Hannibal’s season 3 episode 2 entitled Primavera might be the first time I ever felt like falling asleep during an episode. This season is already off to a very slow start and I can only hope that the third episode is the charmed (and more exciting one). While the first episode of the season was slow, it did feel like it served a purpose. It followed Hannibal and his new “bride” as they adjust to their “new life” in Italy. This episode felt more like filler.
The events in this episode felt like it could be absorbed in to another episode through a few brief flashbacks. They did not need to have their own hour. The episode began with a flashback from the season 2 finale. It felt like a complete waste of time because the flashback they focused on was one of (if not the) most memorable moments of season 3: the gutting of Will Grahm and the moment when he cut Abigail’s throat in front of Will. The flashback feels like a reminder of the betrayal Hannibal felt when Will betrayed him and tried to have him locked up.
Hannibal even says to Will in what comes across as a hurt school boy routine, “ I let you know me, I let you see me. You would deny me my life? You would deny me my freedom?” The entire episode, although not particularly exciting, is very stylish and artistic. After a blood drenched artistic death scene we are then led to Will waking up in a hospital bed. He clearly isn’t sure whether he made the right choice or not. He’s astonished ( and so is the audience) when it is revealed that Abigail survived yet another throat cutting. Will is happy to see Abigail alive as he was feeling responsible for her potentially chilling death.
In a twisted revelation, Abigail tells Will that she’s upset about the fact that he betrayed Hannibal instead of allowing them to become some strange happy family. Will believes that everything happens for a reason and that the massacre with Hannibal was the end for them.
Abigail explains that it’s not the end for them at all. The audience knows that she’s right.
Like in the first episode of the season, the man and woman pair ( Will and Abigail) go of to Italy. The episode shows the pair in Italy eight months later looking at the corpse of the narcissistic poet from episode one. His corpse has been twisted and bent in to the shape of a heart and placed on a church podium by Hannibal.
Will is taken to the police station and meets Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi. Pazzi is obsessed with capturing Hannibal as he chased him 20 years earlier when he was known as “The Monster of Florence.” Hannibal murdered people and arranged them to depict people in the Sandro Botticellia painting Primavera. Primavera means spring so the murder signifies the “springing” of Hannibal as a serial killer.
The detective does not feel completely legit as he admires Hannibal and doesn’t seem too concerned about bringing him to justice. He seems to be after more of a sit down. Will revisits the crime scene and does his usual round of disturbing deductive reasoning. He soon realizes that the poets body signifies Hannibal’s broken heart. The meat begins to pulsate and come alive after mutating in to this strange deer monster. The scene is pretty creepy and equally confusing.
Abigail suddenly arrives back at the church just in time to get Will out of the dark part in his head. Will is filled with guilt about wanting to till be friends with Hannibal. Abigail tells him it’s OK, because she wants to be with Hannibal too. In a shocking moment, Abigail’s throat slits open and gushes blood.
In a flashback it’s revealed that Abigail did die after Hannibal slit her throat. Everything makes sense now as it was very hard to buy that Abigail could withstand another slice to the throat, especially such a brutal one. It’s clear that Will has been feeling guilty for many months about the death of Abigail and that keeping her alive in his mind is the only way he could cope. Guilt is one thing, but Will’s obsession with Abigail is even more creepy then his obsession with Hannibal. He’s failed every time he tried to save Abigail and this time was absolutely no different.
It’s clear from his delusions that even though he was cured of meningitis previously, his sanity is clearly still slipping away. When the detective senses that Hannibal is still in the Church, him and will chase Hannibal throughout the underground tunnel. It’s a very atmospheric and dark scene. It feels like everyone is now drenched in the darkness of Hannibal and all they can do is chase him and hope that they catch him
When Will feels Hannibal’s presence close to him he tells Hannibal that “he forgives him.” Hannibal considers this, but it doesn’t look like plans to end his game will happen anytime soon. This episode focuses primarily on Will’s tortured feelings about his friend “Hannibal.” This entire hour feels like a filler as these feelings have already been rehashed a million times over towards the end of season 2.
We still don’t know whether Crawford or Alana is a live and if they are, what is the emotional repercussions for them from the massacre? Alana was sleeping with Hannibal for God’s sake; there has to be some hurt feelings there!
My hope for season 3 episode 3 is that the entire old team hooks back up to pursue Hannibal and he struggles to keep his cool while making a new life in Italy. As much as I love this show, this season is heading in to the dangerous territory of taking it’s self too artistically serious and muddling their great story line technique.
Time will only tell where this season leads as all relationships and plot lines are up in the air.