This is, sadly, where it all started to fall apart. I really wanted to like this show so much and then we were handed this crap season of crap. This will not be a spoiler-free review so don’t read it unless you don’t care about that. Honestly, it’s not even worth your time (and I found it wasn’t worth much of mine either) which is why I skipped a lot of episodes. How can you review a season of a show that you didn’t see much of, you’d ask? Well, because despite not seeing a lot of it I still know what happened (and have seen clips). I have also seen the first 3 episodes and the last 2 episodes. Given that there are only 13 episodes per season of this show that’s more than enough to give my opinion on what happened and why I don’t like it. Let’s move on, shall we.
Season 2 starts off on a good note with Will in jail and on trial for the crimes that Hannibal framed him for. Not too bad, as it should start there considering that’s where season one left off. Except, after that point, it quickly devolves into Hannigram love sickness. For those of you NOT in the know, Hannigram is the “Ship” name for the people who wanted Will and Hannibal to be lovers. This became a major plot point which overtook the show on several occasions and what ultimately ended up ruining it.
In the first episode, Bedelia (Hannibal’s psychiatrist) tells him that she thinks he’s dangerous and he needs to stop fucking around with Will. She says that she’s not going to be seeing him as a patient any longer and warns the FBI somewhat. Not enough, though. She vanishes shortly after that and it shows that Hannibal had a clear intent to kill her as he shows up at her house in his murder suit. She’s just gone by that point, having enough sense to run off. Bedelia could have helped the FBI far more than she did but I guess she found it funnier not to do that. In any case, after that point, Hannibal seems confused that Will hates him. He also seems confused as to why Will is in jail even after going out of his way to frame Will and put him there.
That’s when a character played by Johnathan Tucker is introduced. Someone named Matthew Brown. You don’t see him at first but Hannibal hires him to copycat kill while Will is in prison in order to prove to the court that Will couldn’t possibly be the killer or something. This ends up getting Will released. Not before Beverly can be killed AND Will can also convince Matthew Brown (who he doesn’t know is also working with Hannibal) to attempt to kill Hannibal. Matthew Brown being the most deus ex machina of a character that ever existed in the history of everything.
The summary of Matthew Brown is basically that he was willing to work for/with Hannibal to get Will out of jail because he was infatuated with Will as a killer, even though Will was not a killer. Then, he just happened to work at the same hospital/jail that Will was being kept and allowed to interact with Will all the time because he was an orderly. He was left alone with Will enough that Will could talk him into killing Hannibal (or attempting to) with almost no questioning of the situation. This leads to a scene where Hannibal is tied to a crucifix and in a speedo with Matthew gives some long villain monolog about how great he is because he’s going to kill the Chesapeake ripper. Which delays time long enough to allow him to get caught, shot, and Hannibal to be saved. Fuller claimed up and down Matthew survived and would be back in season three but no such thing ever happened.
This is also the time in which Will convinces Beverly to go check out Hannibal’s house (without a warrant which she’d never actually do being in her position) and get evidence and that leads up to her being killed. She also failed to tell anyone where she was going or what she was doing, letting Hannibal be on the run even longer. He also ended up getting in a relationship with Alana because he needed to use her as an alibi. Though, in season one there were indications that she liked Hannibal there was also indications she was more into Will. Then she was very quick to throw Will away to fuck Hannibal because…reasons? Hannibal, who didn’t even like her and at some point, Alana must have known this as it seems that she slowly came to believe Will about Hannibal being the ripper? Maybe. I’m unclear of this.
After Will is released from prison, Miriam Lass is found alive she’s just missing an arm. Which indicates that Hannibal has all the time in the world to amputate arms and keep girls prisoner. For no reason other than the off chance that he might want to frame someone random at a later date. He chooses Frederick Chilton which everyone seems to believe with no hesitation. Which you think they would have because of Chilton’s size and condition. In season one, Abel Gideon opens him up and rearranges his organs and he loses a kidney. This leaves him to walk with a cane. He also can’t eat meat. Yet, Alana is VERY quick to throw him under the bus and agree he HAS to be the Ripper even though she’s known him for many more years than Hannibal (it seems). Hannibal also uses Chilton to frame Chilton. As if a man would set up a bunch of dead bodies in his own house then call the cops on himself to get himself caught and then run away from the cops when they came to get him.
There was some weird sex orgy thing in episode six. Will has sex with lesbian Margot Verger because she wants to have a baby and once is all it takes cause she gets pregnant. This leaves her brother to abort her baby because he just happens to know how to do this I guess? It leaves Margot barren. Bedelia only reappears in episode 12 to give somewhat useful information about Hannibal and then she’s not heard from again. Presumably put into witness protection at that point. Obviously, she’s been hiding from Hannibal and she makes a deal to get immunity with the FBI if she tells on him but also doesn’t really seem to give GOOD information.
By the end, they are all convinced Hannibal is the Ripper. They should have been convinced of this FAR before that point. A plan is formed to somehow frame Hannibal and there is a massive fight and bloodbath in Hannibal’s kitchen. Though Will spends the entire season either wanting to kill Hannibal OR get him caught, at the very last moment he calls Hannibal to warn him that Jack is coming there. For some reason. Because Jack couldn’t have possibly been going there to arrest him as he had no reason to be arresting him and I have no idea how that worked. Alana gets there and she attempts to shoot Hannibal but he took the bullets out of her gun. Then Abigail is alive for 5 minutes while she shoves Alana out of a window only to be killed later to “hurt Will” after he is also stabbed stretching what should have been one season into two seasons. Hannibal leaves the scene of the crime as police arrive (somewhat) covered in blood and gets away consequence free with Bedelia on a plane and no one notices this.
New character and actor breakdown:
Matthew Brown (Johnathan Tucker): I have no complaints with the actor. I’ve seen him in several things and think he’s amazing. That being said, the character was piss poor and only an excuse to get Will out of jail never to be heard from again. The most I can say is that Johnathan worked well with the pile of crap called a script he was handed and that’s really all people can do in situations like that. Matthew Brown may have been an interesting character in his own right had he not only existed to fawn over Will (and possibly Hannibal?) and be a pawn to everyone’s bidding.
Bitch Lawyer (Cynthia Nixon): Honestly I don’t remember her name nor do I care to look it up. This lawyer was poorly written. Even more so than Matthew Brown. Despite being the legal counsel that represented the FBI she seemed to know absolutely nothing about law and what was right and wrong. Things that a simple google search would have cleared up for any layman trying to write a “realistic crime drama”. I’ve never been a fan of the actress but I have nothing against her so I have nothing to say about her as a person here just that the character was nonsensical and stupid.
Margot Verger (Katherine Isabelle): The character was awful and the actress was awful. We once again enter into an Abigail Hobbs situation of emo/damsel in distress girl except this one is in her 20’s and rich instead of 17 and poor white trash. She is also “super beautiful” as I’m told but I don’t share that opinion. I met her in real life and well, anyone with an inch worth of makeup on their face is going to be somewhat “pretty” but honestly I don’t get her appeal. This actress read her lines as if she were literally reading her lines after being pumped full of Xanax. I don’t understand why the character was interesting to anyone with how mopey and stupid she was. I think really the only reason people liked her was because she was a lesbian and “pretty” and not butch. This seems to make Tumblr go nutso and since the show (once again) was really only marketed to that type of audience it somewhat makes sense. When I watch Katherine in this role (or any other) I’m very aware that I am watching an actress. She is in no way worthy of being on this show and only “looked good” because of the talent she was surrounded by.
Mason Verger (Michael Pitt): Finally, another actor that is great and portrays the character as great. Mason is a crazy fucking asshole and Pitt has always had the ability to play crazy fucking assholes. Mason is the type of character you just LOVE to hate (and in the case of some fans LOVE). The fandom (for the most part) hated him and I mean irrationally so. They sometimes have problems telling reality from fantasy, I suppose. The scene where he cuts off his own face and eats it was an Oscar worthy performance of WHAT THE FUCK DUDE? And one of the best scenes in the entire season. The ensemble in that scene, him, Mads, and Hugh was just epic. One of the more redeeming qualities about that season was the portrayal of Mason and how painfully accurate it was to the character. Bravo, I say!
Where do I even start with this? Let’s just list them all so it doesn’t end up being a novel. I did cover some in the initial summary, though. This will just be a much quicker breakdown of all the issues:
- Hannibal being confused as to why Will is in jail and also why Will is upset with him
- The entire character of Matthew Brown being a plot device to save Will
- Beverly investigating Hannibal’s house illegally and not bothering to tell anyone where she went
- The introduction of the first fake death of Freddie Lounds and the recycling of the plot device from season one where they use Freddie to force a killer to surface via her writing
- Miriam Lass still being alive. Hannibal would have had no motivation to kidnap her, brainwash her, and amputate her arm other than to fuck with Jack which isn’t within the character of Hannibal Lecter
- Chilton being framed by Hannibal in the way he was framed and everyone just believing it because, why not?
- Abigail being alive after an entire year of Bryan Fuller confirming that she was dead only to attempt to kill Alana and then be killed five minutes later to hurt Will’s feelings
- No one believing Will even after Chilton recorded his conversations in prison with another prisoner and also believed Will
- Chilton being shot in the face in the way that he was when the bullet should have hit Alana before it would have ever hit him
- Hannibal being able to leave the country as easily as he did with Bedelia who I’m sure was on some kind of FBI watch list herself with how shady and involved with Hannibal she was
- Hannibal, presumably keeping Abigail and/or Miriam in his basement the entire time? Miriam would have had to have been kept there for years. If she was kept out in this remote cabin Hannibal had there would have been no way for him to have found the time to go take care of her while also doing everything he did.
- The bitch lawyer not knowing anything about actual law while also representing the FBI
- Somehow killing the judge on Will’s case and hanging him in the courthouse with no one noticing any of that was going on.
- Alana sleeping with Hannibal and seemingly forgetting how much she was in love with Will in season one
- Will warning Hannibal that Jack was coming to his house to do….something? Still unclear on what the hell Jack was going to do once he got there since he didn’t have a warrant or anything like that
- Hannibal just walking to Bedelia’s house in the rain after stabbing the shit out of a bunch of people and not being noticed?
- Alana calling the police before she entered Hannibal’s house and them somehow not arriving until WELL after the point that they needed to
- Freddie knowing everything about everyone (including somehow having information on Bedelia) with no indication of why or how she’d have gotten this information and then the whole “fake death” thing. (even if that scene was EPIC)
- Will hating and loving Hannibal back and fourth. Wanting to catch him or kill him but also wanting to run away with him?
- Margot being a lesbian but sleeping with Will just to have a baby. Why Will? Why not use your ungodly amount of money to get inseminated? How did she even KNOW Will and why did she like him that much?
I’m probably missing a TON of issues with the season two plot, to be honest, because I didn’t watch the whole season. A lot of the information I have is coming second hand so I could be wrong but I’m 98% sure I’m not. The season was more or less about how much Hannibal loved Will and what he’d do for the man. It also seemed to be about how much Will hated Hannibal but also secretly loved him. It focused too much on getting the two main characters to be gay with each other without actually being gay with each other. There was too much fan service, a point where Fuller turned Will into Clarice so he would have an excuse not to ever write Clarice, and his BIG ‘plot twist’ of keeping Abigail alive when she should have rightfully died in season one. The saddest thing of all is that this season had so much potential but it was all lost to fangirls on Tumblr who were really only concerned with Will and Hannibal having sexy gay “murder husband” times together.