Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
This episode had a few really somber moments, but none of them were as bad as the news that Hannibal has officially been cancelled by NBC. I wish I could say it’s a surprise, but the truth is that Hannibal is just not a good fit for network television, and that has been made perfectly clear by the dismal ratings the show has been getting for a while now. There’s always hope in this day and age that another home can be found for the show, and there are a couple of suitors out there. Bryan Fuller himself says that there’s about a 50/50 chance that we’ll get Season 4 elsewhere, so let’s cross our fingers that we get to see it.
And what an episode to follow up some bad news with. “Aperitivo” was the best of the season so far, as we stepped back a little from the present storyline to fill in some more of the gaps left after that night at Hannibal’s house. I talked recently about wanting to know more about the events that happened in the eight-month “blind spot” we now have, and the blanks have really started to get filled in. Frederick Chilton proved to be a very important part of our journey of discovery, with him visiting with virtually all of the main players (sans Hannibal) in a quest to find a way to worm his way into the “inner circle.” Chilton, disfigured after suffering that gunshot wound to the face last season, seems singularly focused on finding Hannibal. But as always with Chilton, it’s not only about catching a killer, it’s also about personal gain. He’s amusingly trademarked the term “Hannibal the Cannibal,” and with Mason Verger offering $1 million for information regarding Hannibal, Chilton can get himself set up for life here.
So we see Chilton visit Jack, who rebuffs him to go spend time with his wife, and Chilton also finds himself turned down by Will. Even Verger had the sense to dismiss Chilton. That left the now confirmed alive Alana as Chilton’s last port of call, and surprisingly she was all too welcome to get in on his scheming. Alana seems the most radically changed by the events of last season. While Will and Jack suffered both mentally and physically too, Alana seems to have come out of it motivated by pure revenge. It’s an interesting turn for the character. Out of everybody on the show, Alana was the most fooled by Hannibal. She believed that she had failed Will, and that Will was also guilty of the crimes he was accused of, and she had also entered into an intimate relationship with Hannibal. It makes perfect sense that she’d want some payback, and this new direction marks an interesting new dynamic for Alana.
I mentioned last week about how we didn’t know how life had gone for Jack in the time since the Season 2 finale, and it turns out I was pretty spot on about just how bleak it had gotten for him. Forced into retirement, Jack decided to spend as much time with Bella as possible. This is where a lot of the emotional punch of the episode came from. Jack ultimately made the decision to end Bella’s suffering, and in a touching moment we saw some of Jack’s fondest memories of Bella juxtaposed with the day of her funeral. My favorite moment in all of this was Hannibal’s letter to Jack. Even after everything that has happened, I still get the sense that Hannibal genuinely respects Jack and considers him a friend, in a twisted way of course. Bedelia has already remarked that Hannibal is drawing all of his old friends to him, so this letter could be another way of doing just that. With his job gone and Bella dead, Jack only has saving Will to focus on now, but I’m sure his drive to catch Hannibal still lingers.
While the cancellation of Hannibal is a massive blow, there’s still hope left that the show will return elsewhere. And honestly, it would be a damn shame if we don’t get to see more. This show definitely isn’t for everyone. The pace and overall tone of the show aren’t exactly welcoming to a wide audience, but it’s quite a unique show. There aren’t many other shows like it around today—especially on network television. With Hannibal drawing in his old friends, things are only going to get better from now on. And with the new vengeful Alana out to take the doctor down, the dance is getting more and more interesting.
What are your thoughts on Alana’s new direction, and what do you think lies in store for her now? Tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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