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‘Hannibal’ Review: “Entrée”

NBC Hannibal Entree Review
NBC

Hannibal’ serves up another course with its fifth (technically sixth) episode of the series “Entrée,” as incarcerated killer Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) suddenly takes credit for the Chesapeake Ripper murders, while Jack finds himself haunted by the memory of trainee Miriam Lass (‘Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky), lost to the killer.

Last week’s ‘Hannibal’ episode “Coquilles” saw Will struggling to maintain his effectiveness in the face of a new “Angel-maker” killing spree, while Jack tried to identify what his wife (‘Firefly‘s Gina Torres) might be keeping from him, so how does the sixth episode of ‘Hannibal’ taste?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Hannibal’s latest episode, “Entrée!”

In a very familiar looking cell, prisoner Abel Gideon lies unconscious on the floor, as security enters and prepares to transport him to the medical wing. Once there, a lone nurse sets up care of the man, before hearing the heart monitor’s flatline, and turning around to find Gideon standing behind her. The next day, outside the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Will and Jack show up to the murder scene.

Will and Jack meet with Dr. Frederick Chilton (Raul Esparza), who explains that Gideon had behaved for two years, before Chilton turns his eye toward Will’s well-documented psychological issues. Jack and Will look over the nurse’s body, impaled to resemble the famous “Wounded Man,” noting that the wounds are consistent with the oft-debated Chesapeake Ripper, whom Gideon now professes to be. Will brutally re-imagines the crime, including gouging out the nurse’s eyes, and admits that Gideon’s incarceration fits the timeline of the Ripper’s last kill.

Two years earlier, Jack meets with young FBI trainee Miriam Lass, recruiting her out of school to work on the Chesapeake Ripper case and forming a terse friendship. Meanwhile back in the present, Will shoots down Chilton’s eagerness to proclaim Gideon the Chesapeake Ripper, before Alana and Will take turns interviewing the killer. Gideon blithely insists that he was happy to remain dormant for two years before fessing up, but both Will and Alana suspect him to be taking credit for another’s kills.

Hannibal leaves his office for the day to find Jack waiting outside, despondent over his wife’s refusal to update him about her cancerous condition. Hannibal holds his ground on divulging any details of his patient, but quickly sees that Jack has been grieving another past loss. Years earlier, Jack shows Miriam Lass one of the Chesapeake Ripper crime scenes, as she correctly surmises the killer must have a background in surgery.

While Will remains hesitant to label Gideon the Ripper in spite of the mounting evidence, Jack receives a mysterious phone call while sleeping at home, that of a recorded message from Miriam Lass in the moments before her apparent death. Jack recognizes the recording from years earlier, though the team fails to find any trace of the call, at least now ruling out Gideon as the true Chesapeake Ripper. A short while later, Will daydreams of the stag, before Alana and Jack approach him with an idea to force the Ripper out in the open.

Freddie Lounds takes a meeting with Jack, Alana and Will, wherein the agents offer her an interview with Gideon if she publicly identifies him as the Chesapeake Ripper, to Will’s unease. Freddie accepts, walking down the famous hall to interview Dr. Gideon, as we observe Hannibal bitterly reading the article taking credit for his work days later.

After publishing the story, Jack interrogates Gideon to find he shares knowledge of Miriam Lass’ fate, and claims to have killed her. Their meeting is interrupted by a call to Jack’s phone from his home, revealed to be the Ripper playing the same Miriam recording from inside his bedroom. The team manages to find a single hair and a fingerprint at the scene that belongs to Miriam, while Will points out that the Ripper knows Jack feels responsible for her death. Back in the past, Jack lectures Miriam for overreaching in her pursuit of medical files without a warrant, but slyly greenlights her independent investigation.

Hannibal serves both Alana and Dr. Chilton dinner, as Chilton toasts the opportunity to interview a true sociopath in Dr. Gideon. Alana puts together that Chilton may have intentionally (or at least accidentally) influenced Gideon to take credit for the Ripper murders out of Chilton’s repeated discussions of the crime, though Hannibal comes to the overzealous doctor’s defense. In a moment alone preparing dessert, Hannibal assures Chilton he forgives unorthodox methods of psychology more so than Alana.

Jack receives another call, this time with a visible number that leads the group to an observatory. Upon redialing the number, the team hears the phone ringing from inside the observatory, and enters to find Miriam’s severed forearm clutching the phone, at its base a note written in blood that asks “What do you see?”

That night over drinks, Hannibal urges Jack not to give up hope for his wife after the Ripper forced him to feel hope for Miriam again. As Jack describes his trainee to Hannibal, the good doctor remembers the day Miriam arrived to his office for questioning, as Hannibal had worked in the operating room where one of the Ripper’s eventual victims was once treated. Professing to remember little of the man, Hannibal retreats upstairs to fetch his journals for clarifications, while Miriam pokes around the office. Miriam finds a diagram of the “Wounded Man” under Hannibal’s drawings, not noticing the doctor silently approaching from behind, as Hannibal strangles the young agent into unconsciousness.

Back in the present, Hannibal sips from his Chianti glass, and stares into the fire.

Well, that was certainly the episode we’ve been waiting for, wasn’t it? Granted ‘Hannibal’ has in only 4 episodes evolved far beyond a simple prequel of Thomas Harris’ iconic works, we can’t help feeling a sense of catharsis over the infamous Baltimore state hospital, the appearance of Dr. Chilton (perfectly played by Raul Esparza), or interrogation scenes designed to feel evocative of the classic conversations between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling. Plus, how could you not geek out about the relationship between Hannibal and Chilton, given where things inevitably end up?

Following the proper order between episodes this time, “Entrée” shifts Will further to the side in order to flesh out Lawrence Fishburne’s Jack Crawford, and quite satisfyingly so. The continued pain of his absent wife’s struggle coupled with the earlier loss of Miriam Lass paints a tragic portrait of the man, one we know to be revisited in the future with both Will and Clarice Starling. Even Freddie Lounds serves a palpable role within the episode, utilizing a ploy evocative of the character’s eventual role in the ‘Red Dragon’ novel without feeling like a simple rehash.

We’re not sure how seriously Bryan Fuller wants us to take the Chesapeake Ripper case’s proximity to Hannibal, given this early stage in the series and the fact that Will Graham’s literary capture of Hannibal was here re-appropriated to Miriam, albeit with a different end. It would seem a bit off if Will or the others suspected Hannibal of anything this early in the narrative, but we imagine Izzard’s character will likely return to match wits with the good doctor once more. All in all, a thoroughly satisfying episode that fans of the series are sure to geek out over, while offering up a succulent “Entrée” for newcomers to enjoy.

What say you?  Did you feel that ‘Hannibal’ hit the spot with its fifth/sixth episode? What did you like about “Entrée?” Join us next week for another all-new ‘Hannibal’ episode recap of “Sorbet” on NBC!

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