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Four Things We Learned From HANNIBAL Season 2

Jiminy Cricket! THAT was crazy, amiright? NBC’s fan favorite Hannibal turned it up to eleven this past Friday with the final episode of the second season titled “Mizumono.” While a lot culminated in the season finale, let’s start by looking at Season 2 of Bryan Fuller’s suburb drama series as a whole first.

Studio “reimaginings” can be done well

Like, really well. As someone who discusses the state of the horror genre a lot, I feel as though almost every word out of my mouth is about a remake, reboot or requel. I would argue that based on The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and although it’s not a ratings smash (yet?), Hannibal, horror on television is hotter than ever now. While The Walking Dead was based on a series of graphic novels and AHS was a straight up original idea, showrunners, who also appear to be horror fans, seem to be have looked to the NBC series for proof that “requels” can be done well. Over the last month it has been announced that Lifetime will be doing a series called Damien based on Richard Donner’s horror classic The Omen (which was based on a book) and A&E has Bates Motel. NBC recently attempted another successful horror reboot with a Rosemary’s Baby miniseries (less successful) but I think you get the point. The number one question horror fans always get is, “What do you think about remakes?” Well, I think it’s safe to say that Hannibal will join the ranks of John Carpenter’s The Thing and David Cronenberg’s The Fly as one of the best reimaginings of a preexisting horror property ever made.

Hannibal is not meant to be binge watched

Hannibal is not meant to be binged watched as I did over the Memorial Day weekend. Much like a nice chianti, NBC’s Hannibal should be opened up and left to breathe for a minute. The show is powerful and incredibly robust, and for as visually stunning and artistic as it is most definitely is, it also doesn’t waste a whole lot of time. Every frame of the show is put to good use and is pushing the story along. There is no rest for the viewer during an episode of Hannibal and marathon watching is not the best way to do this one. Go ahead and set your DVR and take the next few months to sip and enjoy, not pound, your Hannibal.

Just because a show is on a network doesn’t mean it won’t have bite

The thing “Fannibals” (“fans of Hannibal,” not my word) will tell you when talking about the series is that it is some of the most graphic stuff you will see on TV and Season 2 proved to be no exception. As a huge fan of Dexter, before and mostly after it started to suck, I defy anyone to show me something they did on Showtime that Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal hasn’t, save Deb’s colorful language and showing Dexter’s ass. The point is, Hannibal is the most graphic horror drama on television but it’s also the most classy. Additionally, it’s one of the best directed and best acted shows out right now, genre or no, cable or otherwise. While we know that NBC has struck a deal with Amazon Prime for the streaming rights, if they know what’s good for them they will give that money back, get seasons one and two up on Netflix immediately and for the love of Pete, take Hannibal out of the Friday night doldrums. This show is a fantastic drama series and while NBC has done right by their fans and renewed it for a third season, they need to have some real confidence and switch the night. What’s currently on Tuesday’s at 10PM? I don’t care, now it’s Hannibal.

Hannibal

WARNING! Season 2 spoilers below!

Everyone’s head is on the chopping block

Finally, let’s talk about the finale. Two of our three major stars, Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham and Laurence Fishburne’s Jack Crawford are bleeding out and presumably dying on the floor of Hannibal Lecter’s home. Hannibal has escaped on a plane to France with, GASP!, Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson). Abigail wasn’t really dead but now she probably is but we’re still not 100% sure. No answers! And, according to series creator Bryan Fuller, Season 3 is going to be going off in a whole new direction. Fuller has been quoted as saying, “that first episode of Season 3, which will function almost like a pilot for a new series,” adding,”it’s a huge paradigm shift, and everything that we knew about the show is kind of out the window for the time being.” What does that mean?! Will there be any kind of resolution? What characters from the Hannibal Lecter cannon will we meet in Season 3? What happened to Freddie Lounds? Or Miriam Lass? There’s no way we’ve heard the last of Michael Pitt’s Mason Verger; will he return next season?

All in all, the good news for the fans is that we will have a Season 3 to potentially answer these burning questions although Fuller has been clear that he makes no promises. Certain actors schedules and availability will add to whether or not their characters will return and what do you make of Fuller’s comments about a “paradigm shift?” Are you finished with Will Graham’s story line? What characters would you like to see from the novels make an appearance? Sound off on Hannibal‘s excellent Season 2 in the comments section!

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35 comments

  • From what I heard (I can’t remember where for the life of me) Bryan Fuller is planning Hannibal to go on for 7 seasons. Seasons 1-3 are original material, Season 4 is Red Dragon, Season 5 is Silence, Season 6 is Hannibal (the movie that is much less good then the series) and Season 7 is going to be the end of Hannibal, with all new material.

  • Hoping season 3 is Manhunter.  As Will hunts his man.
    And season 4 is Red Dragon.  As Will hunts the Red Dragon with the aid of a locked up Hannibal.

  • I was upset to see all the major characters die in the finale. I would be very surprised that any of these characters come back next season. The show is way too smart and sophisticated, so I think there is no way any of those people would survive being slashed by Hannibal. The writers trust the audience to realize that they’re all dead. They didn’t have to show us they know we are all smart :)
    It would  appear that Season 3 is where we get to see Hannibal start his new life in a new country, maybe? But now the FBI will be looking for him which will incorporate some of those older characters. Either way, I’m so excited it’s returning, and the only thing that really upsets me is I have to wait til the fall to see what happens.

    • To be fair, Will called for an ambulance before he entered the house, so there is a chance that they showed up before everyone bled out. So they could be alive, but they are going to be hospitalized for at least the first couple episodes.

  • I had high hopes for this show and those hopes were lived up and more! The details of the show are incredible. Could not forsee a better cast! I am enthralled with Hannibal. I love how Verger was worked into the show. I am sure next season will be amazing. I would like to see Clarice worked into next season but from what I gather some legalities need to be worked out. Who knows what Fuller has in store for us!

  • They’ve done a terrific job reimagining the Harris novels.  I was assuming Season 3 would play out very similar to the “Hannibal” novel and we’ll spend most of our time in Florence.   I half expected the finale last week to end with Hannibal sitting beside a child, but they pulled the rug on that one!

  • this is truly artwork in a horror series.  The visuals are amazing, the character development superb, and the plot and storylines make your imagination run rampant while you actually love something about each of these complex characters….ARTWORK….TRUE ARTWORK…How many tv shows can you truly say that about?

  • Frankly, I’m not at all satisfied with the direction the creators and writers have taken the series, but the acting, and visual design are stupendous.  IMHO, the writer are the weak link in this creative chain.  

      • I have to disagree. Went back this weekend and binge viewed the movies and I’ve read all the books. Besides the necessary time change and addition of characters which is clearly necessary to sustain a TV series, they have been hyper-vigilante in staying true to the source material.

  • I would imagine that Will Graham is done; probably not dead, but in the books he goes off into the ether to live his life away from the FBI, doesn’t he? Or is that after Hannibal is caught? I’m going to have to re-read Red Dragon now!

    • That’s after he catches Hannibal. And the gutting he received at the Hands of Lecter, that occurred in the season finale, is referred to in RED DRAGON. 

    • There’s really no way NBC is going to let the writers get rid of one of the main characters of the show. Will Graham is probably going to replace Clarice whenever they get to the Silence of the Lambs arc since the rights to her character are owned by Lifetime. They will start deviating heavily from the books now.

  • Hannibal is so beautifully made that I am left speechless every week. I can see why it’s not a hit as it is very graphic, but as stated above if you give it a chance you will be greatly rewarded, every detail of this show has a purpose. The production design, photography, sound design, score, directing, acting and writing are the best on TV or hell, even film! 
    Will’s story is far from finished and Dancy and Fuller have already stated he will be back.  Think  Jack and even Chilton will be back too. I hear next season will be a mix of Hannibals back story(Hannibal Rising), Red Dragon and the book Hannnibal. I can’t wait!!