Hello friendos! Were you in as much anticipation about this show as I was? Read on to see how I felt about it!
For all my fellow wordsmiths out there “aperitif” literally means “a drink before dinner”. This episode was exactly that, a liquid appetizer of the mysteries and horrors to come. The first character we meet is Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), from the book and film RED DRAGON. He is teaching a class at FBI Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. We see him reliving a previous case and basically how his genius mind works. He literally puts himself in the mind of the killer in order to figure out their motives. After school lets out we meet a familiar character from the books and films involving Dr. Hannibal Lecter…Jack Crawford played by Laurence Fishburne. He needs Will’s original perspective to help in a case in Minnesota involving eight missing girls. He begrudgingly accompanies Jack, complaining that he will have to be “sociable”. I can relate to that! There is an interesting scene in which a lone Will, who in the novel and film RED DRAGON, has a wife and son, picks up a stray dog. When he arrives home we see he has several strays and interacts with them with ease. Even with this wholesome scene in the midst of everything Will can never get a case out of his head. As he tries to sleep he turns to his side and sees the latest victim in the Minnesota case.
We first meet our titular character as he barely tolerates a sobbing patient. Dr. Lecter passes some tissues to him and I could feel his horror when the patient rudely wads it up and discards it on an end table. Meanwhile Will is called to the scene of the ninth victim in a Minnesota field. All the other victims were not found on gruesome display as this one was. Will immediately deduces that this one is the work of a copycat. There is no “care” taken with the victim…and her lungs have been removed. Cut to Dr. Lecter with a set of lungs and esophagus on his cutting board. He sautés the meat and has a nice dinner. Lungs…the other white meat. Hannibal who previously met Will for the first time, and psychoanalyzed him, visits him again…and brings breakfast. I’ve never had lung sausage and scrambled eggs…but it looked quite appetizing. Will takes Hannibal to the home of the suspect of the first eight girls and is greeted by the suspect, a Mr. Hobbs, slitting the throat of his wife. Will tries in vain to save her and as he rushes into the house Hannibal stares down at Mrs. Hobbs like a vulture licking its chops. Will finds himself in the kitchen of the Hobbs’ home and finds him holding a knife to his daughter’s throat. He slices and Will shoots. As the young Hobbs clings to life Hannibal comes to her aid. I thought she would leave in a body bag, but she is on a stretcher. Will goes to visit her in the hospital a while later and finds a sleeping Hannibal gently holding the comatose girl’s hand.
What a touching scene eh? This show is better than I could have believed. I do have one little bone, no pun intended, to pick. Mads Mikkelsen, who plays the good doctor, has a strong Danish accent. It took me out of the story for a few moments in order to fully understand him. Once I did mind you, I was enthralled. The show is creating a wonderfully macabre relationship between Hannibal and Will. Not to mention that Dr. Lecter’s cheekbones could cut glass. He cuts, pun intended, a quite ominous villain. If you haven’t checked out this show…do it! Do it now! I implore you! You can catch a repeat on NBC OnDemand and the new episode airs next Thursday night. Let me know how you liked the taste of this Hannibal prequel.
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