I think we are looking at a really great series here. This week’s episode of Hannibal was amazing. It opens with a flashback of the Minnesota Shrike and his daughter, Abigail Hobbs, hunting in the woods. He tells her they must use every part of the deer they kill in order to honor it. Then we get flashes of a dead human girl and she finally wakes up from her coma. And with that, everyone wants to talk to her. This includes the ever nosy Freddie Lounds.
The tension in this episode is high. We know that the only other person who knows who called to warn the shrike was Abigail and Hannibal is around her for most of this episode. And it would seem that Freddie Lounds is trying to get herself eaten with everything she wants to do. However, we do get a reason why Hannibal hasn’t killed her yet, and it makes sense. Freddie tried to convince Abigail that Will Graham was a terrible person and is about to become a serial killer. This leads to Will berating Freddie and making the top headline on her popular blog tattlecrime.com. I have to say that Freddie Lounds is slowly becoming one of my favorite characters that I love to hate. The copycat killer from the first episode is still being investigated and Hannibal looks on with a smile, knowing he will never be caught. At the end of the episode, we see Hannibal going out of his way to protect Abigail, risking his life and his profession to make sure she isn’t caught. I think that he feels sympathy towards her because he probably had a similar problem when he was younger and needs to help her.
The imagery of this episode is beautiful, and very surreal at times, especially in Will’s nightmare sequences, which are brilliant, as per usual. I am also really loving Wills descent into madness, it will be interesting to see a serial killer help Will from becoming a serial killer while helping another person become one. Lara Jean Chorostecki is proving herself to be a great Freddie Lounds. Everything she does is just as slimy and self indulgent as previous incarnations of the character have been and the gender swap of the character has not affected that at all. Hugh Dancy is fantastic; it’s very interesting to see him slowly descend into madness. I think by mid-season he might almost kill someone for the pleasure of it. Mads Mikkelsen is great in this episode. He has very few lines in the first 30 minutes of the episode, but he makes up for it with his devilish facial expressions. The accent is considerably thinner now, he was much more understandable this episode.
I think the best part about this episode is that there was no new case to solve for the characters. This was focused on Abigail’s recovery and dealing with her own demons. It also gives me hope that there will be multiple character arcs throughout the show and we will see each character grow exponentially from the first to the last episodes of the season. I think the weakest part of the episode was Jack Crawford. I think he is brilliantly played by Lawrence Fishburne, but he has so far just been the guy who “really gets pissed off and stuff.” I hope he will get a character arc soon. The episode sets up Freddie and Will’s animosity that will continue on into what we see in Red Dragon. It gives us a background that not only is Freddie willing to break the law to get a story, but also has a personal vendetta against Will Graham and will do anything to embarrass him.
This episode is probably the best one of the season so far. The direction was top notch, the performances were spectacular and the writing is amazing. I give Hannibal: “Potage” 10 Shrikes out of 10