NBC’S HANNIBAL has been an extremely good surprise so far in its freshman run. Up to now, I have raved about the series premiere and the garden of mushroom people from the second episode. While the third episode was solid (unfortunately seeing ratings drop a tad), tonight vaulted the series to new heights. My concern for the series as a whole was that it would run out of creative gas after the premiere buzz died down, but each episode has brought something new and better to the table week after week.
One of the biggest things I love about HANNIBAL is that it is unapologetically stylish. Much more so than every other generic-looking procedural cop drama out there today. Many of the shots are simply gorgeous ranging from the grotesquery of the serial murders to the simpler shots of Dr. Lecter treating his patients. This week’s episode has Dr. Lecter cooking dinner for Jack and his wife and he garnishes the plate with an animal’s jawbone. Little touches like that give a great balance between beauty and creepy.
This week follows Jack and Will as they look for a guy who flays his victims alive and makes angel wings out of the skin on their backs. Very Clive Barker-esque in style and thoroughly gruesome, probably some of the most disturbing stuff I’ve seen on network television in quite a long time, save for NICKI MINAJ coaching singers on AMERICAN IDOL. I mean that in the best way possible in relation to HANNIBAL. Will also continues to struggle with his investigations which are now starting to seriously affect him and his mental health.
It’s funny to note how sensitive they are in political-correctness-ville as they pull the original fourth episode off the air entirely and replace it with the fifth episode. Kids killing each other? Get rid of it. Skinning people alive to act as angels praying over a psychopath while he sleeps? Keep it for sure. While there didn’t seem to be any noticeable effect on continuity, the pre-episode montage filled us in on a bit that was supposed to happen. FYI, NBC did end up taking the episode, cutting it up and posting it online for your viewing pleasure. I have not yet done so myself and will instead take this weekend to try and hunt down the original cut, as I really want to see MOLLY SHANNON try her hand at a much darker role than she is accustomed to.
One thing that I continue to wait for is Hannibal to make his first on-screen kill. MADS MIKKELSEN plays it so cool throughout each episode, but the viewer is able to sense the coiled-spring aspect to his character that can potentially snap out on command. He is supposedly killing people here and there behind the scenes, but it will be great to see how they handle the character’s unique brand of elegant rage. Previews for the next episode show that we might get there sooner than later.
By the way, you might be asking by this point: what the heck is a coquilles? Let me tell you with the help of my amazing friend, dictionary.com. A coquille is a seafood dish served in the shell it came from. Now I’m hungry for dinner all over again. For you uncultured types like myself, it’s pronounced “Koh-Keel”, not “Coke Wheel” like they recently found in JUSTIN BIEBER’S tour bus.
Overall, this week is fully deserving of an A+. I can’t wait for GILLIAN ANDERSON’S guest starring role coming up at some point. I wonder how Hannibal plans to garnish her…