Hannibal – “Buffet Froid” (Season 1, Episode 10)

Hannibal’s early episodes demonstrated an affinity for horror, realised in thick brushstrokes of sumptuous gothic tableaux and direct references to horror classics like The Shining. That horror focus has diminished, but not disappeared, as the season has continued, fleshing out both its characterisation and serialisation.

Hannibal Season 1, Episode 10 - "Buffet Froid"

“Buffet Froid” serves as a return to elegant, unnerving horror; the opening scenes, with ghostly, damp footprints across the ceiling (and floor) leading to gruesome murder as every child’s nightmare became reality, could have been the centrepiece of a good supernatural horror movie. The show’s control of atmosphere was once again flawless, thanks in large part to a precise use of music – the way the soundtrack mirrored the cacophony of an MRI machine in later scenes was an excellent example.

The episode was spare and desolate, appropriate given its true focus was not the boogeyman under the bed but the spectre of mental illness, an undercurrent helped along by the sinister hand of Dr Lecter and culminating in a perfect scene between Will and the “boogeyman,” a damaged girl named Georgia. Overall, an interesting, well-made episode, though not as gripping as the last few.

In related (excellent) news – Hannibal was just renewed for Season Two!

12 thoughts on “Hannibal – “Buffet Froid” (Season 1, Episode 10)

  1. This was such a frightening episode, in such stark colours – and quite a lot of it took place at night, which did not help. That culmination between the hunter and ‘boogeyman’ was so wonderful and powerful!

    Did you wonder how Georgia managed to get into the hospital without ANYONE noticing her, even if it was after hours?

    • Agreed on the first point – I imagine there’s a few people who’ll be checking under their beds very carefully before going to bed tonight!

      On the second, I think I’ll steal one of your one quotes from last week’s episode: “I think we long ago passed the point where suspension of disbelief was an option. Actually, forget passing it, disbelief was being dangled over a cliff edge from the very opening of the show. And that’s not a bad thing. Besides, did Archimedes not say, ‘Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth’?”

      …and follow it up with a quote from Will: “There’s a grandiosity to the violence I imagined that feels more real than what I know is true.”

      I think that most of what happens in this episode – and most of the show in fact – doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you think too hard about it; it’s like a hyper-reality, where serial killers (even mentally damaged ones who are basically lepers) have what are effectively supernatural powers.

      The hospital also seemed to be deserted – it wouldn’t surprise me if Hannibal had set that up (possibly by suggesting to Dr Sutcliffe that he treat Will after hours?) – but that doesn’t explain how Georgia managed to travel so far, undetected, in her condition (nor how she knew about Will in the first place).

      • You’re so right – I keep struggling to raise my head above the dream world sometimes, when I should just relax and go with the flow, and accept that the serial killers teleport and human flesh can be substituted for pretty much any sort of meat – except fish.

        That would make sense about the hospital – but I agree with you that it’s a bit unlikely that Georgia managed to find Will, let alone travel all that way. At a point of the year where it is snowing, without freezing to death. What was she doing, what was she eating – although maybe she wasn’t eating is she thought she was dead – where was she sleeping…

        …but then I remember to just roll with it. In our disbelief wagon. 😀

      • Yeah, there are definitely “plot holes” there but I don’t think they’re accidental; Fuller is certainly not interested in creating a realistic world here (and, though I haven’t seen his other shows like Pushing Daisies yet, I gather that’s the case in all his shows), so I’m just going to keep on the suspension of disbelief wagon. 🙂 I mean, if something is engaging and frightening and has great characterisation like Hannibal, I’m not going to complain if all the jigsaw pieces don’t quite fit together.

    • I remember shutting the windows right after the show started and settling myself down on the sofa. If I was going to enjoy the show, I’d be damned if someone was going to sneak through my window while I was thus “engaged” 🙂

      Oh, yes, plot holes. But as long as the story is engaging and it’s a feast to the eyes and the psyche, I can deal 😀

      • 😀 We Fannibals must never be disturbed when we be watching the show we helped to save!

        I agree with you; the plot holes, while still evident, don’t really matter that much when the rest of the show is just so very good! 😀

  2. The live tweeting ruined the suspense for me so I Already knew what was going to happen, but overall, a good episode. Remind me never to work with Hannibal, or be convinced to withhold certain information. And if he ever says I smell like opportunity, it’s my cue to run like hell.

    • I steadfastly avoid Twitter before shows I haven’t seen yet (as much as possible, anyway), so I thankfully managed to avoid getting spoiled – that would suck!

      And yeah, Dr Sutcliffe really got more than he bargained for, didn’t he? I do wonder if Hannibal chose to kill him for personal reasons (because he feared he would reveal to Will their deception) or simply because he was rude by describing Will as “Hannibal’s pig.”

      • Probably both. Sutcliffe had outlived his usefulness and Hannibal did give him this look when he said that Will wanted more tests.

        Hannibal probably just didn’t want the tests to happen without him there at the same time.

    • Thanks, Natasha! Very much appreciated! I think I’ll have to break my usual 200 word limit to satisfy the rules: I just need to put a post together doing the following, correct? “• Use the award logo in [that] post • Link to the person who nominated you. • Write ten “pieces of information about myself.” • Nominate ten fellow bloggers ‘who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.’ • Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them about the award.”

      I’m still new to the “blogosphere” as it were so I’m a little in the dark on the details. Is there a way to ensure that I don’t nominate someone who’s already been nominated? Thanks again!

      • Yeah that’s pretty much it 🙂
        I don’t usually worry if I nominate someone who’s already been nominated…there’s no way to find out who has already unless you go to a blog you want to award it to and check if they’ve already got it. Otherwise they’ll just be flattered that they’ve been awarded it twice! 😀

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