This month, Hannibal was renewed for a second season, which for all its fans across the world was the cause of a collective sigh of relief. This relief comes as it would have been a far worse crime to not have the series renewed then any act of cannibalism performed by its titular character. But if this series is so deserving of renewal why hasn’t it performed in the ratings to demand an obvious return next year? The answer can be found in the episode Coquilles.
Coquilles continues the series pattern of most episodes giving us a new case for Will Graham to work his magic on whilst slowly building up intrigue in the bigger picture which will eventually lead to Hannibal Lector being revealed as the true series villain. It is both a great approach for the series and also a bit of a hindrance. The show is slightly at risk of becoming one of those shows which is better to watch as a marathon on DVD then it is to watch live week by week. We all know that the show runner Bryan Fuller has said that season four would tell the story of the book Red Dragon, and therefore you can guess that season six would show Silence Of The Lambs, and that after all this build-up those seasons will be amazing. Unfortunately there lies the problem; we’re having to wait too long for the pay off.
The episode started with a sleepwalking Will Graham and really started to add to the idea that as good as Will is at his job, he pays quite the mental toll for doing it. This plays in perfectly with his growing relationship with Hannibal and will make their interactions when Hannibal is behind the muzzle that much richer, but whilst this slow burn is extremely exciting and intriguing for fans of Thomas Harris’s books and the previous adaptations of his works, the casual fan perhaps feels they’re not yet getting enough of the promise of a series based around Hannibal the Cannibal. The subtle hints are great and the attention to detail that Mads Mikkelsen brings to Hannibal are fantastic. The care in which he serves and eats food is so telling of what the character will later become, and the way his keen sense of smell was explored as he sniffed Crawford’s wife Bella was very eerie in its execution. These elements are great at laying the groundwork for the bigger picture, but a whole episode they do not make.
The main focus of the week was our hero’s search for a killer who would slice his victims up to resemble angels who he would position around his bedside to watch over himself as he slept. This made for a very memorable image worthy of any of the famous scenes in the film adaptations, but overall the angel maker killer didn’t get enough screen time for you to really care about his unseen suicide towards the episodes close. Also unless I missed something I’ve really no idea how the guy was supposed to have killed himself by slicing himself up to become an angel as he had done to his victims. This however is a minor gripe and on re-watching the episode an answer may make itself apparent.
It’s a shame that a character like this couldn’t have been granted a longer story arc over the series as it could have proved even more memorable if there were more and more angels being created and popping up through the season. Overall this episode was good, but not great as a standalone experience, but still very good in building up the much bigger picture that is the unexplored pre arrest days of everyone’s favourite cannibal.
Image reproduced from NBC.com
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