Two weeks ago, a new show appeared on the NBC canvas: Taxi Brooklyn, starring Chyler Leigh in her first leading role (on TV, that is) since Grey’s Anatomy and Jacky Ido, who’s probably best known for his role as as Marcel in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, but has since starred in many English-, French-, and German-speaking productions. Here, he’s playing the French-born Leo Romba, taxi driver, to Leigh’s Caitlyn “Cat” Sullivan, New York City cop. Two episodes of the first season have aired so far, and these are my thoughts below the cut. Beware of spoilers.
“How do you see the Ripper?”
“I see him as one of those pitiful thing sometimes born in hospitals. They feed it, keep it warm, but they don’t put it on the machines. They let it die. But he doesn’t die. He looks normal. Nobody can tell what he is.”
That’s because Hannibal is “wearing a very well-tailored person suit.” A “human veil.” That’s why no-one suspects Hannibal, that’s why Alana’s doubts about Abigail don’t extend to Hannibal, that’s why the betrayal will hurt so very badly. Will is relying on this man for his mental health and safety, and that same man is slowly but steadily taking it away from him.
It’s easy to pick my single favourite scene from this episode: aside from the revelation that Hannibal Lecter is the Chesapeake Ripper. Aside from the fact that not only Will comes to Hannibal for comfort, but Jack does, too. Aside from the fact that the serial killer who broke Jack’s first pony, Miriam Regina Lass*, is now comforting him and revelling in Jack’s pain. Aside from Will, Jack, and Alana meeting with Freddie Lounds to enlist her help, and Freddie’s astute observation of “just a bunch of psychopaths helping each other out.” I love all of that. But that’s not it.
Previously on Dracula: Come to Die.
This is a collective review of the last two episodes of Dracula, Four Roses and Let There Be Light.
This is a mess. One huge, out-of-control mess. It’s motivations, plot-lines, and characterisations all over the place, and the writers don’t even seem to be trying to clean up after themselves. It’s incoherent, it zigzags back and forth, things that are a huge deal, like Van Helsing breaking up with Dracula, sort of just happen on the side, while other stuff that, yes, we get already, are drawn out over and over, totally ad nauseam. It’s one thing for characters not to be able to make up their minds. It’s quite another for the narrative to screw the characters over ten times per episode.
As much as I love the scene in Hannibal’s kitchen after Will’s sleepwalking episode, there’s another bit I want to talk about today.
It just all stacks up so well for Hannibal. This case, the Lost Boys, hitting Will so squarely in the chest as he is caught in his need to help Abigail survive and recover, plays right into Lecter’s hands. Using his anger at being unable to help the boys, Hannibal convinces Will that it is indeed his duty to help the daughter of Garret Jacob Hobbs.
Previously on Dracula: Servant to Two Masters.
I hate to say it, but I’m honestly glad that there’s only two more episodes to this season, which is getting more and more ridiculous.
In Potage, we are formally introduced to Abigail Hobbs. She’s a marvellous character — a riddle inside an enigma, someone we want to identify with and sympathise, but can’t, not quite. She’s incredibly intelligent, and as innocent as she is capable of manipulation.
Previously on Dracula: Of Monsters and Men.
“What could you possible desire that is not already yours for the taking?”
Oh, gee whiz, I don’t know. Good writing and character development that makes sense?
Previously: Apéritif (pilot).
My favourite scene in this episode is Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) teaching Will how to shoot. Because, whilst Hannibal is coaxing Will into admitting that killing Garret Jacob Hobbs felt good not for the fact that he saved Abigail’s life, but for the sake of killing, whilst everything Hannibal says can be twisted into the opposite, revealing a gruelling picture of a master manipulator casting a net — there is a support network forming. A network that Hannibal is going to go to great lengths to isolate Will Graham from.
Previously on Dracula: The Devil’s Waltz.
Of vampiristic blood cells and undead lab rats.