TV Review: HANNIBAL Season 1, Episode 4 'Oeuf'

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

This may be a television show called Hannibal, based on one of pop culture's most famous serial killers, but Will Graham can be scary too. In fact, while Doctor Lecter retains his cool composure throughout, it's Graham who's beginning to look like the psychopath.

Still traumatised by the death of – and his connection to – cannibal Garrett Jacob Hobbs, Graham confides in an interested, attentive Lecter. Hannibal's interest in his patient may be a little beyond professional, but it's good to talk. Then it's off to the latest crime scene, where an entire family has been slain at the dinner table. We see the scene re-enacted through Graham's eyes as he replays the murders in his head. “This is my design,” he says, calmly shooting a victim square in the forehead. Sorry, remind us who the scary one is supposed to be, again?

Will Graham isn't the only one to pique Hannibal's interest though. Alison Hobbs continues to intrigue, with Hannibal going so far as to check her out of the hospital to take her into his care. His plans for her remain unclear, but they're bound to be unsavoury to say the least. His motives, to be fair, probably have as much to do with Will's own fascination (and paternal attitude) towards the girl as they do anything else. Poor Alison is the latest series regular to dine with Hannibal, who lays on quite a spread. Crawford stops by for a snack too. “What am I about to put in my mouth?” he asks, tucking into a delicious-looking platter. What indeed.

Certainly not magic mushroom tea, which he serves up for Alison, alongside a scrumptious sausage and egg dish. Someone will be missing a trick if they don't release a tie-in cookbook to go with the series. A substitute may be required for some of the long pig meals, but I'm itching to sample some of Doctor Lecter's delights – with or without a nice chianti (or beer, which he apparently has on tap in his office).

While the art direction and writing continues to impress, this week's central crime is in rather more conventional police procedural territory – the sort of thing you might expect to find in an episode of Criminal Minds. Someone even uses the word 'unsub'. Criminal Minds could use a Hannibal character, preferably there to feed the team a little something every time they get too smug. Not so clever now, are we, Agent Reid? We're only four episodes in, and already Hannibal has managed to feed his dodgy dinners to each of the main characters. Some of them have even tucked in twice – little wonder Fishburne is looking a bit chunkier than his Matrix days. He continues to impress, a glimpse into his sad marriage rounding out the character a little. The acting, as ever, is spot on. Dancy is suitably affected as Graham – still annoying, still stares too much, but a more interesting portrayal than Edward Norton's in Red Dragon. Mikkelsen, meanwhile, has crept past Brian Cox up the Lecter league tables (to be fair, he didn't have to try very hard to defeat Gaspard Ulliel or Red Dragon Anthony Hopkins). He's still yet to properly scare us, but Mikkelsen has the dark, dangerous intelligence bit down. Nice suits, too.

Oeuf, by the way, is an egg dish. It is also, if you believe UrbanDictionary, an insult. Perhaps it refers to Hannibal's contempt for everyone but himself. Most likely, it just refers to everyone's fragile mental states. Surrounded by such minds, Doctor Lecter isn't treading eggshells so much as stomping them into the ground. At least he seems to be having fun. No one else is, that's for sure. Well, maybe us. And the guy who comes up with the episode titles. I'm egg-cited (predictable joke) to see what they come up with next.


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Comments  

 
0 #1 Neveux Elisabeth 2013-06-03 16:13
great review....yes I find Graham really scary, for the moment more than Hannibal himself. What is really weird is, I get a kind of disgust of Hannibal's cooking. as much as there is a wonderful techique as a chef, there is a coldness in his cooking, something too chirurgical and robotic, that I find it repelling. I would hate a cookbook ;). But that's my point of view as a cook!
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