Hannibal is back tonight, and it looks like this second season will be even more appetizing than the first.

After a long hiatus, NBC’s Hannibal is back on our TV screens, and the creative crime drama is better than ever. 

The end of the first season of Hannibal left Will Graham in Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, incarcerated there following his arrest for the murders so many believe he committed. Not only does Will have to try to prove his innocence, he has to do so from a cell, and without the support team he’s had in the past.

Hannibal Season Finale: 19 Creepiest Moments from “Savoureux”>>>

Speaking of that support team, all our favorites are back in (at least) the first two episodes of this season, and it’s great to see every one of them! Bedelia Du Maurier, portrayed effortlessly by Gillian Anderson, has more of a presence than during her previous appearances on the show, and I highly approve. Not just because I’m a fan of her character and the actress, but her increased role adds something to the storyline, and may be the key to Will’s defense. Stay tuned.

Laurence Fishburne is excellent as well, and the opening scene of “Kaiseki” between his character and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen, as I hope you all already know) is a shocker. One that I’ve seen has already made its’ way around the Internet, but within the context of the episodes and Jack Crawford’s dismissal of Will’s claims of innocence, it’s even more jarring. 

Will himself is more focused in the beginning of the season, possibly because he is no longer sick and weary due to the effects of encephalitis, although probably also because he is more sure of his innocence and of Lecter’s guilt. He is still tasked with helping his colleagues at the FBI at times, but his life has been “destroyed,” as Alana Bloom states, and he doesn’t let them forget that he knows he doesn’t belong there and is going to prove it. A more centered Will, making due with the environment he’s trapped in and unable to do his thing at crime scenes, will be interesting to watch.

And finally, the cannibal himself, Doctor Lecter. Having evaded suspicion and notice by everyone except Will (and several of his victims, but they’re not about to talk), Hannibal steps into Will’s shoes early on and is asked for similar assistance at crime scenes. An interesting twist that puts Hannibal front-and-center to examine both the methods of fellow serial killers and the process of those who investigate their crimes. It’s one that will be sure to add drama this season.

Yes, the gross-out factor is still there, and at times, worse than ever. So if that was your biggest issue with Hannibal’s first season, you might have some trouble trying to stomach some of the scenes in this one. Show runner Bryan Fuller doesn’t shy away from the gory details involved in a show about a cannibalistic villain, and we shouldn’t expect him to. 

Hannibal Exclusive Interview: Bryan Fuller on His “Beautiful Horrible” Horror Show>>>

The imagery is as beautiful, and at times terrifying, as ever, and the writing has only gotten better. If the first few episodes of Hannibal season 2 are any indication, Hannibal is sure to serve up an even better sophomore season than it’s first. 

Oh, and just in case any of you were as concerned as I was: yes, the dogs are fine. Winston is definitely missing his master, but for now, Will’s most consistent supporters have come out of the whole mess relatively unscathed.  

Hannibal premieres tonight at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Josie Cook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV