“ELEGANCE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SUFFERING.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
This has been a very bold start to Season 3 of Hannibal. The premiere denied us any hint of what the fates of Will, Alana and Jack were following on from last season’s bloodbath of a finale, and we still don’t know the full story after this week’s “Primavera.” Out of the three main characters who were left dying at Hannibal’s house, Will was probably the one we could be most certain was safe, and so it proved. “Primavera” was all about Will getting back on the trail of Hannibal, with Hannibal himself only appearing for a brief few seconds here and there. Again, it’s a bold choice to basically divide the first two episodes between the two most important characters on the show, but it also feels quite filling.
We still don’t know what happened to Alana and Jack, but we do have a definite answer on Abigail. Abigail’s fate seemed the most certain at the end of last season, with her seemingly bleeding to death next to Will in Hannibal’s kitchen. That’s why it was such a surprise to see her up and about here. Abigail had already shockingly turned up alive once on the series, so that’s why I didn’t really buy her miraculous survival this time around. This show is simply too good to rely on completely illogical twists like that. They tried to throw us off with the explanation that Hannibal cut her in the exact right place to keep her alive, but we all saw her neck burst open; it would have been a stretch for her to survive that. What that meant was Abigail basically tagged along with Will for most of the episode, giving him someone to share his thoughts with. Of course considering Abigail was a figment of Will’s imagination, both sides of the conversation were thoughts that Will was having.
It’s obvious that Will is feeling massively conflicted. There’s a side of him that wants to catch Hannibal, but then there’s the side represented by Abigail here that wants to join Hannibal. It’s massively intriguing. Will has never been the most reliable source of information on the show. We just never know exactly where his head’s at. We see him wake up in hospital and he soon starts talking with “Abigail,” but then we jump forward to eight months later and he’s still talking to her. Was Will alone with “Abigail” for all of that time, and is he even supposed to be investigating the case at all at this stage? We’re getting the information drip fed to us this season, and so far it’s throwing up some wonderful questions. I suspect we’ll keep finding out a little bit more each week to fill in the gaps, before we see the bigger picture.
Another interesting new character, Rinaldo Pazzi (Fortunato Cerlino), was introduced this week. I immediately like how Pazzi’s character fits into the story. Not only did he prove to be a good partner of sorts for Will this week, he also provides us with a glimpse of Hannibal’s earlier years. Hannibal is just such a fascinating character to learn about, so seeing some of his past as “the Monster of Florence” was a real treat. Even decades before, Hannibal was a master of his trade, arranging his victims like the paintings he loved to gaze upon. I’m looking forward to seeing how Pazzi is used going forward. Both he and Will have come close to catching Hannibal in the past, although Pazzi got off far lighter than Will did in the end.
The final moments of the episode were incredibly intense. I found myself holding my breath as Pazzi and Will shuffled through the claustrophobic catacombs, all the while Hannibal stalked them in the dark. It might have seemed obvious that they wouldn’t find Hannibal, but you really just never know on this show. I half expected Hannibal to gut Pazzi while he was separated from Will. In the end they never came face to face, but Hannibal and Will were within feet of each other at one stage. As I mentioned above, Will is near impossible to read, so I don’t know what to make of him forgiving Hannibal. The conversations with “Abigail” suggest Will is definitely conflicted, but is he so conflicted that he’d genuinely join up with Hannibal? It could all be another ruse to get Hannibal to lower his guard, but only time will tell.
Hannibal continues to tease us by holding back a whole load of information about the fallout from the Season 2 finale. Alana and Jack are still missing in action, and there’s a huge chunk of time where we don’t know what Will was up to. This may frustrate people, as the split focus of these first two episodes may also do. I’m quite enjoying it so far. The whole thing is shaping up like a bit of a puzzle. I’m not even certain if we’ll continue with Will and Hannibal next week, or whether Alana or Jack (possibly both) will take the focus. Either way, Hannibal is off to a fine start this season.
What are your thoughts on how divided these first two episodes have been? Did you like seeing each episode from a different character’s perspective, or would you have preferred that the show stuck to a more regular format? Tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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