Review by Jordan
In the third episode of Hannibal, the tone remains the same, but the narrative begins to unfold ever so slowly.
When Abigail Hobbs awakens from her coma, Jack Crawford still thinks she was helping her father in some way. Taking her back to her home, she is confronted with evidence of her father’s murders. As Will, Hannibal and Dr. Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) try to tell Jack she had nothing to with her father’s crimes, they find another victim impaled on a deer’s head in Abigail’s father’s workshop. The girl is Marissa, a neighbor, who was alive 24 hours prior, and she was killed just like the previous victims.
The victim Will found in the very first episode he still believes to be the work of a copycat. That victim’s brother, Nicholas Boyle, came to talk to Abigail at her home. The next day, Abigail finds women’s hair inside of a pillow her father made, and attacks and kills Nicholas. Lecter discovers her and basically tells her there’s no way to make it look like self defense. The two cover up the murder and clean the crime scene.
Abigail realizes that Lecter is the one that called and warned her father, as the two agree to keep each other’s secrets.
Mads Mikkelsen is so, so good as Hannibal Lecter. He’s quiet, sort of lurks in the shadows, but when he needs something, he gets it. He’s so proud of Will for figuring out the copycat that he almost smiles. And it was so creepy. He’s also the master of manipulation, if his treatment of Abigail is any indication. He manipulates her — softly, kindly, without any threats — into covering up the crime scene. Abigail thinks she’s evil, made worse when she inadvertently kills Nicholas, but Lecter tells her she’s not evil. And she’s not. She’s a scared girl who had a monster as a father. Lecter reassures Abigail that she is not evil. Because he knows evil and she’s not.
This episode is Abigail’s episode, but Will finds out the most important part: Hobbs used every part of his victims because he thought he was honoring them by doing so (using their hair as stuffing for pillows, for example). Will keeps mostly in the background since we aren’t introduced to a new serial killer, for which I am grateful.
Potage was a much slower episode, but I like the Abigal Hobbs stuff and am intrigued by her character and her relationship with Lecter. She’s already messed up, will he mess her up more or will he help her? Will she become his new assistant? Like always, the episode is gorgeous and so chilling. Everything looks so cold and lacks warmth. The set design is crazy complicated, though — the warmest part of the episode was when Lecter consoles Abigail after she had just killed Nicholas. The room looked so cozy and warm, when just minutes earlier it looked cold and unwelcoming.
Potage is a a thick creamy soup. It’s often warm, which is something this episode lacked until the end.
Overall, I am very much enjoying this series and I’m so glad we get 13 more episodes next year. I like that only in its third episode we didn’t meet a new serial killer, but rather focused on past characters. A nice change, and the violence was a little softer, if that’s possible.