TV Review: Hannibal S01E09, Trou Normand

Will Graham decodes a totem pole of bodies, Hannibal Lecter hopes to make a family

Sharin Bhatti June 4, 2022
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Cinematography
  • Screenplay

Dr Hannibal Lecter is a family man. His work-of-art fine dining meals, his impeccable attire, his laborious meat and organ selection is proof that the pudding is made with heart. If Thomas Harris is watching his “Red Dragon” come to screen again as Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal,” w’re sure that the three would be engaging in a most intriguing dinner conversation, of course served by Dr Lecter himself. Over the past few episodes, we have been getting to know the more humane side of Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen). His devotion and ache for patient-turned-”friend” Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), his paternal instincts towards victim-turned-survivalist killer Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl) and his dislike for the one who threatens theirs his existence FBI major Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne).

Lecter is soon leaving self-preservation behind and becoming more and more exposed to the hunting FBI tribe. He’s nearly coming clean if you will, having already killed in self-defence in the previous episode “Fromage.” He is owning up but he is not confessing yet.

The episode focuses on Hobbs reappearing from her psychiatric facility in Baltimore where she is haunted by her past. Succumbing to the guilt of having killed, she digs up the body of the man who tried to kill her in an attempt to not be haunted by the nightmares. The FBI circle the body and Hobbs like vultures already connecting her to the crime. Graham, in his analytic moments, discovers Hobbs is actually the killer and goes straight to Lecter. That’s when the dominoes threaten to tumble when Lecter tells Graham that Hobbs did kill the victim and that he helped her hide the body.

In an ideal situation Graham would go to Crawford. But manipulated by Lecter and burdened by the guilt of orpahning Hobbs, Lecter convinces him that they are both “fathers to Abigail now. She deserves better than how her own father treated her.” She’s the daughter of the cannibal, Garreth Jacob Hobbs, whom we meet in episode one.

Graham’s ease in letting go with Lecter has culminated over time and various crime solving moments they have been collectively a part of. In fact Graham is distancing himself from Crawford or as we are led to believe with his involvement in the show becoming slimmer by the episode.

Graham’s empathy disorder is also getting the better of him. Coupled with nightmares, he is now blacking out and losing time. The opening scene shows that when Graham begins to analyse an artfully crafted, ten feet tall totem pole of dismembered body parts in various stages of decomposition. A serial killer nearing retirement age was showing off. Graham blacks out and finds himself outside Dr Lecter’s chambers. Lecter readily takes him and encourages him to quit. Something a good psychiatrist and a caring friend would do.

Hannibal is unraveling and it’s going to be a helluva finish in episodes to come.

Watch the promo of the tenth episode:

    • The tenth episode of “Hannibal” will air on Friday, June 7, 2022 at 10 pm on AXN.