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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Even the episode is symmetrical, ending where it began.

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