Hannibal Season 1 was a thing of beauty. It was perfectly cast, the acting was sublime, the score frequently caused goosebumps, and every frame was so pretty that it made you want to cry.
Hannibal Season 2 is much of the same, but more.
The opening episode follows on from Season 1’s finale after a brief but bloody flash-forward. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is stuck in Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane after being framed for murder by Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), who is throwing dinner parties.
This setup continues for another six episodes, but stays fresh thanks to new characters, new crimes, new hallucinations and new hors d’oeuvres.
Once Will gets released from prison and appears to let go of his vendetta against Hannibal it’s smooth sailing for a while, with more focus on cases and criminals (watch out for a brilliant turn from Michael Pitt as Mason Verger). And then, of course, in the spirit of Hannibal, it all goes spectacularly tits up.
What makes the show really, very special is the relationship between Will and Hannibal and the extreme tension that radiates from every frame whenever they are alone in a room together. Will Hannibal kiss him? Will he kill him? Will he eat him? Mixed signals, man.
Literally anything could happen at this point and it would still be feasible.
Will and Hannibal’s close and damaging relationship starts to morph them into one character. Dancy loses a fair chunk of the vulnerability that held Will back in Season 1 and begins to exhibit some of the psychopathic tendencies that make his therapist so chilling. Mikkelsen, on the other hand, brings Hannibal down to a more human level while also playing him as the god he believes he is.
Finally, good news for gore fans: Hannibal leaves human totem poles behind this season and kicks it up a notch with human beehives, human mosaics and humans inside horses.
And someone gets their face torn off, so look forward to that.