Hannibal Season 3 Premiere ‘Antipasto’ Review
Hannibal Season 3 Premiere…
Hannibal is back for more murderously beautiful meals in what is already the third season of the show starring Mads Mikkelson (A Royal Affair and Casino Royale). After two seasons of non-stop slaughters, attempts to frame Will Graham and dealing with the FBI Hannibal finally attempts to re-invent himself as a medieval scholar in Florence, Italy. After the bloodbath that was the season 2 finale the show had not other recourse but to try a reboot. Hannibal had exhausted all plausible methods to wrong-foot the investigation into the Boston murders. As not further storylines could take place there none of the characters can grow. Will Graham, Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom have to sit out the first episode. Instead, the episode focuses on Hannibal’s attempt at becoming a curator in Florence and his daily live with Bedelia, who shares his fascination for violence. Through flashbacks the audience sees how Hannibal and Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) grew closer together after a patient attacked her. Hannibal also deals with the fact that his man-eating habits won’t last forever, one day he will be the one eaten. Episodes from the first season were named after French cuisine dishes, those of the second season after Japanese dishes. The first season uses Italian cuisine as the titles for episodes. Antipasto means ‘before the meal’ and seems aptly named.
Lecter is seen driving a motorcycle through France, enters a building, and meets Anthony Dimmond (Tom Wisdom). They discuss poetry and Dr. Fell, for whom Dimmond served as a TA. Lecter stalks Dr. Fell to his house, and presumably kills him and his wife. Through flashback, Abel Gideon is seen eating his cooked body with Lecter, where he comments that Lecter is truly a personification of the Devil. Lecter and Du Maurier are shown as having traveled to Florence, Italy, where they are assuming the identities of Fell and his wife. Through flashback, Du Maurier enters her house some hours after being interviewed by Crawford and discovers Lecter in her shower. She pulls a gun on him, and they discuss what Lecter has done, their relationship, and Graham. In present-day, Dimmond arrives in Florence and is invited to Lecter’s house for dinner. Through flashback, Lecter is seen feeding Gideon’s arm to snails, where it is revealed that Lecter was feeding Gideon oysters, sweet wine, and acorns in an effort to enhance his flavor. Gideon comments that it won’t be long until Lecter is himself cannibalized.
Over dinner, Du Maurier is revealed to being given the same treatment, as Dimmond reveals that the Romans are the originators of that practice. Through flashback, Du Maurier murders Lecter’s former patient Neal Frank (Zachary Quinto), who was transferred to her, causing her to owe a debt to Lecter in return for his help. In present day, Lecter gives a lecture as Dr. Fell, which Dimmond attends, eager to strike a bargain with him. Dimmond returns to Lecter’s house where he is murdered. Du Maurier and Lecter discuss whether she is observing or participating in the murder, and they conclude on the latter. Later, Lecter boards a cross-country train across Italy with a large trunk, and contemplates Gideon’s comment on how he will feel when he, too, is hunted down. Hannibal spends his train journey folding a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man into an origami heart. In flash-forward, sunlight falls across the unrecognisably dismembered torso of Dimmond, mounted on the legs of an easel in the Norman Chapel, Palermo; it has also been fashioned to resemble a gigantic heart.
Hannibal is back for more of the finer things in live. Seeing how he lives would almost make me a cannibal as well. Yet, as this episode is mostly seen through the eyes of Hannibal himself there is a noticeable shift in the depiction of his personality. No longer is he the dark-superman who can kill anyone in a gruesome, fantastic way. In this episode he is shown to have doubts even if he remains in full control. It will be interesting to see how this change will reflect on his relationship with Will Graham.
Meanwhile there is the Bedelia Du Maurier storyline. I am not sure about Bedelia’s neurotic behavior. Her fear of Hannibal as well as her fascination with violence are hard to reconcile. Hannibal seems to tolerate her for now and he seems very much of the danger she could represent. Nonetheless, the numerous references to making her tastier with a special feeding regimen as well as the odd glances foreshadow her eventual demise. I am not certain that I appreciate that, Bedelia was always more than just another victim. She, like Will Graham, always understood Hannibal in some weird way.
For now it is difficult to say where the third season is going. Sooner or later Will Graham, Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom will be re-introduced as they continue their hunt for Hannibal the cannibal. I just hope the story will also incorporate a plausible excuse for why Hannibal was never recognized as being a wanted criminal in Paris or Florence. I imagine that in the Hannibal-verse his picture would be as widely distributed as Al Capone or Osama Bin Laden.
Score; 8.3 / 10. A good start to the third season of Hannibal, but I remain skeptical about Bedelia and Hannibal’s motivation.
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