Thursday, June 13, 2013

'Hannibal' Review - 1.12 Relevés

        On the newest episode of NBC's Hannibal, Georgia Madchen dies in an explosion and Will asserts that the copy cat killer is still alive; the BAU team links Abigail to the Minnesota Shrike victims and plan to arrest her only to find Will has checked her out of the hospital and lost her due to his intensifying hallucinations; Hannibal's subtle manipulation convinces Jack that Will is capable of murder; and Hannibal makes an astonishing admission to Abigail.

        "Releves" follows a slightly different rhythm and structure than the previous 11 episodes of Hannibal this season. The characters are not chasing down a serial killer-of-the-week nor are they sitting and slyly pushing a thought into other characters head. This is the hour of confrontation and many characters realizing how everything connects together - even though they are incorrectly putting Will in the middle of it. It is a masterfully written script that is an accumulation of everything that has happened to this characters this season as they each learn truths and confront everyone else with their (often time) limited amount of knowledge. Who knows what and when is a powerful narrative focus on this series and here it used masterfully and executive very well. The whole proceedings shake things up drastically while still leaving many of the bigger and grander reveals and pitfalls to come.
        As an audience member, we know much more about the true nature of Dr. Hannibal Lector than anyone else on the show. Thusly, it would be daunting task to make it convincing as to how and why Will, Jack and the rest of the people could overlook him being a killer right beneath their noses. The show has done a spectacular job of achieving this. When Will (correctly) makes the hypothesis connecting the copy cat murders to that of Dr. Sutcliffe and Georgia Madchen, both he and Jack go to Hannibal because they still see him as a calm and rational voice. They do question his motivations but not to the stakes of accusing him of being a serial killer.
        Gillian Anderson's Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier has been limited to interacting only with Hannibal. She knows more information about his personal feelings and their shared, complicated past than anyone else. So when she opens that door to find Jack, it is a powerful moment. The subsequent chatting around patient-client confidentiality is enough to ruffle both of their feathers. Bedelia's conversation with Hannibal is also very exciting. It's worth noting how in that scene Hannibal is standing while Bedelia is sitting. She rises but he moves to his position in the therapist's chair. Hannibal is in full control of the information he tells her and that is his greatest attribute as a whole on this show. Mads Mikkelsen does a masterful job in his portrayal of the killer in that it feels no where like an homage to past incarnations of the character. That final scene between him and Abigail Hobbs is particularly chilling because he is forced to disclose much of his true nature to her and she is smart enough to realize she is not long for this world much longer.
        Everything is left pretty excitingly up in the air for next week's season finale. I can't wait to see how Bryan Fuller and these characters end the season. I will have much more to say about this season as a whole afterwards and I look forward to discussing it all with you.

But in the meantime, what did everyone think of the episode? Abigail surely is dead now, right? How will Will convince Jack that he's not a killer? Share your thoughts in the comments.