Hannibal: “Antipasto” Review
Hannibal Season 3 Episode 1
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
I must admit: I had serious doubts about Hannibal when it was first announced. How could a show about Hannibal Lecter possibly live up to the pedigree of The Silence of the Lambs, and how could it possibly do it justice on a network like NBC? Bryan Fuller and the exceptional cast have proven myself and many others wrong, though, and Hannibal has been a deliciously dark treat from the very beginning. Its unfortunate status as an “endangered” show each season has actually seemingly given them the freedom to take more risks with the story. I can’t think of many other shows that would end a season with three of the four central characters flat on their backs dying.
Even fewer shows still would not immediately let us know what happened to those characters, but that’s exactly what Hannibal’s Season 3 opener did. Will, Alana and Jack’s statuses are all still unknown to us following the premiere, and while their names may still be in the opening credits of the show, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are all still alive. As Eddie Izzard proved this week, there are ways for your character to still be on this show after they’ve died. Izzard’s character, Gideon, was a great presence to have in the episode. We got a look back at some more of his final moments, as he slowly devoured himself—with help from Hannibal of course. Hannibal’s line “it’s only cannibalism if we’re equals” shed so much light no how he thinks of himself. He truly believes that he is above nearly everybody else, and treats others like livestock.
The relationship between Hannibal and Bedelia was the true focal point of the episode. The two have fled to Florence, via Paris, and are now masquerading as husband and wife. As we started off, I wasn’t certain whether it should be called a relationship or a partnership. There was a sense that Bedelia could be trying to manipulate Hannibal, but it became clearer and clearer as the episode went on that that wasn’t the case. The only person Bedelia seems to be trying to fool is herself. We got flashes back to the oft mentioned “incident” between her and Hannibal’s fellow patient. The patient (played by Zachary Quinto, who will have more appearances) certainly died in a strange fashion, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of this revealed throughout the season.
We can’t be certain right now about how much darkness actually lies in Bedelia. She willingly went with Hannibal in the first place, but throughout the episode, she becomes more and more overwhelmed by everything. She had her bags packed and was all ready to leave before Hannibal arrived home with the far too curious Anthony. The scene where Hannibal brutally murdered Anthony was great. It was almost as if he was lecturing Bedelia while he first bludgeoned Anthony and then snapped his neck. “Observe or participate” Hannibal calmly said to Bedelia, immediately bringing up a very interesting debate. Even if Bedelia stood there and didn’t join in, wouldn’t she still technically be participating in the murder?
The Hannibal we see here is different from the one we’ve gotten to know. He still has all of his predatory instincts, but he also seems a little bit freer now, too. He’s still pretending to be someone else, but he can be himself around Bedelia and doesn’t have the constant threat of the FBI to contend with. There were some nice subtle differences thrown in throughout the episode, and I especially enjoyed Hannibal stalking his prey at the beginning of it. We are perhaps seeing who Hannibal truly is for the first time now, and it’s fascinating. Mads Mikkelsen and Gillian Anderson play off each other. Even though the episode was primarily just the two of them having conversations, it never seemed to drag at all. I suspect we’ll find out the fates of our other main characters soon enough, meaning that this pairing will get a little less time on screen, but for now I’m very happy with what we’ve got.
Hannibal returned with a surprising episode that cruelly left us still hanging on to find out the fates of Will, Alana and Jack. There aren’t many other shows out there that would even try a risky move like that, but Hannibal doesn’t seem to play by normal TV rules. The central pairing of Hannibal and Bedelia carried the episode admirably, with strong performances from all involved. While Hannibal’s Italian adventure is good enough on its own, next week should definitely begin to fill us in on more of the aftermath of that bloodbath in Hannibal’s house that so chillingly closed out Season 2.
90/100 – Superb
What did you think of being left to wait a bit longer before finding out Will, Alana and Jack’s fates? Do you find it annoying, or was it all good with you? Tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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Antipasto was a great start to a new season! I agree with what you said about Bedelia trying to fool herself. I almost wonder if she’s in love with Hannibal. I guess we’ll find out.
I also love the format of your recap! I just did my first recap (on Hannibal also, actually) and I’m still figuring out the process!