Hannibal Season 2 Review “Su-Zakana”

Hannibal Season 2 Episode 8 Su-Zakana (2)

After a solid month’s worth of nightmare-inducing insanity, Hannibal was due for an episode where things calmed down just a bit. The show has gotten so caught up in the tension surrounding the Will-Hannibal dynamic (and it’s been glorious) that it has neglected it’s serial killer of the week format. While Bryan Fuller has no interest in doing a traditional procedural with the Hannibal Lecter story, the pace of the last few weeks is unsustainable for the series. Therefore, it was probably the right time to throttle back a bit. The episode itself felt rough in some spots, but it’s easy to see the future pay-offs from an episode like “Su-Zakana”.

While the episode didn’t do much to further the Will vs. Hannibal battle, it didn’t completely get away from it either. The serial killer case put forth a very familiar situation with a killer in the person suit using a convenient patsy to mask his crimes. If it seems a bit to on the nose for a show like Hannibal, that’s because it was. However, the performance of Jeremy Davies playing the horse-kicked Peter made up for a lackluster storyline. Davies particular physicality and mannerisms make him an ideal fit in the Hannibal universe. I couldn’t help but wonder what other parts he would have been capable of playing. He’s great in this episode, but his abilities would make him a great long term option for the series. C’est la vie.

And then there is the death tableau of the week. I can’t even begin to imagine PETA’s statement on this one. Hopefully the horse lovers among us were able to turn away from the horse horror, because that was pretty darn horrific. The show continues to find new and inventive ways to showcase death, but I couldn’t help but think about the opening to an episode of Bones when I saw this one. I’m sure that’s not a compliment. It’s okay for the even the amazingly imaginative Brian Fuller to have the occasional off week. Even if it wasn’t up to the show’s usual standards, the used it well to say something larger about its central characters.

The other curiosity of the week was Hannibal Lecter’s other patient. Given the rough insertion of the character, there definitely seems like something larger at play with this story. Though I’m not one to dole out possible theories, I have one for this occasion: She’s a plant by Will Graham. Considering his plan to “make the fish bite” he laid out to Jack Crawford during the ice fishing expedition (or should I say exposition?), the inclusion of Margot, who basically taunts Hannibal with her desire to see her brother killed, seems a little to fortuitous. I don’t think she’s making up her story, but I think there’s a little more to it than meets the eye.

Overall, not the finest work of the series, but a necessary episode to reset the board and pull back a bit. Not every episode can be freshly caught trout.