With a little over a month left in the return of Hannibal, we thought it would be a good time to revisit and review the first season.
(Note: Full spoilers for Hannibal: Season 1)
It’s rare to see a prequel that is almost as good as the original. But to see it this well done, it should be hailed as a miracle. ‘Hannibal’ from it’s very first moment, grabs you by the throat and tightens its grip to such a point where there is nothing you can do about it. The helplessness forces you give up and accept your fate.
It has the same effect on its main character ‘Will Graham’ played by Hugh Dancy, a gifted criminal profiler, who has the ability to empathize with Killers and see their point of view, understand their motives, and their reasons. He’s a bizarre object, something people (those who’ve managed to get to know him, anyway) are as fascinated with much as the killers he helps catch. There is something inside Will that he fears might be let loose. “Don’t psychoanalyze me,” Will says, bringing to mind the words of another mild-mannered man barely keeping a monster at bay. “You won’t like me when I’m psychoanalyzed.”
Everything is art in this show, it may sound as a cliche. But visually everything in the show is like looking into a masterpiece that is well thought out, carefully and meticulously crafted. Created by Bryan Fuller whose previous shows like Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies had proven he was someone whose work was always worth a look, and amazingly imaginative. And it became clear that he had a true passion for the story he was telling with Hannibal, reminiscent of how Josh Friedman took Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and made it into something so much more special and notable than was expected to be when the project was announced.
Laurence Fishburne plays Jack Crawford, mentor, father figure and supervisor to Graham. He is shown as a man driven for justice, and although he is wary of the cost it might bear, he sometimes does overlook it. He cares for Graham, and it is for him that he decides to contact a outside psychiatrist. This is how we are introduced to ‘Hannibal’. Whose first scene includes him enjoying a plate of delicious meat (I can never remember the names of the dishes). Dr. Hannibal Lector is played by Mads Mikkelsen. Brilliantly so and In this quiet moment, Mads Mikkelsen exudes more charisma dining alone at his table than most cinematic and television serial killers of recent memory have in all their various exploits.
What Mikkelsen does best, however, is take the character back to a time before he was a product to be repackaged and sold (despite the fact that is precisely what’s going on here). His Lecter is a pitiless therapist that keeps tissues out of the hands of his patient, and when they are requested, he barely moves in order to give them over. But he’s also charming when he needs to be, a monster hiding in plain sight under the cover of his own magnetism and brilliance.
Dr. Alana Bloom played by Caroline Dhavernas is shown as someone who has Will’s well-being at heart. Her interactions with Graham, are a somewhat integral part of making him grounded and Human. She is shown to care for Will, and she tries repeatedly, to never be alone in the same room with him as to not act on her feelings towards him. By the end of the season they do kind of hook up, albeit shortly.
Freddie Lounds, portrayed by Lara Jean Chorostecki serves as a plot device. Used only when needed to the plot, and shown in a single dimension, she is a tabloid journalist in the field of crime investigation. She manages the website tattlecrime.com, which seems to attract alot of killers and alot of trouble. She is someone who will use any means necessary to get the story, even if it means to work with serial killers and sacrifice innocents. Lara Jean Chorostecki was equal parts vexing and amusing as she weaved in and out of the story – eventually seeing some truly depraved events occur while in the company of Dr. Gideon (Eddie Izzard).
The show truly shines when it come to it’s story, and it’s execution in such a grotesque, horrific and unapologetic way. The show starts with the FBI trying to catch a serial killer, and they are so in need of help that Crawford is forced to reach out for help. It is for this reason he contacts contact Graham. The beauty of it really lies in its methods, the first Killer shown Garret Jacob Hobbs(Vladimir Jon Cubrt), is caught in the first episode. Yet his impact is felt until the end of the season, in any other show catching him would have meant everyone moving on to the next killer. Not here, and not just in a single episode. Every killer that is caught has his impact on the mood of the show, and on our protagonist Will Graham.