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‘Hannibal’ Review: “Fromage”

NBC Hannibal Fromage Review
NBC

Hannibal’ serves up another course with its seventh (technically eighth) episode of the series, “Fromage,” as Will struggles both with the nature of his work and his relationship with Alana, while Hannibal confronts a fellow killer on his sloppy technique.

Last week’s ‘Hannibal’ episode “Sorbet” saw Will and Jack continue to hunt for the Chesapeake Ripper, finding instead a copycat organ thief, while Hannibal prepared a dinner party and spent time with his own therapist (‘The X-FilesGillian Anderson), so how does the eighth course of ‘Hannibal’ taste?

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

Alone in his home, Will repairs a boat engine before the distant sound of a dog’s screams draw him outside. Finding nothing, Will calls Alana over to help him search for the animal, jokingly pointing out the event seems like a date. Meanwhile, Franklyn Froideveaux ’s friend Tobias Budge sells cello strings out of his home shop, his customers not realizing them to be made of actual human intestines, rather than cat’s.

Franklyn relays to Hannibal his apparent concern for Tobias’s psychopathic tendencies, while Jack and Will look over the latest crime scene, a Baltimore cellist impaled in a theater with his vocal cords used as cello strings. Will attempts to see the killing’s design, but becomes distracted by a hallucination of Garret Jacob Hobbs in the audience.

Hannibal expresses to his own therapist that he intends to refer Franklyn to another therapist, asking if she felt powerless to help after one of her own patients attacked her, though she denies feeling responsibility. After Will snaps at the team during his examination of the corpse, he asks Hannibal for help putting together the pieces, while Hannibal questions who the killer believes himself to be serenading. Later, Franklyn informs Hannibal that Tobias made an offhand comment similar to the murder, as Franklyn wonders about reporting it to authorities.

Hannibal pays his own visit to Tobias’s shop, while Will again hears an injured animal coming from his chimney. Alana drops by to find Will tearing apart the fireplace to no avail, which leads Will to question her repeated hesitance to spend time with him while still coming over regardless. Will goes in for a kiss, which Alana reciprocates, but soon asserts the professional side of her begs her not to get involved.

Hannibal has Tobias over for dinner, as the two flatly discuss Tobias’s murder of the trombonist, which leads Tobias to confess he used Franklyn to get Hannibal’s attention. Tobias reveals that he intended to kill Hannibal before, but he followed Hannibal and witnessed Hannibal’s school-bus bisection and then opted against it. Tobias hopes the two can be friends, but the pair are soon interrupted by a panicked Will, looking to talk about his experience with Alana. Tobias departs, as Hannibal suggests Will kissed Alana looking for a sense of needed balance, before finally confessing a patient of his had concerns about his friend Tobias’s involvement with the recent murder.

While Hannibal confesses his interest in maintaining a friendship with Will to his shrink, Will and several officers pay a visit to Tobias’s music shop for questioning. Tobias displays only slightly suspicious behavior, before Will hears another animal in pain, and ventures outside to investigate. By the time he returns, both officers have been killed, as Will follows Tobias to the basement, nearly getting strangled before he squeezes off a round by both their ears, allowing Tobias time to escape.

Hannibal explains to Franklyn his intent to refer him to another doctor, before a bleeding Tobias disrupts the meeting. Franklyn attempts to take charge and talk Tobias out of any further violence, but Hannibal quickly snaps Franklyn’s neck to remove him from the equation. Tobias attacks, deftly matching Hannibal in hand-to-hand combat before Hannibal manages to break Tobias’ arm through the library ladder. Striking the man’s throat, Hannibal takes his time in landing the final blow, care of his stag sculpture.

Later, police take the bodies away while Jack and Will question Hannibal, Will apologizing for dragging Hannibal into his world. Later still, Hannibal visits with Bedelia and expresses his unease with going back to practice, while Bedelia reminds him she never felt responsibility for her own patient’s untimely death.

As we made note of a week ago, we’d be hard-pressed to discuss tonight’s episode without at least mentioning that ‘Hannibal’ has yet to receive a season two pickup, even with NBC’s declaration that they’ll decide its fate in the next few weeks. And while tonight’s episode once again pushes Will a bit to the background in favor of its titular character, “Fromage” opens up some exciting new colors to the series that ably demonstrate the excitement ‘Hannibal’ could generate with a second season.

It’s hard to get a real handle on ‘Hannibal’s character, given our larger-than-life image of the character and Mads Mikkelsen’s more reserved, contemplative portrayal, but tonight’s sinister case gave us an impressive fight sequence between two master killers, the likes of which even the film series had neglected to portray. The series has done a fine job in humanizing Hannibal, nearly costing him the fight tonight, while opening up the character to a genuine idea of friendship.

It was also nice to see a bit of chemistry between Will and Alana, though we’re not sure the series had explicitly laid the groundwork for a romantic pairing between the two. Either way, we’re interested to see where the relationship goes, if only to allow Alana a more organic place within the story.

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

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