New Show Recap

New Show Recap: Hannibal 2.01, “Kaiseki”

Hannibal is not a show for everybody; it takes a particularly morbid person to love this show. I love this show. Bryan Fuller makes such beautiful shows. Hannibal is beautiful, but the darkest beauty one has ever known. I am over the moon that it is back on after teetering on the edge of one and done great shows like Firefly. 

The new season starts off with a bang. Jack Crawford and Hannibal are fighting, and there is blood everywhere. Jack and Hannibal both have the look of killing on their faces. They are not fucking around. Jack seems to have found out that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper; that he is exactly who Will Graham said he was. The fight choreography is graceful, so props to the fight director for that.

Hannibal Is trying to stab Jack with a knife
Jack and Hannibal fighting
(Photo by: Brooke Palmer/NBC)

Hannibal sticks a shard of glass in Jack’s neck. Jack manages to stumble and lock himself in Hannibal’s wine cellar as he hemorrhages blood. Fade to black.

12 Weeks Earlier:

Hannibal is serving dinner to Jack. Hannibal looks to be cutting fish in a sashimi style. Kaiseki is the Japanese art form that honors the aesthetic of what we eat. Jack asks what kind of fish it is, and Hannibal respounds that HE was a flounder, implying what we all know, that the flounder is a person, not an actual fish. The dinner is a celebration mourning the loss of Will to his madness and his supposed crimes.

Will is shown fly fishing in a river, a peaceful dream-like state. He notices a stag in the shade. It causes concern and as the dream fades out, we learn that he is in a cage being interrogated by Dr. Frederick Chilton. Dr. Chilton is upset that Will won’t work with him at all; instead, Will asks for Hannibal by name. The dream returns and a creepy deer-horned man emerges from the water.

Jack and Alana Bloom are being talked to by a federal investigator. Basically, the FBI’s version of internal affairs is investigating the Will Graham situation. Kade (Cynthia Nixon) is asking that Dr. Bloom recant her statements about Will. Alana wants nothing to do with that as her statements might help prove Will’s innocence. Deep down, it seems that Alana has accepted that Will is guilty.

Some workers are trying to clear beaver dams out of a water way when one of them discovers a gruesome sight. Dead bodies begin to float to the top.

Hannibal is meeting with his psychiatrist, Bedelia DuMaurier. Hannibal reveals that Will wants to see him. Bedelia believes this is Will trying to manipulate Hannibal. She also declares that if Hannibal does go and visit, he is manipulating Will. She obviously knows how unhealthy this symbiotic pairing is. Bedelia also seems to know that Hannibal is much more than just a psychiatrist. Her eyes betray her thoughts of him as a killer, maybe even revealing that she knows he is the Chesapeake Ripper.

Will sits in his cell deep in thought and pain. He sees a pair of hooves appear towards the bottom of his cage, and then Hannibal is shown visiting Will. Will is not surprised, but the look on his face is one of “you need to get me the fuck out of here.” Will reveals that his internal monologue is the voice of Dr. Lecter’s. This speaks volumes to how their friendship has fucked everything. Will claims they are not friends, but their actions rebuke this statement. Dr. Lecter tries to goad Will into accepting the murders. They both know the truth even if Dr. Lecter is fighting against it. Dr. Lecter is the one that belongs behind bars.

Beverly Katz is taking a DNA swab from Dr. Lecter. She says they don’t expect to find anything. She also believes that everyone is responsible for Will’s breakdown. “You’re not a suspect, you’re the new Will Graham.”

Hannibal, Beverly, and Jack begin to investigate the body dump. The quote begins to play out as Hannibal postulates what the bodies were used for.

Beverly, Hannibal, and Jack discuss the latest body find.
Hannibal is on the scene after Jack calls him to be the new Will
(Photo by: Brooke Palmer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Hannibal is back in session with Bedelia. He lets her know that he is keeping Jack close. He discusses how he played Will Graham today. Bedelia definitely reveals that she knows about Dr. Lecter, and his statements to her imply as much.

Dr. Bloom seems to have adopted Will’s dogs. Apparently, Winston the dog continues to run away back to Will’s home. Will and Alana discuss that Will doesn’t want FBI lawyers. “What defense do you think I have?” Dr. Bloom advises him that he should argue that his mental state allows for him to plead not guilty. A computer is shown recording this conversation. If you are a fan of Silence of the Lambs, you know Dr. Chilton liked to record his patients no matter what they were doing. Dr. Bloom hypnotizes Will at his behest to recover lost memories. Will’s mindscape is a cesspool of death and food with the deerman at the head of a nasty dinner table. Will quickly comes out of the hypnosis, freaking out.

Dr. Lecter is cooking dinner for Dr. Chilton. Hannibal makes an off-hand comment that he normally does not cook a meatless meal. It makes me wonder where Hannibal put the people in this dinner. They discuss Will and Alana’s session earlier. Frederick tells Hannibal that Will tells everyone that Hannibal is a monster. “In that case, you are dining with a psychopathic murderer, Frederick.” Hannibal revels in the glory of being outed without most people understanding that they know the truth.

The DC metro is shown as a passenger is approached by a creepy man telling him he has nice skin. This definitely relates to the secondary story line, the mass murderer of the week. The passenger is shown at home where his car is maniacally beeping. He goes to turn it off and is attacked. The viewer knows what fate might befall him.

A room full of bodies is shown as a white substance is sprinkled onto a spoon. The murderer of the week is preparing his newest capture.

The old bodies are being autopsied. Heroin is found in their systems. This would be the white substance shown briefly in the previous scene. The murderer is treating his bodies with silicone and preservatives, and appears to have mounted the bodies.

Dr. Katz visits Will to consult on the case. Will figures out he is developing a human color wheel. That would explain the way the bodies were lined up in the brief shot earlier.

Will begins to dissociate back into a dream state as he is eating his dinner. He sees Dr. Lecter shove an ear down his throat using a stomach pump. Will’s nightmare is never-ending.

Jack visits Will’s house. He must be looking for something to help Will out. Winston is there! Dr. Bloom shows up to retrieve Winston, but I am guessing she may have come at Jack’s behest. Jack and Alana discuss the crimes in Will’s house and debate if Hannibal or Will is a killer. Jack doesn’t believe that Hannibal is a killer, and Alana believes that Will is innocent. Alana points out that Will wants to find the truth. She says a psychopath wouldn’t do that.

The river is back. Will sees Jack and is pulled back into reality. Jack wants to bring Will back to who he was when they first met. Will admits his doubts that Hannibal is responsible but then admits he still thinks Dr. Lecter is the killer. “You let the fox into the hen house.” Jack defends Hannibal as Will tells him that Jack may not believe Will now, but he will. Will knows Jack will find out the truth.

The Metro passenger awakes to find himself in a long circular room with other bodies. They all appear dead while he is still alive. A brutal ending to such an emotionally brutal episode.

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

5 replies on “New Show Recap: Hannibal 2.01, “Kaiseki””

I think it was the preservative/silicone used to preserve the skin colours that was essentially gluing his hand to his face and his legs in position. And can I just say that it was the _one_thing_ that made me turn away? Apparently I have a very specific “Nope. Nope. Nope.” point.

I love how you described this as “dark beauty,” because it really is both. The filming alone is gorgeous, the lighting and the colors and the special effects (that scene with Alana morphing into some sort of whatever-the-hell she was when Will went under hypnosis has not left my head!), everything is just so lovingly done.

And it’s horrible! And gory and gruesome and sick and twisted. Poor Will! He knows he’s innocent but you have to wonder when he’ll begin to question his own sanity. That has to happen, right?

I love this show. I hate that I love it, but I definitely love it.

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