‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ will probably give you what you expect, but not what you’re looking for.
Four episodes into season three, the reverberations of the season two finale are still being felt. Given the monumental nature of “Mizumono”, that feels appropriate, and the first trio of episodes of season three have dealt primarily with the Red Dinner’s emotional and psychological fallout for Hannibal and Will.
The episode opens with yet another misleading sequence, although exactly how misleading the gorgeously shot Will-digo transformation/birth scene really is remains to be seen–after all, we still don’t know with any certainty who arranged the Randall exhibit, or whose body was sent flaming down the parkade runway in glorious tribute to Red Dragon’s exemplary Tooth Fairy kill. In fact, I would hasten that there is still a lot that we don’t know about this secret plan which has occupied much of the narrative lo’ these last few episodes. But more on that later.
As a fervent fan of both the films based on the character Hannibal Lecter and the source material written by Thomas Harris, I found myself very excited at the prospect of a television series based on the relationship between the titular cannibalistic sadist and the man who would eventually catch him hiding in plain sight, the highly intuitive Will Graham. When I heard that actors like Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, and Gillian Anderson had signed up to be a part of it, my anticipation became palpable, tempered only by the fear that this would be a short-lived cash-in on a mostly dead franchise. In that regard, I was happy to be mostly wrong.
The end of the first season of Hannibal left Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) locked up in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Season 2 serves a promising start as Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) wine and dine on the episode title’s eponymous kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. Following his arrest for the murders that took place in season one, Will finds himself in a tricky situation where he has to try and prove his innocence while trapped in a cell and while suffering from temporary memory loss. Hannibal Lecter steps into Will Graham’s shoes as the new FBI criminal profiler, and Will struggles to remember how it is Hannibal framed him for the crimes Hannibal clearly committed.
The most unsettling element of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (which is, by any metric, a deeply discomfiting film) is its plausibility. The film has a clinical approach that underlines how possible its central crisis is and how powerless we would be to stop it. The film has a global scope and an all-star cast, but what resonates most is the idea that this could happen. Anywhere. Anytime. To any one of us.
One of the better elements of Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Watchmen, and widely considered its best sequence, was that film’s opening credits montage, which forcefully played with pop culture iconography to impressive degrees. In a way, that sequence was an effective hint of what was to come with Snyder’s reboot of the Superman property; a cultural icon lavishly portrayed in a titanic fashion.
A recurring theme in Hannibal’s first three episodes has been an exploration of how getting into the mindset of serial killers affects Will, as he is unable to slip out as easily as he slips in, something that is beginning to take its toll on him. Each case that Will has taken on has chipped away at his psyche a bit more, and while Dr. Lecter is ostensibly helping Will retain his sanity, the psychologist clearly has another plan in mind. The toll that working with the FBI is having on Will’s sanity is further explored this week, in another atmospherically scary episode that gives the audience a look at the life of Jack Crawford.
Writer Thomas Harris’ cannibal villain Dr. Hannibal Lecter first gained …