CAUTION: SEASON 1 (AND SEASON 2, EP. 1) SPOILERS AHEAD
Friday night saw the return of one of the best TV shows in years, NBC’s gem and Bryan Fuller’s brain-baby, “Hannibal.” When we last left Will Graham et al, Hannibal Lecter had framed him for the Copycat Shrike murders and he was languishing away in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
Now that season two has started, hoo boy! are we in for a ride. Just like last year, all the Fannibals rallied on Twitter for both the East and West coast broadcasts, along with stars Hettienne Park, Aaron Abrahms, and production staff including Martha De Laurentiis and Bryan Fuller. Gleeful tweets came from the official DeLaurentiisCo and NBCHannibal’s twitters as we were bombarded with imagery that made me quickly realize the game was definitely ramped up a notch.
Some of our questions were answered, or at least we think they were — like how on EARTH did Hannibal get Will to cough up that ear?? — but many scenes left us with even MORE questions. Even if you’re not a Fannibal, you may have heard murmurs of the opening fight scene featuring Hannibal and Jack Crawford (Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne). It didn’t disappoint, even though the network gods bestowed the footage upon us before the episode’s airing. Punches and stabs and an intricate dance (Which took 20 hours to shoot, according to Fuller’s tweets) leave Hannibal bloody and Jack gushing from a deep neck wound that looks like it severed an artery. Just as we’re all about ready to collapse and die from the shock, we cut to Hannibal calmly cutting what we hope is fish, and a “Twelve Weeks Earlier” flash card. We’re still not entirely sure what happened with that fight, and which seems to be a flash forward, as it’s not mentioned again — and who knows what will happen in the next twelve episodes? There are theories that it’s a dream sequence, but I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
This year, we don’t have the usual “killer of the week” like we did with season 1. At the Nerdist Writer’s Panel in January, Fuller mentioned that the “guest murderers” would be spread out over two episodes or so, a fact which spread across the internet quite quickly, so many fans were prepared for the lack of the murder being tied up in a little bow(though it was sewn together quite nicely). What a lot of us weren’t prepared for was just how creepily he’d resemble our old pal Jame Gumb from “Silence Of the Lambs.” Hopefully we’ll get to find out if that’s just coincidental casting, or if he and his skin-tone murders are meant to be a sort of homage to Ted Levine’s embodiment.
Now, as we recoup from the premiere, Fannibals must lick their psychological wounds and take the rest of the night off. We’ve got a week to recuperate before Bryan and company do their best to tear our hearts to pieces. This season is going to be even more of a feels trip than the last, and I, for one, welcome the pain of watching such a gorgeous story unfold.