After spending a few episodes in the margins thanks to his incarceration, Hannibal has slowly been creeping back into the center of the frame, incubating in his prison cell like a monster in a cocoon. “The Wrath of the Lamb” finally lets him break free and stretch his wings.
It also demonstrates how far Hannibal has come. In the beginning, Hannibal was a solitary figure operating alone. The final episode restores Hannibal’s charisma, but he now shares the spotlight with Will because he recognizes how much richer life can be when you have a partner able to appreciate your accomplishments.
Since the beginning, Frederick Chilton’s sense has not been equal to his ego. He thinks he’s a genius (and he does have a knack for self-promotion), but his all-consuming self-regard blinds him to the game being played around him. He is a pawn, and the kings and queens have finally offered him up for sacrifice.
“The Number of the Beast is 666” revolves around the FBI’s attempt to catch the Dragon. With the help of Freddie Lounds, Will baits the hook with inflammatory statements, while Chilton – still stinging from Hannibal’s public refutation of his best-selling book – volunteers to give the article professional credibility.
The plan works, to an extent. Dolarhyde is furious at the implications in Freddie’s article, but he’s not foolish enough to walk into a trap. He instead captures Chilton and subjects him to a rigorous interrogation, forcing him to refute his earlier statements on video. Then the Dragon rips Chilton’s lips off with his teeth and sets him on fire in Will’s courtyard.
Hannibal has always positioned himself as the supreme arbiter of taste, and he does not hesitate to punish any violations of decorum. Boorishness becomes a form of Natural Selection, a weakness that needs to be culled from the population.
“And the Woman Clothed in Sun” explores the relativism implicit in that idea, suggesting that Hannibal’s drive to murder comes from the same evolutionary impulse that targets the weak or the elderly. His violence is kindness, a way of helping rude people avoid the indignity of being rude.
Of course, Hannibal’s victims would likely dispute the sentence, which is the crucial distinction between a killer like Hannibal and a more traditional moral figure like Will. Hannibal ends the misery of creatures in distress. Will adds them to his pack of strays.
A lot of horror fans are sick to (un)death of zombies. Still, AMC’s The Walking Dead‘s Nielsen ratings have increased every year. This is why the show is about to start its sixth season and why the creator of the original comic series, Robert Kirkman, has launched a prequel spinoff series on AMC called Fear The Walking Dead.
Before you get too annoyed, consider that at least some of those horror fans are responsible for making those Nielsen ratings skyrocket. The Walking Dead is just one of the many current shows that are part of the genre television renaissance.
With the exception of Wayward Pines (which just finished its first and only season), there are several genre other shows still going strong, such as American Horror Story, Bates Motel, Penny Dreadful, Teen Wolf, and the best of the bunch, the sadly-now-cancelled Hannibal (#SaveHannibal!). No matter how you feel about The Walking Dead, its critical and commercial success has made it possible for other genre-themed shows to get the green light.
“The Great Red Dragon” marks the beginning of a new phase for Hannibal, shifting back to the show’s procedural roots as it prepares to unravel the mystery of the Dragon. It makes for a welcome change of pace. The high wire psychology that played out in Italy was extraordinary, but that balancing act becomes more difficult to maintain the longer it goes on. “The Great Red Dragon” gives the show the opportunity to regain its bearings, serving as a nostalgic reminder that Hannibal, Will, and Jack first came together to help solve crimes.
The episode is primarily exposition, although it covers the ground with far more panache than most other shows. After a three-year jump in time, we learn that Jack is back in charge at the FBI, while Alana is running the institution where Hannibal is a prisoner. Chilton is on the celebrity doctor circuit penning books about serial killers. He occasionally visits Hannibal to gloat, though it’s unclear if he’ll get his comeuppance before the show runs out of episodes.
After three breathtaking seasons, Hannibal has effectively completed the arc that began in episode one. There are no more loose ends. The characters are familiar to each other, Hannibal is in prison, and the rest of the cast is going back to work. We’ve reached a new status quo, and it makes the spectacular “Digestivo” one of the most incredibly satisfying television hours of the year.
Last weekend’s San Diego Comic Con brought the expected assortment of announcements and new trailers, and while some (like Batman vs. Superman) aspired to be more EPIC, none were as deliriously fun as the trailer for Ash vs. Evil Dead. The upcoming Starz show reunites the original Evil Dead creative team of Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Rob Tapert, and while the S-Mart seems to have gone out of business, everyone else appears to be as sharp as ever.
Unlike the recent movie reboot, Ash vs. Evil Dead marks the franchise’s return to horror comedy instead of classic horror. Campbell reprises his iconic role as Ash, now a few years older, few pounds heavier, and a few teeth lighter than he was in Army of Darkness. Everything else feels more or less the same. Ash still has one hand and one chainsaw, as well as the same cocksure bravado to overcompensate for a litany of masculine insecurities.
Throughout the series, Hannibal has always employed a rather curious double standard. Hannibal believes that he has the right to consume other people solely because he has the will and ability to do so, but that privilege does not extend to others, no matter how competent or daring. To attempt to influence Hannibal – to make him do something he does not wish to do – is a great offense, an affront to the standards of decency and good taste. He’d argue that his taste is superior, but in truth, it’s a self-serving justification that allows him to commit any act of cruelty he desires.
On May 28, NBC aired the first episode of Aquarius, a 13-episode series. In a unique move aimed to compete with Netflix, NBC uploaded all 13 episodes onto NBC.com immediately following the premiere, but still aired them on the network over the next three months. NBC also uploaded four webisodes, which take place before the events of the first season.
It was a gamble that paid off: the show has recently been renewed for a second season, despite the fact that the show’s “linear ratings” (from those who watched the show as it aired on TV) were considered “soft” at 5.8 million viewers and a rating of 1.2.
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After a lengthy prelude, the key players in Hannibal are ready for the main event. “Contorno” brings us the season’s first major showdown, and the good doctor has finally come out on the losing end of an encounter.
But let’s back up. While “Contorno” does conclude with an explosive brawl, the episode itself is as much a clash of philosophies as it is a clash of fists. “Contorno” begins where “Apertivo” left off, with Will and Chiyoh en route to Florence while Mason and Alana tighten their net from America and Jack says his final goodbyes to Bella.
Hannibal, meanwhile, is still happy being Hannibal, taking care of his torture museum and cooking snails for Bedelia.