We’re used to Hannibal Lecter holding the fork. He’s always eating the meal, he’s never the entree.
But in season two of the TV series Hannibal, which returns Friday, Feb. 28 on NBC and City, sometimes the silverware gets passed around, figuratively speaking.
True, Hannibal Lecter, played by Mads Mikkelsen, literally has gotten away with murder by framing his friend Will Graham, played by Hugh Dancy. But fascinatingly, Hannibal misses Will.
And Will, who is a brilliant criminal profiler, has some tricks of his own up his sleeve.
“I do enjoy the little intimate scenes with Will,” Mikkelsen said. “It started out as a small friendship and it became bigger and bigger. Now, obviously, it’s broken. And we have to mend it, repair it.
“But there are quite a few scenes where Hannibal is playing his cards wrong. Will is getting the upper hand this season to a degree, which is quite interesting.”
As season two of Hannibal begins, Will is locked in a mental asylum. Will now sees Hannibal for what he truly is. The problem for Will is that no one else sees it. Or do they?
“(Season one) was a slow, steady buildup (for Will), just starting from a place of basic depression,” Dancy said. “That spiral, that progression over the course of the 13 episodes, was so well charted out, and Bryan (Fuller, executive producer) had described it to me. He basically said when we started, ‘At the end of the season, you are going to vomit up in the air.’ And I thought, ‘Okay, that’s all I need to know, that gives me the trajectory I need.’
“But in the relationship with Hannibal and working with Mads and kind of going further down that rabbit hole, it actually fell into place in a very straight-forward way. Dark as it may be, it was incredibly fun and rewarding. In fact, the worse it got for (Will), the more I enjoyed it, which may be to do with me, I don’t know. But this season it’s even worse, so I’ve been very happy.”
Personally, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this series. On the positive side, I think it is exquisitely, artistically done in a general sense. The production is brilliant, the look is amazing, the acting is great. As far as my squeamishness goes, though, there are moments that are just, well, gross. I wish I didn’t have to turn my head quite so often. But I understand this is a story about Hannibal Lecter, who was featured first in the books Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising by author Thomas Harris, before he was brought to life on the big screen by Anthony Hopkins.
“I think he is Lucifer,” said Mikkelsen, bluntly. “He is the fallen angel.
“I don’t think Hannibal is a psychopath. Reading about psychopaths, they normally have a traumatized childhood or there’s something they’re struggling with. He doesn’t have it. He’s as happy as you can get. I rarely have given life to a character who is as happy as him.
“But he’s honest in his emotions regarding Will. Hannibal is having a hard time trying to regain that friendship. It’s his main target this season. That’s uphill, of course.”
Really, a false murder accusation could impact a friendship? Who knew?