Poor Will Graham. Behind bars after being framed for five heinous murders and none his closest colleagues believe his claims of innocence. But as the opening minutes in Friday’s (Feb. 28) Season 2 premiere of “Hannibal” so devilishly teased, they will soon.
Before we go any further, we have to take about that first scene. That fight between Hannibal and Jack Crawford was intense, huh? The in media res flash forward, used here before jumping back 12 weeks, is one of those devices that tends to be a bit overused in TV, but in the case of “Hannibal” it works. After all, the ending to this story has already been written.
The scene is a go-for-broke moment for a series that needs one, if it hopes to grow its audience at all. It sets the stage for the season to come, while still leaving the audience with plenty of questions about how we’ll get there — and most of all, it’s exciting and terrifying as all get out.
It’s a brutal fight, one that sees Jack take both a knife to the hand and a shard of glass to the neck. It’s that second wound that’s the most concerning, as it leaves the lawman gushing from what seems to be his carotid as he takes shelter in Hannibal’s pantry, while the Terminator-like cannibal throws himself against the door in determined pursuit.
That’s the image we’re left to chew on this season — a wounded Jack, finally aware of Hannibal’s true nature, but in mortal danger.
The 12-week march back to that moment begins with the FBI in an uproar and Will desperate to prove he’s no killer. Jack’s essentially been disgraced for letting an assumed serial killer sit right under his nose; Alana believes Jack and the FBI broke Will, leading him to kill, but she begins to pull away from Will, also; Beverly’s willing to consult Will for help with their case, but admits she’s compartmentalizing in order to do so.
And then there’s Hannibal. He visits with Bedelia, seemingly conflicted (or as conflicted as a monster can be) over framing something of a friend to protect himself; he insists the FBI perform an inquiry on him following’s Will’s accusation; he becomes the new Will Graham for the BAU. As always, he seems to have the quite the upper hand.
Until, that is, Will begins to remember. Helped along by Alana’s hypnosis, the truth behind how Hannibal got that ear down Will’s throat unlocks itself from Will’s subconscious. It’s a ghastly sequence — and it’s also the necessary start to Will’s ultimate reclamation of his freedom.
Watch out, Dr. Lecter — Will Graham and his reckoning are coming for you.
– Seriously, I may never get the sound of that tube going down Will’s throat out of my head.
– Bedelia seems to have finally grown weary of protecting Hannibal. That might be detrimental to her survival.
– Hey, Cynthia Nixon! Welcome to the “Hannibal”-verse. Can’t wait to see more out of you.
– The case of the week didn’t factor into the episode as much as it usually did last season and it hasn’t been resolved, so it didn’t warrant much discussion. But that final image sure was creepy, huh?
– “I never feel guilty about eating anything.”