I’ve written before about whether or not Hannibal Lecter (in Bryan Fuller’s titular series) is being presented without some necessary flaws. After seeing how he’s being treated after his capture, I see no reason to change that opinion. [Spoilers follow for Season 3, so far.]
Season 2 left the main cast bleeding, broken, and bewildered, while Hannibal Lecter calmly strolled away from all consequences for his actions. It was the largest derivation from the source material to date; this was where Hannibal was originally caught.
Instead, Fuller and company took large swathes of cloth from Hannibal— the third installation of the book series— and used them up entirely. Which is fine. Mason Verger was every inch a monster, and watching him face off (sic) with Hannibal the Cannibal was entirely gratifying.
At which point, Hannibal surrendered to Jack Crawford. Surrendered.
It was intensely satisfying to watch Jack beat six shades of comeuppance out of Hannibal in Contorno, the season’s fifth episode. Lecter’s had it coming since we first laid eyes on him, and the fact that Jack meted out his own payback was fantastic. If only it had actually mattered.
Lecter limped away, licked his wounds, and re-captured Will Graham and Jack Crawford shortly thereafter. Episode 7 spun out the way it did, and Lecter gave himself up to the authorities.
And now there’s the matter of his cell. I have no reason to believe these lavish conditions aren’t the literal, physical environment Hannibal finds himself in. When he’s in his memory palace, we know it. When Will Graham was imprisoned here, we knew it; just as we knew when he wandered into his own memory stream.
My point is, Lecter’s opulent cell is far, far better than he deserves. He still enjoys gourmet meals, he has space. It is a far cry from the dank, dingy little shithole we’re familiar with from the books and films.
Ignore the fact that such preferential treatment is ludicrous; Lecter is in the custody of people who have every reason to despise him. Why, then, is he treated to the Ritz Carlton of incarceration?
Because, I suspect, Bryan Fuller can’t stand to give Hannibal anything less than the best. In doing so, he’s breaking a promise made at the beginning of the series, the same promise teased in the first season finale: Watch how Hannibal got caught and sent where we know he’s destined to wind up.
The show is still good. I’d go so far as to say it’s excellent. It’s just disappointing to see Hannibal’s well-deserved ‘punishment’ turn out to be furnished better than some apartments.