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'Hannibal' recap: Past is prologue

Season 2 | Ep. 1 | “Kaiseki” | Aired Feb. 28, 2014 

Ah, Hannibal. We had such a lovely time last year, but with the season 2 premiere, showrunner Bryan Fuller reminds us that 2013 was just preparation for what was coming and that we’d better get in, sit down, shut up and hold on.

He opens with dreamlike, slo-mo reflections in knife blades. Colleagues Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and FBI Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne)  confront each other in Hannibal’s kitchen, but something is not quite right as their hands reach for weapons. The next thing you know, Fishburne and Mikkelsen are putting their past movie stunt work into action in one helluva fight scene.


Knives thrown, refrigerator door slammed, apron used to disarm, and all of it leads up to Crawford rendering Hannibal unconscious. Or does he? You know as well as I do that this can’t end this smoothly — and just when we realize that, Hannibal stabs Crawford in the neck with a glass shard. You’re asking yourself, How can this be? They’re going to reveal Hannibal this early? That doesn’t make sense. It must be a dream sequence. Nope, even better. The words flash on screen: “12 Weeks Earlier.” This is the part where you sigh in relief and rub your hands gleefully together. Because now we know what season 2 will bethe road from here to there.

The season premiere reveals life in the aftermath of Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). The FBI’s shining star has crashed, and now everyone has to process their feelings while figuring out if Will did it, how he did it and why he did it.  We see Will locked up in Baltimore State Hospital (all thanks to Hannibal — but more on that later) while F.B.I. consultant Dr. Frederick Chilton (Raul Esparza) drones on. On a side note, I love Esparza, and his take on Chilton is super. Esparza makes him more smug than smarmy, and so sure of himself, all while being the pompous ass that Chilton is. I mean, Chilton records Will talking to people in his cell. How jerky is that?

Sorry, I digress. Upshot: Graham’s in the psych ward because it looks like he killed Abigail Hobbs (daughter of serial killer Garrett Jacob Hobbs), Crawford’s in the doghouse now that his prize criminal profiler seems to have become a serial killer and Hannibal, who we all know is a serial killer, is free as a bird.

Meanwhile, in Rockville, Md., we come upon a serene scene: Two workers — I’m guessing National Park workers — wade through a river grousing because they’ve been called about an obstruction. A beaver dam seems to have blocked things up. One of the guys pokes the middle of the mass of branches and — ZOMG, dead body reveal. Bobbing bodies and terrified workers. Beaver dam is people!

Cut to two different conversations between Lecter and his therapist Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) that are both informative and chilling. Du Maurier thinks Hannibal is obsessed with Will Graham. Hannibal demurs; he’s not obsessed. Nooooooo. Still, Hannibal helped at the Rockville scene. They’ve pulled five bodies out of that dam, and Hannibal figures out they’ve been injected with silicone, the same way people taxidermy fish. Cause, y’know, everyone knows that stuff. We later learn that heroin and a color preservative are also being used. Our killer seems to be making lifelike mannequins.

We meet a young man on a subway train, a hand slides onto his and then away, and a voice offscreen says, “You have nice skin.” Later, at home, when that same guy’s car alarm goes off, we know bad things are coming. The plastic in the trunk is just the kicker as we see the shadow behind him.

Hannibal: Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. Photo: Brooke Palmer/NBC/NBCU Photo BankBut back to Will in the psych ward. Will’s in that cell—you know the one. I kept waiting for Miggs to say something, but no Miggs, just Hannibal. On the free side of the cell. Now, that just feels bizarre. Hannibal has come to be sympathetic, understanding. Will’s having none of it because he knows Hannibal set him up but can’t remember how, which leads him to ask Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) to hypnotize him. Lucky us! We get to watch Will relieve the moment when Hannibal shoves a tube down his throat (major props to the Foley artists — thanks for freaking me out) and putting Abigail Hobbs’  ear down the tube.

Say it with me. WTF?

I admit, I started talking to the TV at this point. Don’t tell me that was real. I thought that was a dream. Did Will really eat the ear? Yes. Yes he did.

Oh and, that kid from earlier? From the subway train and the plastic-lined trunk? We get to see him again, right at the end. He’s alive. But he’s posed and he can’t move.

Amid bodies. So many bodies.

So many screams.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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