Mark Watches ‘Hannibal’: S03E05 – Contorno

In the fifth episode of the third season of Hannibal, MY SPIRIT HAS LEFT MY BODY, NEVER TO RETURN. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal while learning to astral project.

Trigger Warning: For blood and gore.

I know this is the final season, and I know that the show needs to escalate at some point and YET I WASN’T EVEN CLOSE TO BEING READY FOR THIS EPISODE. I’ll make a production out of the fact that I spoke openly in the video for “Contorno” about how Fuller & company are toying with canon and how fun that makes this watching experience. I WASN’T READY FOR THE EPISODE TO THEN PROVIDE THE MOST RIDICULOUS EXAMPLE OF THE VERY POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE.

Will and Chiyoh

I did not expect that either.

I’m glad that there’s a brief chance for us to learn more about how Chiyoh ended up in Lecter’s life. (Will we meet Lady Murasaki at some point, or will she always just remain a distant anecdote?) I am intrigued by her, but I think she’s the weak link in the writing because we know little about her and her motivations. Which is disappointing since Tao Okamoto is such an arresting actress. I want more! She’s getting to experience life outside of the Lecter residence for the first time since she arrived there decades earlier. She must have been a child when she went to live there; what was that life like? There’s a short story about Hannibal burning bark and teaching Chiyoh how to identify things based on smells, so I’m guessing that he trained her in many things, including how to kill.

Yet until she killed the unnamed prisoner, she had strictly refused to break her own rule. She kept that promise to herself until Will forced her hand. Y’all, I’m so glad that this episode vocalizes exactly what is happening to Will: He is becoming Hannibal Lecter. Like, I know I didn’t say a whole about it in reviews, but the dude ARRANGED A BODY IN A DEDICATION TO HANNIBAL. Hannibal is never even going to see that body! He manipulated Chiyoh just out of curiosity so he could observe what she would do when pushed to the edge. Just on that level alone, I get why she pushed that motherfucker off a train. I suspect that she wants to reunite with Lecter because she still feels loyal to him, but Y’ALL. Will needs to destroy Hannibal or else he won’t be able to stop the transformation.

Mason Verger

Well, now I understand how this is all going to happen. Sort of. Joe Anderson is a stunning replacement for Michael Pitt, despite that I thought Pitt was perfect for Verger. He’s able to make Verger just as gross and vile as Verger was last season, and he also oddly looks like Pitt with all the prosthetics on. Verger’s quest for revenge converges with Pazzi in Florence, but at home, a very stoic and regal-looking Alana guides him through his therapy. I sensed that she was trying to detach herself from the situation as much as possible, and perhaps that’s due to the trauma she went through last season. Like my take on Chiyoh, I would like the show to focus on her a little bit more, rather than use her just to gently push the plot further.

Pazzi and Revenge

I knew Pazzi wasn’t going to make it. I knew it! I figured that the show was going to be fairly literal with their interpretation of this character, and once Pazzi chose to go with Verger’s bounty over turning Hannibal in, his end was inevitable. I even assumed he’d die the same way, hung and disemboweled so as to reference his ancestral past. If you’d not read the original text, I think that the script for “Contorno” still allows tension to build, but I adore that those familiar with canon possibly get a different experience. As soon as Hannibal began to reference Pazzi’s ancestors, I knew it was over. I expected the confrontation later in the show’s run, so I appreciate how exciting it was that everything was escalated.

Pazzi was punished for his greed, sure, but his death also signified yet another act of his that pushed him closer to everyone hunting him. I thought of Bedelia’s concerns as he clasped that handkerchief over Pazzi’s face. How much longer until even the local authorities began to suspect the newly-arrived professor whose predecessor disappeared? How much longer until Hannibal killed too many people?

And yet, this show still managed to take things so much further than I could have ever anticipated. As soon as I realized that Jack Crawford was in that courtyard, I was aghast. HOW? How could the show possibly deal with this? Y’all, I appreciate so much that the writers committed to this. If Jack was going to be there, then there was no way he wouldn’t confront Hannibal. Not only that, but Jack is written as cunning, smart, and determined here. He removes his shoes before sneaking up on Hannibal, and what follows that first blow is one of the most brutal acts of catharsis that I have ever witnessed. This man just had to listen to Hannibal taunt him over the death of his wife, and it felt like the show was finally giving Hannibal a taste of his own medicine. It was hard not to compare the fight sequence to the one in “Mizumono,” but I’m pleased to say that this one was just as good, just as visceral, and just as important to the story. This is Jack Crawford, without his wife and without his wedding ring, without the limitations of FBI protocol, telling Hannibal Lecter that he feels alive by trying to kill him.

This show is literally too much. What an incredible episode.

The video for “Contorno” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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