Hannibal Season 2 Review “Takiawase”

Hannibal Season 2 Episode 4 Takiawase (9)

While last week’s episode was unsuccessful in its attempts at courtroom drama, this week’s episode of Hannibal marked a return to what makes the series so great. The episode went all-in on crafty imagery and atmosphere, and nailed most of the encounters between various characters. More importantly, it continues to show us different layers to Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Hannibal Lecter even if the ending is somewhat suspect. Overall, it was a successful return to form after a week of somewhat stodgy necessity.

Hannibal has become known for its violent and gruesome cases, but this week’s case was a welcome oddity. Amanda Plummer (I know her best as Yolanda from Pulp Fiction) played a character with no interest in running or hiding what she was doing from the FBI. She only wanted to allieviate pain and have people understand what she was doing. It was an odd case that didn’t receive a lot of attention in the scheme of the episode, but it was a case that showcased Bryan Fuller’s ability to capture the imagination and subvert our own preconceived tendencies.

Of course, the allieviation of pain also manifested itself in Lecter’s treatment of Jack’s wife, Bella. It was fantastic to see Gina Torres on Hannibal again on many levels. First, she’s a solid actress who plays strong and proud as well as anyone can do it. Second, her and Laurence Fishburne (married in real life) have exceptional chemistry on screen. Their scenes seem honest and heartfelt. You would think real couples would work together on screen successfully, but it’s actually a lot rarer than you think. Finally, I love to see how Bella affects Hannibal. Hannibal is a horrific monster, but he also experiences genuine affection for people. As Bella began to die from her morphine overdose, you could see the pain and burden in Hannibal’s face. This iteration of Hannibal Lecter, played masterfully by Mikkelsen, is unlike any that we’ve seen before. Fuller continues to spin this character in fascinating ways and far, far away from the cartoon villain he became in the movies that came after Silence of the Lambs.

Of course, it’s important to remember that he is still a supervillain. As a result, some absurdity becomes unavoidable. The first season had the occasional dose of ridiculous behavior in order to keep Lecter out of FBI clutches, but the show has mostly done an excellent job of having Hannibal avoid capture, but not make the FBI look like complete idiots. That being said, I take issue with lots about the episode’s final scene. I’m fine with Katz going over to his house to investigate; after all, she was under the impression he was at the hospital and would be there for sometime. Still, the idea that Katz wouldn’t shoot a text to Crawford or ANYONE before heading into Hannibal’s double secret dungeon strikes me as stupid. It just shows that some level of stupidity is required to keep serial killers out of prison. The cliffhanger at the end of the episode certainly gives them some wiggle room for next week, but it appears we are done with Beverly Katz. Since she was such a worthy opponent, maybe Hannibal will save her for when he breaks out the good china, as if he has anything else.