“Hannibal” Review & Recap: Season 3, Episode 2, “Primavera”

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Hannibal season 3, episode 2 review recap
Fortunato Cerlino and Hugh Dancy in “Hannibal”
Photo: Brooke Palmer/NBC

Last week’s season three premiere episode of “Hannibal” ended with the image of what appeared to be Anthony Dimmond’s bloody torso on display opposite the imagery of Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) folding Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man into the shape of a human heart. In the second episode of season three, titled “Primavera“, we get a closer look at what exactly Hannibal has done as Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) arrives in Italy, for reasons, and argue, even he isn’t entirely sure of. But I don’t want to get too far ahead, let’s circle back to the very beginning of the episode.

“Primavera” dedicates it’s first seven-and-a-half minutes to the season two finale, after which we find Will in the hospital, presumably four months or so after the bloody events that took place at Hannibal’s and I have to admit, as soon as I saw Abigail (Kacey Rohl) walk into Will’s hospital room I was a little frustrated. I can handle the fact Will, Jack (Lawrence Fishburne) and Alana (Caroline Dhavernas) survived Hannibal’s attack, but not Abigail. Looking at my notes, while watching I wrote, “While believable that all of Hannibal’s victims wouldn’t die, Abigail’s survival is a letdown for me.” As we now know, however, this show was once again playing with our minds.

Abigail’s appearance did, however, deliver the one line that really stuck with me and is fascinating to consider, that being:

If everything that can happen, happens, then
you can never really do the wrong thing
You’re just doing what you’re supposed to.

~ Abigail

This episode plays a lot with this idea of fate and talk of God. A discussion of either leads down some dark paths as talk of God’s will, and even Hannibal as a god, or fate is to suggest we have no control over what is happening around us so why fight against it. Do what you want because no matter what happens, that’s what was supposed to happen, whether by the will of God (word play!) or fate. It’s a weird way to go through life and Will is clearly struggling with the idea.

To go along with the idea of fate, religion and the will of God weighs heavy on this episode. Hannibal’s staging of Anthony Dimmond’s broken body within the Norman Chapel in Palermo, Italy is clearly no coincidence, serving both as a metaphor and a clue from Hannibal’s “memory palace”, the foyer of which just happens to be the Norman Chapel. An official plot synopsis for this episode tells us Will is looking for closure with Hannibal Lecter as he goes in search of him in Italy, but that only makes me wonder… Closure for what? Their relationship? And what kind of relationship is it exactly? Abigail, serving as something of an inner-dialogue for Will to work through his thoughts, suggests Will sees Hannibal as a god, a thought Will immediately rejects, but does clearly wonder about the true power Lecter holds over him.

Upon Will’s inspection of Dimmond’s body it becomes clear Hannibal has broken and twisted Dimmond’s limbs into that of a heart, the broken bones signifying Hannibal’s broken heart, feeling betrayed by Will, opening the door to even more questions regarding their relationship. Most frightening, however, was the return of the Wendigo as it unfolds itself from Dimmond’s body, only this time it too is broken, twisted and bent. Does this signal the beginning of a reconciliation between Hannibal and Will? Is this evidence the hold Hannibal had over Will is not yet dead?

When Will says he forgives Hannibal, this, to me, places him in an acknowledged subservient role whereas before I would say Will, at the very least, had some idea over the power Hannibal had over him. Hannibal, to Will, is almost like a drug at this point, but I do ask myself just what exactly is the high Will is getting from Hannibal?

Hannibal season 3, episode 2 review recap
Mads Mikkelsen in “Hannibal”
Photo: Brooke Palmer / NBC

Bedelia’s (Gillian Anderson) attraction to Hannibal would be her curiosity and questioning of self. Is she a monster like Hannibal? For Will it seems his attraction may be the very idea of Hannibal, but I do wonder if he has any interest in catching him. What would Will have done had Hannibal shown himself in the catacombs during the final minutes of the episode? Would he have embraced him? Killed him? Is his forgiveness a lie, used to dupe the monster that seems to have a hold over him?

“He wants us to find him.”

Personally I don’t think Will has a clue as to the hold Hannibal does or doesn’t have over him any more than we do. In fact, I don’t think Hannibal is entirely sure of what’s going on. Within Will’s mind at the beginning of the episode Abigail says, “He wants us to find him.” I think this is both true and false at the same time. I say false only because even if Hannibal were conscious of his enticing Will to find him, I’m not sure he fully understands why he’s doing it.

Even more to this point, is anyone really hunting Hannibal? Does he want to be caught?

Considering we know how the story of Hannibal Lecter plays out in Thomas Harris‘ books, we know Hannibal will eventually be captured, though the order of things have clearly been changed as the production is mixing elements of “Hannibal” and, soon, “Red Dragon” for this third season. The interesting aspect of Lecter’s inevitable capture is not so much the when, but the How? and Why? What role will Will play? For anyone that has read “Hannibal” or seen Ridley Scott‘s movie, we all know how things will end for Inspector Pazzi (Fortunato Cerlino), though the way that novel ends tells us we don’t yet know anything about the trajectory of the show by comparison as the hunt for Hannibal will again find a familiar face come the next episode.

Head to the next page for plot details and pictures from next week’s episode, “Secondo”.

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