NBC’s Hannibal continued to prove itself as deliciously devious entertainment tonight. “Potage” was probably the strongest episode the show has put up yet, and that’s saying something. This show has been incredibly well done thus far, and I for one never fail to leave an episode feeling hungry for more. Mads Mikkelsen is an amazing Hannibal Lecter, and we’ve been exposed to quite a few over the years. That accent makes everything he says sound so profound and intelligent, I often find myself nodding in approval, even if he is the most infamous cannibal of all time. Well, that’s a mere technicality! On to the recap of episode three!
The show opened with a Hobbs family flashback, as Abigail (Kacey Rohl) and her father Garret Jacob (Vladimr Jon Cubrt) hunted for deer. The hunting process itself was one thing, but watching this father teach his daughter how to gut the animal, knowing he’d soon be cutting into human girls, was something else. Abigail was appropriately unnerved by her father, who seemed to pressure her to disembowel the beast properly for fear of “dishonoring” her. Abigail recalled the nature of deer, their appreciation of each other and the environment. Her father echoed back that they were very much like humans in that sense, to which I beg to differ. I can’t remember the last time I witnessed a human stepping on grass so delicately as to avoid injuring the plant life. Isn’t one of the greatest self-critiques of humankind that we’re quite unaware of how we’re destroying the planet and how we’re incredibly callous in our treatment of one another as a species in general? Then again, I’m sure deer have their turf wars too. Also, then again, this man is a psychopath who eats people. Abigail awoke in her hospital bed following a flash of the deer morphing into the corpse of a girl. Had she truly been her father’s accomplice?
Of course, the waking of Abigail Hobbs prompted the team of those investigating her father’s murders to contact Will (Hugh Dancy), who’d taken an unhealthy liking to the girl after killing her father. He’d helped orphan her, but a young girl is not a stray dog. Alana (Caroline Dhavernas) made sure Will understood that, to the best of her abilities, before venturing to the psychiatric hospital to see how things were going for herself. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) was eager to send Will in to investigate, certain that Abigail had been as least somewhat involved in the crime. Alana astutely noted that sending the girl’s father’s killer in to speak with her so shortly after she’d awoken was a terrible idea. They’d need to create a safe zone, so Alana visited with some new clothes and some comforting words. From what she could gather, Abigail seemed to be hiding something, opening up merely enough to prove she had emotions. Honestly, the girl seemed genuine, albeit incredibly shocked.
I thoroughly enjoyed the scene of Will lecturing regarding the mystery caller who’d tipped off Hobbs, giving him time to kill his wife in a panic and to attempt to murder Abigail, with Hannibal arriving to see his own work displayed on the screen for all to analyze. Will had noted the artistic tendencies of this “copycat,” but did he know Hobbs? Was he an admirer and would he strike again? To Will’s knowledge, this type of killer would never repeat his work directly.
Meanwhile, gossip columnist Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) snuck in to see Abigail behind the FBI’s back. Seriously, this is a show that is, broadly speaking, about cannibals, but this woman easily nabs the title of “the worst,” am I right? Luckily, Hannibal and Will arrived just in time to get Abigail’s train back on the rails before Freddie could pick her brain to pieces. Can Hannibal eat her now, or are we saving that for the season finale? Lounds shared a few more words with the “insane” Will Graham and Dr. Lecter before she would leave, promising to make matters worse for them if they’d continue to choose to treat her like an awful STD that flares up at the most inopportune times. Later, she would meet with the brother of the female victim Hannibal had used in his copycat scheme. The man, of course, assumed her to be just another victim of Hobbs. Freddie, yet again, sent things on a downward spiral that would prove to ruin everything.
Will: “It isn’t very smart to piss off a guy who thinks about killing people for a living.”
It was worth hand feeding her a headline, Will, because that was a great line.
More importantly, Will got to speak with Abigail surrounding the death of her father, admitting that killing, even from a non-murderous perspective, was a terrible deed to live with. She feared the influx of nightmares following what she’d seen, and Will did as well. As a group, they would work to uncover the remains of the lost girls and piece together the trail to the copycat. Well, that is, if there was an actual copycat. Crawford insisted that the group respect Abigail’s wishes to return home, even if it meant shocking her even more so emotionally. The girl was vulnerable, needless to say, and Alana disagreed with Crawford’s decision. Hannibal, on the other hand, thought it could prove valuable to act at least somewhat less sympathetically. Of course, we were privy to the fact that Hannibal could have quite possibly had more sympathy for this girl and her family than any of these people. Cannibal bonds run deep!
Seriously, from the word “Cannibals” (That’s right, plural.) graffitied on the garage door, to the mother’s bloodstain on the front porch, did no one think to tidy up the place for this girl? Still, she seemed tough enough to handle it through her bouts of shaking and tearing up. Was it possible to catch the crazy? I have to say, I got a kick out of Larissa, Abigail’s friend who showed up in support without notice. When the man Freddie had met with showed up outside of the Hobbs’ home while the two had a talk, it was Larissa who stoned the man, literally, to the point of his leaving. The girl was a good shot! Great arm! Still, I knew there would be trouble when Lecter heard her call her mother a “bitch” for keeping her away from Abigail.
Abigail knew her family cabin, the place where her father had dismembered his deer, would hold some clues. Her father would “honor” the animals by using every single piece of their bodies for something, from glue to rugs. He would do the same with the girls he murdered. Meaning, the bits and pieces of their corpses would have been used to mend busted pipes or worse… the rest, she’d probably unknowingly helped eat. From the cabin ceiling, blood dripped down on Abigail’s head. Upstairs, they would discover the fresh body of another victim. The copycat killer had struck again… with Larissa. Crawford arrived fuming. Will had guessed that the killer would never strike the same way again, but this deer mounting was a similar scene. Hannibal had purposely done so, throwing Will off of his own trail by humiliating Larissa the same way he had the other girl. In her mouth, Will discovered bits of DNA that would link back to the killer. Hannibal had used the stone Larissa hurled at the man’s face as planted evidence.
Back in her own home, the media maelstrom sent Abigail into a tizzy. Inside, she clung to a deerskin pillow. Suddenly, an epiphany prompted her to tear it open with a knife. Inside, she found wads of human hair. Flabbergasted, she found herself even more alarmed to find the man who’d aggressively confronted her earlier in her home. Begging her to believe him, pleading that he didn’t murder her friend, the first victim’s brother attempted to set things right with Abigail. That didn’t stop her from jamming a knife into his gut. The intense fear and incredibly devastating discovery had pushed her to the point of killing the man without question. It was Hannibal who gave an escape by offering to hide the man’s body in order to protect her. The doubters would eat her alive (not literally).
The close of the episode might have been my favorite moment. Abigail and Hannibal spoke in his office. He had acted to protect her from the negative reception another murder would have brought her, even if it was, at least arguably, in self-defense. She had known all along that it was Lecter who’d called to tip off her father. She’d discovered that he too was a serial killer. At first, he was somewhat relentless in his refusal to admit that she’d pieced together the puzzle well. In the end, he agreed to keep her secret, and she did the same. Funny, the daughter of the murderer was able to uncover Hannibal’s secret before Will and the FBI team even thought to look twice.
What did you all think of Hannibal Season 1 Episode 3, “Potage”? Are you enjoying how quickly this show is picking up its momentum? Is this it for the Hobbs storyline? How awful is Freddie, considering that her actions most likely set into motion the death of Larissa and the victim’s brother? Are you enjoying the unraveling of Will?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Hannibal Season 1 Episode 3, “Potage”!