Hannibal – S01E08

NBC is staying the course and each episode of Hannibal is darker than the last. The visuals are especially taking on a darker and more grisly tone. This last episode of the exposed vocal chords of a human instrument drives that point home. And the intestines drying in the sinks. The jars of who knows what down in the cellar.

It’s interesting to see NBC keeping with the dark atmosphere of the show and not shying away from some of the shocking imagery (especially after episode 4 seemed to rub people the wrong way). This is after all the story of a serial killer. I don’t know how long they will keep this up or if it will alienate the viewing public. People are easily offended these days and since this is broadcast TV they are taking a pretty big risk. I checked and Hannibal hasn’t been renewed for a second season yet.

I’m not sure where we’re headed with this story, but I’m quite willing to play along. I feel we’re still at the stage of defining characters and their relationship with each other. Even within the story, Hannibal is "considering" having Will as a friend. It’s an unusual thing to hear someone say they have to consider making someone their friend. Unfortunately, this slow pace is why shows get cancelled. They don’t get a chance to build and create depth any more.

We’ve now seen Hannibal commit two murders and we know he’s done several others. What is the motive? What drives him? Is it quite literally a hunger? That seems too simple and shallow for this type of character. Is he experimenting? Like Tobias, is he just trying to see how far he can go before he gets caught? Is it the game of staying ahead of the police that he wants to play? Is he trying to see how far he can push Will before he breaks? We know he has tragic events in his past, how do those fit in. Was he responsible?

With Dexter, we know he’s a serial killer, but that’s not what he wants to be. He channels the Dark Passenger into something "good" and tries to be normal in other aspects. This makes him likable and we accept people being brought to justice. We’re willing to overlook this slight character flaw…

Hannibal is a serial killer and blends in to society with his psychiatric practice (which is just a way to find victims by the look of it), his dinners (a vicarious thrill to know what everyone is eating and thus make them a part of the crime) and high society cultural events. So is he with the high elite because they are so boring and daft they’ll never catch on to who he is? Does he regret the way he is? Does he embrace it? Is there something greater that Hannibal wants from life? The sympathetic part hasn’t come out yet. Will it? Can Hannibal be likable or will this turn to cat and mouse and we watch Hannibal do his best to keep the police at bay until the ultimately fails?

I had hoped for more an interaction between Hannibal and Tobias. There is so much we could have learned about Hannibal. He was certainly forthcoming who he was, but did he want to be friends with Tobias up to the point where Tobias revealed he’d seen Hannibal out on the lonely road doing what he does so well? Since Hannibal didn’t have the upper hand did he have to get rid of Tobias? Is Hannibal a teacher perhaps? Can he give shelter and guidance to others like him?

I guess that is where we go from here, to learn about Hannibal and how he views people. He seems quite taken with Will and how Will can assume his point of view, which is then followed up with Will can see the point of view of a psychopath.

I’m intrigued by this show and when the tipping point will come. There is so much to explain and reveal. When does the house of cards come tumbling down? When does the mask of Hannibal come off?

Were to go from here, that is indeed the question.

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666 Park Avenue

Even though it hasn’t been renewed for second season, 666 Park Avenue is going to play out the rest of the episodes they have. And it’s a real shame this show isn’t coming back because it’s really starting to hit a stride. It’s been a slow build, but things are starting to come together. Gavin’s powers are being revealed and the interconnectedness of lives of the residents of the Drake are coming to the surface.

It’s odd since so much of the writing and presentation reminds me of the first season of Lost. We have all these characters and all these stories that seem a jumbled mess, but as we move forward we see how  they’ve all had an influence on each other. 666 Park Avenue comes across the same way to me. We have Gavin who clearly has mystical powers, but it takes quite awhile to see what they are and what he does with them. With these last two episodes we see that Alexis and Louise have crossed paths before and for reasons unknown Gavin has plans for them. Sasha, the long lost daughter of the Drake’s, believed to have died in a car accident, is quite alive and well working as a political advisor for Henry Martin, the very man Gavin is working his magic for to get him into office. The past doesn’t stay dead for long and one of the original members of the Order of the Dragon has been able to cheat death and is back in the Drake.

There is a lot going on, but it’s all beginning to gel. The pieces are falling into place and what I think would be a great lead in to a second season just won’t be happening. I’d be happy to see 666 Park Avenue get picked up by one of the cable channels where they can find more of an audience. American Horror Story was an unusual and confusing story at first, but once the characters were introduced and put into play it became a very compelling series. It had twists, turns and unexpected results. I see 666 Park Avenue as the same thing. They just got the characters set and got everyone into position. Now the real story is about to begin.

Well, I’ll still be tuning in for the last couple of episodes to see where this goes. I like these kinds of dramas where it takes time to build things up. Single story episodes are fine, but like phone book sized Stephen King novels or the intricate plots of Dan Brown, it takes time to draw you in, but once you’re there, you’re happy to get pulled along for more.

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Kevin Bacon comes to the small screen in The Following

Kevin Bacon is jumping into a new role which from the description sounds pretty gripping:

A brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic serial killer communicates with other active serial killers and activates a cult of believers following his every command.

So we have a serial killer inciting other serial killers to act out and kill. Ok, no good will come from that. I have no idea how this story is going to come together, but I will be tuning in to see what happens. It seems like this could be some mix between Criminal Minds, Helter Skelter and perhaps a tinge of the serial killer Red John from the Mentalist?

The premiere episode is this Monday, the 21st. It’s definitely worth a look.

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Ripper Street – I Need Light – S01E01


The spree of Ripper murders has just come to an end and the streets of London reel from the murderer who hasn’t been caught. The H Division is in charge of keeping order in Whitechapel and eye out for Jack the Ripper. Any violent crime makes them cringe as it could be a new calling card.

This is not the story of detective Aberline that many of us are used to, this a whole new group that needs to protect undesirable Whitechapel and continue the investigation into Jack the Ripper. Detective Inspector Edmund Reid leads a new band of agents as they work to keep order in the streets. And what an odd band they make. The opening sequence looks like it’s been shot for Fight Club.

For this opening episode it appears Jack the Ripper is back on the streets. As a tour groups recounts the murders and visits the sites, they discover a body. Soon, there is another. Is this the work of the Ripper or some twisted copycat? With some help from the Ladies of the Night and a doctor who frequents their establishment, the group puts together the clues that leads down some very dark roads. What appears to be a copycat might actually be the work of the media looking to make a story. What looks like more random prostitutes being killed may have roots in another form of entertainment.

This is indeed a dark story and certainly darker than we might except from the BBC. The threat of Jack looms large and they see him and his work in everything they do. Every clue makes them think he’s back at work. Every victim shows his violence. But they get so wrapped in the details they don’t see the forest for the trees. Soon, they have to separate themselves and work smartly. It’s an interesting story with the first episode being rather gritty and rough. It fits the time though. Whitechapel is riddled with squalor. There are no clean streets or satin sheets on this side of town.

I’m curious to see where they head with this idea. Will they offer clues as to who Jack the Ripper might be? Will suspects from the major books make their way onto the screen so a case can be presented for each one? Will Jack be caught? Will there be a new spree that was never revealed in the papers? An interesting an touchy subject to be sure. Will this new team present some new evidence and shed some light on the current day mystery?

Either way, I’m a sucker for a period BBC drama and one that centers on Jack the Ripper has my full attention. We have all the makings of something quite interesting, the head detective with the mysterious past, the second in command who settles disputes with his fists, the doctor who has some interesting night time habits of his own, the ladies of the evening who know all that goes on in the streets and might be willing to let a few details slip if the price is right.

I’ve only seen the one episode with two more in the wings waiting for viewing. I’ll have to jump into those and see where this takes us.

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