Hannibal…the weirdest buddy cop drama of all time
Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) is on the run with Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) as his victims Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), and Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) recover from his attack. A mistake from Hannibal’s past has come back to hunt Hannibal, and Mason Verger (Joe Anderson) is used to getting what he wants. In order to capture Hannibal, Will Graham might have to return to hunt the man he once trusted…but an even greater threat lurks in the future in the form of a killer known as the Tooth Fairy (Richard Armitage).
The Bride of Lecter!!!
Hannibal—Season 3 aired from June 4, 2015 to August 29, 2015 on NBC. The final seven episodes aired in Canada before they aired in the United States. The series continued to receive strong reviews and had a rabid fan base but continued to suffer small viewership. The season was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.
Hannibal is dark…dark…dark, and it also one of the artsiest shows on television. The series goes from complete arthouse style to crime thriller deftly without missing a beat. I can totally see why it failed.
Proving once again, eels make bad pets
I have to admit myself that I found the first half of this season difficult to watch. The story loosely adapts Harris’ 1999 novel Hannibal (which was also turned into a movie in 2001) and that was always the weakest of Harris’ novels (excluding Hannibal Rising which is barely touched upon here). The story was so over-the-top and absurd that it wasn’t a good movie or book. The series legitimizes it somewhat, but the storytelling style and non-linear story is a challenge to follow.
The second half of the story has also been adapted before. The story follows the Tooth Fairy storyline of 1981’s Red Dragon which was first shot as Manhunter in 1986 and then remade in 2002 as Red Dragon. It is a more compelling story but the story is told in a straightforward manner that is easy to follow than the first half of the season.
The hardest thing about being a psychiatrist is when your patient turns into a dragon
The cast is also excellent. Though it is called Hannibal, Mads Mikkelsen’s role is severely cut back in the second half of the season. Fortunately Mikkelsen isn’t the only talent in the cast and Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham is also compelling. The season develops some smaller characters better than some of the movies and it helps make the events even more shocking since the series pulls little punches.
Hannibal was a great series and one of the scariest shows out there. There has been talk of a revival and continuation (and allegedly the cast is also interested in continuing the series). With the promise of Silence of the Lambs and more potential stories to tell, Hannibal would be a perfect fit for something like Netflix or Amazon which isn’t limited by ratings or audiences. While the final episode ends in a cliffhanger (somewhat literally), the series has demonstrated it deals in illusion. I would love to see Hannibal return…Clarice Starling and Buffalo Bill await!
Hannibal—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:
3.1 Antipasto Airdate: 06/04/15
Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) is on the run in Europe with Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) and Lecter has assumed the identity of Dante expert Dr. Roman Fell (Jeremy Crutchley). When Lecter’s secret identity is uncovered by Anthony Dimmond (Tom Wisdom) Lecter must decide his next move…and decide what must become of Dimmond.
3.2 Primavera Airdate: 06/11/15
Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has survived Hannibal’s attack…either by fate or Hannibal’s grand design. Teamed with Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl), Will begins to crawl back from the wreckage left by Lecter and sets to seek out Hannibal. Will learns that he is not alone in his quest and that Rinaldo Pazzi (Fortunato Cerlino) is also on Lecter’s trail for a bounty placed on Lecter’s head. With the discovery of the body of Dimmond, Will has a lead…but the secret of his partnership with Abigail will be revealed.
3.3 Secando Airdate: 06/18/15
Will is trying to understand what made Hannibal by travelling to Hannibal’s home in Lithuania. Du Maurier looks at Hannibal’s past and his sister Mischa…and the events that led to her demise. As Will meets Hannibal’s aunt’s servant Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto), Chiyoh reveals secrets of Hannibal’s past including a strange prisoner (Julian Richings). Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) has set out to find Will and meets with Pazzi about the case. Lecter questions his relationship with Will and comes to a decision on where it must lead.
3.4 Aperitivo Airdate: 06/25/15
Frederick Chilton (Raul Esparza) has found an ally in Mason Verger (Joe Anderson), and Chilton seeks to hunt down the man that disfigured them both by bringing together the people that Hannibal affected. With Jack Crawford dealing with his wife’s disease and Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) trying to come back from her injuries, the real key to capturing Lecter could be Will Graham…and Will’s friends could be the only hope.
3.5 Contorno Airdate: 07/02/15
Crawford is on the heels of Lecter and trying to convince Pazzi that his attempt to capture Lecter is a mistake. Graham and Chiyoh head to Florence and question their relationship with Lecter. Pazzi attempts to get the evidence he needs for Mason Verger, but Lecter has other plans for Pazzi…leading to a confrontation between Lecter and Crawford.
3.6 Dolce Airdate: 07/09/15
Crawford has beaten Hannibal, but Hannibal has escaped. As Hannibal prepares to go on the run, Dr. Du Maurier must decide her future with Hannibal. Mason tries to deal with his sister Margot (Katharine Isabelle) and suggests that raising a heir might help…even if it means incest. Crawford finds himself reteamed with Will, but Will’s attempts to stop Hannibal once and for all go against Chiyoh’s plans for the doctor. Margot and Alana have their own plans for Verger and Lecter. While Du Maurier faces the police, Crawford and Will find they might be the guests of honor at Hannibal’s meal.
3.7 Digestivo Airdate: 07/16/15 (Canada)/07/18/15 (US)
After nearly having his skull cut open by Hannibal, Will and Hannibal find themselves prisoners of Mason Verger at his farm. Crawford escapes death with the help of Chiyoh who plans her own recovery mission for Will and Hannibal. Mason and his doctor Cordell Doemling (Glenn Fleshler) outline their plans for Will and Hannibal. Alana decides to take matters into her own hands to help Will.
“The Great Red Dragon”
3.8 The Great Red Dragon Airdate: 07/23/15 (Canada)/07/25/15 (US)
Mason Verger is dead and Hannibal has surrendered himself to police custody. Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) finds himself obsessed with the painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun and begins to give into the Dragon’s power. After three years of institutionalization under Alana’s care, Lecter finds himself pulled into the investigation into the Tooth Fairy by Chilton. Crawford finds Will has started a new life but that the search for Tooth Fairy might mean Will must come out of retirement…and invite Hannibal back into his life.
“…And the Woman Clothed with the Sun”
3.9 …And the Woman Clothed with the Sun Airdate: 07/30/15 (Canada)/08/01/15 (US)
Will has gone to Hannibal for help with finding the Tooth Fairy but worries Lecter will bring out the old horror in him. Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) is on the case and tries to get Will to work with her. Francis meets Reba McClane (Rutina Wesley) would could be a changing force in his life. Hannibal recalls teaching Abigail Hobbs.
“…And the Woman Clothed in Sun”
3.10 …And the Woman Clothed in Sun Airdate: 08/06/15/ (Canada)/08/08/15 (US)
The Tooth Fairy has reached out to Dr. Lecter and reveals his transformation to him. Will pays a visit to Dr. Du Maurier for a visit. Francis finds that his relationship with Reba is forcing the Dragon to come out. Du Maurier recalls her encounter with Neil Frank (Zachary Quinto) which led to her murderous ties to Lecter. Francis sets out to destroy the thing he thinks is destroying him.
“…And the Beast from the Sea”
3.11 …And the Beast from the Sea Airdate: 08/13/15 (Canada)/08/15/15 (US)
Francis has consumed the Red Dragon but now he has set his sights on Will. Under Lecter’s tutelage, Francis is targeting Will’s family.
“The Number of the Beast is 666”
3.12 The Number of the Beast is 666 Airdate: 08/20/15 (Canada)/08/22/15 (US)
With the assassin attempt on Will’s family failed and Francis alerted by Hannibal, Will must find a way to lure out the Dragon. Using Freddie as his pawn, Will teams with Chilton to set-up the Dragon in a trap…but the Dragon has other plans for his revenge.
“The Wrath of the Lamb”
3.13 The Wrath of the Lamb Airdate: 08/27/15 (Canada)/08/29/15 (US)
Francis has taken care of Chilton but reaching Will might be harder. When faced with killing his lover Reba, Francis makes a decision…and Will is headed to a deadly confrontation and with Hannibal as the key!
Hannibal—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide
Hannibal—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Red Dragon (2002)
Hannibal Rising (2007)
Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by JPRoscoe
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.
Hannibal Season 3 Premiere Recap: It’s Not That Kind of Party
Season 3 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating 5 stars *****
Left to right: Gillian Anderson as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and Tom Wisdom as Anthony Dimmond. Photo: NBC
Previously on Hannibal …
At the end of Hannibal’s sensationally sordid season-two finale, “Mizumono,” the good Doctor Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) left his best friend Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) filleted and bleeding on the floor; Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) nursing a punctured neck in the pantry; Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) shattered on the sidewalk; and the thought-to-be-dead Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl), whose purported death has haunted Will incessantly, split from ear to ear. Series creator Bryan Fuller was unsure if Hannibal would be picked up for a third season — its ratings are subpar, to put it kindly — so he and Steve Lightfoot (one of the great current TV-writing duos) penned a series finale that has as many slit throats as it does loose ends. Had Hannibal been canceled, the most lugubrious show of the last 20 years would have left us with the most ferociously violent series finale to ever appear on a network channel. It makes Twin Peaks’s “Beyond Life and Death” look jovial. Lucky for us, Hannibal was renewed. Luckier for us, season three seems to be going in a markedly different direction.
With Brian Reitzell’s cacophonous percussion and sinister synths accompanying him like devoted acolytes, Hannibal Lecter glides through the rain-slicked Parisian streets, the yellow headlight of his motorcycle resembling the bloated moon above. Hannibal’s traded in his person suit for a gleaming black helmet and snug leather jacket; when he dismounts the bike and removes his helmet, his usually immaculate hair hangs at a haphazard slant across one eye. We follow him from behind, the camera smooth and slow and somehow sensual. Less than two minutes into the new season and we’ve already been drawn into a foreign land, following a man who only vaguely resembles the Hannibal Lecter we know and fear. He looks almost … human.
Hannibal attends a glitzy party comprising the typical artists and intellectuals one expects to find in Paris. The figuratively incestuous, cannibalistic nature of self-important artists and egotists reflects Hannibal’s literal cannibalism, as well as his own God complex. Yet somehow, the serial killer comes off as the least deplorable person in the room. For all his lies and grotesqueries, Hannibal has a genuine affinity for culture. He’s not faking that. Hannibal meets a pernicious young poet named Anthony (Tom Wisdom), who describes him as having a “thinly veiled disdain” in his eyes. The young poet won’t make it to the second episode.
With a series of dissolves and nonlinear cuts, Hannibal moves to Florence, immersing us in this new world in which Dr. Lecter ostensibly fits — a palace of enlightenment, all gauzy lights and chandeliers and long, looming columns and pretty people in fancy garb. It’s all artifice, Hannibal knows; for once, he’s the honest one. As in Thomas Harris’s tar-black comedy novel from which the showderives its name, the exiled doctor sets his gaze on a prestigious position as a library curator. The position is currently filled, but Hannibal, assuming the identity of a Dr. Fell, takes care of that little inconvenience.
The rest of the episode follows a nebulous structure. It jetés forward in time; like a world-class ballerina, it leaps and spins in different directions, drawing our attention one way before swaying in another, yet you never doubt whether it’s in control. Hannibal, now dancing with (of all people) Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (the great Gillian Anderson), whom he addresses as his wife, is approached by a snide, bearded man who questions Hannibal’s erudition. Hannibal isn’t a real Italian, which intrinsically lessens his ability to properly understand Dante, according to this soon-to-be-sorry academic. The emulous doctor says he’s willing to earn his meal, and agrees to do a presentation on Dante to become the full-time curator of the library. Fuller and Lightfoot slowly strip away Hannibal’s veneer, as if peeling away the cover-ups on a Renaissance painting. Whereas Hannibal has, until now, been a cipher, a Devil in disguise, he now finally resembles a person in a suit rather than someone wearing a person suit. We’re finally privy to his emotions, able to see the cracks in his self-esteem. Mikkelsen has always been dashing and devious, the kind of stoic turn that goes ignored by awards committees, but he really digs into the role here, his eye flittering, giving away the emotions he previously concealed. The careful way he lets his voice break with anger belies the enunciated, antiquated gentleman persona. If Mikkelsen’s fetching Hannibal Lecter has, up till now, been considered second to that of Anthony Hopkins, this season promises an imminent usurpation.
At once airy yet calculated, the aptly named “Antipasto” is, to date, the most subtle, least claustrophobic episode of Hannibal. Hannibal’s dark, dour office and the lifeless chrome halls of the FBI building give way to the lush romanticism of Florence. As an introduction to the new season, the episode offers little action, instead giving us fleeting glimpses behind Hannibal’s cracking façade. It eddies elliptically, gliding from past to present. The episode’s director, series regular Vincenzo Natali, uses a widescreen aspect ratio to denote flashbacks, showing us the purported last days of Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard), whom Hannibal has abducted and from whom Hannibal is slowly flensing bits of body and appendages. Izzard’s return, however brief, is most welcome; his calm back-and-forths with Mikkelsen have a distinct, disquieting rhythm. “You’re the devil,” Gideon tells Hannibal, who has lopped off one of Gideon’s arms (Gideon now has one arm and no legs) and has been feeding it to snails so that he can dine on said snails, along with Gideon. Gideon knows he’s going to be eaten, unlike the snails, which slither around in blissful, slimy ignorance. Hannibal, Gideon theorizes, is like a snail in that he doesn’t want to eat alone. Hannibal doesn’t deny this.
“I can’t wait until this happens to you,” Gideon says to Dr. Lecter, eyeing the snails exquisitely laid out before him. Is that a glint of trepidation in Hannibal’s eye? Has Gideon gotten to him?
Another flashback, this one in color, shows us an event that has been alluded to multiple times throughout the show. We finally get to the attack that forced Bedelia to give up being a therapist. Until now, we’ve been led to believe that Hannibal showed up and saved Bedelia by tearing the tongue from the would-be killer’s head, but now it appears that Hannibal’s involvement may have been more limited than initially insinuated. The sensuous appeal of violence, of voyeurism-as-participation, suffuses the whole episode.
Natali, who directed the first three episodes of season three, has become the series’ finest director. He may not have the name recognition of David Slade (who directed the pilot and the second season finale), or the copious television credits of Michael Rhymer (who directed this season’s finale), but Natali’s vision melds perfectly with Bryan Fuller’s. His work on Hannibal far surpasses his films (Cube, Splice). He helmed last season’s standout “Su-zakana,” in which we met the elusive Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle). It showcased one of the best gross-out (but not gratuitous) shock moments of the show when a monstrous social worker clawed his way out of the carcass of a horse, having been sewn in by a mentally handicapped man who was emotionally and mentally abused by the social worker. The hyperstylized visuals and moral ambiguity – will Will kill this guy, who so clearly deserves a bullet in the brain? Will Hannibal let Will? – and introduction of Margot marked a turning point, aesthetically and tonally, for the season. But with “Antipasto,” Natali shows surprising restraint; the lack of visual indulgence and the bizarre serenity of the episode are almost jarring, so accustomed are we to the fever-dream ferocity of Fuller’s work.
Natali channels the classic Italian filmmakers of the 1960s and ’70s, particularly Bernardo Bertolucci circa The Conformist, in his careful compositions and subtle camera movements, pushing closer to characters, capturing the diffused light spilling from lofty windows, using the environment to sustain a mood more than before.
Most of the episode is Hannibal and Bedelia talking, but it’s not just Hannibal and Bedelia talking: We learn as much about Hannibal in these 40-something minutes as we have in the past two seasons. As Bedelia says, Hannibal is no longer dissimulating or hiding himself behind that stoic non-smile. He lets us see him. Hannibal has been criticized for its lackluster female characters, which isn’t totally fair, since the show has primarily been concerned with the psychological, pseudo-psychosexual relationship between Hannibal and Will Graham, while Alana Bloom gets relegated to the background. But in “Antipasto,” Mikkelsen and Anderson get to play off of each other. They have spectacular chemistry: She brings out the darkness percolating behind those eyes but seems to also get at something almost human lurking inside Hannibal. In a deliciously sadistic scene, Hannibal’s young poet friend joins the pair for dinner, pointing out that Hannibal is serving foods that Romans used to use to make people taste better.
“My husband is very particular about the way I taste,” Bedelia intones.
“Is this that kind of party?” the poet asks, after a beat.
Hannibal and Bedelia exchange glances; with a stiletto stare, Hannibal says, “No, it’s not.”
Bedelia adds, “It’s really not.”
“Antipasto” isn’t that kind of party, either: With just one onscreen murder — and a strangely mild one, at that — the episode is disconcertingly placid, with tension manifesting in the unexpected, sustained tranquility. Thanks to some sharp dialogue pleated with myriad meanings, Mikkelsen and Anderson enthrall just as much as the show’s usual histrionic, CGI-addled murder-as-performance-art setpieces. The transition to demure feels so natural, and Mikkelsen and Anderson are so good, you may not even notice that Will and Alana don’t appear at all in the episode, and Jack only appears in one brief flashback. We don’t even know who survived the “Mizumono” massacre, and it doesn’t seem to matter. Hannibal has moved on. So do we.
Hannibal (Season 3)On May 9, 2014, NBC renewed Hannibalfor its third and presumed final season. During September 2014 the first episode title Antipastowas revealed on Bryan Fuller's Twitter. Following this reveal, in October 2014 the next two episode titles Primaveraand Secondowere unveiled.
- Raúl Esparza as Frederick Chilton, former general administrator for Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and "collector of psychopaths".
- Lara Jean Chorostecki as Fredricka "Freddie" Lounds, a tabloid blogger.
- Joe Anderson (replacing Michael Pitt) as Mason Verger, heir to the Verger dynasty and former patient of Hannibal. Now seeking revenge on the man who disfigured him.
- Tao Okamoto as Chiyoh, the handmaid to Lady Murasaki, Hannibal's Japanese aunt.
- Fortunato Cerlino as Rinaldo Pazzi, an Italian inspector who teams up with Will to help him find Hannibal.
- Gina Torres as Bella Crawford, wife to Jack and battling with lung cancer.
- Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde, a serial killer known as the Tooth Fairy Killer due to his unsightly habit of biting the skin of his victims.
- Nina Arianda as Molly Graham, Will's wife who helped him overcome his dark past. She continues to support Will when he was asked to return to the FBI.
- Rutina Wesley as Reba McClane, a blind woman and love interest of Francis Dolarhyde.
- Glenn Fleshler as Cordell.
- Zachary Quinto as Neal Frank, Bedelia's former patient that she murdered.
In the Beginning:
The third season in the Hannibal series centers on the complex relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter.
Hannibal has fled to Italy along with his psychiatrist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. The beginning of the season shows the relationship they are presenting to the public and the ease Hannibal has in filling another man's shoes - literally - in order to play his part well. Yet old habits never die and Hannibal has continued doing what he does best. Killing people and making them into meals worthy of his consumption, or arranging them in artistic ways, reminiscent of his past as Il Mostro, the Monster of Florence.
Will Graham, who has not succumbed to his wound, awakens in a hospital, unsure of himself and his surroundings. He even sees Abigail Hobbs, whose throat Hannibal had slit in the finale of the second season, Mizumono. It is later revealed that Abigail has passed on and Will is simply hallucinating her existence.
Jack Crawford has also made an astonishing recovery and while things may seem to have gone well for him, he is still just as dedicated to bringing the Chesapeake Ripper to justice.
Mason Verger plans his revenge for what Hannibal did to him with an unlikely ally, Alana Bloom. Alana, however falls in love with Margot Verger and both plan to get something from Mason...
Eventually all of this leads to Franccis Dolarhyde, the Great Red Dragon...
|Episode||Series #||Title||Airdate||Production Code|
|27||Antipasto||June 4th, 2015||301|
|28||Primavera||June 11th, 2015||302|
|29||Secondo||June 18th, 2015||303|
|30||Aperitivo||June 25th, 2015||304|
|31||Contorno||July 2nd, 2015||305|
|32||Dolce||July 9th, 2015||306|
|33||Digestivo||July 18, 2015||307|
|34||The Great Red Dragon||July 25, 2015||308|
|9||35||And the Woman Clothed With The Sun||August 1, 2015||309|
|10||36||And the Woman Clothed In Sun||August 8, 2015||310|
|11||37||... And the Beast From the Sea||August 15, 2015||311|
|12||38||The Number of the Beast is 666||August 22, 2015||312|
|13||39||The Wrath of the Lamb||August 29, 2015||313|
Hannibal: Season 3 Photos
Tv Season Info
Jun 4, 2015
Bryan Fuller, Martha De Laurentiis, Jesse Alexander, Chris Brancato, Sara Colleton, Katie O'Connell, Elisa Roth, Sidonie Dumas, Christophe Riandee
3 hannibal season
Season 3 of 'Hannibal' continues to be one of the best shows on TV
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Let’s take a minute to reflect on the miracle that is NBC’s “Hannibal.”
The series is an adaptation of events and characters originally depicted in Thomas Harris' novels about famed serial killer and cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter prior to his eventual capture and imprisonment. It stars Mads Mikkelsen as the famed villain alongside Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, the troubled-yet-gifted forensic profiler dedicated to bringing him down.Before "Hannibal" aired, no one would have believed it would end up being one of the best shows on broadcast television. Harris' novels, and the character of Hannibal Lecter, were well-trod territory in cinema, with adaptations running from excellent ("The Silence of the Lambs") to abysmal ("Hannibal Rising"). What's more, Anthony Hopkins' performance as Dr. Lecter was widely considered the last word on the subject, the impossibly high standard that would never be beat.
There was hope, though. "Hannibal" was created and run by Bryan Fuller—the beloved writer/producer behind idiosyncratic, critically acclaimed shows like "Pusing Daisies" and "Wonderfalls." Fuller's presence was an early signal—possibly the only signal—that we'd get something different with "Hannibal." Then it premiered.
Its quality was apparent from the very start, arresting viewers with its stunning aesthetic fully formed—gorgeous visuals, unsettling music, magnetic performances all present from episode one.It was terribly beautiful, terribly unsettling, and terribly great. Its ratings were poor, and it seemed destined to follow a path well-trod by other excellent, under-watched shows—a phenomenal first season preceding a swift but remorseful cancellation.
It didn’t though, and television is all the richer for it.
For those who would like to know this and nothing more: The third season of “Hannibal,” which premieres on Thursday, June 4, is every bit as good as viewers have come to expect. It is a beautiful, unsettling start to a season that sees its characters rawer and more vulnerable than ever, and makes bold, uncomfortable decisions in its exploration of them. It is worth returning to, and worth catching up with if you’ve never started.
Spoilers for seasons one and two follow—as do very mild spoilers for season three.In some ways, the first season of “Hannibal” was a commentary on violence and television. It criticized the police procedural by examining the effects violence have on those who live a life pursuing (or consuming media full of) it. It was a daring move for a show that had no right being as good as it is, but it succeeded, and what’s more, pulled off a finale that completely inverted the status quo it established at the start—with hero Will Graham taking the fall and being imprisoned for Hannibal's crimes.
Its second season attempted something even more daring, a subversive love story between its hero and villain — Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).While plenty of the show’s fans (who identify as Fannibals) love the implied sexual tension between the show’s male leads, what the second season explored was far more complex than simple physical affection (which only actually exists in fervent fan fiction websites; not on the show—yet).Instead, it was concerned with a more complex, deeper kind of love: What it means to truly see someone else, and how achieving that can irrevocably change a person.
That is how season three begins—with everyone coming to grips with the changes they’ve endured. Season two’s shocking, beautiful, finale left the entire cast bleeding out on Hannibal’s floor. Meanwhile, the killer walked free into the rain, washing away the false identity of Hannibal Lecter, respected psychiatrist, and boarding a plane accompanied by Gillian Anderson’s Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier as Hannibal Lecter, the monster who thought he could be loved.It is—like every season before it—a near-complete reboot of its premise.
"Hannibal" is a show that puts all of its chips on the table, blows up that table, and then builds something even more fascinating from what remains.
In the first three episodes NBC has made available in advance to press, Hannibal is now in Florence with Bedelia masquerading as his wife. But the bloody fallout between he and Will Graham weighs on him, and leaves him contemplating notions of forgiveness. Of course, when Hannibal contemplates something, a body is sure to follow.
What’s fascinating about “Hannibal” season 3 so far is its structure. Initially, “Hannibal” was a procedural that only really stuck to procedural convention for as long as it had to before it could sink its teeth into the long game—which creator Bryan Fuller likes to call a "romantic horror story."
In its return, the show keeps the fallout from last season on a drip feed, instead focusing squarely on Hannibal and Bedelia in Italy as he slowly draws whatever survivors remain into his orbit in episodes that feel like standalone character studies.According to Fuller, we won’t find out the full story behind who survived and how until the fourth episode, but what unfolds in the meantime is just as stunning.
The show takes full advantage of its new setting, becoming lavish and operatic in its staging and music, examining its characters in the shadow of art and architecture created by people contemplating heaven and hell, and how closely we all teeter between the two.In this, “Hannibal” remains beautifully consistent as one of the most poetic shows on television.
Much has been made of the show’s visual poetry—the way it finds a beauty both macabre and sincere in its violence and contemplation of mortality, forcing viewers to consider their relationship with said violence in the media they consume. But it also puts great effort into poetry of the more traditional kind— the dialogue is beautiful and far more artful than normal speech.
"We share the gift of imagination," one character tells another early on in the new season. "That moment, when the connection is made—that is my keenest pleasure. Knowing."
Ironically, knowing is the one pleasure "Hannibal" season 3 denies its viewers. As good as the first three episodes are, it’s hard to infer from them where the season might be going. We know some things from interviews with Fuller: The first half will continue to follow Hannibal in Italy, and the last six episodes will be the show’s version of the events that unfold in Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon.” But really, that isn’t much.
But even as "Hannibal" keeps its cards close to its chest, what it does show us is magnetic. In these first three episodes, we get one of the series' most unsettling images yet, and rich, deep performances from Mads Mikkelsen and Gillian Anderson that bring out how layered and complicated their troubled, disturbing relationship is.
Mikkelsen, in particular, gets to show new shades of Hannibal we've not yet seen before—the doctor hasn't taken his violent breakup with Will Graham very well, turning him into a whole new kind of scary.
What makes “Hannibal” special is the way that it has pulled off a trick many adaptations aspire to but few accomplish: To create a universe that is true to its source but so uniquely its own that—even if you are familiar with the canon—it remains impossible to guess where it’s headed next. It’s exciting, unsettling, and thoughtful television at its very best.
"Hannibal" returns to NBC Thursday night at 10 p.m.
Watch the season 3 trailer below:
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'Hannibal' Ending Explained: What Exactly Happened to the Murder Husbands?
By Liz Shannon Miller
These days, no TV show is officially over, but here's what you need to understand about the ending of Bryan Fuller's gruesome masterpiece.
In case you were wondering: Hannibal holds up. For three glorious, bloody, revolting, and beautiful seasons, showrunner Bryan Fuller dazzled our eyes and turned our stomachs, drawing us, alongside poor Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) into the world of Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).
With the series now streaming on Netflix (it was previously available only on Amazon Prime), one of broadcast television's wildest shows ever is now ready for new fans to discover and for established Fannibals to reappreciate. And when they reach the end of Season 3, they will undoubtedly share the same thought: "What the damn hell?"
What now serves as the final episode of the series (though for years, discussion about the possibility of another season has been fervent), is as knotty as the episodes that preceded it; Fuller designed it to serve as both a season finale as well as a series finale, should the show be canceled. But the focus remains on one of Hannibal's most important threads: The relationship between Will and Hannibal.
Though, while the relationship between Will and Hannibal is key, it's not the title character whose journey matters most here. Hannibal, as is his way, is primarily interested in unlocking whatever is inside the object of his "compassion" — though, as Will points out, "If you're partial to beef products, it's inconvenient to be compassionate toward a cow." Over the seasons, Will's transformation under Hannibal's influence, Fuller has said in interviews, is a major motivating factor in his final choice in "The Wrath of the Lamb." But we'll get to that in a bit.
In "The Wrath of the Lamb," Will and Hannibal have a third dance partner, as they have all season: The finale is essentially a pas de trois between Graham, Lecter, and Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), otherwise known as the infamous Red Dragon. The bulk of the episode focuses around the FBI's efforts to finally apprehend Francis, after the crack forensic team of Jimmy (Scott Thompson) and Brian (Aaron Abrams) determines that Dolarhyde had faked his own death with the help of the blind Reba (Rutina Wesley), an available corpse, and a shotgun.
The solution they come up with is to tempt Dolarhyde with the possibility of murdering Hannibal, but that of course requires Hannibal perhaps fake-escaping, as bait for the killer at large. But when Hannibal does escape for real, the only other survivor on the scene is Will — and Will willingly joins him.
The two men arrive back at Hannibal's lovely cliffside hideaway (the cliffside aspect of which will of course become very important very soon), where Dolarhyde eventually tracks them. And the ensuing battle of guns and knives, a bloody fight to the death that includes the fantastical element of Francis fully embracing the Red Dragon within, wings and all, ends in Dolarhyde's death. But in this fight to the death, the other two men have definitely sustained life-threatening damage, and so when they ultimately embrace at the edge of the world, their fates feel very uncertain.
And their fates get even more uncertain, because Will lunges them off the cliffside into the water below. Will's decision to throw himself and Graham off the cliff, Fuller told Variety, was in some way an effort to do some good. "He’s asking Bedelia, 'is Hannibal in love with me?' and Bedelia is saying 'is this a ‘can’t live with him, can’t live without him?' And essentially it is, and that’s sort of the conclusion Will comes to at the end, 'I can’t live with him, I can’t live without him. This is the scenario where the least amount of people can die,' meaning, 'the two of us.'"
But it's also a tender moment between the two men, while also representing a triumph for Hannibal, who has finally given Will what he's always wanted — the opportunity to see beauty in death. While the show's beloved "murder husbands" (as dubbed by the fandom) never kiss, there's no denying that the two men fall off that cliff closer than they have ever been before.
And then there's one more twist! Taking a page from the MCU (though the MCU would probably appreciate not being brought into this), a post-credits sequence reveals that poor Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) has served up for dinner, literally. (This is literally one of the most upsetting scenes I have ever seen in my entire life.)
While the ending is filled with ambiguity, ever since it aired as the presumptive series finale Fuller has been more than vocal about the answers to important questions. For example, who has served Bedelia her own leg, on a table set for three? In an interview with ScreenCrush Fuller let it slip that the dish, as designed by food stylist Janice Poon, had "to look like the most beautiful dish Hannibal Lecter has ever prepared."
This means, of course, that Hannibal survived his fall off the cliff and caught up with his former companion — for, as Will prophesized earlier in the episode, a free Hannibal means that for people like Bedelia, "meat's back on the menu." (Is Will a secret Lord of the Rings fan? Who knows.)
It also means that, should the fates allow (and far less likely things have happened in recent years), a fourth season or reunion film has plenty of material to explore. As Hannibal has taught us for some time, you can't keep a good serial killer down.
All three seasons of Hannibal are streaming now on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The star talks all things 'The Matrix,' from martial arts to what we can expect from his new take on the beloved character.
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Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor, and has been talking about television on the Internet since the very beginnings of the Internet. She is currently Senior TV Editor at Collider, and her work has also been published by Vulture, Variety, The AV Club, The Hollywood Reporter, IGN, The Verge, and Thought Catalog. She is also a produced playwright, a host of podcasts, and a repository of "X-Files" trivia. Follow her on Twitter at @lizlet.
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Hannibal (TV series)
American television series
Hannibal is an American psychological horror-thriller television series developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC. The series is based on characters and elements appearing in Thomas Harris' novels Red Dragon (1981), Hannibal (1999), and Hannibal Rising (2006) and focuses on the relationship between FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), a forensic psychiatrist destined to become Graham's most cunning enemy and, at the same time, the only person who can understand him.
The series received a 13-episode order for its first season.David Slade executive produced and directed the first episode. The series premiered on NBC on April 4, 2013. On May 9, 2014, NBC renewed Hannibal for a third season, which premiered on June 4, 2015. On June 22, 2015, NBC canceled Hannibal after three seasons because of low viewership. The series finale aired in Canada on City, on August 27, 2015, and aired two days later in the U.S. on NBC.
The series received critical acclaim, with the performances of the lead actors and the visual style of the show being singled out for praise. The first two seasons each won the Saturn Awards for Best Network Television Series, while both Mikkelsen and Dancy won Best Actor, with Laurence Fishburne winning Best Supporting Actor for season two. The third and final season won the inaugural Best Action-Thriller Television Series, while guest star Richard Armitage won Best Supporting Actor. The show has garnered a cult following and is considered by critics and audiences as one of the best series of the horror genre, and one of the greatest TV series of all time.
FBI profiler Will Graham is recruited by Jack Crawford, the head of Behavioral Sciences of the FBI, to help investigate a serial killer in Minnesota. With the investigation weighing heavily on Graham, Crawford decides to have him supervised by forensic psychiatristDr. Hannibal Lecter. Initially, Lecter—who is secretly a cannibalistic serial killer—works to manipulate the FBI from within, but the bond he builds with Graham begins to threaten his longevity. Lecter is fascinated by Graham's ability to empathize with psychopathic murderers, and tries to push the boundaries of Graham's fragile sanity in order to turn him into a killer himself.
Cast and characters
- Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, a gifted criminal profiler and hunter of serial killers. He visualizes himself committing the murders he investigates to understand the killers' behaviors; throughout the series, Graham's involvement with the investigations takes a toll on his psyche. The emotional relationship between Graham and Lecter forms the foundation of the series.
- Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant forensic psychiatrist and gourmand, who is also secretly a cannibalistic serial killer known as the Chesapeake Ripper.
- Caroline Dhavernas as Alana Bloom, a professor of psychology, and consultant profiler for the FBI, who has professional relationships with both Graham and Lecter.
- Hettienne Park as Beverly Katz, a crime scene investigator specializing in fiber analysis. (seasons 1–2)
- Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford, head of Behavioral Sciences at the FBI and Graham's boss.
- Scott Thompson as Jimmy Price, a crime scene investigator specializing in latent fingerprints. (recurring season 1; also starring seasons 2–3)
- Aaron Abrams as Brian Zeller, a crime scene investigator. (recurring season 1; also starring seasons 2–3)
- Gillian Anderson as Bedelia Du Maurier, Lecter's psychotherapist, who was once attacked by one of Lecter's former patients. (recurring seasons 1–2; regular season 3)
- Raúl Esparza as Frederick Chilton, administrator of Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
- Kacey Rohl as Abigail Hobbs, daughter and accomplice of serial killer Garrett Jacob Hobbs, who develops a complicated father-daughter relationship with Lecter.
- Lara Jean Chorostecki as Fredricka "Freddie" Lounds, a tabloid blogger and journalist who runs the true crime website TattleCrime.
- Eddie Izzard as Abel Gideon, a transplant surgeon institutionalized for killing his family, who is led to believe that he is the Chesapeake Ripper by Dr. Chilton.
- Gina Torres as Phyllis "Bella" Crawford, Jack Crawford's wife, who is suffering from terminal lung cancer.
- Vladimir Jon Cubrt as Garrett Jacob Hobbs, a serial killer known as the Minnesota Shrike.
- Anna Chlumsky as Miriam Lass, an FBI trainee and Jack Crawford's protégée. She mysteriously disappears while investigating the Chesapeake Ripper. (seasons 1–2)
- Katharine Isabelle as Margot Verger, one of Lecter's patients; she has suffered years of abuse at the hands of her twin brother. (seasons 2–3)
- Michael Pitt (season 2) and Joe Anderson (season 3) as Mason Verger, Margot's sadistic twin brother, who develops several plots to impregnate his sister and bring down Lecter.
- Cynthia Nixon as Kade Prurnell, an investigator for the Office of the Inspector General. (season 2)
- Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde, a serial killer known as The Tooth Fairy due to his unsightly habit of biting the skin of his victims. (season 3)
- Fortunato Cerlino as Rinaldo Pazzi, an Italian inspector who teams up with Will to search for Lecter. (season 3)
- Tao Okamoto as Chiyoh, handmaiden to Lecter's aunt, Lady Murasaki. (season 3)
- Glenn Fleshler as Cordell Doemling, the creepy yet gentle and intelligent nurse to Mason Verger. (season 3)
- Nina Arianda as Molly Graham, Will's wife who helped him overcome his dark past. She continues to support Will when he is asked to return to the FBI. (season 3)
- Rutina Wesley as Reba McClane, a blind woman and love interest of Dolarhyde. (season 3)
NBC began developing a Hannibal series in 2011 and former head of drama Katie O'Connell brought in her long-time friend Bryan Fuller (who had previously served as a writer-producer on NBC's Heroes) to write a pilot script in November. NBC gave the series a financial commitment before Fuller had completed his script. On February 14, 2012, NBC bypassed the pilot stage of development by giving the series a 13-episode first season based solely on the strength of Fuller's script. The series went into production quickly thereafter.
David Slade, who had previously directed the pilot for NBC's Awake, directed the first episode and serves as an executive producer.José Andrés is the series' "culinary cannibal consultant" and advises the crew on proper procedure for preparing human flesh for consumption.
Fuller discussed the limited episode order and the continuing story arc he envisions for the series. "Doing a cable model on network television gives us the opportunity not to dally in our storytelling because we have a lot of real estate to cover". Speaking specifically about the Lecter character, Fuller said, "There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He's not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn't know who he was, they wouldn't see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock's principle of suspense—show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it's going to go boom". He went on to call the relationship between Graham and Lecter as "really a love story", saying "As Hannibal has said [to Graham] in a couple of the movies, 'You're a lot more like me than you realize'. We'll get to the bottom of exactly what that means over the course of the first two seasons".
Fuller originally planned for the show to run for seven seasons: the first three consisting of original material, the fourth covering Red Dragon, the fifth The Silence of the Lambs, the sixth Hannibal, and the seventh an original storyline resolving Hannibal's ending. However, after the conclusion of the second season, Fuller stated he later envisioned the show to run six seasons, incorporating the books into the show in a different way than he originally planned. Season 3 would use material from Hannibal Rising as well as Red Dragon and include a different origin story for Dr. Lecter; the season ultimately also adapted Hannibal as well. Fuller had intended to include other characters from the book series (such as Jame Gumb and Clarice Starling) provided he could get the rights from MGM. Franklin Froideveaux and Tobias Budge were created because Fuller could not secure the rights to The Silence of the Lambs characters Benjamin Raspail and Jame Gumb. Fuller added they also tried to get the rights to Barney Matthews, an orderly at the Baltimore State Hospital, but were denied, thus a character based on Barney appeared in the second season, named Matthew Brown, but the character ended up being an antithesis to the original series' Barney. Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier is named after the character in Creepshow and author Daphne du Maurier.
Regarding the series' influences, Fuller stated: "When I sat down to the script, I was very consciously saying, 'What would David Lynch do with a Hannibal Lecter character? What sort of strange, unexpected places would he take this world?' I'm a great admirer of his work and his aesthetic and his meticulous sound design. Those were all components that I felt very strongly needed to be part of our Hannibal Lecter story. Between Lynch and Kubrick, there's a lot of inspiration." Fuller also cited David Cronenberg and Dario Argento as influences on the series. Fuller cited Tony Scott as an influence for the third season.
Hugh Dancy was the first actor to be cast, taking on the lead role of FBI criminal profiler Will Graham, who seeks help from Lecter in profiling and capturing serial killers. In June 2012, Mads Mikkelsen was cast as Lecter. Soon after this, Laurence Fishburne was cast as FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit commander Jack Crawford.Caroline Dhavernas was later cast as Dr. Alana Bloom, a former student of Hannibal Lecter, and Hettienne Park was cast as CSI Beverly Katz.Lara Jean Chorostecki, Kacey Rohl, Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams were cast in recurring roles.
Gina Torres, Laurence Fishburne's then real-life wife, had a recurring role as Phyllis "Bella" Crawford, Jack Crawford's terminally ill wife. Ellen Greene, Raúl Esparza and Gillian Anderson were later cast in recurring roles and appeared later in season one, though Greene actually appeared in only one episode.Molly Shannon, Eddie Izzard and Lance Henriksen guest-starred during the first season.
Several of the actors on the series have worked with creator Bryan Fuller previously, including Dhavernas, who played the lead role in Wonderfalls, and Torres, Greene, Esparza and Shannon, who all appeared in the television series Pushing Daisies.Chelan Simmons reprised her role as Gretchen Speck-Horowitz from Wonderfalls in an episode of Hannibal.Ellen Muth, who starred in Fuller's Dead Like Me, guest-starred as a character named Georgia Madchen, a nod to her original character and a "reinterpretation of that character".
David Bowie was approached for the role of Hannibal's uncle, Robert Lecter, for the second season, but was unavailable for the role. Gillian Anderson returned as Lecter's psychiatrist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, in multiple episodes for the second season. Eddie Izzard reprised her role as Dr. Abel Gideon for the second season.Cynthia Nixon joined the recurring cast as Kade Prurnell, an employee of the Office of the Inspector General, who is investigating Jack Crawford's role in the events of the first season.Katharine Isabelle joined the recurring cast as Margot Verger, who was originally described as a potential love interest for Graham, but Fuller later clarified that, as in the novel Hannibal, Margot "... is a member of the LGBT community!"Michael Pitt joined the recurring cast in the role of Mason Verger, Margot's abusive twin brother.Amanda Plummer guest-starred in the second season, playing Katherine Pimms, an acupuncturist.Jeremy Davies and Chris Diamantopoulos appear in two episodes.
Fuller stated in June 2014 after winning the Saturn Award for Best Network Television Series that they were told by Bowie's management to ask again for his availability for the third season. He also went on to list David Thewlis, Brad Dourif, Kristin Chenoweth, Lee Pace, and Anna Friel as actors he would like to appear on the series. For the third season, Anderson was promoted to series regular after recurring throughout the first two seasons.Tao Okamoto was announced to play Lady Murasaki, Hannibal's enigmatic aunt, in season three, however, Fuller later confirmed at a PaleyFest panel in New York that Okamoto would in fact be playing the role of Chiyoh, Lady Murasaki's handmaid. For the third season, Joe Anderson replaced Michael Pitt as Mason Verger, as Pitt decided not to return to the role. In December 2014, Fortunato Cerlino was announced as portraying Rinaldo Pazzi. In January 2015, several recurring roles were cast, including Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde; Nina Arianda as Molly Graham, Will's wife; Rutina Wesley as Reba McClane; and Glenn Fleshler as Dr. Cordell Doemling. In March 2015, Zachary Quinto was cast in a guest-starring role as one of Dr. Du Maurier's patients. Izzard reprised the role of Gideon for the season three premiere, although she was initially hesitant about returning.
Fuller stated that should the series continue, whether for a fourth season or feature film, and should they obtain rights to adapt The Silence of the Lambs, Elliot Page would be his ideal casting for Clarice Starling.
In July 2020, Fuller confirmed that NBC executives were pushing for John Cusack or Hugh Grant to be cast as Lecter, solely based on attracting the most possible viewers for the series, while also saying that the casting of James Spader in The Blacklist that year was more akin to what they wanted as a series.
Filming of Hannibal took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The first season began shooting on August 27, 2012. The series began production on the second season in Toronto in August 2013. Filming for season 3 began on October 20, 2014, in Toronto, and some filming of exterior and interior scenes were shot in Florence, Italy and Palermo.
Cancellation and possible revival
On June 22, 2015, NBC cancelled the series. Fuller initiated talks with Amazon Video and Netflix for a renewal. In July 2015, the cast were released after their contracts expired, but Mikkelsen and Dancy have expressed interest in reprising their respective roles if the series is acquired by a streaming service. However, the series has an exclusive streaming deal with Amazon, making finding a new distributor for the series difficult. On July 6, 2015, it was revealed that discussions with Amazon came to an end as a result of deadlines set by the service as a part of the deal, which Fuller felt would not allow for enough time to conceptualize and produce a new season. Meetings with Netflix were held, but largely due to the prior deal with Amazon, they also decided to pass on the series, and Fuller confirmed the series was still being shopped. On July 11, when asked to elaborate, Fuller, commented that Netflix could not renew the series due to Amazon having the exclusive streaming rights, and that Amazon wanted to renew the series, but wanted an immediate debut, while Fuller wanted more time to work on the scripts in advance before shooting. Fuller also stated that he and the producers are exploring the possibility of a feature film. Fuller stated after the finale aired that financing for a film is being looked into, as well as divulging his planned Silence of the Lambs storyline and that Starz could serve as a potential renewal due to their relationship on American Gods. Fuller reunited with Anderson to direct a Hannibal-themed ad for PETA, which debuted on November 20, 2015. In December 2015, Mikkelsen stated his willingness to return for a potential fourth season, while also stating that everyone involved would be pleased with the run and success of the series if it does not come together.
In March 2016, De Laurentiis blamed online piracy of the series as part of the reason for cancellation. In May 2016, Mikkelsen commented on a possible revival, stating, "It all depends on Bryan. He is the key, the base, the heart. We will wait and see what happens next in his career. But we all know that we can easily pick this up in two or three years, there are breaks in the stories. We could pick it up, say, four years later. If Bryan is up for it, we will all go for it." In June 2016, Fuller stated, "The cast is game, I'm game, it's just a matter of finding the right time where everybody's schedules sync up, but I would love to continue to tell the story with Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. They're such fantastic collaborators, and one of the most satisfying actor-showrunner relationships I've ever had in this industry. So I would love to continue this story." He also revealed other information dealing with rights: "Two years after the last airing of the show, we can investigate our options [...] August 2017 is when we can actually start talking about it. That's when we would have to see what the rights are for the character and for the story, and see who's interested and how we get it done. I have the story, and the cast is excited for the story, so we're ready to go if somebody wants to go." In December 2016, Fuller confirmed his plans for a Silence of the Lambs miniseries in an interview on the Blumhouse Productions podcast, stating, "I think the film adaptation is a perfect film, but there are a lot of interesting nooks and crannies in that book to explore in a television series." In August 2017, formal conversations on the revival had begun. In January 2019, Mikkelsen exclusively revealed to Bloody Disgusting that he suspected Fuller to be securing rights to The Silence of the Lambs, saying in full, "Yeah, I think there's always new hope. I haven't heard anything specific. I know Bryan is still working on some ideas where we can find a new home for this. I also have a strong feeling that everybody who was involved in it would gladly pick up the glove again if that happens [...] I don't know where they looked. That is above my paycheck, but I know they've been talking to different studios. I know that [Fuller] was working to get the rights to Silence of the Lambs so he could get in there and use some of those characters for his own universe. I have a hunch that might be where we're going."
Main article: List of Hannibal episodes
The series' fourth episode, "Oeuf", which revolves around kidnapped children who have been brainwashed into murdering their own former families, was pulled from the United States broadcast schedule at the request of creator Bryan Fuller. The episode was still shown in other countries. This was not a result of the Boston Marathon bombing as some reports have indicated, but was actually decided just hours beforehand, and was more likely due to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Fuller said of the decision, "With this episode, it wasn't about the graphic imagery or violence. It was the associations that came with the subject matter that I felt would inhibit the enjoyment of the overall episode. It was my own sensitivity... We want to be respectful of the social climate we're in right now". In lieu of a traditional broadcast, a portion of the episode was broken into a series of webisodes, which was made available through various online media outlets. The complete episode was later made available via iTunes and Amazon Video on April 29, 2013, and the episode appears in the order intended on the DVD and Blu-ray release.
Removal by KSL-TV
The series was axed by Salt Lake City's KSL-TV (Channel 5) as of April 29, 2013, after four episodes were aired, and started airing in that market on KUCW, Utah's CW affiliate.
City picked up broadcasting rights in Canada, where the show is filmed, as a mid-season debut. When Hannibal was moved to Saturdays on NBC in the middle of the third season, City continued to air the series in its regular Thursday time slot in Canada.
In Europe, one year before originally airing, on April 10, 2012, the ProSiebenSat.1 Media Group acquired the rights to broadcast the series in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark beginning in 2013.Sky Living started broadcasting the show in the UK and Republic of Ireland from May 7, 2013.
In the South Pacific, the series is also broadcast on the Seven Network in Australia, from mid-April 2013 and in New Zealand, the show premiered on TV3 on January 25, 2014. The series airs in Latin America through AXN. In Middle East and North Africa region, the series is broadcast on OSN.
Reviews for the first season were positive. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season received an approval rating of 82% based on 66 reviews, with an average rating of 7.72/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Hannibal caters to an intellectual audience that prefers plenty of gore in its psychological thrillers, with a polished presentation of madness." On Metacritic, the first season scored 70 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, which constitutes "generally favorable reviews".
Joanne Ostrow of The Denver Post praised the series as "a well constructed, masterfully written piece," but stated that "[the] level of violent imagery is not my cup of tea". She also had high praise for the characters, stating that they are "so compelling, however, that you may give in to the gore-fest." Paul Doro of Shock Till You Drop gave Hannibal an 8/10 and said of the series, "The stab at classy horror mostly succeeds due to excellent performances from the leads, genuine suspense and surprises, well-constructed short and long-term mysteries, and an appropriately disconcerting mood that permeates the action right from the start", and praised Hugh Dancy in particular, saying he "does an outstanding job of subtlety conveying how painful human interaction is for him, and despite being abrasive and unpleasant, you are always in his corner and really feel for the guy." Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly gave the show an A- and called it "finely acted, visually scrumptious, and deliciously subversive."
Brian Lowry of Variety said Hannibal is "the tastiest drama the network has introduced in awhile," and had particular praise for the central trio of Dancy, Mikkelsen and Fishburne. Eric Goldman of IGN gave the series a 9/10, which constitutes a score of "Amazing". He said, "A prequel TV series about Hannibal Lecter has to overcome a lot of preconceptions...But guess what? None of that matters when you actually watch the show, because Hannibal is terrific." Linda Stasi of The New York Post gave the series two and a half stars out of four, praising the performances and called it "the most beautifully shot and produced show on network TV, with many scenes simply and literally breathtaking". Jeff Simon from The Buffalo News called Hannibal "deeply sinister" and "brilliant". The Chicago Sun Times' TV critic Lori Rackl said, "Hannibal is a haunting, riveting...drama that has the look and feel of a show audiences have become more accustomed to seeing on cable than broadcast," and concluded that "It's also extremely well executed...bound to leave viewers hungry for more." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix called Hannibal "creepy, haunting, smart, utterly gorgeous", and the best of this season's serial killer shows. Sepinwall also praised the character of Hannibal, writing he has been made into a believable supervillain without making the police force and others look incompetent. Reflecting on the completed first season, The A.V. Club's Emily VanDerWerff wrote that the series acts as a corrective to the "empty" violence on much of television and "restores the seriousness of purpose to a genre long in need of it...Hannibal is interested in death and murder as a means to glance sidelong at some of life's largest questions. When not functioning as a cop drama, it's an intricately twisted serial-killer thriller, but it's also a surprisingly deep series about psychiatry and the state of the human mind." VanDerWerff concluded that Fuller had taken a series "that had every reason to be a cheap cash-in and has, instead, turned into one of TV's best shows."
Other reviews were less favorable. Glenn Garvin from The Miami Herald called it "a fast-food hash of poor planning and worse execution", referring to the writing as "a mess of unmemorable dialogue and unworkable characterizations." Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe was similarly critical, calling the series "rank and depressing," and concluded that it is "shocking, gruesome, and, ultimately, hollow."
On Metacritic, the second season scored 88 out of 100 based on 14 reviews, which constitutes "universal acclaim". On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season scored an approval rating of 98% with an average rating of 9.3/10 based on 45 reviews. The consensus reads: "With powerful imagery and a strong, unpredictable story, season two of Hannibal continues to build on the first season's promise." On April 10, 2014, Hannibal was voted the winner for Hulu's "Best in Show" online competition.
Mark Peters of Slate called Hannibal "an engrossing, psychologically dense show that is also visually stunning... the kind of gem seldom found on network TV." He did however note that the female characters were less developed.Matt Zoller Seitz, writing for New York magazine heaped praise on the show, calling it "serenely unlike anything else on TV or anything that ever has been on TV." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix continued his praise of the series, highlighting the performances of the lead actors.The A.V. Club named it the best TV series of 2014, and wrote that Hannibal was "the best, most elegantly designed thrill ride on TV in 2014".
The season two finale was met with universal critical acclaim. Gathering a perfect rating of 10 out of 10 on IGN, reviewer Eric Goldman stated, "Hannibal ended its fantastic second season with a thrilling, exciting and audacious series of events" and praised the directing by David Slade. The finale also earned a perfect "A" grade by The A.V. Club, where reviewer Molly Eichel called it "an entirely perfect cap to this season."Den of Geek reviewer Laura Akers labelled the episode "simply divine" and stated that she has "rarely found [herself] looking forward to a show's return more". Emma Dibdin of Digital Spy also heavily praised the episode, specifically Mikkelsen's performance, stating that he is "so convincingly predatory...and so simultaneously scary and sad". She also laid praise on the sound design of the episode by saying that "the integration of a ticking clock worked so well not just in the usual 'time is running out' way, but also a subconscious reminder of Hannibal's manipulation of Will".TV Guide named it the best TV episode of 2014.
Season 3 of Hannibal received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, season 3 has an approval rating of 98% with an average rating of 8.85/10 based on 46 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Bryan Fuller serves up another delightfully demented season of Hannibal, featuring a hearty helping of gorgeous gore, paired with a sweet side of twisted humor." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 84 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Joshua Rivera of Business Insider stated that "Hannibal is a show that puts all of its chips on the table, blows up that table, and then builds something even more fascinating from what remains", and hailed it as one of the best shows on television. Dominic Patten of Deadline Hollywood also gave the first few episodes positive reviews also stating the show returns better than ever. The acting of Mads Mikkelsen and Gillian Anderson was particularly praised, with Bloody Disgusting writing, "Gillian Anderson's performance pushes Mads Mikkelsen in ways never thought possible," while also giving praise to creator and writer Bryan Fuller saying he creates "meticulously detailed scripts that define his characters in completely unpredictable ways." The review concludes by stating season 3 "re-establishes Hannibal as the best horror show on television." Chris Cabin of Slant Magazine gave it a very positive review, with four stars, and wrote that season 3 is "even more incisively and ambitiously written than the last season, and sporting the most radically expressive imagery currently on television."Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly rated it an "A-" and wrote, "Hannibal remains the most engrossing (and gross) serial-killer drama on television, and the most beautiful."
Critics' top ten list
Home media releases
The first season, including all 13 episodes, was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 2 on September 2, 2013, in region 1 on September 24, 2013, and in region 4 on September 25, 2013. The region 1 set includes two audio commentaries (by Bryan Fuller, David Slade and Hugh Dancy on "Apéritif" and "Savoureux"), deleted scenes, gag reel, pilot episode storyboards, four featurettes, and "producer's cut" versions of five episodes.
The second season, including all 13 episodes, was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on September 16, 2014. Bonus features include episode audio commentaries with cast and crew, several behind-the-scenes featurettes, a gag reel, deleted scenes and the "Post Mortem" webisodes hosted by Scott Thompson.
The third season, including all 13 episodes, was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on December 8, 2015. Bonus features include ten audio commentaries with cast and crew, producer's cut versions of seven episodes, several behind-the-scenes featurettes, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and the "Post Mortem" webisodes hosted by Scott Thompson.
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