TV Review - Hannibal, Season 2 episode 9 'Shiizakana'

Zoe Butcher reviews Hannibal's ninth course, and is starting to feel a little full...

Margot and Will continue their therapy sessions/incitements to murder with Dr Lecter. Will's however are briefly interrupted when the FBI encounter another of Hannibal's protégés who has a particularly beastly psychosis...

Oh no, it's one of those episodes where they spend too much time referencing the films/books and forcing us to listen to Will/Hannibal double-talk. Don't get me wrong, it's still the best show on TV and even the weaker episodes are brilliant, but at this stage in proceedings I expect perfection dammit!

The referencing starts early with the pre-credits sequence which features crazy old Will and his regular horror movie nightmares. This particular nightmare involves him decapitating Hannibal by tying him to a tree, fastening the rope around his neck and attaching the other end to a moose. Yes, I know in Hannibal Rises it's a horse, but this is Hannibal the TV show, and here the moose is king. The result is suitably gruesome, artistic and just a little bit unnecessary.

Jack, you're still eating at Hannibal's? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Back in the real world and Will is back in therapy with Hannibal. When I say therapy what I actually mean is trying to incite each other to kill people for their own bizarre and twisted reasons. Will regrets not killing the psycho last week (no, not that psycho in the chair opposite, the social worker one) and Hannibal thinks he needs someone to kill to take his mind off it. Ho ho, what is that I spy over the horizon, why it's another ex patient of Hannibal's who's mysteriously taken to murdering people whilst wearing a mechanical cave bear suit (I'm revoking the care in the community order for this one straight away).
The FBI are on to you. Mainly because I sold you out for my own amusement but hey, what ya gonna do?

Hannibal's other protégé Margot is a tad concerned about his somewhat unorthodox treatment methods and visits Will to get a character reference for the psychiatrist. What sort of reference she was expecting from the man who tried to kill Hannibal and openly declared him to be a serial killer of epic proportions I'm not sure, but Margot continues to fascinate me. I also have a little girl-crush on Katharine Isabelle and she's a fabulous actress to watch so the more scenes for her the better.

Paintballing in Baltimore is hardcore.

Hannibal follows his usual MO (turn someone into a killer, tell the FBI about it, sit back and feel superior whilst they twat about and more people die) and after a few more savage murders, the killer is pointed in the direction of Will's conveniently isolated house. As Hannibal releases his 'pet' on an unsuspecting Will, one of Will's pets - a cute little dog named Buster, escapes the house and runs off into the woods. Those of you who are familiar with my tendency towards worrying more about animals than people will understand why this was the scariest moment of this episode for me.

Kill as many people as you like, but leave my fucking dog alone...

Luckily for Will and dog lovers everywhere Buster survives his brush with death. As for the bear-suited psychopath - not so much. Another referencing sequence (Manhunter window leaping this time) sees the scary metal man/monster attack Will in his own home. A fatal error apparently as, in a lovely touch of 'quid pro quo' (see, Bryan Fuller, we're all at it now), Will dumps the lifeless body of Hannibal's former patient on the good Doctor's dinner table. Subtle, Will, real subtle.

So less stellar and lacking the finesse of previous episodes - I particularly disliked the whole 'church' speech being shoehorned in - but it still gets a nine out of ten from me. THAT'S how good this show is.


Follow Zoe Butcher on Twitter @thezoverlord.

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