Aaron Abrams, Altered States, Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, autoimmune reaction, Bryan Fuller, capgras syndrome, cotard's syndrome, delusional misidentification syndrome, Ellen Muth, Hannibal, Hannibal Lector, Hettienne Park, Hilary Jardine, Hugh Dancy, John Benjamin Hickey, Kacey Rohl, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen, Mark Rendall, Raul Esparza, Scott Thompson, Thomas Harris, Vladimir Cubrt, walking corpse syndrome
Hannibal’s ‘Buffet Froid’ was directed by John Dahl. Writers were Andy Black, Chris Brancato and Bryan Fuller.
Beth LeBeau (Hilary Jardine) drags herself to home after a long day at work. She’s tired and wants to sleep. But she can’t count sheep just yet. There’s water dripping from the ceiling. She finds snow in the attic from a collapsed area in the roof. She does quick patch job then returns to her bedroom. Why are there wet shoeprints on the floor?
Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) still has a hard time justifying his actions. He agreed with Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) to keep Abigail Hobbs’ (Kacey Rohl) secret. Did Nicholas Boyle (Mark Rendall) attack and his death accidental? Or is she just like her father Garrett Jacob Hobbs (Vladimir Cubrt) aka the Minnesota Shrike?
This moral debate preoccupies Will when he arrives at the crime scene. Whoever killed Miss LeBeau mutilated her face. An altered mental status won’t let Graham do his thing. He exits the bedroom covered in blood. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), Jimmy Price (Scott Thompson), Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) and Brian Zeller (Aaron Abrams) don’t know what to think.
Crime scene analysis reveals the victim has skin under her fingernails. Odd thing the dermal tissue is diseased and didn’t bleed. Evidence shows the murderer tried to deglove or peel the skin from the musculature.
Will has been off his game and Jack wants to know why. Hannibal agrees and suggests neurologist Dr. Sutcliffe (John Benjamin Hickey). Sutcliffe is another Chilton (Raúl Esparza). He doesn’t care about the patient. Unless he discovers something he can publish an article on.
Will has a severe case of Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. The autoimmune reaction has the entire right lobe inflamed. Hannibal hints this is an opportunity to study untreated neurological effects on the brain. The MDs make a pact to conceal the findings and document the progression of the illness.
Sutcliffe tells Will his problems are psychological although he doesn’t rule out a tumor being the cause. More tests and scans are needed to confirm the principal diagnosis. Will is afraid they won’t find anything physically wrong with him. His worst fear is that he’ll hurt or kill someone while in an altered state.
The killer is identified as Georgia Madchen (Ellen Muth). She has Cotard’s syndrome. People with this rare disorder believe that they are dead. Cotard is linked to a delusional misidentification syndrome called Capgras syndrome. Where the person has lost the ability to recognize faces and believes loved ones have been replaced with an impostor.
The good: The F/X, make up and match cuts. Jack is bedrock. Hannibal catalogues every unethical medical professional he meets for manipulation. How many were ingredients? How far is Hannibal willing to go with Will? Take him to the edge or shove him over?
The bad: Madchen stalks Will after their encounter at the crime scene.
The ugly: Sutcliffe refers to Will as a pig. You can almost hear Hannibal planning his death.