This fifth entry in season two, “Mukozuke,” marks a few firsts for the series. We see Will (Hugh Dancy) take drastic measures in dealing with Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen), which results in Dr. Lecter being vulnerable for the first time. Of course, it’s hard to fear for a character’s survival when the entire series is named after him, (not to mention the books and movies the character originates from) but it’s the journey, not the destination that makes for an interesting story. Sure, it’s obvious that Hannibal survives, but this episode was one fine journey. It opens with some beautifully shot scenes, in which Hannibal performs an impressive egg cracking trick while wearing a familiar looking red sweater. (Hint hint: Fans speculate this was Abigail’s sweater.) He might have questionable taste in cuisine, but nobody can accuse Hannibal of not having style. … Or guts, as he feeds Jack (Laurence Fishburne), the FBI agent, what could well be parts of murder victims. Meanwhile Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) makes her reappearance at the observatory, where she observes not the cosmos, but something quite gruesome. It seems Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) did not fare so well in her cliffhanger tussle with Hannibal. Her body has been vivisected into numerous parts, all pressed between glass and spread out in a line (a little bit Damien Hirst, a little bit Visible Human Project, a little bit Body Worlds). This is the first time a murder victim on the show was a major reoccurring character. It’s also a disturbing scene for that same reason. This is a cold, clinical display that seems not so much artistic as it is scientific. As always, the physical effects are amazing. The cross-sectioned portions of Beverly are expertly created and look adequately real despite certain conveniently blurred and hidden body parts. Will is then brought to the scene of the crime in the most diva fashion possible: Decked out in a straitjacket and clear plastic mask while tied to a stand-up wheelchair. Will might not be a serial killer, but he sure looks the part in this getup. In fact, he looks downright familiar somehow. Jack frees him and Will struggles through a “this is my design” scene. As far as we’ve seen, Will has never had to investigate the murder of someone so close to him. In his imagination, he, as the killer, recreates Beverly’s gruesome death. Again, a fantastically shot scene. The strength of cinematography cannot be denied in this series. Of course, Hannibal cannot kill without taking a trophy, and he’s taken Beverly’s kidneys as his next victory meal. He leaves in their place the kidneys of the mural killer, setting the investigators off in search of Beverly’s. Unfortunately, as we are so grossly shown, the evidence has already been processed and prepared. Janice Poon, Hannibal’s food stylist, does an excellent job of creating the Beverly kidney pie — Perhaps a wink to Pushing Daisies’ pie maker? It also looks downright familiar somehow. The emotional toll of seeing Beverly’s body awakens a greater need for revenge in Will. He manipulates Chilton (Raúl Esparza) into allowing him to talk to Abel Gideon. After all, if they both name the same man as the Chesapeake Ripper, that might be worth investigating. Eddie Izzard as Gideon is a welcome character as always. He’s a whimsical and creepily funny personality in a rather grim show. He tells Will that in order to catch the Ripper, he’ll have to kill him. In an act of desperation, Will decides to call a certain reporter he knows. Lounds agrees to connect Will with his murderous admirer in exchange for exclusive rights to his story. As it turns out, one of the orderlies at the hospital, Matthew Brown (Jonathan Tucker), is the killer in question. He reveals he did kill the bailiff, but not the judge. Will asks him to kill Hannibal. Up until this point, Hannibal has always been in control of every situation and everyone around him. Sure, we’ve seen him grapple with a few people, but we’ve never felt that he was in any actual danger. Thus far he’s been a calculated, quick, intelligent killer who can brawl with the best of them. This changes in “Mukozuke.” Brown surprises the doctor while he’s swimming laps and tranquilizes him. When Hannibal is revealed standing on a bucket with a noose around his neck and his arms sliced open and strapped to a cross, it’s perhaps the most surprising scene so far this season. We’ve never seen Hannibal this vulnerable. It’s surely a much needed kick to Hannibal’s ego to be at the mercy of this orderly. Thanks to a tip from Gideon, Hannibal is saved by Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) and Jack Crawford after tracking down his cell phone. Brown is shot, but not before he finds out that Hannibal is indeed the Chesapeake Ripper. Hannibal is safe for now, but is Will? How will Hannibal seek revenge? “Mukozuke” was yet another strong episode in a thus-far stellar season. Those missing out on a dinner date with Hannibal are letting some great television pass them by. Give this series a shot, and you’ll be craving Friday nights. Hannibal 2.05 “Mukozuke”4.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.