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01 March 2014 @ 02:09 pm
Hannibal: Kaiseki  
The most visually arresting, gruesome show is back for a second season!

It seems that Hannibal is pulling a bit of an Elementary with their first episode of season 2: rather than try and pad up the mystery at hand, it focuses completely on the character relationships because we all know that's what the fans are here for.

The episode opens with an even that will happen 12 weeks from now where Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford get into an all out brawl. Normally, I hate flashforwards in episodes but this one feels well placed given the context of the series. We (the viewers) all know what Hannibal Lecter is and part of the delight/horror of season 1 was watching him slither past as a normal human amongst the other characters. The pacing of his reveal was just a little ahead of Will Graham's realization so we could almost follow everyone else's viewpoint that Hannibal is a talented psychiatrist slash affable dinner host. It was a great way of almost getting the viewers to like Hannibal despite what we all know about him.

Well, season 2 kicks off with the show drawing the viewers in right away with yes, Hannibal Lecter is a monster. You've seen his charming human suit so now here's his monster form that you all knew about from day 1 of this show. Starting the season off with watching him attack Crawford before flashing back to 12 weeks earlier (shortly after Will's arrest) sets up an entirely different dynamic between Hannibal and the audience. I found myself feeling incredibly tense every time a character interacted with Hannibal, like somehow at any moment he was just going to lunge across the table and gut them. I felt like I was on high alert which is the way one should be around someone like Hannibal because he is a predator. Suddenly, all the loudly implied cannibalism and vaguely threatening remarks felt much more real rather than something funny because it felt like an in joke. Season 1 was us almost chuckling along with Hannibal and his deception. Season 2 we are most definitely the wary prey to his predator.

I loved seeing where all the characters were emotionally post-Will Graham's arrest because everyone's reaction was so in character: Alana Bloom's defense of him and making sure that someone be held accountable for what happened to Will, Beverly Katz trying to compartmentalize to do her job, and obviously Hannibal who orchestrated the entire thing but is feeling rather lonely in the aftermath. I loved his genuinely sad expression at Will stating they were not friends. And his morose expression in his office during what would normally be his session time with Will. Hannibal, you do not get to have hurt feelings, sir! But I echo his sad face because I'm going to miss the therapy sessions between Will and Hannibal. They were by far some of the most entertaining scenes from season 1. But at least I can console myself with scenes of Hannibal getting therapy from Bedelia.

Oh, Bedelia. To echo Bryan Fuller's tweet: "Bedelia you in danger girl!" Is it my imagination or are the therapy chairs in Bedelia's house now closer together? Those side shots made it seem like they were close enough that her and Hannibal's feet were nearly touching. Normally that might suggest closer kinship and therefore a good thing but in this case it feels claustrophobic so it's probably really, really bad. Their exchanges were probably my favorite moments in this episode. This particular exchange being the most shudder-inducing:

Hannibal: It would seem Jack Crawford is less suspicious of me than you are.
Bedelia: Jack Crawford doesn't know what you're capable of.
Hannibal: Neither do you.

I repeat: "Bedelia you in danger girl!!"

And now for more random thoughts:

1) We finally see how Will swallowed and vomited up a whole ear. Is what Hannibal did even possible?? Why am I even asking about possibilities? He's a murder wizard. Intubating a ear into someone's digestive system is probably something he does every Sunday.

2) "The light from friendship won't reach us for a million years, that's how far from friendship we are." HAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!! I love this line so much because it sounds like a melodramatic teenage girl talking. It's so over the top and I love it. I almost want to break up with a friend so I can say this to them. It's so hysterically good.

3) I'm so far liking what they've done with Jack Crawford. He's taking the consequences of his actions with a lot of grace. He knows he messed up and he's not trying to defend himself. In fact, the way both he and Alana are interacting with each other after Alana's damning report is adult maturity at its best. I still have this knee jerk reaction to Alana that's not entirely positive but I'm waiting to see how her character will play out this season.

4) "I can't quite place the fish." "He was a flounder." He? HE?! And we're back to playing the "Oh god it's human! IT'S HUMAN!!" Game every time Hannibal serves up a meal.

5) I'm not at all surprised but Chilton is so freaking unethical. From tape recording Alana's session with Will (I'm guessing without consent) to talking about it with Hannibal, the man's so awful. I'd say he's the worst and he kind of is but his worst is no where close to Hannibal's. They're in completely different realms of Worst. The light from Chilton's worst won't reach Hannibal's worst for a million years, that's how far their worsts are from each other. I had to try.