Episode Report Card
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Not Your Mom’s Hannibal Lecter
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

William Graham (Hugh Dancy) stands staring. He doesn't blink but just stands there silently communing with the scene before bursting into a house and narrating his actions as he brutally murders some white guy who has the bad luck to walk down the stairs. There's blood spatter and then Graham notices a woman panicking in the corner trying to hit the alarm. He shoots her in the neck. It's gruesome to watch, but Graham isn't a killer -- he's an FBI profiler with the usual battery of gifts that FBI profilers have in such shows. If this was, say, Psych the camera would zoom in on each item that captures the über-detective's attention. But this isn't Psych; it's a prequel to the first three Hannibal Lecter novels (and a sequel of sorts to the fourth, Hannibal Rising) and it's slick and bloody, so instead we get a first-person shooter sequence as Graham goes inside the murderer's head. Kinda makes you long for Sean and Gus.

Graham quickly assesses the scene and makes a few prescient observations and insane leaps of logic, like obviously the killer tapped his victims' phone and got their alarm code, but he's obviously right about everything. Which is why he uses the case study in his class, which I assume is Gross Out 101? Graham is a professor, so when special agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), head of the FBI's Behavioral Science Division, wants to track him down he heads to his class. In the first minute of their meeting, Crawford flat out asks the savant where he falls on the autism spectrum, which sounds like a lousy pick up line that we should all go try immediately. Graham, being "closer to Asperger's than autistic" doesn't seem to mind the question though and is willing to listen when Crawford pitches him on advising the FBI on a series of abductions that they are convinced are murders, except that they don't have any bodies. Yet! Something to look forward to, right? The killer has already taken seven women (he calls them "girls" but whatever) who are all of the same height and weight and general look. He has just taken another and the FBI needs Graham's help.

Crawford and Graham head to the latest victim's house and Graham quickly realizes that the girl is already dead and the killer has replaced her body in her childhood bedroom. Graham stands over the body and reenacts the murder in his head before understanding that the killer was trying to apologize or may have felt bad about what he did. Then -- before we go too far down the path of thinking Graham is all creeper and no charm -- we get to see him rescue a dog and bring him home to his large menagerie of pups. He likes puppies, so he can't be all bad... right show? The murders also haunt Graham, causing night sweats and nightmares, so while he can clearly get into the killer's head, the killer can get into his too.

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