TV Review: Hannibal, S01E11, Roti

Wagging tongues and hanging organs - Hannibal and his posse keep things fluid in this episode

Sharin Bhatti June 17, 2022
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography

“Sometimes all we can do is watch…” Gillian Anderson’s character in the TV series, Dr Bedelia Du Maurier ends the episode with the line that defines the series of thrilling events that unravel during its 43-minute length. Let’s start with the encephalitis-ridden but instinctively-brilliant FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). He’s losing his lucidity to fluidity, literally. The swelling in his brain is causing him to hallucinate to the level of seeing everything around him flood over, as if the world is turning to water. He’s still breaking into sweats, seeing Garreth Jacob Hobbs in everybody, the antlers everywhere and losing his mind. But he’s the hero of this episode, whose found an unlikely empathy in psychiatrist/friend/manipulator/cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).  Lecter, in his own twisted way, is seeking comfort in Graham’s diseased state and as we found out in the previous episode is fearing it’s treatment. But he rises against all odds, nonethless, by killing the killer of the episode Dr Abel Gideon even in his disillusioned state. The fact that Graham thinks he’s killed an already dead Hobbs is besides the point.

Viewers will remember Dr Gideon (Eddie Izzard) from the show’s sixth epsiode, the transplant surgeon committed to a psych facility for murdering his wife who is psyched into believing that he is the Chesapeake Ripper, Lecter’s extra-curricular, unidentified namesake.  Gideon is suing his psychiatrist Dr Frederick Chilton (Raul Esparza) for leading him to impale a nurse. On his way to the courthouse, Gideon escapes by killing all the members of the police crew escorting him. He slits, hacks and hangs their organs from trees like they were fruit. His next target are multiple psychiatrists who treated him over the years he was committed. He pulls out their tongues and reattaches them back on the outside on their necks, where they wag like dogtails before the victims die. He later kidnaps reporter Freddy Lounds and gets her to assist him in keeping Chilton alive, while he performs conscious organ removal surgery on him.

If you’ve been a Hannibal viewer, these gory kill images are something you’d have a much satiable stomach for by now. Satiable, because cinematographer James Hawkinson has conditioned us over the previous 10 episodes with countless dinner feasts, lung deflating, human totem poles and impaling scenes to take in gore with an enormous appetite. Only he and show creator Bryan Fuller can make gore look appetizing and oh so pretty.

Two things are clear from this episode - Graham’s encephalitis will most likely get the better of him in the coming episodes leading up to the season finale and Lecter’s secret identity won’t be suppressed for much longer. The challenge would be to keep the momentum. Till then we’re happy feasting on all the meat Fuller and team can offer.

Watch the promo of the 12th episode:

  • The 12th episode of “Hannibal” will air on Friday, June 21, 2022 at 10 pm on AXN.