Synopsis for 3×04: Hannibal Lecter is off in Europe with Bedelia, but all of the people who lost something at the end of last season are gearing up to get their revenge. Also, CHILTON.

Rating: ★★★★★

In case you haven’t heard the news, before this week’s episode, NBC announced that it was cancelling Hannibal. While the rest of the 13-episode season will air, there will not be a season four distributed by NBC. Nonetheless, we still have nine more new episodes to go and the potential to be picked up by another distributor, so let’s keep moving.

After opening with three episodes set in Europe, episode four explores the steps leading up to Hannibal, Jack, and Will’s arrival across the sea. In my opinion, episode four felt like the true season premiere. Gone are the uncomfortably long, but artistically pleasing visual scenes without dialogue. This week’s episode was all about forward momentum as viewers revisited Chilton, Dr. Bloom, Jack, and the Vergers.

Speaking of the Vergers, it appears that Mason Verger sought out Frederick Chilton’s help as a therapist. Though when Chilton showed up, it was clear to him that Mason wanted a profiler, not a therapist. Perhaps the most compelling part of this scene came when they showed each other their true faces. While Chilton appeared to have made it out of his encounter with Hannibal with barely even a scar, it was quickly revealed the damage was far more than anyone had imagined. Blind in one eye, with part of his jaw destroyed, and a lovely scar marking the entry wound, Chilton was quite a sight to behold after he removed his modifications.

After speaking, however, it was clear to Mason that their goals were entirely different, and a partnership was not forged at that point.

The episode jumped to Chilton schmoozing Will, who was still in the hospital. Flowers and all, Chilton approached Will and tried to get the other man on board with his scheme. Frederick Chilton has one goal this season: catch Hannibal Lecter and see him institutionalized in his hospital. That will be his revenge story, but unfortunately for him Will wants nothing to do with it. He’s too preoccupied with considering how his life would be different had he chosen to run away with Hannibal.

In this scenario, Hannibal, Will, and Jack sit down to dinner. Jack seems to think he had Will in his pocket, as ‘whose side is Will on?’ was one of the themes in season two. However, after sharing a significant look, Hannibal and Will jump on Jack and kill him. The scene represents the “What if?” question. What if Will had chosen Hannibal instead of Jack? The question was picked up when Jack visited Will back in Wolf Trap.

He questioned Will’s decision to tell Hannibal to run. They discussed the choice, and Will admitted that he hadn’t been sure what he was going to say when he initially called Hannibal. When he heard his voice, though, he knew he wanted to tell him to run because “he was my friend, and because I wanted to run away with him.” At least, Will can be honest with himself.

Finally, for the first time this season, viewers were reunited with the beautiful Alana Bloom. Chilton had moved onto her next, going slowly down his list of people who have a reason to hate Hannibal. He approached her, rubbed it in her face that he’d warned her, and planted the seed. They needed to get Will on board, because Will would be the bait to draw Hannibal Lecter in. Alana seemed none too amused, but her later actions proved that she was jumping on the ‘Hunting for Hannibal’ bandwagon.

The next sequence of events followed Alana through her choices. First, finding a very broken Will “building rooms in his memory palace.” Then, to the Vergers, where she met Margot and sparks flew. And finally, she was introduced to Mason Verger, and she revealed to him her intent for revenge. They were on the same page regarding good old Hannibal, and Mason had finally found his profiler.

Chilton, meanwhile, approached Jack as a last ditch effort. He tried to convince him that Will was the one who would lead them to Hannibal. The only thing that had kept Jack alive was not pulling the glass out of his neck, but Will was alive because “Hannibal likes him that way.” Chilton’s words were not enough to convince Jack, who had been forced to retire and preferred to be at home with his wife.

One of the most heartbreaking scenes involved Jack’s return home to be with Bella and sending her off into the afterlife. She passed away, and as she was prepared for her funeral the show paralleled the scene with preparing for a wedding. Yet it all ended at the funeral, where Jack received flowers from Hannibal and passed the note off to Will, but not without a warning. He doesn’t want Will to die; Jack’s lost enough people already.

Rest in peace, Bella.

So much happened in this week’s episode, and it continued to happen all the way up to the last minute. Viewers returned to Mason who introduced us to the infamous Cordell, his right hand man. He finally came out with his desire for Hannibal Lecter: to see the man eaten alive. Cordell agreed to help him achieve this, and Mason had another conversation with Alana about the very same thing. She offered to help get Hannibal to the stage, where Mason could orchestrate the rest. The first part of their plan, however, would be to convince Will to go after Hannibal.

As evident by the last sequence, it worked. Jack went to visit Will in Wolf Trap only to find Alana in his place, watching the dogs. She told Jack that “Will knows what he has to do,” and the scene switched to Will preparing a sailboat. The implication was that he sailed all the way to Europe, though I’m not entirely sure I buy it. Nonetheless, “Aperitivo” brought us up to speed to the European plot line and we’ve got four more episodes leading up to Hannibal’s incarceration to go.

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