NBC’s Hannibal
Season 1, Episode 6Entrée
Directed by Michael Rymer (Queen of the DamnedBattlestar GalacticaThe KillingAmerican Horror Story)
Written by Bryan Fuller & Kai Wu

* For a review of the previous episode, “Coquilles” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Sorbet” – click hereIMG_0177

Will: “Always feel a little nervous going into these places
Jack: “Why’s that?
Will: “I’m afraid they won’t let me out
Jack: “Don’t worry, I won’t leave you here.
Will: “Yeah. Not today.

IMG_0178Finally we get a little introduction to the ever snide and haughty Dr. Frederick Chilton (Raúl Esparza). In the books, as well as the film adaptations, I do absolutely despite Chilton. However, not only is he a bit different here – snide yet still a slight bit saucy and fun – Raúl Esparza is an excellent actor, in my opinion. He gives Chilton a bit more of a suave nature than we get in the films from
Of course, Chilton believes Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard – another charismatic and underrated actor) who claims to be the Chesapeake Ripper. Gideon’s even gone so far as to recreate one of the murders, right in the hospital where he’s being held. So there’s more to the snideness of Chilton because it isn’t just him thinking he’s smart, we have a fun little subplot here that gets going where Gideon is sort of leading Chilton into an intellectual trap. As the audience, we know who the Chesapeake Ripper really is, but the fun part comes with how things play out once Gideon tries to take credit for crimes that, clearly, he has not in actuality committed. Chilton, as well as the others to a certain extent, get taken along for a little ride.
IMG_0181
In this episode, we get a glimpse into Jack Crawford’s (Laurence Fishburne) recent past. I love how the flashbacks are in black-and-white. Fitting.Here we see Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky), around the top of her class, is taken under the wing of Jack, the so-called Guru as his trainees call him for having a “peculiar cleverness“. He needs all the help he can get on the Chesapeake Ripper case, so Lass is brought in as additional support. This is not just fodder for the plot. We’re getting a look at how Jack has dealt with this kind of thing (re: his worry for Will) before with Miriam. Of course, there’s a reason he acts how he does this time around. It becomes more clear as the episode moves on.
Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) walks through the basement of Chilton’s hospital, inmates looking at her, and it immediately draws parallels to Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling walking the same way down the hall to meet Hopkins’ Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. So I like the way Fuller constantly plays with scenes we know yet they come at us in a completely different form. That’s how an adaptation ought to work. You keep so much of the core material the same, then change some of the things around it, innovate a little but not so much that it affects things to a point where you lose focus. I think Fuller and Co. do a fascinating job with their adaptation throughout the episodes.
Jack has a lot going on. Miriam Lass also represents Jack’s overall inability to save the people around him. Bella (Gina Torres – married to Fishburne in real life) barely wants to involve Jack in her illness. In opposition to what she wants, Jack wants to take care of her, be there for her, and above all: he needs to save her.
Problem for Jack is that he confides too deeply in Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). That willingness of Hannibal’s to reach out and affect those around him, to further the social experiment of life to extremes behind the curtains comes out more in this episode. Effectively, the Chesapeake Ripper, knowing what he knows, begins to bait Jack Crawford, to try and make him go off the deep end, in any way he can. This is how we get the true insight into how vicious Hannibal’s effect can be working from the inside how he is in this series.IMG_0186

You can’t save her, Jack. She won’t let you. The cancer won’t let you. Who else couldn’t you save?

IMG_0187Dancy does an incredible job with his performance, episode after episode after episode. His trouble dealing with people comes across constantly. Even when with Alana Bloom, Will obviously has issues with social contact of any kind.
A great instance of this is when Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) shows up. They have a bit of back and forth between Freddie, Alana, Jack, Freddie again, back, forth. Then when she talks to Will, you can see how he’s not even making eye contact with her, staring off into the wall. It’s such a telling scene. Not only does he just dislike Ms. Lounds, Will really doesn’t like to look at people in the eye. Great work on the part of Dancy, he keeps the character so consistent.
Eddie Izzard brings the sly wit of his comedy here, but in a sense that doesn’t work to bring out comedy; he makes Dr. Abel Gideon disarmingly charming. The way he talks to Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom is so non-chalant, there’s a creepy essence to the character throughout a subtle performance from Izzard.
We’re also seeing manipulation of Hannibal via Frederick Chilton, as during a dinner scene the two are in the kitchen, away from Alana, and Hannibal makes some shadowy implications of what his fellow psychiatrist ought to have done with Abel Gideon. We can already tell there is a sinister setup awaiting, behind the curtains with Hannibal. Soon it will all come out.IMG_0191Bit by bit, the memory of Miriam Lass, her disappearance, it all comes toppling down on top of Jack. Still, the worst of it all is that the Chesapeake Ripper is sitting there right next to Jack – both of them sipping wine or some other drink in front of a fire, chatting. He’s purposely moulding the experiences of all these people – Jack, Miriam, Will, everyone who comes in contact with him. He is experimenting, like they’re live rats in a big maze, each of them having a different cheese dangled in front of their faces.
The phone calls Jack is getting, supposedly from his missing and presumed dead trainee Miriam Lass, work so well on both the audience and Jack. Adds more thrill to the Jack Crawford character, as well as some creepy mystery. Part of the show I’ve loved so much, going right into Season 2, is the subplot involving Lass and the Chesapeake Ripper; so much interesting stuff. Here, it’s such a harsh play on the part of Hannibal – he digs into the lives of his “friends” as his daytime personality Dr. Lecter, then at night as the Chesapeake Ripper he wreaks havoc on them. Such twisted stuff. It does absolutely work on Jack, as everything works together to tear him up: Miriam Lass, Bella’s cancer, Will and his possibly deteriorating mental state. You really feel for Jack Crawford here.

It’s nice to have an old friend for dinner

Then we’re treated to the ultimate flashback in the last five minutes.
Miriam Lass shows up to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter about a possible patient he may have treated years ago when he was working in an emergency room; a victim of the Chesapeake Ripper found at the time. So naturally, we find that Hannibal has most certainly taken her, tricky tricky as he always seems to be. We know what’s coming, however, it is the way in which the scene plays out that feels so perfectly suspenseful and full of tension… right to the last horrific drop.
When Lass picks up that photo of the Pinned Man, or whatever it’s called officially – there’s this terror we feel, watching Hannibal walk up behind her, shoeless as to not make any noise and alert the young woman. It’s perfect.
In fact, later in Season 3 Jack does something similar in return to Hannibal.IMG_0195Loved this episode, as it introduces Gideon and I’m so glad Izzard was chosen to play him. Great casting on the part of the show. Furthermore, we’re seeing the extended reach of Hannibal – the Chesapeake Ripper – as he toys with everyone around him. Chilton is under his influence already. Will and Jack are both blind to the Ripper who is right in front of their faces. So with each episode, that influence he has over everyone builds, and we see him playing with it like a child might do with insects.
Next one up is my review for “Sorbet.”

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