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“It’s nice to have an old friend for dinner…”

–Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Good evening, friends!

Now, before we jump into tonight’s repast – and it’s a rich one, indeed – I’ll just let you know that the “banned” Hannibal episode we’ve talked so much about: Episode 4–“Ceuf” is indeed now available online. Including via iTunes, who – from what I hear, have the clearest version. “Ceuf” WILL be reviewed on NerdBastards in due course.

I chose tonight’s quote because Episode 6: “Entrée” indeed has the feel of a visit with old friends:

First we have the magnificent Eddie Izzard (above) as the Chesapeake Ripper….well, that’s HIS story, anyway. More on him later–I wanna introduce all of tonight’s dinner guests first. Pushing Daisies alum Raul Esparza (below) surprised the hell out of me by appearing as Dr. Frederick Chilton: Hannibal Lecter’s future “Keeper”, head of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, and one of the most superlatively unlikeable characters in modern literature….Chilton is a work of genius: Imagine if YOUR nemesis was a cannibalistic serial killer, and people still liked him more than you?

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Ah, but there’s more: Former child star Anna Chlumsky (again, below) materializes out of whatever void child stars are banished to after puberty to play Miriam “Not Clarice Starling” Lass…Two years ago, Miriam was Crawford’s trainee, but she was supposedly killed by the aforementioned Ripper while investigating his identity….So many elements of Harris‘ novels work their way into this episode that I feel sorry for the people who haven’t read the books–they’re missing so much!

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See, the Chesapeake Ripper is apparently the most famous serial killer that may possibly be still at large in the universe of Hannibal. Known for his surgical expertise, the organs and other trophies he collects from his victims, and his totally erratic, atypical for a serial murderer behavior (he doesn’t stick to his own ethnic group, he does not kill out of impulse or compulsion: He can go months–or even years without killing).

Then a murderer under Dr. Chilton’s “care”: Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard), after 2 years as a model patient, faked sick so he’d be taken to the infirmary, and murdered and mutilated a nurse in the telltale manner of the Ripper. Gideon began taking credit for all the Chesapeake Ripper murders…and Chilton started taking credit for capturing the world’s most famous serial killer.

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Meanwhile, Crawford, Graham, and Bloom are trying to figure out if Gideon really is who he says he is….On one hand he’s been in the asylum for 2 years and never ONCE mentioned being the Ripper. On the other, the way he mutilated the nurse showed knowledge of details known only to a select few investigators, and the Ripper himself.

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The whole thing takes on a new level when Crawford starts getting phone calls, ostensibly from the Ripper…they’re the recorded last words of Miriam Lass. And whoever the Ripper is, he apparently has access to Crawford’s home, since one of the calls was traced there. The image above was from the final call he received. Miriam Lass’ body was never recovered, and these calls were starting to give Crawford some hope. The arm holding that phone was identified as Miriam’s.

And if you’ve been half awake throughout this series – you know very well who killed her.

STRONG POINTS

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Raul Esparza’s Dr. Chilton was a delightful surprise.

I figured the character would eventually appear, but he was left pretty much out of the previews (or if he WAS there, he was not identified as Chilton). Chilton gets to participate in this week’s “Dinner With The Doc”, along with Alana Bloom….A fan of the novels, or even just the movies can’t help snickering while watching Lecter and Chilton break bread together–like two perfectly normal, harmless people…

This is the first time we REALLY get to see Lecter kill….and it’s a testament to the writers (and director Michael Rymer) that even though we came into this series knowing what Hannibal is, and what he’s capable of doing – actually SEEING it is still a shock.

WEAK POINTS

Very few. This was an excellent episode, only “Amuse-Bouche” (Episode 2) equals it.

My only worry is they may be going too fast with the vilification of Hannibal: Six episodes in, and we’ve already seen him murder a likeable character (even if it was in a flashback). I’m hoping this doesn’t mean they’re not banking on a second season.

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In conclusion, this is probably my favorite or second favorite episode so far. The guest stars and new characters were all fantastic, and my favorite secondary: Freddie Lounds got to come back…She’s participating in a plan to draw out the real Chesapeake Ripper, and her scene with Bloom, Crawford, and Graham is a great example of what this series is capable of at it’s best.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s dish…Come back same time next Friday, and we’ll see what’s going on in the kitchen….

Category: Featured, reviews, TV

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