It’s that magical time of year again, where everyone’s favourite cannibal returns to TV. This year is the third run of the Bryan Fuller developed take on the classic Hannibal Lector character and it looks to take the show in a different direction, away from the Police procedural and more in line with what the novels and film are about.
So let’s talk a little about the seasons first episode.
Season Two of Hannibal ended with plenty of questions left in the air, the biggest being who ended up surviving that blood bath. However, the season opener gives us zero information as to who walked out of Hannibal’s house alive. Instead we get a look at what Mr. Lector has been doing after the showdown with Jack Crawford and Will Graham.
Opening in Paris, we see Hannibal as he schmoses his way through a high class party looking to find his prey. Once picked, he ends up taking his place and position at a museum in Florence, Italy. Along for the ride is Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, whose taken up the role of Hannibal’s wife in this new identity. And shocker, she doesn’t seem to be happy about the whole stealing peoples lives thing.
The first episode mostly focuses on the life that the two form in a new country. What their home looks like, how they interact with each other and the new environment that surrounds them. While Hannibal seems at home with all the other rich yuppies, Maurier seems to take her joy from not living in Hannibal’s lie and walking the streets of Europe on her own.
As these two end up comfortably moving into their new lives, we get to see more of their backstory as it seems that Bedelia might need Hannibal more then we thought after killing one of her patients, seemingly not in self-defence. However, the real interesting moments come from the flashbacks featuring Lector and the series other serial killer, Abel Gideon.
While we see a little of his fate during season two, it turns out that Lector took his time in torturing and eating his fellow doctor and serial killer. These scenes give Hannibal a foil other than main character Graham, as Gideon often moves past the fact he’s eating his own leg or snails that ate his arm, and taunts Hannibal about when he’ll get caught. While Lector tries to shake these comments off, we get the sense that behind the armour of the killer he’s afraid that maybe his former friend Will Graham could stop him.
Story aside, the series returns to show off just how impressive the cinematography truly is. With shows like Game of Thrones looking to make scenes larger with special effects, Hannibal takes a different approach and focuses on the little, practical details. From whats in the foreground, to where the camera’s going to move to, to even what will be in focus during a conversation, every detail has been thought out and feels important. It would be easy to compare the show to a high budget David Fincher film, but that might do more discredit to just how impressive the show truly is, production wise. How the show doesn’t win awards in this category is beyond many of the shows fans.
As you can probably tell from the ramblings before this, Hannibal’s third season opens strong. Really strong, and it leaves me wondering what I did for all those weeks it was off the air. While I’m still hoping the show fixed some of it’s problems from last season, my hopes are high. You should be watching this show. If you need to catch up, the first two season are on Netflix. Stream and get ready for the Red Dragon.
Hannibal is produced by Dino de Laurenitis Company, Living Dead Guy Productions, AXN Original Productions and Gaumount International Television. The show is distributed by Sony Pictures Television.