Hannibal: Season 2 review (Blu-ray)

If season one of Hannibal was a first course conspicuously centred on Dr. Will Graham (Dancy), the bountiful second course is where everyone’s favourite cannibal really sinks his teeth in. 

For a show titled ‘Hannibal’ the good doctor took more of a back seat than expected in season one. However, with Lecter’s favourite play thing now busy protesting his innocence from behind bars, there’s a lot more scope for Hannibal (Mikkelsen) to further exert his influence over his unsuspecting colleagues. It does initially miss the back and forth between the battling doctors due to the enforced separation, but it’s a sacrifice rewarded handsomely toward the season’s climax. 

What’s most impressive about the switch in focus from Will to Hannibal is the way in which the writers have still maintained something of a ‘murder of the week’ format, but one still intricately woven into a grander plot. The visual artistry (sumptuously captured in this 4-disc Blu-Ray set), both Lecter’s and the creators of the show, orchestrated at each murder is stunningly crafted, leaving the viewer to question the decency of being so consistently impressed with such grizzly scenes. 

This season also sees the addition of a well know character within the Thomas Harris series, played delectably yet offensively macabre by Michael Pitt, as well as Cynthia Nixon's no-nonsense agent brought in to investigate the events that lead to putting one of their own in jail.

Slowly but surely some of Lecter’s secrets start to come to light. The ante is well and truly upped and even his icy cool demeanour is tested when events don’t always play out the way he has carefully planned.

EXTRAS ★★★★ Commentary on selected episodes. 'Post Mortem with Scott Thompson' series of short interviews hosted by cast member Scott Thompson (not all spoiler-free). This is My Design featurette. The Style of a Killer featurette. Body of Lies featurette. Gag Reel. Deleted scenes.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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