The last two weeks I’ve been sort of extolling the virtues of the writers of Hannibal taking their time with this season, and I stand by the first two episodes being interesting diversions before the main event. But here’s the thing: I really want the main event to happen NOW. And while the final line of the episode did give us something meaty to chew on (pun super intended), I spent the vast majority of Season 3, episode 3, “Secondo,” wanting all our disparate pieces to get back together. And, for God’s sake, is Alana Bloom alive or not?!?!?!!
The first episode was all about Hannibal’s new life with Bedelia and it being the least functional thing on Earth; the second was all about Will Graham looking for Hannibal — or following his breadcrumbs — while dealing with the events of last season’s finale. This episode was all about more or both of those things. Hannibal’s seeming attempt at status quo-ing it has shown moments of potential unraveling — very likely of his own accord. If he wants to remain off the radar, he’s going to have to stop murdering people near to him. If nothing else, Hannibal is the Honey Badger of serial people-eaters.
This manifested itself this time around with Hannibal feeding Anthony Dimmond (one would assume) to Professor Sogliato in the form of a delicious dish. But it wasn’t long into the meal before Hannibal stabbed Sogliato — sniveling little worm that he was — in the temple with an ice chisel. Not very discreet, I think you’ll agree. This resulted in Sogliato giggling as his brain was pierced. This giggling becomes too much for Bedelia who walks over to put the poor man out of his (or her?) misery. After pulling it out, Sogliato fell forward onto his plate, dying as blood poured from the wound. Hannibal then very petulantly said, “Technically YOU killed him.”
We’ve seen this man do a lot of things, but he’s always been in control. This was the first time it’s felt like he’s not the smartest or most put-together man in the world, which will (hopefully) allow for Bedelia’s prediction that Il Mostro’s going to be caught soon. It’s a weird Icarus situation, except in this case “touching the sun” means “killing too many people.” Later in the episode, Hannibal has more well-to-do people over for dinner, this time serving up Sogliato, and it really is clear he’s taking too many risks.
Still unsure whether he feels betrayed or like the betrayer, Hannibal’s obsession with Will cannot be ignored. Sensing that Will would likely follow clues about Hannibal’s past, Dr. Lecter realized Will’s probably gone somewhere that he himself can’t go: home. Home to the Lithuanian manor where he grew up alongside his sister whom he loved dearly. Bedelia asked why Hannibal couldn’t go home; what happened to him there? To which he replied, “Nothing happened to me; I happened.” Okay, Vagueness Jones. Bedelia (probably accurately) surmised that his sister is the key to everything, even going so far as to ask Hannibal what his sister tasted like.
And, of course, Will did go to Lithuania for a stay at Casa de Cannibal in search of Hannibal’s family, only to find the grave of his sister Mischa. Well, that and a woman with a gun. That woman turned out to be Chiyo (Tao Okamoto) who has been tasked by Hannibal — many years ago — to watch something for him. Watch what, you ask? Well, in the basement/dungeon of this house, there’s your snail garden (seems to be a Lecter family secret) and a guy in a prison cell who hasn’t been allowed to bathe or shave or pretty much anything for years. Hannibal kept him prison in recompense for killing and eating his sister. By putting Chiyo in charge, though, he’s also made a prisoner out of her — despite her having a gun.
So, she basically has had to sit there and guard him forever. Chiyo explained that she understands why Hannibal cannibalizes people — “He does what was done to her” — but that doesn’t necessarily give justification for it. How could they even know that man’s the one who really did the crime? So Will took it as an opportunity to get her out of the situation because Hannibal’s not, like, a good guy, so maybe you don’t have to spend your life following his weird orders. Will released the prisoner, who doesn’t know what to do — he’s been locked up so long — only to have him return to the castle and attack Chiyo who then killed him in self-defense. Because, as Will and Bedelia figured out, Hannibal had the man locked up in place of himself. He couldn’t live with the idea that he killed and ate his sister so he concocted a whole story about this man in order to feel better. With nothing left for her to do, Chiyo decided to help Will find Hannibal. Will, as creepily as possible, strung the man up, his body transformed into a dragonfly covered in snails. That should get Dr. Lecter’s attention.
We also got a little bit with Jack Crawford! Yay! He’s not dead after all, but has traveled to Palermo on the trail of Will Graham, spending his screen time in this episode talking to Inspector Pazzi about how to find Lecter. Jack was sure that Hannibal would return to Florence and Pazzi wanted Jack to come with him to help him stop Hannibal once and for all. But Jack wanted nothing to do with Hannibal; he only has eyes for Will Graham’s safety.
We still don’t know how Jack survived or what happened immediately after Hannibal left, but he seemed to bring everyone together, in a way. Jack said at one point that they’re all being pulled to him like some kind of human-eating vacuum. This sort of goes back to something I’ve thought about since the beginning of the show: why can’t anybody just shoot Hannibal? I get that he had a hold over Will and made Jack and Alana think Will was the murderer, but why would Jack keep up this weird polite “friendship” with a guy he suspected of being a serial cannibal? It just…it never made sense to me. But I guess it’s because we need to keep Hannibal around long enough to get caught. Cuz, oh yeah, he’s gonna get caught.
The episode ended with Bedelia and Hannibal discussing how his sister made him feel (hence, he ate her). She contended that Will Graham makes him feel a similar way, saying, “we are all forced to betray sometimes.” Hannibal said his sister never betrayed him but instead influenced him to betray himself — and he forgave her that influence. Turns out there’s only one way to forgive Will Graham: Hannibal must eat him. Ummm, that’s probably gonna happen, sure. This was one of the first times we’ve seen Hannibal’s veil of with-it-ness start to slip away; he can’t just go live his life because he needs to have peace with Will, so he’s going to risk everything. I mean, Hannibal. Hanniballer. Hannibular Joint. Calm down.
But, since we know Red Dragon is coming soon on the show (for the second half of the season), I’m totally cool with Hannibal having to get hisself caught.
How appetizing did you find this week’s Hannibal? What do you hope for the FourthMeal? Let me know below and hit me up on Twitter!