Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has been imprisoned. He is the lead suspect in the Baltimore Ripper case and has been deemed insane. Blaming Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), Will is finding how far he can be pushed, and what Hannibal wants from him…as a new man named Mason Verger (Michael Pitt) arises with dark intentions.
Hannibal—Season 2 aired from February 28, 2014 to May 23, 2015 on NBC. Although the series was critically acclaimed and had a rabid fan base, the show continued to struggle in the ratings.
Hannibal is out and out gory. It really shocks me what they can do on network TV. I still really like the series, but I do have issues with this season and its formatting. Despite this, Hannibal continues to shock while carving a gory path.
I don’t love the set-up for this season with Will Graham “crazy”. It is a natural progression for the character that is struggling on the edge of sanity, but it doesn’t necessarily make for positive viewing. It also leads to a very segmented season. The first half involves Will in prison and the second half involves Mason Verger and the revelation of Hannibal’s dangerous side.
The cast continues to be stellar. Mads Mikkelsen is perfect as the cool and composed Hannibal Lecter and he genuinely seems scary. Hugh Dancy is pushed harder this season by having to be crazy, yet likeable (or at least tragic) and he doesn’t always succeed in this. He does however paint a complex character that is mentally so shattered that you don’t know what is going to happen to him. Laurence Fishburne is a character caught in the middle of everything and is a bit unrealistic in that he flips sides so many times in the course of the season.
The show looks fantastic and if anything could suffer from “over artsy”. The special effects on the murders, the dark antlered man, and visions is great and this is combined with an almost art house style of shooting which sometimes focuses on the seemingly inane or unimportant but in reality are often themes in the story.
Hannibal is not an easy show to watch. It isn’t a show for squeamish people nor people who are easily sickened by gore. Despite the gory nature of the show, the gore and gross-out aspects have a purpose. In addition to showing some beautiful cinematography, the gore shows the level of depravity of the characters and the fear of what Will Graham could potentially become…by dragging the viewer in with him. Watch if you dare!
Hannibal—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:
2.1 Kaiseki Airdate: 02/28/14
Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has been imprisoned in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and continues to insist that Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) is behind his troubles. As Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburn) and Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) go head-to-head about Jack’s treatment of Will, the Inspector General’s investigator Kade Prurnell (Cynthia Nixon) is forced to settle the issue. As Hannibal is investigated, he finds himself replacing Will as Graham’s primary consultant on a new investigation into a killer who seems to be collecting skin tones.
2.2 Sakizuke Airdate: 03/07/14
A man escapes the killer’s color palette of death, but his death leads investigators and Hannibal Lecter toward the killer. Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) recruits Will to help her solve the case with Graham’s consent, and Will questions Hannibal’s actions. An offer by Prurnell could be Will’s best chance at trial by a visit by Lecter’s psychiatrist Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) could prove to be Will’s only hope for freedom.
2.3 Hassun Airdate: 03/14/14
Will’s trial begins but a new wrinkle occurs when a severed ear shows up the first day. With a potential copycat killer (or the real killer) on the loose, Will’s defense is thrown into chaos as the prosecution must decide if Will is an insane killer or the victim.
2.4 Takiawase Airdate: 03/21/14
Will has agreed to work with Dr. Frederick Chilton (Raúl Esparza) in order to keep Lecter from learning about his treatment…which means subjecting himself to Chilton’s drugs. A new murder surfaces where a man’s corpse was used as a bee hive. Jack’s wife Bella (Gina Torres) debates whether trying to fight her cancer is a good thing. Beverly investigates the mural murder leading Will to a realization of what Hannibal is doing with his trophies.
2.5 Mukōzuke Airdate: 03/28/14
Beverly has fallen victim to Hannibal and Will and Jack are trying to find out who the killer is. Realizing the Chesapeake Ripper is still alive, Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) is brought back to the hospital for questioning while Will uses Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) to lure out the killer’s helper…and Will has a plan.
2.6 Futamono Airdate: 04/04/14
Hannibal has been saved from Matthew Brown (Jonathan Tucker) by Crawford who now suspects Will is responsible for the attack. The Chesapeake Ripper kills again as Hannibal prepares for a dinner party. Hannibal targets Gideon and sets up an alibi with a surprising ally. Clues lead Jack to a hidden barn where he makes a shocking discovery.
2.7 Yakimono Airdate: 04/11/14
Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky) has been found alive leading to Will’s release, but Mirris unable to identify the Chesapeake Ripper . As Jack and his team begins to move in on Hannibal, a new suspect arises…thanks to Hannibal himself.
2.8 Su-zakana Airdate: 04/18/14
Hannibal has been cleared of suspicion by the death of Chilton and Will is back in counseling with Hannibal…and not hiding his contempt. The body of a woman is found inside a dead horse and a bird is found inside the woman. Lecter begins to see a patient named Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle) Jack and Will track the killer of the woman and find more murders.
2.9 Shiizakana Airdate: 04/25/14
Will questions his new urges to kill and befriends Peter Bernardone (Jeremy Davies). A man named Randall Tier (Mark O’Brien) is committing murders in his desires to transform into an animal…and a former patient of Hannibal. Will meets Margot Verger and begins to compare notes on Lecter.
2.10 Naka-choko Airdate: 05/02/14
Will has killed Hannibal’s agent Randall Tier and is being pushed by Hannibal to explore his pleasure in killing. Margot and Will’s relationship heats up as Hannibal continues to see Alana. Freddie Lounds begins to investigate if Will and Hannibal could be the killer she is seeking. Hannibal takes an interest in Mason Verger (Michael Pitt) and his love of pigs.
2.11 Kō No Mono Airdate: 05/09/14
Freddie is dead, and Hannibal finds an ally and student in Will. Alana begins to question if Will’s relationship with Hannibal, and if Will could be a killer. Will learns that Margot has used him, and Mason decides to look into his sister’s affairs.
2.12 Tome-wan Airdate: 05/16/14
Will has revealed that he’s working with Jack undercover to trap Hannibal Lecter as Lecter continues to push Will toward killing Mason. Margot finds Mason has stolen her unborn child, and Mason tries to push Will toward the edge. Dr. Du Maurier is brought in to try to find a way to capture Hannibal and comes with a warning. When Mason Verger targets Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal shows what he can do to those who threaten him.
2.13 Mizumono Airdate: 05/23/14
Time is up for Hannibal and Hannibal is preparing to flee. Will Graham and Jack Crawford are moving in on Hannibal without his knowledge that he is about to be caught in a double-cross which could put Hannibal away forever…but Jack’s finds his desperate attempt to stop Lecter could go up in smoke, and Hannibal might have a surprising ally.