The fascinating ‘Men & Chicken’ will make you laugh and cringe in equal measure
With “The Wrath of the Lamb”, Hannibal wraps up its run, at least for now. While all involved have been qualifying the episode as merely the series finale on NBC, the show has yet to be picked up anywhere else and several key figures have moved on to new projects. Creator Bryan Fuller has mentioned the possibility of the team reuniting for a film at some point down the line, but for the foreseeable future, this is the series finale of Hannibal, and given its bloody, spectacular climax, that feels appropriate.
It feels safe to say that everyone watching the series Hannibal knows that at some point, barring a complete break from the source material, Hannibal Lecter will end up in police custody. With “Digestivo”, Bryan Fuller and company finally bring this moment to pass, catching up to the lesser informed segment of the audience—those only peripherally familiar with Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs—and doing so in style.
Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation of the genre that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.
If you, like the rest of us, can’t wait for the return of Hannibal this June, then hopefully Mads Mikkelsen’s new movie can help hold you over. The Salvation, which reunites Casino Royal stars Mikkelsen and Eva Green, follows the story of an American settler who, after killing the man who murdered his family, incurs the wrath of a dangerous gang leader. In addition to Mikkelsen and Green, the film stars such talent as Eric Cantona and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
I would imagine that if “Mizumono” screened in front of a live audience, it would get a ten minute standing ovation. Let’s just get this out of the way real quick: “Mizumono” will go down in the books as one of the greatest season finales of all time. There is a seriousness and an intensity here that is unlike anything on the small screen; everything that sets Hannibal apart from every other television show is contained in this season’s riveting last installment. This is a truly inspiring example of classy storytelling and unforgettable characterization, and the collaborative effort of Bryan Fuller, Steve Lightfoot, and David Slade has resulted in something very special for fans of the show.
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.