Friday, June 21, 2013

REVIEW: Hannibal (NBC) "Savoureux" Season 1 Finale or "Friends, Romans, Countrymen...and Abigail Hobbs"

UPDATE: Bryan Fuller Interview About Season Finale

Season 1 is officially over.  This means that a lot of elk wranglers will be out of work this summer. Honestly, the elk imagery on this show is at the "beat a dead horse" level. Enough.

The show opens with Will dreaming about an elk with a man's head.  (See below).  If I had these kinds of dreams, I would avoid sleep at all costs by drinking coffee by the gallon.

When Will wakes up from his gruesome nightmare, Will vomits up a human ear in his kitchen sink.  He calls Hannibal Lecter for help (bad idea) which quickly leads to Will's arrest for the murder of Abigail "Freckles" Hobbs.

The "Encyclopedia Brown" Syndrome
I do not like this version of the Will Graham character. He is constantly miserable. He seems very weak-minded and always caves in when his boss, Jack Crawford, is pushing him to his limits.  Will goes around telling other characters things like "I don't trust myself to know what is real." They shouldn't let him drive a car, let alone hunt down serial killers.

Will Graham, and later Dr. Lecter, have what I call "The Encyclopedia Brown" syndrome.  The police have to go to Will (and later Dr. Lecter) because he is the ONLY person who can possibly crack the case.  You have to accept this premise, if you are going to enjoy the "Hannibal" universe.

What would Thomas Harris' books Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs be without having Dr. Lecter as a consultant?  Unlike miserable Will Graham, Dr. Lecter gets a kick out of investigating gruesome serial murders. He loves to play mind games with the investigators ("quid pro quo") and he enjoys trading information for small freedoms and privileges. 

Again with the handcuffs? 

Haven't we learned anything from Dr. Gideon?  We saw two episodes where the same middle-aged, somewhat out of shape man busted free from handcuffs and went on a killing spree. What are the odds of Will, who looks as frail as a 90 year old woman with brittle bone disease, busting out of the handcuffs?

Will in handcuffs
You won't believe what happens next...
Click on "Read More" to continue...

Get out of town! Who could have seen this coming?
A few seconds after sitting down in the back of the transport truck, Will twisted his hand, slid it out of the handcuffs, attacked the guard, and escaped. That prison must have the worst handcuff vendor in the world.   They should sue.

I have seen entire movies where the two characters are handcuffed together most of the time.  Notably, "No Mercy" (1986) with Kim Basinger and Richard Gere.  Between the two of them, they could not get out of the handcuffs and they went through a swamp. I don't know if that is because the handcuffs were really sturdy or if they were total morons.

The Clock Test:  Dr. Lecter leaves no stone unturned. He substituted Will's distorted clock drawing with a normal clock.  It would have been great if Dr. Bloom, with the two clock drawings in front of her, noticed some discrepancy between the handwriting.

Also, the show's writers should take that clock drawing test.  In the last few episodes, the characters have been zipping back and forth between Baltimore and Minnesota as if they are running a quick errand at the corner grocery store.  That's over 944 miles each way, people.

Why does Will have to go all the way to the Hobbs' family kitchen in Minnesota to discover Hannibal is the real killer? He just spent 15 hours in the car with the guy. Maybe Will is crazy like a fox. Maybe he wanted to see Hannibal spring for $131 worth of gas before identifying him as the killer.

It's just a hop, skip, and a jump to
Wisconsin from Baltimore, Maryland
Jack Crawford sucks: In my opinion, he is way more obnoxious than Dr. Chilton.  Crawford pushes Will to the limit in the name of justice. He also boasts that he is the only one providing any stability in Will's life - as if making Will constantly miserable is a good thing.  Once Will is framed for murder, Crawford starts pushing him to confess to all of the murders in Season 1. No benefit of the doubt. Deplorable.

Will is still seriously sick:  This is briefly explained by Will saying he got off schedule on his antibiotics. You would think he would be on top of that because he has had a fever for the last few episodes. I know from watching "Osmosis Jones" that you can die from having a fever for too long.

Crocodile tears:  Is Hannibal crying for Will or Abigail? Is he sad because he realizes it is "game over" with two of his human wind-up toys?

The Veal:  You've got to hand it to Hannibal, he is one classy maniac. Most guests show up with a bottle of wine, he shows up with a tray of freckled veal under a glass dome (with a spine garnish).

Door-to-door veal salesman
Will's vision at the end.  He sees Hannibal and starts saying "Satan, satan.." like a feverish version of SNL's Church Lady...

Could it be Satan?
Will sees Hannibal as the Elk Man.

"I am the elk man, koo, koo, katchoo"
I am encouraged that this will be the last of the elk imagery.  You've finally got the serial killer's head on the elk/stag thing.  Will has finally put the pieces together to figure out that Hannibal is the real killer. Irony completed. Horse kicked.

That's the end of season one!  It has been profoundly disturbing as well as occasionally entertaining.  I can hardly wait for season 2.

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