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“Hannibal” Review/Recap: “Hassun”

Adam Reynoso ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen in the Hannibal episode "Hassun." Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC.
Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen in the Hannibal episode “Hassun.” Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC.

As season two of the series continues, Hannibal is continuing to deliver vivid, horrific imagery, as well as the mind game between its two leads, locked up Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).

This is the episode that’s started the possibly long trial of Will Graham and it’s still unclear what more twists and turns are in store, especially after everything that’s already happened at this point. Needless to say, Graham’s going to have to go through another judge and trial due to what transpired this week.

One of the now recurring themes of this season’s episodes is how the killer of the week is overlapping into more than one episode, almost having their own arc. Last season, it was more about the case of the week and how each case was different and took a toll on Graham’s sanity. This season, it’s more about the mystery behind these killers and how to catch them now that Graham’s no longer in the field and is on trial instead.

Hugh Dancy  in the Hannibal episode "Hassun." Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC.
Hugh Dancy in the Hannibal episode “Hassun.” Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC.

This week’s episode also delved deeper into each of the characters and how Graham’s trial is affecting everyone around him. Each character is reflecting on how they played a part in his breakdown and how they all feel somewhat responsible for his actions. It’s apparent in their conversations with each other, and most notably, in Jack Crawford’s (Laurence Fishburne) testimony in court. He’s starting to not necessarily believe Graham, but at least believe that it wasn’t entirely his fault.

And of course, there’s Hannibal’s own relationship with Graham. Last week, Hannibal realized that he was playing a dangerous game and knew what kind of risk he was taking by working with the FBI. Just well, he realized how this was in part due to his obsession with Will Graham. This week, the focus is more on that obsession. In the episode, he’s constantly trying to show Graham that he’s trying to help him and that Hannibal really does see Will as a friend. And in some of their scenes together, it looks as if Graham almost believes him. But in the end, he remembers why he’s in the asylum in the first place.

Shawn Doyle and Mads Mikkelsen in the Hannibal episode "Hassun." Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC.
Shawn Doyle and Mads Mikkelsen in the Hannibal episode “Hassun.” Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC.

The closing scenes really showed where each character is at, at this point. And it’s in these scenes that show a hint of Hannibal’s loneliness. He’s sitting in his chair, drinking wine (that may or may not be people), and he’s alone. His unofficial therapist is gone and his supposed best friend is in an insane asylum. The people he saw as almost equals are no longer in his life, at least not in the way he’d like. It’s amazing how a show where this character is possible one of the smartest, darkest and most twisted villains ever, can still be someone that can be sympathized with.

Aside from the stellar character development, the episode managed to also have the spectacular imagery the series is known for, as well as introducing a new mystery with the copycat killer plot line. With the pace the series is going with, it’ll be interesting to see how the show reaches the flash-forward from the premiere.

Overall Episode Rating: A

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