“Miss Lounds, it’s not very smart to piss off a guy who thinks about killing people for a living.”
Welcome, fellow diners, to another scrumptious look at the continuing adventures of Hannibal ‘N Pals.
While the above quote may be from Special Investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) to the fabulous, yet amoral Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki – and yes, according to IMDB, I’ve been misspelling “Freddie” for the past two reviews), Episode Three of Hannibal is almost exclusively the story of Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl). Abigail is the now-orphaned daughter of the Minnesota Shrike: Garrett Jacob Hobbs – the serial killer Graham took down with the assistance of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).
“Potage” begins with a dream Abigail was having while lying comatose after her father tried to slit her throat at the end of the first episode. Abigail was with her father at the cabin in the woods where Hobbs plied his gruesome trade – whether with or without Abigail’s knowledge/assistance is undetermined. Hobbs was teaching his daughter to dress a freshly killed deer carcass, and explaining that every part must be used. The kill must be honored – or else it’s murder. As she was slitting open the deer’s underbelly, the corpse changed to that of a human woman, and Abigail awoke from her coma.
Graham had been keeping close watch on Abigail and her condition – as her father’s killer, he feels responsible for her, especially since Hobbs also murdered her mother, and now Abigail has no one in the world. Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas….I seriously dig that name 🙂 ) breaks the news to Graham over coffee….and explains the “complications”: Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) wants Will to talk to Abigail. She’s still suspected of being her father’s accomplice, and even if she’s innocent, she might know who did assist him in his murders. Bloom is dead set against their meeting – at least not right now – she thinks it could be detrimental to the mental states of both Abigail and Will, who is still dealing with his feelings about shooting Hobbs: The first person he ever killed. So Bloom first visits Abigail alone, and finds her oddly calm and practical given the circumstances. She presents no real red flags that would identify her as her father’s accomplice: But she’s subtly cold, definitely manipulative, and without a doubt hiding something.
Meanwhile, the good doctor has been kinda silently lurking in the background (give the Devil his due: Mikkelsen is an accomplished lurker). When Graham finally visits Abigail, Lecter comes along. Saving her was Hannibal and Will’s “bonding moment”, and he also feels a sense of responsibility to her. The two men chase away the omnipresent Freddie Lounds, who snuck into the hospital and was trying to coax a story out of Abigail….she leaves, but she’s not done muddying the waters – not by a longshot.
Freddie passes the news that Abigail is conscious and on her feet to the desperate, grieving brother of what was thought to be one of Hobbs’ victims. Unbeknownst to Freddie, or the brother, is that this girl was killed by a copycat. The murder was done in the style of Hobbs: The body gutted and impaled on deer antlers, but she was left in the open, defiled and desecrated, for Graham and the FBI to find….Graham’s theory is the copycat was showing him the opposite of the kind of killer Hobbs was. The audience is lead to believe Hannibal killed this girl – his way of “helping” Graham….but there’s no conclusive evidence of this yet, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers throw us a curve here.
And just in case this didn’t complicate matters enough, another murder takes place: Abigail’s best friend is gutted and mounted in the same fashion as the girl the copycat killed….even though Graham asserted he’d never kill in that manner again. Then the brother of the copycat’s first victim confronts Abigail, who kills him in a combination of terror and self-defense. Lecter is the only one to find Abigail and the body of her “victim”. He explains that even though she killed this man to protect herself, because of the circumstances she’d be lumped in as a murderer with her father. Hannibal offers to help her hide the body, and promises to keep her secret. At this point, Abigail finally recognizes Dr. Lecter as the man who called her father just before he killed her mother and nearly murdered her….the man who warned Hobbs that the FBI was coming (she answered the phone when he called in the first episode).
So Abigail agrees to keep his secret, if he’ll keep hers.
Pilot director David Slade returns to helm what is probably the most complex and ambitious episode of Hannibal yet. Kacey Rohl, best known for starring in a recent episode of Supernatural, is fantastic as Abigail Hobbs. It’s tough to play a character that an audience will care about and find disturbing simultaneously….we don’t know what’s going on in Abigail’s head – what she’s done, or what she’s capable of doing. Still, we like her and feel sympathy for the traumas she’s endured.
Caroline Dhavernas shines as Alana Bloom. I get the feeling this character is one of Bryan Fuller’s faves, and she’ll be getting more and more screen time as the series progresses: She’s brilliant without being intimidating, attractive without being mere eye-candy, and tough enough to go toe-to-toe with a man like Jack Crawford without flinching.
More Red Dragon dialogue crept its way into “Potage”, after last week’s “Amuse-Bouche” gave us a break….and I’m still enjoying picking out the lines I remember from the novel.
Finally, the writers made the wise decision of giving the “Murderer of The Week” trope that dominated the first two episodes a rest this time (don’t worry – it’ll be back next week).
There weren’t many. But as much as I appreciated the third episode’s complexity – it was almost TOO much. There’s a lot going on in this episode….and it was tough to write a synopsis that wouldn’t bore the reader with details. It could have been a bit leaner, I guess I’m saying.
Oh, and “Potage” didn’t feature Dr. Lecter cooking a meal for any of the characters as the first two episodes did. This was cause for mild disappointment on my part: I was hoping that would become a weekly thing….y’know? “Who’s Hannibal Serving Tonight?” 😉
(Also, there’s still no Eddie Izzard….Stop torturing me, Hannibal!)
Anyhoo, Kacey Rohl’s guest starring turn as Abigail Hobbs was engrossing enough to forgive the absence of most of the show’s usual secondaries, and the lack of the “Graham/Lecter” conversations I’ve come to look forward to every week. Next week seems like a return to basics….we’ll see what’s on the menu then.
Be sure to bring along your appetites.