Season 1 Episode 9

Trou Normand

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM May 23, 2013 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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234 votes
  • What Monsters Are

    Will was all over the place this week but it was beautiful. He seemed to be in the child's role; under-spoken, shaking or nodding his head rather than responding, allowing Hannibal to bulldoze his decisions. There was a lot of physical contact in this episode as well, which has been mostly absent previously. The hand on Will's shoulder, the hugs between Alana and Will or Hannibal and Abigail. It set a very different tone but nonetheless a dangerous one. The reveal of secrets was, I think, a little delayed in the flow of things, but especially the "I wondered when you'd tell me" from Hannibal helped push it back on track. The only things that really bothered me about this episode was that Abigail's scar was missing - did they do some sort of cosmetic surgery when I wasn't paying attention? Or was it simply overlooked? And that that case of the week was incredibly weak. The subtlety of this episode was perfect as well. Hannibal leaving the exacto knife by his drawing when talking to Will. The reporter being a vegetarian. Wonderful. Can't wait to see Will break next week.
  • Totem Pole

    Hannibal continued its serialized storyline with Abigail Hobbs this week in tandem with a fascinating and disgusting opening image of multiple bodies stacked together on a totem pole. This was also a big step down the rabbit hole in a bad way for Will who begins experiencing time lapses first when he's on the beach rewinding the crime and ending up at Hannibal's office and the second time giving a lecture to a class that was there and then Alana coming in and they aren't. I liked that the season-arc took center stage this week instead of the totem killer. Will's empathy was still discombobulating on how insightful he is is something that Hugh Dancy continues to nail. But my impression of Hannibal this week was much softer than he has been over the season, he's still a psychotic killer but he's now trying to build a system of support among Will as a true friend and Abigail as a daughter figure of sorts. Will is becoming unhinged and his scene with Alana about her having feelings for him but unless he can get un-messed-up they can't be together. While the time lapses weren't resolved I'm certain Will's condition and the bit about it becoming "easier" for him to look will be a recipe for disaster in later installments. Abigail meanwhile decides to publish a book with Freddy Lounds since her house was sold and paid off to the families of her father's victims. I'm all for her taking advantage of her crappy situation but she should have considered bringing in Will, Lecter, and Alana before deciding to just do it willy-nilly. A handy bit of irony works against the totem killer whose last victim just so happened to inadvertently be his own son since his whole killing cycle was triggered by a rejection from a woman that he loved. The killer was all ready to be caught too and delivered a great scene where he showed how arrogant he was and just how committed to his so-called legacy. Abigail unearths the body of the boy she gutted at season's beginning that Hannibal helped cover up. Jack brings her in for questioning under Alana's supervision with the body in plain view while she nervously answers the questions. Jack may be seen as being in the wrong here but we as the audience know better and him going all bloodhound on this could prove to uncover not only Abigail's secrets but Hannibal's as well. Will even deduces that Abigail was the killer of the boy and goes to Hannibal with. The ensuing scene shows how much Hannibal has grown since episode 1 and how he's truly trying to build his own sort of legacy with Will being a true friend figure to him and even referring to them as both of Abigail's Will agrees to keep the secret but Abigail throws a curveball into the mix when she reveals at a dinner discussing her publishing her book with Freddie, who is interestingly a vegetarian and muses about every being inherently pathological, that she indeed did help her father with the killings. She befriended the girls and knew what her father was, and her admittance of knowing that it was "her or them" adds into her tragic circumstances in a family dynamic. Now I sort of expected this much like Hannibal and Jack did but for those who didn't want to believe it makes much more sense and in fact adds layers since the ambiguity before knowing this about Abigail right off made her more human before throwing that in there. Hannibal is right that Abigail is the "one good thing he's done" in much the same way that say a character like House revels in justifying his own self-delusions with the lives he saves but Will has many less. This was a great character building episode and made Abigail's plight much more interesting and complex and the black and white bit at the end was icing on the cake making it suitably horrific to see GJH watching with a wolf's grin watching his daughter befriend a girl her age that looks just like her that will end up dead in her father's cabin.
  • Keeps going great!

    I understand the ratings aren't so great considering the quality of the show. Comparing this tv show with The Following, Criminal Minds, etc... It's like comparing a family movie with a thrilling one! There are people who cant handle some scenes, but its the beauty of this show. So, dont expecte millions of users like others shows, but expect quality, beauty, great acting and lots of ways to develop the story.

    I really like this show, very balanced, putting the audience to enjoy the game of silences and lies and deception. Hope for a renew season 2.
  • Great

    This, honestly speaking, was kind of a slow episode. The acting was amazing (let me point out Hugh as Will, especially), though and that human totem pole was... gross. But I guess that was the point. :)
  • Not a good entry.. but still a million times better than The Following.

    Not the best episode and probably the worst of the season so far... and still it's a great show. The big problem with this outing is that the main story arc takes way too much time from the story of the week and, while still wrapped up with some care, it feels rather underwhelming and tacked on.

    The long slow opening scene is suitable gruesome but felt lacking in content and setup the feeling that this episode was going to be dark and careful. Instead it was thin and unsatisfying with the guest star reduced to a short monologue and no texture.. while leaving any meaningful addition to the seasons story being thrown in the last 30 secs. To mute the killers story so much and to not use that space to drive some character development felt a waste of time. I assume there was intent to show some more of how unflappable Hannibal is as a character but we already know this and there was no need to draw the narrative out.

    Our killer even offhandedly states he killed the 2 people the shows characters were somehow specifically interested in and mumbles.. and 15 others... it's as if he knew those 15 were unimportant to the FBI and even the writers themselves, It almost begs the question.. why were they even used in this plot.. the totem seemed to have zero significance to the killer and Wills assessment of it was rather pointless too.

    One thing that worries me is how Will's 'power' is ridiculously accurate to things he apparently couldn't know for sure. This might either be sloppy dramatic license (having Will see Angel-Maker see him with flames around his own face and know that the last murder this episode was from a single knife wound) or they are going somewhere with it.. i fear it's purely for the visuals.
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