Friday, March 14, 2014

REVIEW: 'Hannibal' - Will Graham Gets His Day in Court and a Copycat Killer Strikes in 'Hassun'

NBC's Hannibal - Episode 2.03 Hassun

Will's trial begins and those closest to him are forced to take sides; Jack is pulled in conflicting directions but acknowledges that he may be partially to blame for pushing his star pupil over the edge; a court bailiff is killed in a Copycat-like manner and everyone wonders if they were wrong about Will; and the outcome of the entire trial hangs in the balance as one last key victim is served up.

Hannibal effectively turns into a courtroom drama in "Hassun" as Will Graham gets his day in court as everyone tries to determine whether or not he is a psychopath capable of 5 different murders. It felt like a necessary episode for the season if not as emotionally visceral as the two hours that preceded it. This is not the genre this show typical does. There's still enough in the fantastical death realm for it to be identifiable as an episode of Hannibal. But the show is in the world of the courtroom for a large chunk of this episode even though it's so disinterested in the procedural aspect of that world. It doesn't give us a judge, a prosecutor and a lawyer for Will who are that interested in which way the outcome goes. Forces beyond their control are going to determine the fate of all involved.

The season so far had been building up to this moment. Every character had to make that choice of whether or not to believe Will could be capable of these charges and if so were they responsible for pushing him to that place. The hour does interesting things with Jack and Alana as they come to realize what they want to do for Will. They all face this trial where what they say could have lasting repercussions for their careers. Now they are all firmly planted on one side of the argument even though everything is back to where it started before the trial begin. The trial could not continue and Will is still locked up. The question of whether or not it is Hannibal that is doing these copycat murders with enough differences to liken them but not make them exact matches or some other killer out there. It's a question the episode poises and one I'm looking forward to answering in the next one.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Hassun" was written by Jason Grote & Steve Lightfoot and directed by Peter Medak.
  • Freddie Lounds makes her first appearance this season and largely remains an unnecessary character. That outfit was quite the statement though.
  • For the first time in a long time, Jack's wife, Bella, is mentioned and fits in surprisingly well to the ongoing arc that Jack is on. He's surrounded by all this death and it truly is eating away at him.
  • The pendulum also makes its return in this episode.