“Accusing you makes me look insane. I’m not insane, not anymore.” Will Graham to Hannibal Lecter.
This episode, titled Hassun, was very like the best of any episodes from season one, with a smirking Lecter giving that knowing smile, and heaps of realistic body carnage, thanks to Hannibal playing a sick game with Will Graham’s trial. I’m going with the assumption you’ve seen the episode, so if not, stop reading. The judge being killed was definitely, for me at least, an unexpected twist, because, after he allowed the prosecution’s line of questioning then overturning Graham’s new defence, I fully expected the prosecutor to be added to one of Lecter’s fancy dishes as punishment for daring to go up against him in court.
Chilton was exactly the way I always imagined him to be based on the novels by Thomas Harris, especially while he was grandstanding at the trial. It’s always interesting watching a thoroughly vile and obnoxious character like Dr. Frederick Chilton (played well by Raúl Esparza), especially as we know he’s completely wrong, acting in that manner against our innocent hero, with full knowledge of what’s going to happen to him at a later date. I hope we get to see him go down when Lecter gets his hands on him.
The trial to discover if Will Graham is guilty by reason of insanity, or plain old guilty has begun, where he’s accused of four murders, with Abigail’s being the main one. Abigail was writing a book with Freddie Lounds, a sleazy reporter only interested in getting a story, and doesn’t let things like truth get in the way. When she’s called to the stand to give evidence against Will Graham, then tells the court she was sure he murdered Abigail, it was amusing to find out she’d be sued for libel six times, rendering her evidence shaky at best.
Interestingly, the character of “Freddy” Lounds was brilliantly played by the recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose Red Dragon version of Lounds was most memorable. Seeing him in flames after being glued to an old wheelchair by Francis Dolarhyde, then rolled down a street, was something you don’t quickly forget.
It’s hard to decide exactly why Lecter has such a deep interest in Will Graham, and what his actual motives are, because if Graham is found innocent, Lecter will be under Graham’s scrutiny again, which was the reason Lecter framed him in the first place. Is Lecter envious of Graham’s ability to so fully immerse himself in a crime scene and see what no one else can? Is Lecter afraid he’ll no longer have a worthy adversary if Will is found guilty and locked up for a very long time? It was hard to decipher Lecter’s thoughts after he attempted to stage a murder that would cast doubt over Will Graham’s guilt, especially after he showed Graham the crime scene photos, and having Graham easily spot the forgery. Was Lecter genuinely sorry he failed to set it up correctly, or was he simply annoyed that Will Graham noticed it?
Will’s defence was originally based on his sanity, or lack thereof, however, after an ear is sent to his attorney, then the body of the man the ear belonged to is found, the attorney changed the defense mid-trial, meaning, it was now reliant in the judge allowing the new evidence in, but he only overruled it. Now that Lecter’s plans to get Will Graham acquitted by throwing in enough reasonable doubt have gone awry (IF that was indeed the plan), and murdering the judge by scooping out his brain and heart then setting them on scales, the trial will now have to be restarted.
What does Lecter have planned next? Next week’s trailer (which is to the right of this article) shows Beverly Katz helping Will, by starting to look at all the evidence again from scratch. He wants Beverly to take him out of the equation and see where the evidence takes her. We see her ask Will Graham, “if Hannibal’s the ripper, what’s he doing with the trophy’s?” Is this where Will Graham realises Hannibal does a bit too much cooking?
TV Review by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed Blackadder