Hannibal – “Sorbet” (Season 1, Episode 7)

Hannibal - Season 1, Episode 7 "Sorbet"

Despite its title, Hannibal has spent little time with its eponymous serial killer sophisticate. Precisely captured by Mads Mikkelsen in an engaging, restrained performance, Dr Lecter has spent most of the season as a supporting character, someone for Will or Jack to bounce their thoughts off. Seven episodes in, the show takes the opportunity to scrutinise the not-so-good doctor.

“Sorbet” may not be the most eventful episode of television – the plot is threadbare, with the FBI’s leads on the “Chesapeake Ripper” (Hannibal) only turning up a clumsy organ-thief – but the focus on Hannibal is richly rewarding as a character study. Much of the episode is spent in conversation – Hannibal with his patients, or his own psychiatrist (Gillian Anderson) or in the kitchen, where languorous photography makes cannibalism look almost appealing.

I keep going to use the word “restrained,” because it’s the best way to describe the episode, which pulls back on its maximalist tendencies to achieve the same effect with recipe cards and a rolodex as it has with gory displays (though there’s plenty of that too). There’s careful development of storylines I’d love to see come to fruition, so here’s hoping the renewal/cancellation news from NBC tomorrow is good.

4 thoughts on “Hannibal – “Sorbet” (Season 1, Episode 7)

  1. I love this show. I also love how they have been holding Hannibal back to show how Will and Jack trusted Hannibal and to show how much it would have shocked the Baltimore community to find out Hannibal was a monster.

    • Totally. Unlike Hopkin’s deliciously hammy take on Lecter, you can see how people would trust Mikkelsen’s Lecter (and even, in Franklin’s case, worship him). That said, there were a couple little hints tonight that Will is starting to suspect Hannibal; if they dragged out his discovery for too long I don’t know that I’d buy it.

      Of course, that would be a good problem to have. At the moment, the prospect of even getting a second season is very much up in the air!

  2. I really liked how this episode gave us an insight into Hannibal’s mindset, and just what he does with his days and possibly how he regards Will. Restrained is the right word, though it also, strangely, managed to be completely over the top and had me laughing practically all the way through!

    • Thanks for the comments – It was definitely very funny! I think Mads Mikkelsen’s performance is a big reason for the way it can pull off a restrained, quiet episode and have be so darkly funny at the same time. There’s an interview with him that sums up his approach to the role and how it makes this episode so successful:

      “He points to a dining scene where Hannibal tells Jack, “Next time, bring your wife. I’d love to have you BOTH for dinner.”

      Viewers all too familiar with Hannibal’s dietary fetish may be tickled by that line and its secondary meaning. But Mikkelsen delivers it as if nothing more than a gracious invitation.

      “I can never wink at the audience,” he says, noting that Jack and Will aren’t dummies: “Will is the best profiler in the world.” So his performance must always accommodate their brilliance. “I can’t be having fun with a line like this, without them seeing it!””

      – from http://bigstory.ap.org/article/tasty-turn-mads-mikkelsen-nbcs-hannibal

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