Hannibal – “Coquilles” (Season 1, Episode 5)

Hannibal Season 1 Episode 5 - "Coquilles"“Coquilles” is the first episode of Hannibal to disappoint me. This is less a failing of the episode than the circumstances surrounding it. Without knowing the full details of the fourth episode, unscreened in the wake of the Boston bombings, the show’s narrative opacity became a liability; the brief “previously on” segment did little to fill in the substantial gaps in my understanding.

I don’t have an issue with asking questions of Hannibal; being uncertain of what exactly is happening with Will’s sleepwalking is fine; it’s a natural extension of the mental trauma and pressure placed on him over the show thus far, even if the details are murky. But what happened to Abigail, last seen with Hannibal? What brought on the animosity between Will and Jack Crawford? Unanswered questions like these left me largely disengaged.

That said, this was far from a bad episode. Gina Torres, as Crawford’s wife, delivered a forceful performance in her total acceptance of her cancer; I just wish we’d had a proper introduction to her character. The “angels” – both engulfed in flame beforehand and posed in a macabre diorama after their encounter with the Angelmaker – were a perfectly horrible image, simultaneously sickening and beautiful.

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