A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars
THE PERFORMER | Mads Mikkelsen
THE SHOW | NBC’s Hannibal
THE EPISODE | ”Savoureux”
THE AIRDATE | June 20, 2013
THE PERFORMANCE | Just as Hugh Dancy earned POTW honors with his rendition of a man slowly becoming unraveled, Mikkelsen has regaled viewers with his portrayal of a calculating killer icily in control — until, in a rare, shocking moment of humanity, he wasn’t.
Having framed Will Graham for the death of Abigail Hobbs and brutally gaslighted the FBI consultant all along, Dr. Hannibal Lecter — in sharing with his own psychotherapist Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (played by Gillian Anderson) — is visibly moved by that which he has secretly accomplished. “Seems hard to find the words today,” he admits, as tears slip from his deep-set eyes. Addressing his first loss, he says that despite the evidence, “I find myself search for ways Abigail could still be alive.” When De Maurier gently asks why this end of a life affects him so, he reveals, “I never considered having a child. But after meeting Abigail, I understood the appeal” to shape a life (though perhaps in not the most admirable of ways).
Lecter then “mourns” what has become of Will, his patient… and friend? “I was so confident in my ability to help him, to solve him,” he laments. And despite all that we have witnessed the not-so-good doctor do at Will’s expense, the sense of loss seems genuine if not coming from the healthiest of places.
Later, Mikkelsen resumes his depiction of the dark puppetmaster, cool and collected as he serves dinner to De Maurier (who frets that his “patterns” might become evident to those around him, attached as he tends to become to violent, dangerous people) and then as he visits detained Will. There, the music, setting and dialogue stirringly mirrors what will one day be an infamous encounter between Lecter and one Clarice Starling (yet with the brilliant doctor on the other side of the barrier), creating an irony that is simply… delicious.
HONORABLE MENTION | Danny Pudi on Hot In Cleveland, who walked onto the stage of the TV Land comedy’s live premiere and more than held his own against heavyweights Betty White and William Shatner (and that ‘stache!). Pudi effortlessly transformed himself into a nerdy spelling bee winner-turned-local prescription drug peddler, almost making us forget all about his beloved Community alter ego Abed Nadir. It seemed as though we were witnessing the improv vet in his element — and it was pretty cool, cool, cool.
What performance knocked your socks off this week?