[This article contains SPOILERS for Hannibal Season 1.]
HBO has only begun airing True Detective and Fox is back with a second season of The Following, but for some that's all just been warm-up for the real serial killer event of the small screen this new year. That would be the season 2 premiere of Hannibal, show runner/creator Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) and executive producer David Slade's (Hard Candy) darkly surreal procedural inspired by Thomas Harris' Red Dragon novel.
To recap, the Hannibal season 1 finale ("Savoureux") concluded with FBI special agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) having been freed from the mental anguish caused by his advanced encephalitis, but incarcerated in prison thanks to Dr. Lecter framing his "friend" Will for his own brutal (if artistic) killings as the Chesapeake Ripper.
Following the release of a few posters and short clips that tease Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) up to his old habits, NBC has premiered a proper trailer for the second season of Fuller's show - and as expected, it's like watching a disturbing nightmare, just on its own.
It doesn't really feel like a spoiler to reveal that Jack Crawford (Laurence Fisburne) and Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) ends up discovering the truth about Dr. Lecter this season. The bigger question is, seeing how Fuller has taken long strides to deviate from Harris' source material already, will everyone be making it out alive when everything hits the fan - much less, make it out in one piece?
Hannibal season 1 pulled viewers into the waking nightmare that is crime scene investigation. Fuller's approach not only brought an emotional weightiness to the show's familiar genre proceedings, but also creates what might be the closest thing on television to the actual psychological experience of tracking serial killers for a career - through its stylistically heightened portrayal of the job, that is.
It'll be interesting to see if season 2 of Hannibal can sustain that momentum, now that Will's (literally) seeing the world more clearly than ever he did before. The full trailer suggests that it might, with even more bizarre murders (corpses arranged like an Escher spiral) and eery visual symbolism (Dr. Lecter as the 'Ravenstag') that reminds us: the nightmare is far from over yet.
The Hannibal season 2 premiere "Kaiseki" airs on NBC on Friday night, February 28th, 2014.