Review: Hannibal, Episodes #4 & #5

Hannibal, Episodes #4 & #5
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EPISODES 4 & 5: Ceuf & Coquilles

THE MENU: Abigail Hobbs grows closer to Dr. Lecter and Will Graham continues to struggle with the inner workings of his mind. When a disturbed man with a terminal brain tumor begins to single out victims to gruesomely carve up into guardian angels, Graham reaches his breaking point and Jack Crawford discovers he's took his work home with him.

THE MAIN COURSE: I’m not really going to jump into whether I support the decision Bryan Fuller and Co made to pull the fourth episode entitled “Ceuf” from the air, will just say that I wish we could have seen the thing in its entirety. A 6 part neutered web-series with clips of the un-aired episode showed nothing but moments of evolution of the character relationships we’ve been introduced to so far. The most compelling of which is diving more into what seems to be turning into a perversely moving relationship between Hannibal and Abigail Hobbs.

One of the clips resulted in a psychedelic experience for Abbie with help from Lecter that resulted in a few laughs and light moments. We got more of a glimpse into Will’s struggle with what he was forced to do to Abigail’s father and the sense he feels for her that was a result of that experience. Perhaps most important we are introduced into Jack Crawford’s personal life that is expanded upon in tonight’s episode. NOTE: The sick moment comes in a quick flashback of Hannibal on the hunt after he’s asked a question of what meal he’s prepared for Jack Crawford. To check out the 6 part Ceuf mini-episode go here

On to tonight’s episode dubbed “Coquilles”. A wonderful episode in its own right with two plots that make us want to confront our own mortality. It’s ironic that the villain of the week that is arguably portrayed the most tragically is the one who so far sits on the throne of conducting f*cked up sh*t. A man suffering from a fatal illness, who seems to have been given the gift of singling out sinners to gruesomely turn into “guardian angels” as he sleeps around their mangled bodies. The manner in which he cuts up his victims to give them the appearance of having angelic wings is definitely haunting. He seems to spot his victims when he takes a second glance and they go all Ghost Rider on him, an interesting approach as the documents on said victims prove he didn’t flub up on choosing undesirable people. Something deep was definitely going on with this vigilante; I almost wanted more than one episode dedicated to the guy. Intriguing stuff indeed.

So how about the character development this time around? I found myself thinking it was “convenient” but still packed with emotional resonance any damn way. So far every character in this show has had an opportunity to shine and tonight was Laurence Fisburne’s night as Jack Crawford. It’s no secret Fishburne is an awesome actor and he brought so much subtle emotion here I definitely felt for the man. Stand out moments were a revelation for the character during a questioning and the culmination at the end that told us where his story is heading. I’m not going to spoil anything but I was a bit disappointed up until the end because nothing was really packing a punch, but by the closing minutes when all the cards were on the table…heart strings were tugged thoroughly. The wife of Jack Crawford in the show if played by Fishburne's actual wife Gina Torres, so we know where the passion came from that is delivered in the episodes closing minutes.

DESSERT: Coquilles showed us once again what this show has the potential to be. Definitely had some of the most disturbing sh*t I’ve seen on cable TV in a while with the baddie’s M.O. I loved the emotional themes the episode brought up with what a terminal illness can do to a person’s psyche and how you live your life going forward. You’re hit with the knowledge that you’re not immortal and you don’t know what comes after. And do you let your loved ones in to support you? Or do you cut them off thinking your protecting them? Our villain of the week chose the latter, and it ends disgustingly tragic for several.

Next weeks episode entitled "Entree" looks delicious indeed, more gruesome imagery, sets that scream nostalgia of past Hannibal films, and our gang of heroes getting a bit closer to Lecter's true nature. Check out the promo here



Extra Tidbit: Favorite line of the episode: "Cruelty is a gift humanity gave itself." Spit that truth Lecter.



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