For as much as we love Bryan Fuller’s artful and mesmerizing crime scenes. Isn’t it about time someone at least offhandedly referenced the sheer number of terrifying tableauxs that the serial killers of Washington D.C. and Maryland have gone on to create? Series creator Bryan Fuller recently told HitFix of the reason for the show’s artistic violence:
The bulk of [crimes on other shows] are kind of rapey, stabby, shoot-em-up, direct types of murders. For me, as a fan of Thomas Harris, and a student of the literature, I felt it was important that we do murders in the show that are representative of the Thomas Harris-ian purple, operatic quality of the villains we read in his literature.
And that’s all fine, but seriously, somebody hang a lampshade!
The first season of NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ gave us appearances from such classic Bryan Fuller vets as ‘Dead Like Me’s’ Ellen Muth, comedian Eddie Izzard, ‘Pushing Daisies’ vet Ellen Greene, ‘Wonderfalls’ stars Chelan Simmons and Lara Jean Chorostecki, as well as Raul Esparza, some of whom even portrayed variations on their previous Fuller characters!
We’ve even heard of Fuller’s intent to cast ‘Pushing Daisies’ stars Lee Pace, Anna Friel and Kristin Chenoweth in season 2 roles, but who else might pop up in the ‘Hannibal’ world? Paging ‘Firefly’s Jewel Staite, Beth Grant, and ‘Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin!
Last night’s incredible finale “Savoureux” left Will Graham in some pretty dire straits, locked away for Hannibal’s murder of Abigail Hobbs with a tenuous grip on his own sanity. Suffice to say, once Will gets out of prison we’d love to see the character evolved into a much more competent version of himself, having been beaten down so thoroughly over the course of the first season. Will’s gifts will always haunt him, naturally, but give the poor guy a break!
In our conversations with Mads Mikkelsen and what we know of Bryan Fuller, ‘Hannibal’ aims to portray the titular character as the fallen angel Lucifer, so to speak, playing up his sadistic fascination with humanity rather than cull from Anthony Hopkins’ iconic performance. In keeping with that choice, Fuller has vowed not to dilute the character with too much exploration of his somewhat anachronistic backstory, but we’d still like to see at least some insight into how Mikkelsen’s Hannibal became the tortured and calculating killer he is today. And no, we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing David Bowie as Hannibal’s previously-mentioned uncle!
The first season of 'Hannibal' accomplished the fascinating feat of incorporating and reimagining a number of characters from Thomas Harris’ novels into the narrative, and we can’t wait to see what Bryan Fuller has in store for season 2. Given Fuller’s intent to eventually fold the story of the literary ‘Hannibal’ into the series, might season 2 provide an interesting opportunity to introduce Mason Verger, so memorably portrayed in the film by an unrecognizable Gary Oldman? And perhaps fudging familiarities a bit, what about FBI agent Paul Krendler, or any number of Thomas Harris characters we’ve yet to encounter? Clarice Starling not withstanding, for the moment.
Unleash the Killer Within
Part of the fun inherent to Mads Mikkelsen’s take on the iconic character, NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ sees the good Dr. Lecter operating in secret, portraying a much more reserved and calculating killer than the demonic figure leering out at Clarice Starling from behind a glass cell. Surely we won’t see Mads Mikkelsen’s fully unleashed Hannibal Lecter until at least midway through the series, but we’d love to see a glimpse of the cannibalistic killer off the chain, or perhaps a bit more darkly humorous than we’ve seen him to date.
Whatever Happened to Bella?
More than simply focus on Hannibal and Will Graham, NBC’s version gave an impressive spotlight to Laurence Fishburne’s firm, but fallible portrayal of FBI director Jack Crawford, one we certainly hope to see continued into season 2 and beyond.
One question remains from the first season however, whatever happened to Jack’s wife Phyllis “Bella” Crawford (Fishburne’s own wife Gina Torres), who’d been diagnosed with a terminal stomach cancer and resigned to avoid treatment. The ordeal of simply learning the truth proved incredibly harrowing for Jack, yet the situation was never revisited in the first season, that we saw anyway.
And for that matter, we wouldn’t mind delving into the supporting cast a bit more as well, particularly Dr. Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park), who had been given some wonderful moments over the first 13 episodes.
Apart from the more contained killer stories, most of the first season’s narrative wrapped around Will finding evidence of either a copycat killer, or the Chesapeake Ripper himself, both of which we knew to be the work of Hannibal Lecter. And while either of those threads will surely loom large over the series itself, it might be interesting to see Hannibal or Will on the trail of a killer that neither can easily anticipate, and would perhaps necessitate working together to take down. You know, once Will has gotten over that whole false imprisonment thing.
Once the viewing audience learns to move past the implied truth of Hannibal’s delectable dishes, how about an online cooking show to teach preparation of some of the good doctor’s more elaborate meals? The first season made use of legendary chef José Andrés in preparation of its many dishes, with a little artistic license of course, but what better tie-in than to post recipes and recommendations in time for viewers to actually enjoy with the show?
As we’ve mentioned, ‘Hannibal’ did a wonderful job of incorporating Bryan Fuller alum and others as established characters from the canon, but what better way to pay tribute to Hannibal Lecter’s enduring cinematic success than with a few familiar faces from the franchise? Not in the same roles of course, but try and stop Fannibals from squealing if Anthony Heald ever came face to face with Raul Esparza’s Dr. Chilton. Or how about the original on-screen Hannibal Lecter, Brian Cox?
Naturally, at least the early portion of ‘Hannibal’ season 2 will involve the exoneration of Will Graham, whether or not the finger ends up pointing back in Hannibal’s direction. And as much as we’re interested to see the classic dynamic reversed, with Hannibal Lecter standing outside the bars to evaluate the subject within, we don’t want to see the relationship between Will and Hannibal destroyed so quickly.
We’re not saying the need to share any bathside confessions mind you, but it will prove important that the two come to trust and value one another once more, making Hannibal’s inevitable downfall all the more tragic. ‘Hannibal’’s first season understandably moved the relationship at a swift pace without assurances of a second season, but we’d love to see one of TV’s best bromances climb a little higher before the angel finally falls.
Well, what say you? Did you enjoy tonight’s ‘Hannibal’ season finale “Savoureux? How do you feel about the first season as a full 13-course meal? Give us your thoughts in the comments, and tell us what you’d like to see when ‘Hannibal’ season 2 premieres in 2014!