I can’t be certain on this, but was last week’s episode the first episode of “Hannibal” to not include someone’s death? I only ask because this week’s episode, titled “Secondo” made up for that missing aspect of last week’s episode as not one, but two characters find themselves on the wrong side of pointy objects.
This marks the third episode of this third season to be directed by Vincenzo Natali and he’s toned down his visual flair here, though he’s still fond of reflections, be they in knives or liquid, using them to move from one scene to the next. Though, can we all agree the best scene transition was from the cutting of a bird’s leg to the chopping of a human hand as Hannibal prepares the forearm of the late professor Sogliato (Rinaldo Rocco) into a delectable carpaccio(?) to be served to his unsuspecting dinner guests? God I loved it, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning.
Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) are discussing what took place in the final moments of the last episode, specifically Will’s (Hugh Dancy) forgiving Hannibal, the question of forgives is something they swirl around for a bit, and will return in the film’s climax, but even more curious is Hannibal’s examination of what took place.
“He knew where to look for me,” he says, almost quizzically. Bedelia adds, “You knew where he would look for you.” This goes back to something we discussed after the first episode and the question of whether or not Hannibal is leaving breadcrumbs for Will to find him. Personally, I’m more curious as to whether or not Hannibal realizes he’s doing so because it doesn’t seem to be entirely voluntary. In fact, Hannibal seems to be operating so much on impulse now, in fact he even says as much…
“That may have been impulsive,” he says after stabbing professor Sogliato through the brain (how about that “popping” sound when it took place?) and Bedelia looks on in confused wonderment before removing the weapon. “Technically, you killed him,” he says, a second darkly humorous line in a row (an aspect this season seems to have added a little more of each episode). “You’re drawing them to you, aren’t you?” Bedelia asks and I’m not even sure Hannibal can answer in the affirmative as much as we all know that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Meanwhile, while the credits tell us the show is an adaptation of Thomas Harris‘ “Red Dragon“, this season has been steeped in aspects of Harris’ “Hannibal” novel and now we’re getting aspects of “Hannibal Rising“, specifically the Lecter household in Lithuania and a little more information concerning Hannibal’s deceased sister, Mischa.
He meet Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto), former attendant to Hannibal’s aunt, which (and correct me if I’m wrong in the comments) I believe is an entirely brand new character to the Hannibal story, not of the books or the films. Chiyoh lives at Hannibal’s childhood home, keeping a watchful eye over the the character we only know as the Caged Man (Julian Richings). We are told, or at least Will assumes, this is the man that ate Hannibal’s sister, Mischa. However, a line from Bedelia later in the episode — “How did your sister taste?” — suggests there is more to this story, a story that (and, again, correct me if I’m wrong) involves Hannibal unwittingly taking part in eating his sister as well.
It’s quite clear Hannibal’s past is going to be a big part of this season and I love the way they are weaving it into the present day story. I was not much of a fan of the Hannibal Rising movie and only found the book passingly interesting, largely because I was such a fan of the character, but the way they are using it here is immensely intriguing even if I felt Will’s tracking down Hannibal’s home was a bit clunky, as was Hannibal’s realization that’s where Will was headed next.
Finally, Lawrence Fishburne returns as Jack Crawford, showing up in Italy and having a chat with Inspector Pazzi (Fortunato Cerlino). I wasn’t necessarily drawn to this aspect of the story and, honestly, feel they could probably leave Jack and even Alana (Caroline Dhavernas) out of this season entirely. Then again, the next episode will feature the return of Mason Verger, now played by Joe Anderson (apparently Michael Pitt was a bit hard to work with?), and the Red Dragon is expected later on so there may be more for Jack and Alana to do down the line rather than tag along with Will in Italy.
I guess the big question remains, “When will Hannibal be caught?” The season is clearly leading to that and I have to assume it will come at a time when he’s about to make Will his next meal. I mean, you don’t end the season with, “I have to eat him,” and that doesn’t become a focal point of what’s to come.
Speaking of which, head to the next page for plot details and pictures from next week’s episode, “Aperitivo”.