Hannibal Season 2 Review “Naka-Choko”

Hannibal Season 2 Episode 10 Naka-Choko (2)

Lots of people praise television series as being “original” or “unique”. Given the massive influx of television in recent years, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to put out something original. As a result, anytime a show does something a bit different, it’s hailed as a beacon of television creativity. Aside from a few shows, these terms become a bit of a misnomer. Classic television tropes still prevail. What matters at this point is there execution. There’s a tradition to the type of game Hannibal is playing with its viewers, but it is executed fabulously.

23 episodes into this fascinating little show, it is clear that Will Graham is our nominal hero. He’s not the prettiest of choices, but he’s our rooting interest in the series. The show turning him into a murderer is completely inconceivable, and not just because a book said so. Anybody who pays attention to the program is aware of this fact. However, the events of the episode are so artfully constructed that it’s pretty easy to conceive of a universe where Will actually murders Freddie Lounds. Logical thinking coupled with a lifetime of television viewing tells me that probably didn’t happen, but the show did everything it could to make me believe. It’s a testament to the skill of Bryan Fuller’s storyline and some more excellent work from Hugh Dancy. Dancy has been incredibly effective throughout the season, but his work here is particularly enjoyable. He’s fighting a battle on many fronts. He may ultimately win his battle with Lecter, but the battle itself could leave him vulnerable to a different attack. Dancy continues to handle that very well.

This episode made for a strange viewing experience, but watching Will break down a crime scene he was involved in takes the cake. He understands the persona he has to put on in front of Hannibal. He wears it well, and the dinner conversation between Will, Hannibal, and Alana Bloom made for some uneasy viewing. We still haven’t seen the showdown between Hannibal and Jack Crawford teased at the beginning of the season, but the kitchen has to take a beating soon with only 3 episodes left. There’s a chance that Will plays an important role in the outing of Hannibal to Jack Crawford, but he could be doing more harm to himself than good.

There’s lots of other little things at play here as well. Michael Pitt makes his grand return to television as the long spoken about brother of Margot. His crazy look is exactly the right pitch for Hannibal, and his performance is really interesting in this episode. He absolutely roars through his scenes with no resemblance to the man he left behind on Boardwalk Empire. It’s a great opportunity for Pitt to show off his chops. Given Michael Pitt’s involvement’s probably isn’t a one shot deal, what the show chooses to do with him and his inevitable death will be interesting to see. For now, I’m content to see what Will has in store for his long game. One thing’s for certain, we haven’t even made it past the appetizers yet. Who knows what tasty morsels beware.