Hannibal Review: Unmasked

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"Buffet Froid" was one of the harder episodes of Hannibal to wrap my mind around, but as I thought about it more, I’m beginning to think that was the entire point... aside from Will’s Advanced Encephalitis and the shocking ending.

Preying On Fear

Will’s Encephalitis that has taken over one entire half of his brain is a development on its own. The kind of situations Will is investigating for the BAU is deeply traumatic for him already and his hallucinations are only growing worse. While there’s no real knowledge at this point if Will’s job is the cause of the Encephalitis, it’s still interesting to ponder if his body is fighting against him each time he puts himself in the head of the killers.

But the biggest development is that only Lecter knows about the disease. He continues his sympathetic, good guy persona, but his manipulations of Dr. Sutcliffe under the guise of friendship and research make it clear: Lecter wants to pry deeper into Will’s brain and manipulate him further. By making Will think it’s mental rather than physical, Lecter can provide the necessary support and counseling Will thinks he needs. And Lecter can continue making sure Will and the BAU stay on good – and trustful – terms.

The bigger idea behind Lecter’s manipulations is that he probably knows only Will has the skill set necessary to catch him... and if he can guide Will towards a shiny new straight jacket he’ll be free to continue killing.

Even though Will is being manipulated and lead on from all aspects of his life, I’m glad the BAU team rallied around him. Even Jack, who is probably coming from a mostly selfish place, allowed Will to lean on him and use him as a constant as his hallucinations and mental health begin to deteriorate:

I am not sand; I am bedrock. | permalink

The difficulty from “Buffet Froid” stems from Georgia (and, yes, apparently the character is a reinterpretation of the Dead Like Me character, according to Bryan Fuller) being sort of dead but not really. Did Will imagine meeting her? Did Georgia really follow him. And what is her role in the murders?

What is shocking, and what is going to make the rest of Hannibal Season 1 so exhilarating, is that Georgia “saw” Hannibal brutally murdering Dr. Sutcliffe. She just needs to begin to uncover and unmask his face. Knowing Hannibal, Lecter is most likely going to be the man who is going to help her get over the trauma she’s experienced.

What are your thoughts on the episode?

NOTE: NBC renewed Hannibal for Season 2 today!


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (69 Votes)

Great episode. When I realized Lecter was experimenting on Will, his (guinea) pig....yikes!


joyeful, Thanks for the tip! I honestly wasn't sure, so I just went with the NBC press release which capitalized it. Granted, I should always take those with a grain of salt considering how error prone they are....


so hannibal had to murder Dr. Sutcliffe just so that Will never finds out that what he's experiencing is a medical condition is encephalitis and not a mental illness? is that it?


I forgot to mention - the scene where Will "wakes up" in the crime scene in the middle of his reconstruction, that was an AWESOME scene. Hugh Dancy should get an Emmy for that alone. P.S. You don't have to capitalize "encephalitis" :)


I think this was the episode that finally spelled out in no uncertain terms than Hannibal Lecter is a villain. No ambiguity, no questioning whether he has honourable motives. For one, this is the first time we see him "working". There was no mistaking what Hannibal's motives were. He wants to make Will go nuts so he can't find him out. This episode was really hard for me to watch. For one, it was freakin creepy. Two - I work with neurologists in neurology research. The idea that Sutcliffe actually LIED to Will about his incredibly serious medical condition in order to study it just made me want to explode. At the least, it's unethical. At the most, that's unspeakably horrifying. Also, I sincerely hope that SOMEONE will think of checking Will's medical records, given that his neurologist got suspiciously killed while seeing him...


You know, it was weird, maybe as early as the dinner, I was thinking, Hannibal would want to be the only person who knows Will's issues and wouldn't he be happier with that. But then I thought maybe Dr. Sutcliffe is one who Hannibal considers an actual friend, he didn't seem to have an issue lying to Will and kind of saw it as a science experiment. Then my thought was, maybe this was wrong, but did I get the sense there isn't a treatment for Will's condition? I know he is alive for quite a while from this point. Then, I totally forgot that thought and jumped when we walked in on Hannibal with Georgia. I actually honestly thought Hannibal under everything did have Will's best interest at heart, just out of respect of a real adversary. But this is mean. Randomly, I am pleased to see that the random dogs that Will has collected has finally done something to warn him or alert him. I have kept thinking, if I start sleep walking, heck, if I get up to go to the bathroom, my cat follows me. I even think my dog followed me and he didn't like anyone. But I know my cat would start meowing at the top of her lungs. I was also glad that Will recognized that the woman from the BAU team (what are any of their names?) is the person who would be most understanding of him and that she was. That was the most honest I have heard Will in awhile.


I have to say I'm loving what they are doing with Hannibal and very glad it's been renewed. Mads M is just quickly becoming one of my favourite actors.


Yay that Hannibal has been renewed, I love this show......I am going to watch again, I am confused about the encephalitis. Can it not be treated? Is it fatal? I don't want Will to have a death sentence

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Hannibal Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

I am not sand; I am bedrock.


I feel like I'm fading.