“Ko No Mono” shifts to an unreliable narrator, allowing us to experience the first truly heartbreaking moment in Hannibal. Using the most iconic image from Red Dragon, we also get a glimpse at who’s really pulling the strings in this show.
In addition to being Hannibal’s most self-reflexive hour, “Naka-Choko" features a really steamy sex scene that takes place in two separate rooms and involves four humans, a theremin, and a Manstag.
In “Shiizakana” we are asked to forget the fast paced, twisty-turny, Will Graham-on-trial arc that velocitized our television watching appetites earlier this season, and to get used to the emotional and psychological contemplation of the now classic Hannibal as an episodic nightmare format.
In “Su-Zakana” the cocoon constructed of mystery novel pages, fond pop-culture memories, Hollywood disappointments, and countless other symbols that once encased Hannibal has cracked open, and out of it has come a new and unpredictable kind of butterfly.
A clever, emotional, and meticulously constructed parable about Dan Harmon’s return to Community, “Basic Sandwich” is a well earned declaration of victory more than anything, even if it is a little inaccessible.
The middle hour Hannibal's thirteen episode season, “Yakimono” is tasked with wiping the slate clean for a strong second half story arc. Hannibal Lecter is in complete control and no one, not even characters from the books, are safe from his voracious appetite.
Dan Harmon, like a one man Save Greendale Committee, has returned to a ruined school and turned it back into the place we most want to visit on Thursday nights, showing us the difference between stories and sandwiches.
When Dr. Lecter is plucking the strings and writing the notes, Hannibal is thrilling, unpredictable and disgustingly beautiful to look at. In “Futamono” we get all of that, some meta humor, and the most disturbingly delicious looking human leg eaten on network TV. Also a fun dinner party.
“G.I. Jeff” constantly delivers nostalgic 80’s animated fan service, but Community has set a strong precedent for making these fun departures into character exploration exercises, so there is an implied mystery afoot as well: Who is imagining this? Why? And does it matter?
“Mukozuke” succeeds in providing the contemplative space that other serial killer centric shows don’t. It’s a case study in what we will let our icons get away with and what makes them different from us and the fictional people they prey on.
The finale was a beautiful end to the best season of Girls so far. Along with Dunham, Judd Apatow has helped create the second chapter in his experimental analysis of generational distress. Whether you like it or not, this is the Freaks and Geeks of the twenty-something generation. This is Lindsay Weir and Neal Schweiber wearing skinny jeans instead of puffy vests. This is Kim Kelly and Daniel Desario trying coke instead of smoking pot.
“Takiawase” is as close as we will ever get to a Jimmy, Brian and Beverly episode. Because of that it is hilarious at times, but that doesn’t prevent it from being stomach churningly disturbing, perfectly thrilling, tearfully heartbreaking and as thematically tight as a well tuned pressure cooker.
Delivering about two laughs for every one second of airtime without leaving its primary location, “Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” is about slaying the metaphorical old naked lunatic called “communication problems” who rides an invincible dragon named “family ties.”
This season Girls has become more focused than ever on using subtly themed episodes to test its characters like lab rats. The biggest thematic thread (or piece of cheese, depending on which metaphor you go with here) has been the notion of settling. This episode, the show asked some tough questions: Are you actually content, or are you unknowingly giving up a piece of yourself? Are you deluded if you’re happy with something seemingly imperfect?
“Hassun” is perfectly distilled Hannibal. It takes the conventions of a well established television format - the courtroom procedural - and mutilates it into a nightmarish message about the kind of love that compels you do horrible, violent things.