TV Review: Hannibal, ‘Futamono’

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Plot: A city councilman’s body is found intertwined with a tree; Jack (Laurence Fishburne) crashes Hannibal’s (Madds Mikelesen) dinner party to investigate Will’s (Hugh Dancy) suspicions; a revelation shocks everyone.

Business has just picked up.

Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC
Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC

That might sound like an odd thing to say about a series that constantly delivers one brilliant episode after another, but tonight’s installment of NBC’s Hannibal entitled ‘Futamono’ has just set in motion the build to the climax of the show’s second season.

Yes, tonight it was all about exposition and putting the right chess pieces in place. The main chess piece being put into position was Laurence Fishburne’s Jack Crawford. An unflagging supporter and advocate for both Will and Hannibal throughout the series, tonight is mainly about Jack’s acceptance of Will’s theory that Hannibal Lecter is the Chesapeake Ripper…and a cannibal. It is much the inverse of last season where Hannibal slowly but surely convinced Jack that Will had lost his mind and was in fact a serial murderer. Yet, there is a distinct difference, when “found out” Will Graham never hurt Jack Crawford, but Hannibal Lecter … he will kill anyone in order to satiate his hunger for death, including the man who saved his life last week.

Jack’s turn on Hannibal is a very slow build that’s put into motion by Will’s theory — that every time the Ripper kills Hannibal throws a dinner party. Suspicion envelopes Jack Crawford at a methodical pace and by episode’s end, the once trusting FBI agent now believes that Hannibal may in fact be The Chesapeake Ripper.

Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC
Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBC

The interaction between Mikkelsen and Fishburne steals the entire episode and it’s Mikkelsen who actually makes the turn more than just an interesting plot twist. When Jack shows up to Hannibal’s dinner party, and abruptly says he has to leave but demands to take some food from a waiter’s tray, “home” with him, you can hear the shattering of their friendship. Mikkelsen sells this moment with a look of utter, crushed defeat. His own insanity and blood lust aside, Hannibal Lecter has an affinity for Jack Crawford, he considers him a true friend. He’s also been a good friend to Jack (except for the whole lying about Will and murdering people thing) counseling him about what to do with his dying wife. At this moment he knows that Jack suspects him as the murderer. But, there’s another side to this…he also knows he has to kill his former friend now. Mikkelsen puts so much meaning into worried look in his eyes, the slow scowl etching across his face. It’s a crucial and perfectly executed scene.

With all this talk about Mikkelsen and Fisburne, how can we forget Eddie Izzard? The brilliant comedian just works his charming magic throughout the episode. His scenes with Hannibal are great little moments that punctuate the end of this stellar episode. We’d also be remiss in mentioning how Raul Esparza is pulling off fantastic performance after fantastic performance as the unscrupulous Dr. Chilton. After seeing this talented actor saddled with such garbage on Law & Order: SVU, it’s nice to see him have some truly good dialogue to work with.

“Futamono” is that episode. It’s the episode right before shit gets real, where all hell is about to break loose. We now have a lot of really intriguing story lines in place — Jack’s distrust of Hannibal, Hannibal being involved with Dr. Bloom, Will being possibly clear of all charges, etc. It’s a very explosive situation and it’s excruciating to have to wait a whole week in order to see how everything unfolds.

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Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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