Ask any of my friends, I am a huge, huge fan of the TV series Hannibal. In fact,I’ve been a fan of the Hannibal Lecter character for years. I wanted to rent Silence of the Lambs when I was 6 at Blockbuster. So naturally when the series came out I was hooked from the very first episode. It’s very beautifully done, the character development is strong and they carefully stay within the lines of how Hannibal Lecter should be. Unfortunately, about half way through the much anticipated Season 3, NBC canceled the show and I’m sorry to say I’m glad they did.
The two powerhouse characters of the show are, of course, Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. The show revolves around them but unfortunately both characters took the back seat for this last season so that more irrelevant and poorly executed characters could shine. I don’t blame the acting, I blame the writing when I caught up with the latest episode “Digestivo” (3×07) yesterday. This episode really clenched it for me that there just was no effort being made in this series at all anymore.
No one is supposed to like Mason Verger. If you’re familiar with him from the movie Hannibal, then you already know that he’s that annoying but useless villain. Unfortunately, they focused a lot of time on him during this third season despite leaving things open as to how and why Hannibal decided to go to Florence with Bedelia. There was a few quick moments of Hannibal killing rude dinner guests and various people he needed out of the way, then it flashed to Will having some sort of mental breakdown over Abigail and ultimately Jack showing up in Italy to pursue Hannibal.
Then the show became about the Verger family. Alana Bloom decided she wanted to side with Mason in order to get revenge on Hannibal and in the process decided to become a lesbian with Margot. Mason spends a lot of time and money gathering people to hunt down and bring Hannibal back to the US and is successful for some reason. Meanwhile, Will has to try and come to grips with whether he actually forgives Hannibal or wants to kill him. Which puts Hannibal in a blind rage…again.
I don’t understand how Mason ended up getting the two of them at his farm or why the writers decided to slap-dash the whole ordeal together in one episode. Mason quickly loses control of the situation when Alana and Margot decide they’re not on Mason’s side and cut Hannibal loose and beg him to take revenge. There’s also an inexplicable 8 month old fetus inside a pig. Because, you know, pig surrogates can carry a human baby to nearly full term but the baby will conveniently die causing the two women to lose their shit. What?
Hannibal does his magic, frees Will and Margo and Alana kill Mason in this accidental sort of way and manage to–with Hannibal’s help–harvest a pathetic amount of sperm from Mason via prostate stimulation and hope that somehow that teaspoon amount will give Margot a “Verger baby” so she can keep the family fortune.
Chiyo teleports across the world to follow and “protect” Hannibal as he carries Will from Maryland to Wolf Trap, Virginia to put him safe and sound back in his fold out bed.
Will doesn’t want to play Hannibal’s game anymore, tells him to piss off and Hannibal, feeling butt-hurt, turns himself into the FBI.
Yep. I’ve seen better writing in fanfiction.
Probably one of the most frustrating things about this season is how they sort of let the relationship between Will and Hannibal deflate. They built it up in a huge way in the last two seasons, only to let it get buried under nonsense. The pair got such little screen time this season that it may as well have been an entirely different series that they got a cameo role in.
Honestly, they could have left it alone and be done at the second season. It ended in a shitty, cliff-hanger way but it didn’t go on to borrow seasons from movies that took place years after all of this happened. Why did Hannibal go to Florence to kill someone he would end up killing much later on during the events of the movie when the plot focused on Agent Starling? Why would they jump ahead like that? Hannibal had escaped from prison in the movie and here in the series he’s just now going in. Same with the whole Mason Verger plot. He tried to enact his revenge on Hannibal during that same movie years after he was almost killed. His sister was never a part of the movie or talk of a family heir.
They could have just let the second season end with Hannibal being arrested as the FBI swarmed his house after he attempted to murder Will, Alana and Jack. That would have made a lot more sense. Instead however, they’re now going to focus on the Red Dragon movie.
We’re taking two full movie steps back to now focus on that plot line, taking the time line completely out. Hannibal has been freshly caught, murdered people he won’t kill for another 10 years and now we’re talking about the Red Dragon.
Since the average season lasts 12 episodes, that means we’re going to get treated with yet another hurried sequence of nonsensical events in order to make the show tie into every move except Silence of the Lambs. Knowing how this show is going, they probably will fast forward a bit to the introduction of Clarice Starling at the end of this season as another cliff hanger.
I’m really disappointed in this season. After they spent the first two seasons cautiously building up the characters it seems like the third season was written and directed by an entirely different team. I’m actually glad it’s being canceled. I’ve seen shows like Dexter start out really strong and cool only to get ruined by writers getting bored and creating scenarios that don’t make any sense to the flow of the story or the character. I don’t want to see Hannibal end up as a lumberjack in Canada alongside Dexter.