Hannibal, Season 2: Review

The mesmerizing Season 2 of Hannibal came to a resounding finish last Friday. What began in Season 1 as an unfocused menagerie of freaks-of-the-week meets crime procedural took a turn for the better as the story narrowed in on Hannibal Lecter, and ever-unstable Will Graham who was ultimately accused of being the Chesapeake Ripper. Season 2 picks up with Will in prison and heading to trial – and then things get really interesting. The show becomes a chess game between Hannibal, Will and any unfortunate person that comes between them in their dance to the death. The impossible happens, and the viewer is left to believe the show has jumped the shark – but there IS masterful plan. So many reversals, so many reveals, so little time. Prepare yourself if you binge watch!

There’s a couple of sluggish episodes in the middle, and the annoying forensic team (including woefully miscast Scott Thompson) gets center stage in a devastating and unnecessary arc, but otherwise it’s a very solid season. And then there’s the flawless cast Mads Mikkelsen, High Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas, Hettienne Park, and the incomparable Gillian Anderson that bring every moment of pain, anguish, doubt, and madness to life.

Hannibal is beautifully shot and features some of the most stark and terrifying imagery I’ve ever seen. The way Will sees Hannibal as a black skeletal figure with blank eyes and antler-horns is incredibly unsettling. The horrifically gory and gruesome carnage (on a network show!?!) is cringe-and-nausea inducing. And the constant sprays of blood and red rain always appear in lyrical slow motion. It’s highly stylized and elegant, if you’re into that kind of thing. And apparently audiences don’t seem to be responding well to the show according to the ratings. It’s incredibly dark without the slightest trace of camp or humor. It’s shrewd, insistently obscure, and refuses to pander to audiences. It's a quality show that more horror genre fans should be watching.

(Hannibal was officially picked up for Season 3. Where it goes after that bloody finale is anyone's guess.)

This is my design: the killer sees his "body tapestry" from the perspective of God. 

A teardrop rolls off a cheek and lands on a glass desk – followed by a drop of blood of course.