After a strong premiere, Hannibal settles a bit more into the comfortable formula of most network TV series with a serial-killer-of-the-week episode entitled Amuse-Bouche, which is a French name for a single bite hors d’oeuvre that literally translates to “mouth amuser.” Heh. Thankfully Graham and Co. are tracking a fascinating killer-of-the-week so whether filler episode or not, it’s still quite good TV.
Special Agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has taken a step back from his duties after being forced to kill for the first time last week. Graham is a hero as a result to the class he teaches at Quantico and Agent Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) but as Dr. Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) predicted in Apertif, Graham might not have been ready to be exposed to such traumatic elements and doesn’t enjoy the hero spotlight. But Crawford will not hear of it and immediately requests Graham’s help finding a new killer and asks he get a psyche evaluation from Dr. Lecter to deem him field worthy again.
As far as story-of-the-week episodes go, this one was pretty well done. Our killer this time uses his/her victims as gardens to grow mushrooms and the results are as messed up as it sounds. I’ll leave the details out so as not to spoil the insanity of what this week’s crazy person does with his/her spare time, but it’s fascinating to see the story unravel. Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) continues to brilliantly manipulate those around him to ingratiate himself further with Graham and Crawford and yes, there’s more uncomfortable yet awesome eating scenes this week. Huzzah!
We’re also introduced to tabloid blogger Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) whom is a pretty big pest, but quite sharp, and has set her sights set on exposing Will Graham and his talents and unstable nature. The scene where Dr. Lecter meets her for the first time is maybe the best of the show so far and is just great fun. Is it wrong to root for Dr. Lecter in the way people root for Dexter?? Not all the women hate Graham this week though, because crime scene investigator Beverly (Hettienne Park) is making some not-so-subtle gestures in Will’s direction to which he seems to pickup on but not really deny or accept.
Dancy continues to deftly portray very complex intelligence and emotions through small looks and body language and is marvelous in Hannibal. But once again, Mad Mikkelsen steals the show with his mesmerizing portrayal in Amuse-Bouche as the show continues to have the look and feel of a motion picture.
What a creepy killer this week! Hannibal vs. Freddie. Graham’s revelation at the end. Dinner with Morpheus. The garden!
So are we getting a killer-of-the-week every week? Freddie is borderline annoying. Still don’t care much about the support staff working at the FBI.
A worthy follow-up to the premiere that’s not quite as gory, but maintains those menacing macabre levels and builds on all the relationships, solidifying the bar for the series going forward.