Hannibal: “Buffet Froid”

Although “Buffet Froid” was not quite on the same level of quality the show has been recently, it was, nevertheless, a welcome look into Will Graham’s character. I can’t really decide if this show is truly about Will or Hannibal, and I think that contrast is intentional, but the scales have definitely been tipped in Hannibal’s favor as of late. In “Buffet Froid” we learn that there is more going on in Will’s head than the kind of crazy we already know about. The real problem with Will is a nasty case of encephalitis and an even nastier neurologist and psychiatrist who seem to think the Hippocratic Oath is more of a suggestion.

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The fact that Will’s time lapsing and hallucinations are caused by inflammation in his brain rather than the way his mind works is more important than it first seems, and the presence of Georgia (Ellen Muth) really helps to bring out the significance of this contrast. Georgia has a true case of mental disorder. She believes she is dead (it probably helps that her skin is rotting off her body), and she can’t recognize the faces of other people. These beliefs cause her to act out in violent mistrust. Will, on the other hand, is able to put himself in the shoes of almost anyone, even violent, sadistic killers, but at the end of the day, he knows who he is as shown by his ability to repeat Hannibal’s identity exercise. Of course knowing who he is doesn’t stop him from losing large chunks of time or mistakenly believing he is responsible for the murders of others, but these lapses in identity are apparently the result of a physical affliction in his brain not his personality disorder.

320356_564476036908504_1182789782_nUnlike Georgia, Will is in control of his psychiatric problems, just not his physical ones. But as Georgia’s mother eerily points out, we don’t know much at all about mental illness when it comes down to it. Where does a physical affliction end and a psychiatric one begin. What happens when, as in Will’s case, the two conditions bleed together, take over the same brain. And, most importantly for the audience, why on earth is Hannibal so eager to see it happen?

Hannibal seems to be positioning Will for something. What it is I’m not exactly sure yet. There’s no question he is actively weakening him, mentally speaking. He’s also increasing his dependence on him as a psychiatrist or a voice of reason. But what is the end result? Is he making Will weaker as an inescapable future enemy? Could he feel closer to Will as a potential ally when he is off the rails? Or could it be as simple as he’s just interested to see where Will will go on the road of madness? He states that he sees Will as something of a rare creature, a mind of pure empathy. Is this manipulation coming more from Hannibal the serial killer or Hannibal the professional psychiatrist. Whatever the result, “Buffet Froid” cleared one thing up for certain. Hannibal certainly doesn’t have Will’s best well-being in mind, despite what he may say.

Additional Notes

  • Jeez Beth LeBeau, I thought my house was creepy looking.
  • I found it a little unbelievable that Georgia, who is suffering from numerous medical ailments, the least of which include her skin flopping off of her arm like a glove, has the strength to pull Beth’s whole body underneath the bed that quickly. Also how did she have the strength to follow Will around to all those places.
  • Speaking of which, this is the first time we have seen the murder actually take place in real time.
  • Dr. Sutcliff definitely wins the worst doctor of the year award. Ironically, the prize for that award also just happens to be getting your head cut in half by Mads Mikkelsen. Ouch.
  • Hannibal has quite the nose. I wonder how many other diseases he knows purely by their scent. That’s also quite a call back to that time he weirdly sniffed Will’s hair.
  • It took a while, but Hannibal is officially renewed for a second season, which I for one am very excited about. With only a few episodes left in the first season, I’m interested to see how the many dangling story threads will tie themselves together.

 

Daniel Dye

Daniel Dye

Daniel Dye

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