In the fourth episode of the third season of Hannibal, FINALLY!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal.
Trigger Warning: For talk of gore/blood and body horror.
Y’all, this is easily my favorite episode this season, and I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT WHAT IS TO COME. So much just happened.
I truly have to remember that if you don’t see a dead body on this show, that means THEY ARE NOT DEAD. My god, this episode brought back Chilton AND Alana AND Mason AND Margot and ripped my spirit from my body without a care in the world. I’m convinced with each new episode that the destructive season two finale created a world that’s somehow even more interesting in the last one. In the remains of Hannibal’s act, we get this. This is less about the characters struggling to fight against Hannibal’s pervasive manipulation. They’ve each got a crystal-clear idea of who hurt them and how it has affected their lives.
In the case of Chilton, he’s been Hannibal’s victim twice, and he shares his scars and disfigurations with Mason Verger in order to get what he wants: another ally in his quest to obtain Hannibal Lecter. I never quite understood whether he just wanted Hannibal caught or if he wanted Hannibal back in his hospital. The latter wouldn’t surprise me, and I think that’s one of the main reasons that Mason, Will, and Alana Bloom all reject any possible collaboration between them. It doesn’t help that he slides into their lives as they’re recovering from Hannibal’s mutilations and machinations, offers flowers, and then immediately asks them for something. Chilton lacks tact as he always has, but I think that given the context of it this time, there’s actually a chance that these characters might utilize Chilton for their own ends. LIKE MASON AND ALANA.
Y’ALL. I AM SO HERE FOR HER TRANSFORMATION IN THIS SEASON. There’s so much development already, and she just barely returned to the show. I was reminded of Bedelia’s conversation with Hannibal regarding betrayal during Alana’s scenes because I think she personifies betrayal better than any of these other characters. She believed in Hannibal and accepted him and unknowingly enabled him to do terrible things to those she cared about. While there might be guilt working through her, I also saw her characterization in this episode as a direction reaction to Hannibal’s betrayal. Unlike any other character here, though, her revenge feels pure. She’s not in this for personal gain like Chilton or Will, who each have an agenda of their own. She has no reason to move on like Jack does (initially, that is).
Instead, Alana allows herself to be an instrument, and it’s a fascinating choice for her to make because she is aware of what she means. That awareness is empowering in the world of Hannibal because so many people have been under the spell of Lecter’s manipulations. Make no mistake here: Alana knows exactly what she’s doing.
“Aperitivo” presents us with a mystery of sorts. After Jack survives Hannibal’s attack in “Mizumono,” he awakes in the hospital next to Bella. I honestly think that one of the best things this show did (and certainly this season accomplished) was to build up the relationship between these two. Here, we watch as Bella welcomes her husband back to the world of living and then remind him that unlike her, he can cut out what’s killing him. It is a brutal, precise line, and Jack heeds her warning by taking a leave from the FBI. There’s the mystery: How does Crawford end up in Palermo if he quit the FBI months earlier?
The episode gingerly leads us through that story, and it’s heartbreaking. I appreciate that Fuller and company devoted time to this because it provides a lot of closure for Jack and explains why he changed his mind. There’s a scene earlier in “Aperitivo” where Will is quite frank about why he called Hannibal just prior to Jack arriving at Hannibal’s house. Will’s honesty matters because it also explains why Jack is going after Will. What if Jack believes Will won’t turn Hannibal Lecter over to him? Is that what he means during the funeral scene when he tells Will that he knows “what’s coming”? Or is that a reference to something else?
(Oh gods, y’all, I’m so excited to read interpretations of everything in the comments. HANNIBAL COMMENTS ARE SO INSIGHTFUL.)
I like that we don’t know what side Will is on. I am even more excited about the revenge narrative that the show is setting up because it’s both a re-interpretation of the source material and STILL THEMATICALLY IN LINE WITH THE SOURCE MATERIAL. Bryan Fuller continues to make Hannibal his own, and it’s a fulfilling thing to watch. I just… how? How the hell can they possibly get Lecter out of Italy and back into Mason Verger’s trap? We meet Cordell in this episode, and I imagine he’ll play a huge part in the construction of the trap. But what will Alana do to lure Lecter back? Jack is working independent of Will and Alana, so I don’t understand how he’s going to navigate Will’s intentions with Hannibal’s manipulations. And what of Chilton? He is still no closer to enacting his own revenge.
I’M JUST SO EXCITED TO SEE HOW THIS WILL UNFOLD.
The video for “Aperitivo” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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