After two weeks of slowly drawing us in, Hannibal shall be taking things to an entirely new level tonight. We’ve seen how Hannibal has been passing the time these last eight months. We’ve seen Will return from being almost dead and resume his search for his former “friend”. And now we’ll be taking a ride into Hannibal’s past, as Will attempts to trace the roots of our favorite cannibal. What will he find there? Is Hannibal more than just a devil in a human suit? Read on to see what ‘Secondo’ has to say about it all.
We begin with Hannibal and Bedelia discussing the rather fateful meeting between Mr. Lecter and his old friend Will. It’s obvious that Hannibal is sad, almost broken in a way. He’s missing his friend and perhaps even feels some degree of regret and Bedelia is sort-of helping him through it. Unfortunately, she ends with a prediction that Hannibal’s dis-ease is putting him on the road to being caught.
Meanwhile, Will has made the journey to Lithuania to visit the old Lecter Estate. In his quest to further understand the intricacies of Hannibal’s mind, he has an imaginary conversation with his old friend, exploring the house and seeking out the meaning of each room via the power of the mind. A gunshot brings him out of his trance and informs Will that there is someone else making residence in Lecter’s old home.
And back to Hannibal once more and, as is typical, one of his amazing dinner parties. Tonight the dish is arm (taken from the last unfortunate guest) and the dining companion is Hannibal’s co-worker from the museum. That doesn’t last long, however, and it takes only a few minutes before said companion ends up with an ice pick in his head. It looks like the brief period of peace in Palermo may already be over as Hannibal stacks the bodies up and risks being caught. Even Hannibal has to admit that his actions may have been “impulsive” and Bedelia has a theory on why – because Hannibal wants to bring all his old enemies right to his doorstep.
Next, the long-awaited return of Jack Crawford. It appears as if he survived after all and he’s following the trail that Hannibal left, beginning with the broken heart in the church. While there, he runs into Inspector Pazzi, a man who seriously wants to pin Hannibal down and make him pay. But Jack isn’t there for Hannibal. He’s there looking for Will. Jack seems to be filled with regrets that he broke Will and sent him straight toward Hannibal to have him fixed. The end result is nothing that he could have ever imagined.
Back with Will, he finally meets up with the hunter lady – Chiyo – who has made residence at Lecter Estate. What’s more, he also discovers that she has a man locked up in some sort of dungeon beneath the estate. As it turns out, said man was supposedly responsible for eating Hannibal’s sister. Of course, Chiyo only has Hannibal’s word to go on with regards to how that particular drama played out. And we all know how reliable Hannibal’s words can be.
Will and Chiyo hit it off, each seeming to have a mutual enemy in Hannibal, but Chiyo is bound to the estate due to her captive. In order to rectify this, Will lets the man loose. Unfortunately, the man comes back for revenge and tries to kill Chiyo. Chiyo wins out at the end, stabbing the captive and killing him. And while it doesn’t appear as if that was Will’s “Design”, he doesn’t seem too broken up over it either. With no more charge to take care of, Chiyo joins Will in his quest to track down Hannibal, though both parties’ motives still remain somewhat of a mystery.
In the end, Will goes a bit off the deep end and turns the dead prisoner in a trophy – wrapping him, giving him dragonfly wings and hanging him from the ceiling. It’s something that Hannibal would do for sure. But is Will doing it because he’s just like Hannibal or because he’s simply trying to get deeper into his old friend’s head? And finally, Hannibal, with the help of Bedelia, decides that there’s only one way to end his emotional turmoil over Will – to eat him.
This episode isn’t what I would consider to be one of the best, but it did have its moments. Hannibal’s regrets and doubts definitely make him more human. And he seems broken in some fundamental way due to his failed relationship with Will. He’s losing control of his carefully crafted methods and bringing the end of his days as a free man closer and closer. And the only way to purge himself of that weakness is to devour the thing which he loves – so he can forgive.
Another great part of this episode was the look into Will’s head regarding his seeming inability to separate himself from Hannibal. He’s manipulating people, acting casual about death and even crafting his own trophies now. We know that Will is supposed to be the hero of the story, but he’s almost become Hannibal at this point. The question is – Is he lost forever or merely emulating his prey so that he can more effectively track him?
This time around, however, I did have a few issues. I’ve always loved the pacing of Hannibal and the amazing imagery, but this time around it seemed to go a bit too far, chopping the narrative up with seemingly unrelated scenes purely for the sake of remaining visually stunning. The dialogue too appears to suffer from what I like to refer to as the “David Lynch Effect” – becoming little more than metaphor and losing any sense of naturalness. I’m hoping that future episodes will return to a more grounded approach without losing the flavor of Hannibal.
Next week, Aperitivo brings Alana Bloom back. Along with a whole lot of other folks – all of which have fallen victim to Hannibal at one time or another. It appears as if the prey are now becoming predators and Hannibal will have quite the host of enemies to deal with as the season unfolds.