Well fannibals, our craving for wondering what happened to our favorite cannibal after he escaped with his warped psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier has finally been satisfied. If you don’t remember what happened at the end of season 2, all you really need to be reminded of is the fact that Hannibal tried to massacre Dr. Alana Bloom, Will Graham, Jack Crawford and Abigail Hobbs for discovering his secret life as a prolific serial killer. He then hopped on a plan and ran to Europe with his mysterious and apparently troubled therapist Bedelia.
There is no question of why many (including myself) rave about this show as the best show on television. The visual aesthetics are beyond captivating. Everything is seen drenched in black and red. Time literally slows down while everything has an elegant flare and stylish lighting. From every angle you see life as a work of art. This is because you’re seeing things through the eyes of Hannibal.
And through the eyes of Hannibal, everything is a work of art. Even murder. Even cannibalism. The very beauty of the show created by Bryan Fuller is that by the end of the episode, you’ll be seeing even the most grotesque things in this series as a work of art as well. The opener to season 3 was no exception. The episode kicks off with Hannibal riding around Paris on a motorcycle. He no longer walks around in designer suits; he now prefers leather motorcycle jackets. It’s clear that Hannibal is on the hunt when he walks in to a party full of intellectual bores and snobs.
A young and equally conceded poet named Tony takes a liking to Hannibal, from that point on you know this guy’s time is limited. The show then picks up with Hannibal appearing to be his own self again in Florence. He’s killed, eaten and assumed the identity of intellectual Dr. Fell. He’s murdered the man’s wife as well. Hannibal’s comfortable in his new role as literary curator under his new identity. Could life be anymore grand for him?
A flash back is shown of Dr. Abel Gideon and Hannibal having a most unusual dinner together. Gideon is a killer who tried to take over Hannibal’s identity as the Chesapeake Ripper killer. Hannibal really doesn’t enjoy when someone takes credit for his handy work. So for dinner, Hannibal and Gideon feast on Gideon’s legs. He appears to have more insight in to the mind of Hannibal than almost anyone else. He realizes that Hannibal is lonely and along with those feelings he’s losing control of himself. The massacre at the end of season 3 was a clear indication that Hannibal finds it very hard to be in control of himself when he’s been betrayed and almost forced in to being alone.
After a ballroom dance with his new “wife” Bedelia, a man accuses Hannibal of not being able to make a decent curator due to the fact that he’s not Italian and couldn’t properly recite Dante. This man apparently has no idea who the hell he’s dealing with. Hannibal shuts the little arrogant man down by reciting Dante in perfect Italian and saying that he will give a full presentation on the subject.
Bedelia and Hannibal spend some emotionally intimate moments together that leave you so deeply entranced you have to shake your head to clear your mind during the commercial breaks. Bedelia is not the only one falling under the spell of Hannibal, the viewer is as well. Hannibal assured Bedelia that he hasn’t hardly had to killed anyone during their residency. Bedelia assures Hannibal that she’s in control of her own mind. It is clear that Hannibal is working hard to change that for her.
Hannibal runs across the young poet Tony when he heads out for a walk. Knowing that Tony might be on to him, Hannibal invites him over for what might be Tony’s last meal. During the dinner, Bedelia is clearly uncomfortable witnessing the man’s looming death. She mentions that “My husband loves the way I taste.” after the man notices that Bedelia is regulating her diet by not eating any meat. Tony mistakes the invitation for dinner as one for a threesome. Hannibal clearly takes offense to this. While being angry with Bedelia’s transparency, he lets Tony go.
A surprise revelation about Bedelia is made when we find out that she has a dark side that may have her more emotionally linked to Hannibal than we ever realized. Bedelia claimed that she had to kill a patient in self-defense. We find out in a flash back that it wasn’t self-defense at all and Bedelia also has a taste for blood.One of the greatest things about this show is its absolutely beautiful way of making statements. As Hannibal gives his Dante lecture, you see his face blend in with the image on the projector of Satan. We always knew Hannibal was the devil, but it’s never been said (or seen) before in such a beautiful way. When Bedelia sees Tony arrive at the lecture she gets spooked and leaves. Tony lets Hannibal know, that he knows Hannibal is not who he says he is however, he wants to form an alliane with him. Now we know it’s end game for Tony!
Bedelia is trying to get away from Hannibal for good with her bag in her hand when Hannibal and Tony get back to the house before she can escape. A look of complete terror and defeat washes over her face. After the commercial break, we come back to Hannibal bashing Tony in the head. Hannibal questions whether Bedelia is a participant or an observer. Hannibal ends up snapping the man’s neck. She clearly has no choice, but to stay now that she’s in so deep.
This episode was full of beautiful, breath taking visual sequences and surprising revelations. Even though there was no Will Grahm in this episode I didn’t miss him. It was great to get a window in to the new and always dark life of Hannibal before all the real madness truly sets in.
We all know it won’t be long before the madness really sets in.