Hannibal Season 2 Review “Mukozuke”

Hannibal Season 2 Episode 5 Mukozuke (3)

Anytime there is a death in the recurring cast of a television show, the follow up episode always produces some heated television. Such was the case with Hannibal and the aftermath of the death of Beverly Katz.

As assumed from last week’s pseudo-cliffhanger, Beverly Katz does die at the hands of Hannibal, but the show treats her death in a fashion far different from any other show on television. It eschews the dark and scary Lecter basement scene where Hannibal stalks and kills her, and instead begins the episode with Freddy Lounds discovering her body at the observatory. She is presented in one of the more outlandish and horrifying methods we’ve seen on the show, but somehow it makes her death seem more dignified and important as a result. The only time we watch her die is in the arms of Will Graham during his recreation. Though I’m assuming she will continue to appear to Will as the season progresses, Katz got about as good as you could hope for when you’re murdered by a man who mutilates his victims and eats parts of them.

While Katz’s death was handled excellently, it was the events that came as a result of it that truly make this episode special. We’ve watch Hannibal coldly stalk and plan his many attacks. It serves as a sharp dichotomy to Will Graham’s hastily plotted revenge scheme on Hannibal himself. Though it is hastily plotted and crudely executed, the show doesn’t begin to treat it as anything other than what it is: A move completely devoid of tact and coolness by the hyper-emotional Will Graham (I mean hyper-emotional in a good way). The show doesn’t expect us to believe or to consider that Will has any plans of getting away with this plan. His friend is dead, he feels responsible, and she was killed by the man who put him in that mental institution to begin with. Hugh Dancy is absolutely fantastic throughout the episode as he processed his feelings at Katz’s crime scene and his conversations with Dr. Childon and the Copycat. I’m continually impressed by Dancy’s ability to carry the entire show for large stretches while being limited to three boxes of varying sizes (even though he got to slip on the old school Lecter get up and venture out this week).

The new world order this episode announces is quite fascinating going forward. Will was so close to convincing Dr. Lecter. Now, he has to entertain an entirely different set of options if he hopes to catch or to kill Hannibal. He still has Jack Crawford, and the opening scene of the season makes it seem like Jack will be Will’s new advocate for Lecter-as-Chesapeake Ripper. Still, with so much of the season remaining, a slow burn seems to be in order. While some Chesapeake Ripper action will pop up on occasion, I’d expect a few more case-of-the-week episodes to bridge us towards the exciting end of the season.

“Mukozuke” was another fantastic episode filled with all the Hannibal trademarks of tone, visual excellence, and superlative acting. Just another fine feast.