Recap: “Hassun,” Hannibal, Season 2, Episode 3


Hannibal and its symmetries. It strikes me that there’s a symmetry at the very core of the show: Hannibal and Will facing each other, virtually the same man, but one evil, one good. Almost like a distorted mirror. Here, FBI agents confront each other in the lobby of a courthouse that looks as much like a cathedral dedicated to the worship of geometry and clean-line design as a hall of justice.


Lecter may be a cannibal and monster, but he’s not afraid to take some fashion risks.


The methods of confinement and restraint Will is subject to are so bizarre. Look at this little cage; notice the guard station reminiscent of a panopticon in the background.


In almost all these face-to-face scenes, the scenes in which characters are pitted against each other by geography, there’s an overpowering light in the background.


Just a totally average crime scene in the world of Hannibal.


So many themes of the season in one shot: face to face confrontation, discussion over a table, symmetrical shot composition, odd prison architecture, background light.


In some ways, especially in the eyes of killers, people are just slabs of meat in Hannibal. Slabs of meat that get sliced through with ease. This is a good example of the innovative shots offered by the show. In this case, a shot from inside the mouth of a dead man as his lips as sliced apart.


Will’s vision of Hannibal taking the stand. A wonderfully surreal shot. On some level, from the outset of the series, Will has known Lecter is this monster.


A broken symmetry. The two-shots are about people contending with each other, but with Will in prison, Hannibal has no equal.


Violence on Hannibal is so operatic, so rococo. Its inventiveness is so refreshing that, if it weren’t upsetting, it would almost be beautiful.


Even the episode is symmetrical, ending where it began.

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