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Review: "Hannibal” Is Back For Seconds With "Kaiseki"

Adam Reynoso ’15/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Hugh Dancy in Hannibal. Photo Credit: NBC.
Hugh Dancy in the Hannibal episode “Kaiseki.” Photo Credit: NBC.

The fan favorite and possibly even cult classic Hannibal is back and better than ever, sparing no punches for the series’ first episode of its well deserved second season, “Kaiseki”.

Without giving anything specific away, the show picks up immediately with a tense, suspenseful and, cinematically beautiful flash forward, setting up what could be a perfect bookend to the series’ second season. And of course, this could only have come from the wonderful mind of series creator, Bryan Fuller, who some may recognize as the man behind Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me.

Going back to the episode itself, the only words that come to mind is perfection. It’s picked up exactly where last season left and has begun to introduce new characters and potential storylines that will continue to be explored over the following 12 episodes. At the same time, the show has begun to examine the already established characters from last season and offer another perspective to these richly drawn characters.

Most notably would have to be leading man, Hugh Dancy, back as the now locked up Will Graham. Last season saw the unraveling of his character and really looked at how vivid and realistic his imagination could be. In the premiere, his character is awaiting trial in the now infamous Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. And it’s in these scenes in the hospital where this season’s tagline, “Embrace the madness,” makes even more sense. Now that he’s locked up and has reached a certain point in his mental health, Graham can look at the events of last season from a clearer perspective and recognize just how Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) could have caused his own mental undoing.

Laurence Fishburne and Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal. Photo Credit: NBC.
Laurence Fishburne and Mads Mikkelsen in the Hannibal episode “Kaiseki.” Photo Credit: NBC.

When it comes to the cinematography and overall look to the episode, it’s continuing to play with lighting, and the one scene that comes to mind is the river where a character is seen fishing. It’s scenes like those that bring an immediate feeling of either relaxation or, in most cases with the other scenes, a sense of terror and suspense, especially another scene involving a river as well.

Overall, Hannibal is back and it is back with a vengeance. What made the show so beautiful last season is present in the premiere, and then some. If you need any more convincing, make sure to check out the show’s Twitter or Tumblr page where NBC’s social media team has the most fun.

And as the title suggests, the puns are back and Hannibal‘s own dark humor is as well. And the one spoiler this writer would like to share (because any member of the Hannibal fandom can tell you what happens to rude people): everything is people. And yes, that does include the vegetarian dishes.

Overall Episode Grade: A+

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