Mark Watches ‘Hannibal’: S03E07 – Digestivo

In the seventh episode of the third season of Hannibal, HOW. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal. 

Trigger Warning: For blood/gore, body horror, torture, and consent issues.

Well, where the hell does the show go from here?

“Digestivo” follows much of the book Hannibal, giving us similar ends for Cordell, Mason, and Margot, but that doesn’t complete the story as a whole. Not only are there six more episodes (HOW??!?!?!?!), but Lecter’s surprising decision at the end of this episodes opens up an entirely new chapter in this story.


This episode was a journey, my friends. It’s an exercise in tension, sure, and I know that I was a hot mess in the video linked below. How could I not be? Fuller and Steve Lightfoot designed “Digestivo” to tease us in a number of ways. For those who had read the source material, each glimpse of the eel case was a hint that a certain thing might happen. (IT DID HAPPEN. HOLY SHIT.) Will’s attack on Cordell was a stunning visual reference to Silence of the Lambs, but it also served as a threat. Would Cordell retaliate in his own way? Would he stick to Mason’s plan, or would he betray Mason like he did in the film version of the book?

I felt it was inevitable that either Margot or Alana would set him free. And after Mason cruelly tormented Margot with the reveal that he’d already had a surrogate child with the eggs he stole from her, it seemed set in stone. The story fits in with what we saw of Margot’s therapy in season two since Lecter encourages Margot to get revenge. In that sense, Margot might be the only character to escape Lecter’s therapy largely unscathed. (Well, unscathed by Lecter, obviously. Mason still tried to ruin her life, and what he does in this episode with the pig is monstrous.) I don’t see how she can have a story beyond this, but Fuller and Lightfoot give her the closure she wanted.

Of course, the centerpiece here was Hannibal Lecter. Mads continued to show that he was perfect for this role. Y’all, all the scenes where he was tortured and he made Hannibal’s face look like he was relishing the experience? MY SPIRIT COULD NOT HANDLE IT. But I was absolutely fascinated by the animal imagery here because of the way it fed right into the notion that Hannibal was like a wild animal. He’s caged, first of all, a reference to Chiyoh’s comment to Bedelia in the last episode. But when he’s strung up in the weird dolly-like device, we’re given a hint of Silence of the Lambs-era Lecter. (Perhaps it might happen on the show itself??? He’s going to prison!!!) The final image of Hannibal in captivity is him strung up like one of Mason’s pigs. Thus, when Alana and Margot confront him, the visuals convey to us an unnerving reality: Hannibal Lecter is the kind of creature who must be strung up or he’ll be free to maim and kill.

They negotiate for his release. Alana, so that Will can be saved from Mason and Cordell. Margot, so that she’ll have the means to murder Mason without suspicion. “Digestivo” gives us a fabric of people who are messed up because of Lecter, who all are desperate to survive just another day, who are all willing to compromise themselves or their morality in order to achieve self-preservation. It’s why Will tells Alana that she’ll have to spill blood in order to survive; she can’t be an observer any more. She has to participate. That participation involves setting the monster that is Hannibal Lecter loose.

And when he is set loose, “Digestivo” turns into a different kind of nightmare. I worried that even if Cordell and the guards were killed, Mason still might get some form of revenge. You can’t doubt Mason’s love for spite, can you? But what if Alana was not included in Hannibal’s promise? What if Jack Crawford beat Chiyoh there? SO MANY VARIABLES, Y’ALL.

Despite that this episode largely followed the book, the writers saved one huge surprise for the end. I kind of figured that Chiyoh would allow Hannibal to live and that her story would end here. I would’ve liked to see more since her characterization centered solely around her experience with Hannibal, but the season has been pretty dense anyway. I don’t know how that would have manifested, honestly! Hannibal’s conversation with her was still tense as hell, and he finally told her the truth about Mischa.

But if we’re gonna discuss honesty, I must talk about Will Graham. WILL GRAHAM, WHO WAS MOLDED AND MANIPULATED AND CONTROLLED BY HANNIBAL LECTER. Will Graham, who openly admitted to Jack Crawford that he considered running away with Hannibal. Will Graham, who definitively and directly REJECTS HANNIBAL LECTER IN THE END. Oh my god, I was breathless. And it’s not an ambiguous thing at all. He spells this out clearly: he doesn’t want Lecter in his life. In his town. IN HIS THOUGHTS OR MEMORIES. You can tell that Hannibal didn’t expect it either.


He’s evil, y’all. TOTALLY EVIL.

The video for “Digestivo” 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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