This review contains spoilers.
A multi-layered, many-faceted feast awaits us in this week’s episode, following the catalyst that was the death of Beverly Katz. After a quiet, disciplined hour, Episode 6 (Futamono) is a riot of sound, sight and smell. (Not through the screen, admittedly, but you can imagine the truly horrible feeling facing one of this week’s victims, who must smell and eat one of his own limbs).
Hannibal appears to be quite gifted at the harpsichord, and is taking comfort in composing to regain composure following his recent brush with death. Futamono seems to celebrate the truly artistic sensibilities of our favourite mass murderer, whose delightful rhyming nickname “Hannibal the Cannibal” is introduced for the first time, as Jack Crawford and his slippery ally, Dr Chiltern, confer over the canapés at one of Lecter’s dinner parties (the first time we have seen one with an ensemble of guests). But Hannibal, and the writers, have been cooking up plenty this week – from a dead man growing a garden in his ribcage to Hannibal’s own flora-inspired nibbles. Accompanied by a swooping score of strings and harpsichord, as well as yet more stunning cookery shots, this episode is a feast for the senses.
From an emotional standpoint, it feels more like an assault on those senses; the aforementioned catalyst has raised all kinds of different grief responses, from Will’s quiet yet vengeful reflection to those who find comfort in company to drive out the pain. Emotions run high in the case of Abel Gideon and the violence he faces when he brags about killing a nurse – one of the grimmest moments of Season 1, for a reason similar to that of Episode 8 of Game of Thrones Season 4, to give you an (ahem) eye-dea – seems a mirror of the inevitable violence that all of Beverley’s colleagues are wishing upon her killer.
Meanwhile, Will, silent, brooding and lethal, sits in his cell and plots the next phase of his revenge. But the more he plots, the more he slips away from his defenders. For as well as the righteous, decorative murder of this week’s victim, we are introduced to another death: that of Will Graham in the eyes of two of his most trusted allies, who find refuge in each other. When Hannibal alludes to carrying out the threat on Alanna Bloom’s life that Abel Gideon couldn’t, we see it cut Will to the bone, but instead of dead meat, Hannibal takes his revenge on Will in living flesh.
As Hannibal and Will tussle over Alanna, Jack is facing up to the decisions he’s made that have impacted women under his care; from Beverly to his protege, Miriam Lass (Veep’s Anna Chlumsky), the whereabouts of whom still haunt him. Jack, finally, seems to be stepping up to fill Beverley’s shoes in believing Will’s story, but with a shock revelation at the end of the episode sure to distract him, it looks like the good doctor may be safe a little longer.
Hannibal Season 2 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
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