Hannibal – “Trou Normand” (Season 1, Episode 9)

Hannibal - Season 1, Episode 9, Trou Normand - Corpse Totem“Trou Normand” opens on a majestic and terrible spectacle, a totem of twisted corpses reaching to the sky. It’s grand and imposing, but belies the subtlety of an episode populated with little moments like Abigail’s look of recognition as she tastes the meat that Hannibal has served; or, amidst a gripping confrontation between Will and Hannibal, Hannibal’s hand hovering briefly over a scalpel, or the shadows of his curtains leaving bars across his face.

Like the corpse-totem, the episode was carefully-constructed and symmetrical, the symmetry revolving around Abigail Hobbs: think the totem’s creator (Lance Henriksen) and how his obsession with legacy and fatherhood mirrored Abigail’s relationship with her ‘fathers.” Or Abigail being haunted by Boyle in the same way that her father haunts Will. Abigail finally admitting her lies to herself about her father’s murders while, in Will’s subconscious, his suspicions of Hannibal continue to grow.

Hannibal - Season 1, Episode 9, Trou Normand - Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen

“Trou Normand” feels like it’s from a show that’s been around for years, the strongest episode of the show thus far. It’s a confident, accomplished episode that calls back to earlier events and builds on character relationships that feel far deeper than they should for a show that’s not even into double digit episodes.

4 thoughts on “Hannibal – “Trou Normand” (Season 1, Episode 9)

  1. “…little moments like Abigail’s look of recognition as she tastes the meat that Hannibal has served; or, amidst a gripping confrontation between Will and Hannibal, Hannibal’s hand hovering briefly over a scalpel”
    Yes, and yes! I loved those subtle moments and I was wondering who else noticed them!

    • Thanks for the comment – I love how this show rewards close watching along with the big, grand gestures. It really is a very well-constructed show, here’s hoping it gets a few more seasons!

  2. I love all the subtle touches in this episode! Still, I think the subplot was very much secondary in every way to the main plot, but yes – Hannibal has a depth after only nine episodes that other series take far longer to achieve!

    • I actually really enjoyed how the subplot wasn’t lingered upon: it provided some grotesque eyecandy and mirrored what was happening in the main plot in many ways without being too overt about it. Now that the show’s fleshed out its characters a bit, I’m glad for it to embrace a little more serialisation. After all, no killer-of-the-week is going to be half as interesting as Lecter himself! It would have been nice to see more of Lance Henriksen, though.

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