Hannibal Season 2 Review “Yakimono”

Hannibal Season 2 Episode 7 Yakimono (2)

The discovery of Miriam Lass in the final moments of last week’s episode put Hannibal in an interesting place. It seemingly put Hannibal Lecter into a box of which there was no escape, but given the point in the season, it was clear we weren’t going to get any resolution to the story. It left the open the possibility of Dr. Lecter escaping FBI clutches due to sheer stupidity or a fantastical feat to top all the other fantastical feats of the Chesapeake Ripper. For that reason, I watched the first few moments of this episode bracing for the worst. For some reason, I abandoned the faith I’d put in Bryan Fuller and company because of all of my serial killer scarring of the past few years. As it turns out, Fuller has a design as well, and it’s every bit as complex and impressive as that of the Ripper.

While this episode had may memorable spots (more on one of them later), the sheer magnitude of Dr. Lecter’s plan is really impressive to watch unfold. Sure, the likelihood of someone pulling off that plan is probably 3 in 10, but it’s better than the 0 in 10 we usually get from serial killer shows. It’s convoluted and masterful. Jack Crawford’s bit of expositional information about Dr. Chilton was as on the nose as it gets, but it is necessary to establish him as the #1 patsy of the Ripper. Will had to be dealt with, but Chilton is the ultimate prize patsy, and Lecter’s orchestration of it left me impressed. It was the equivalent of the feeling I get when I see Lecter pull someone’s arm out of the oven. I’m horrified, but boy does it look delicious.

Still, the most delicious part of the episode comes at the end. Out of options at this point, Will Graham makes the decision to walk back into Lecter’s office to resume their therapy. Popping a few shots into Lecter ends this thing quickly, but this decision Graham is infinitely more awesome and way more compelling. There is nothing hidden between these two. He’s not trying to trick Lecter; he’s simply going to outwit him right in front of his face. That’s an impossibly cool move and makes for great television going forward. Everything about Hugh Dancy in that scene is memorable. Will Graham is well put together, calm, and in control. It’s pretty easy to see the scene as foolhardy confidence given how their previous interactions have gone, but it’s going to be infinitely more satisfying to watch Will beat Hannibal at his own game. Just a fantastic scene, and one that only makes me want to see what happens next.

*Some random thoughts

*Anna Chlumsky is terrific in this episode. I don’t know how much of a role she plays going forward, but her presence is welcome any time they can find a use for her.

*If Dr. Chilton is dead, then a round of applause is also owed to Raul Esparza. He took a role that easily good have been hammy villainy, and at least made it delicious ham.

*I love the different incarnations of Will Graham, but I’m really in on the focused, determined Will Graham. Dancy’s vulnerability was terrific television, but what he’s doing now is equally as impressive. He just radiates determination.