As you can tell from the half-hearted MS Paint smartass-ery above, I wasn’t exactly in love with this week’s installment of Hannibal, though any Hannibal is good Hannibal, and a bad episode of Hannibal is better than most shows’ best. It wasn’t really bad, per se, you can just tell that now that we’re in full adaptation mode there’s just a bit of wheel spinning going on, especially evident for readers of Thomas Harris’ printed material or anyone familiar with the previous film adaptations of the novel.
The good? Will’s showdown with Bedilia is delightfully bitchy on both sides, the two parties going at it like jilted former lovers of the same partner. “I was closer to Hannibal” “No I was closer to Hannibal”. It’s extremely well played by both Gillian Anderson and Hugh Dancy and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Hannibal and Will’s specific interactions with Francis are handled equally well, particularly Dolarhyde and Graham’s chance meeting near the show’s end, staged to creepy and off-putting perfection by veteran cinematographer turned director Guillermo Navarro.
What works less for me is the burgeoning tryst between Ruby and Francis. As we said last week, True Blood actress Rutina Wesley does well in the role but I think the characterization is just too innocent, too “babe in the woods” for me. Even those unfamiliar with the source material can see from a mile away that no good can come of the relationship, but it doesn’t have to be spelled out this obviously.
Just 3 episodes until Hannibal goes to that big unloved box of dubbed VHS tapes in the sky. Now that Will and the Dragon have come face to face things can’t help but pick up from here, and we’ll be watching.