout and what's to come doesn't deflate the world of possibilities such as those that criticized Breaking Bad for its flashforward in Season 5. The twelve weeks earlier bit was a great tag on because it gives us a solid amount of time to put on season 2. But the rest of premiere was just as solid as the fight scene (and kudos to the music choice for the percussion during the fight scene and overall for the episode at large). I was sure that a Season 2 moving to Friday nights would surely mean deathslot but having the Grimm follow in actually put it over 3 millions viewers (not bad by NBC standards). That coupled with the foreign co-financing will hopefully keep Hannibal on the air for seasons to come especially if they can keep up this quality of storytelling. On to the story as we see Will in a much different space psychologically than last season which was a very nice change. While last season's Will was losing control of his consciousness it was good to see that treating his encephalitis has put in a determined state of mind and clarity we didn't see much of last year. He's going to need it to given how much evidence Hannibal has masterfully set up against him. Alana remained by his side despite her doubts that he was innocent of the murders he had committed while at the same time keeping Jack accountable for putting him back into the field in the first place after warning him of the dangers last season. Putting Jack under scrutiny as well will be a good thread to parallel that of Will as they both have something to prove while one has a job at stake while the other has the rest of his life in a psychiatric hospital on the other side. The eery part of Will's story this week was his memory of seeing Hannibal force Abigail's ear down his throat (somehow without him choking to death) and that was later found as evidence to show that he had killed Abigail. That and the fishing lines made out of the other victims are the big damning bits of evidence as Will will go to trial against. But he maintains his innocence, and seeing him get analyzed by Dr. Chilton (who we know is unethical after what he did to Dr. Gideon last season) was hard to watch because we know what he's capable of as a psychiatrist. Also kudos to keeping up with the show's continuity as Chilton still mentions the fact that he only has one kidney after the events of last season. It's the little details that Fuller does an excellent job of maintaining while at the same time changing it to heighten the stakes without going overboard. Not sure why Hannibal becomes the "new Will Graham" with the slew of bodies found in the "color palette" the killer of the week. He doesn't have qualifications like Will does despite being a psychiatrist. But sure we will see him work in that capacity this season as Mason Verger (from the Hannibal book) will be showing up as a patient later this season and will play a part much later in the series. The limited humorous parts of the episode was Hannibal's wardrobe all having the same suit jacket. We also see more of him with his psychiatrist whom he threatens (not in plain words mind you) and it makes me want to maybe know more about what happened between her violent patient that Hannibal dispatched some time ago as she now sees what he's capable of beyond that and fears him no doubt. But what will surely be interesting is how Will goes about proving his innocence because a memory isn't admissible in court as a straw man defense. What makes Jack believe him will surely need to be something substantial. Also there was a stretch when the new victim at the end of the episode woke up glued and naked with resin surrounded by other victims. Hard to believe that one person could've done all that, much like the totem and the angel killer last season but I'm willing to overlook and I'm glad they are stretching that story out at least till next week so that the writers don't feel as if they have to shoehorn in a killer of the week story amidst all of the new season dynamics that they have to present as the framework amongst the principal cast. But this is a very astonishing start to season 2 and I hope that this second course is just as appetizing as the first was, if not more as it is proven to be so far. Just don't ever eat while watching this show. Silly Jack bringing a gun to a knife fight. Hope that oak wine closet door holds up against cannibals.
My god I feel as though I've been waiting years for this episode and now I'm waiting for the next one. What disturbs me most is Hannibal and his obsession with Will what else does he want to take from Will and the fact he isn't hiding or worrying he is so very open about everything I feel it will be his downfall also everyone misses Will he is innocent and slowly the team is realizing this hoping it. Piece by piece Hannibal will unravel I think he almost wants to be caught and I for one am starving to find out the gory details.
Though I'm very disappointed that they teased us with the fight between Jack and Hannibal, that they would sink to those small-fry tactics, this episode was in exactly the same vein as season one in how stunning it was visually, how compelling it was in regards to characters and how engaging its story was. They've also basically told us that the second to last episode of the season will be that fight - which is exciting and will also give us some idea of whether or not there will be room for a third season. There were some parts that dragged (most of the therapy scenes and prison visits), there were some parts that were horribly acted (the city workers) and there were some parts that weren't taken full advantage of ("you're the new Will Graham"), but it's set us up beautifully for what's to come. Just a taste of each dish.
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