Returning to the small screen June 4th, 2015, NBC’s Hannibal is a prequel of sorts. Based on the immensely popular book and film series, Hannibal takes place prior to the events depicted in Silence of The Lambs. As a TV series in which the viewer is already aware of the horrors the main character will inflict in this fictional universe, it’s that hook alone that makes the show so weirdly fascinating to watch. Rather than take the typical, “Hey this guy could be crazy” approach and C.S.I. the hell out of it, the show utilizes a slow build to entice the viewer into wanting more.

However, the most interesting aspect of the show is Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of sociopath, Hannibal Lecter. Which appears to be pretty spot on. Before you is a man who gives no indication that he might be a little off. He enjoys fine foods, has a steady job as a psychiatrist, and is cultured beyond belief. His act of fitting in appears to be less of an act to protect his other life, and more of an extension of himself. He just enjoys eating people. Unfortunately, the smartest guy in the room isn’t much help in deciphering his deception. Because he quickly becomes a pawn in this proverbial chess game.

I like to pride myself, and most social workers would, on my ability to be highly observant. To the extent that I can tell just by looking at an individual, what kind of morning they’re having, relationship status, as well as their overall personality. Like most viewers of crime dramas, I tend to partake in Monday Morning Quarterbacking, and quick to state my own ability to recognize the killer…after the fact. But how accurate would we be?

Not knowing that the person you call a confidant, friend, or even lover, may be a sociopath is a frightening prospect. We all think we have the ability to understand the human mind. But very few of us do. Unfortunately, we live in a world where,
“We all have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.”
–Ancient Japanese Proverb…or possibly from Facebook. Not sure.

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