Synopsis for 3×03: Will Graham continues his search for Hannibal Lecter by returning to Hannibal’s past. Hannibal keeps killing and eating people. Jack Crawford appears in Europe searching for Will.
Last week ended with Will’s declaration of forgiveness. This week’s episode began by hashing out Hannibal’s response. He and Bedelia had a nice discussion about how he felt about seeing Will Graham again. They love each other, however anyone wants to see it, and Hannibal no doubt felt a connection seeing Will again. Bedelia pointed out once more that Hannibal is going to be caught, and asked where Will was going to look for him next. He would look for him in the one place Hannibal could never go – home.
Enter Casa de Lecter, which had been teased since filming began. Will returned to Hannibal’s childhood home and found it less deserted than he expected. After a nice stroll, Will ended up in Hannibal’s memory palace. He has used his connection and empathetic understand of Hannibal’s memory palace to blaze the trail straight to the man himself. In this case, they casually discussed the structure of Hannibal’s memory palace, and the castle’s place in it. Hannibal’s earliest memories were locked up there, and Will got a chance to peek a little further into them by stumbling upon a woman hunting.
While Will explored Hannibal’s past, Hannibal had fun with his present. Remember the fellow who was unhappy about a non-Italian man taking over the position Hannibal had won? Well, he finally got what everyone knew was coming to him. At dinner, with Hannibal and Bedelia, Hannibal decided to shove an ice pick in the guy’s brain. I will admit, it was pretty cool. It messed with brain function but didn’t kill the guy. At least, until Bedelia was merciful and pulled it out of the poor man’s head after which he promptly died.
Hannibal brought a bit of humor to the grim situation when he told Bedelia she was the one who had “technically” killed him. Bedelia questioned his motive, almost uncertain as to why Hannibal was so quick to threaten the peace they’d managed to maintain. She surmised that he was trying to draw “all of them” to him, and she wasn’t wrong. Directly after this scene we had Jack Crawford’s season entrance as he returned to the cathedral where Hannibal had left his valentine for Will.
Pazzi joined Jack, obviously curious about all of the people supposedly chasing after the “monster of Florence.” He wanted Jack to join him in his search, to help him draw Hannibal in. However, Jack was in Europe with a different goal. He wanted to find Will Graham.
Speaking of Will, he managed to get himself into a spot of trouble when he decided to follow some fireflies to place where the young woman who had been hunting seemed to live. Instead of finding her, or any answers, he found a rather pathetic looking man locked behind bars. The man was wild, chattering on in another language as he desperately reached out for Will. Yet before Will could further investigate he found himself looking down the barrel of a gun. Enter Chiyo, an acquaintance of Hannibal somehow.
For the first time in a long time, Mischa’s name was mentioned. The man in the cage had supposedly been one of her killers. Will obviously disapproved of keeping the man, but Chiyo seemed disinterested. She wanted to know how Will knew Hannibal, and the two had a nice little chat.
Hannibal, on the other hand, enjoyed yet another dinner with colleagues. This time, thankfully, it didn’t end in death. Though there was a disturbing sequence that was presumably from Bedelia’s point of view as she, and we by extenstion, watched the two guests happily devour what remained of their now deceased colleague. A man who had been invited to that dinner and “rudely” turned down Hannibal’s invitation. Bedelia, in contrast, continued to eat the oysters which were introduced in the first episode. Hannibal merely looked pleased.
Chiyo and Will continued their conversation, on slightly better terms. They talked about Mischa, about Hannibal’s past, and about the man locked up. Twice in this episode, this being the first time, it was made clear that Hannibal was not a product of what happened to him. Rather, he happened to the world. He simply was, and this answered an important question that fans who have followed the source material had: would Bryan Fuller take on Hannibal Rising as it was portrayed in the books? The answer was clearly no, and Will and Chiyo’s conversation proved that.
It was followed up quickly with a parallel found in a conversation Hannibal and Bedelia had while Hannibal gently washed her hair. She, too, asked him what had led him to be who he was. He claimed that nothing had happened to him, but rather “he happened.” Then, in the typical Bedelia way, she asked Hannibal how his sister tasted and stopped him dead in his tracks as she disappeared beneath the water.
Left to his own devices, Will decided to free the man in Chiyo’s care like one might chase a hungry dog away. The man ran into the night.
Viewer got another quick look at Jack and Pazzi, which was a nice break from the rest of the episode. Jack lamented the fact that he’d “taken Will’s imagination” and then “broke it.” Now he aimed to try and save him. His guilt and part in what happened at the end of season two no doubt became a huge motivator.
After Will freed the man in the cage, the man returned to the cage and proceeded to attack Chiyo. It was interesting to watch her kill him in self defense, because she turned and accused Will of being just like Hannibal. Had Will been curious, too? About whether or not she had the ability to kill? Clearly she’d proven she had, but Will seemed put off by the idea that he was like Hannibal. He had just wanted to set her free from the chains Hannibal had used to bind her in the form of a human life she was always forced to think about ending.
With a bottle of wine in hand she offered to help Will find Hannibal, and together they created a moth tableau out of the body of the dead man. It was a valentine of his own, an answer to Hannibal’s heart. Yet Hannibal’s conversation with Bedelia took a much more sinister turn as they came to a simple conclusion: if past behavior is a predictor of future behavior, then the only way Hannibal will be able to forgive Will in return is to eat him.
We’re in for a wild ride next week when Chilton, Alana, and the Vergers come back on the scene as the show picks up the rest of the pieces left in the wake of the season two finale. See you then, folks.