Last week it was announced that NBC would be pulling its new crime drama Hannibal‘s upcoming fourth episode “œuf” in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy. The episode’s Case of the Week was about children killing other children — something that had series creator Bryan Fuller asking to have it pulled completely while the series was still in production, after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. The hesitation about the episode was already clear, as it didn’t appear in press packs for the series (the episode order of the press screeners went 1, 2, 3, 5, 6).
While the idea to cut the episode has been universally supported, Fuller wanted to make sure that fans were able to keep up with the character building in the episode that was separate from the crime, especially after last week’s surprising ending. So NBC “cannibalized” the episode into webisodes for viewers, and put them online. Hit the jump for the clips.
Though the exceptional Hannibal has not been doing particularly well in the ratings, NBC at least seems to want to put in the effort to give it a chance by offering up these webisodes, avoiding the confusion of skipping the episode altogether.
Last week’s episode ended with Abigail Hobbs being in debt to Hannibal Lecter after she killed her assailant and he helped her hide the body. In the introduction to this repackaged fourth episode, Fuller explains how things proceed:
“[It] details the relationship between Hannibal Lector and Abigail Hobbs, played by Kacey Rohl. As the series goes on, this relationship gets much more complicated and becomes a load-bearing element of our storytelling. So we wanted to make sure that you have all the scenes to follow the story along.”
I for one am pretty excited to see how things develop between Lecter and Abigail — whether he ends up turning her into a protege, or whether she ends up having some eventual humanizing effect on him. Of course, don’t forget that on Thursday at 10 p.m., things will resume with Episode 5, “Coquilles.”