Hannibal Season 1 Review “Sorbet”

Hannibal Episode 7 Sorbet (4)

On the latest episode of “Hannibal,” the hunt for the Chesapeake Ripper continued in “Sorbet,” with another string of murders leading Will to believe that they were, in fact, hunting two different killers. One was more artistically-inclined (wonder who that could be?) and the other was more akin to an organ harvester type, as per the old urban legend. Both showed signs of surgical skill, so the hunt was on for either a practicing surgeon or a thwarted one, likely the latter.

We discovered Hannibal’s reasons for this fact, as he informed Will that he had retired from being a surgeon because one too many people died on his watch. I’ll just bet. So, he quit, opting to “fix minds, not bodies.” Not sure he was doing much of either this episode, given some of his dubious comments to Franklyn in particular, not to mention the fact that he put back more victims at one time than we’ve seen to date. Dinner party and all, you know? Got to stock up on the meats, because as he put it: “Nothing here is vegetarian.” You got that right!

Some nice touches throughout this episode, including that Lecter info (also revealed: the act of cooking satisfies his surgical desires now when he’s not killing en masse for a dinner party) and his Rolodex of Doom-method of shopping for meats. That is one dude you do not want to give a business card to. Not that it would probably matter in the grand scheme of things, but still. No need to draw him a freaking map, you know?

We also discovered that there is such a thing as Tyromancy, aka the act of divination by cheese. What the what? Yep, it’s actually a thing. You have to wonder. Anyway, apparently, it was Franklyn’s “gateway to cheeses, a magic 8-Ball you could eat.” It’s pretty hard to take this guy seriously, and it’s a miracle that Hannibal didn’t add him to the alternate guest list to his big soiree. As in the entrée. But I guess that was last week’s episode.

On the bright side, we got our first glimpse of Dr. Scully herself, Gillian Anderson, here playing a different kind of doc, as in Hannibal’s psychiatrist. I knew that psychiatrists themselves had to see a personal therapist, so adding her character was a pretty neat idea, even if it wasn’t in the books. On the other hand, I’m sure eagle-eared listeners caught that foreshadowing of Buffalo Bill, with all that business about a “person suit.” That was pretty clever.

Also clever is Lecter’s doctor, not that we’d expect anything less from Anderson, or this show, for that matter. I think I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that this show has some of the best conceived roles for women on television right now. I love smart ladies, and they were all over this episode, from Dr. Katz cracking the ambulance lead and following it up to boot; to Dr. Bloom’s intelligent observation/flirtation with Lecter as he plied her with her own “brand” of beer.

Although God only knows what’s in that stuff, so maybe she’s not that smart- though who in their right mind would have figured that out? I mean, Lecter’s dishes are one thing- they’ve always looked a bit off- but his beer? I seem to recall some talk about hog’s blood or something bloody like that being made transparent mentioned, but I’m guessing that wasn’t hog’s blood. Was it what he made the beer with? If so, ick. Worst beer evah. (I’m guessing you should probably avoid the house wine, as well, Will.)

Favorite lines not already mentioned:
Zeller, handing Will a photo of the latest victim: “Found him in a school bus, sitting across the aisle from himself.”
Lecter: “Words are living things. They have personality, point of view…agenda.”
Lecter, observing the FBI’s methods of tracking: “This is very…educational.”

Nice bit, having Lecter “save” another victim, helping to take the heat off himself, and then remembering to ask after them later to Will. Note that he’s starting to clock Lecter a bit more closely lately, though- for instance, that scene quoted above, when Lecter picked up the photo of the late FBI trainee (or her arm, rather) immediately, then told Will he thought the killer took organs away because he “doesn’t feel they deserve them.” Lecter covered it well, with his actions later, but I think Will’s getting suspicious of him now, though he may not be sure of the why just yet.

So, a decent episode, flawed by a somewhat weak killer-of-the-week. I mean, we barely got his name, much less why he did what he did. I halfway felt that he existed merely to give Dr. Katz a win for once. Nothing wrong with that, but couldn’t we have gotten at least a little more on why he was the way he was? So far, Hobbs has far and away been the best of the bunch, and that was because his presence continues to be felt even now on the show, with Will still haunted by the whole thing in his dreams.

On the plus side, Anderson was great, despite only being in the episode for the wink of an eye. She looked good as a blonde, no? And somewhat needless to say, that dinner and its preparations were pretty priceless. As ever, Hannibal Lecter remains far and away the best element of the show, which is as it should be, I suppose; but still, there’s some great characterization and writing going on here. I just wish they’d focus more on plotting and figuring out how to make the killers being pursued more intriguing. Until then, this remains a show with the potential to be great, if it can only find its way.

What did you think of “Hannibal” this week? Did you get a kick out of seeing the erstwhile Scully as a blonde? Do you see Hannibal and Dr. Bloom hooking up? Or is Lecter gay? He certainly got a little transfixed by Franklyn’s BF, even going so far as to take a potshot at the guy in his session over it. Oh, behave! Guess we’ll find out next week. From the looks of it, he might just be right up Lecter’s alley anyway.

Let me know what you think in the comments section!