Thursday, May 28, 2015

'Hannibal' Season Three Pre-Game [Contributor: Rae Nudson]

The rose colored glasses everyone sees Hannibal through are shattered at the end of season two...  much like the window Alana Bloom also went through. The truth oozed out and spilled over, the presumed dead were walking again, and even after every sacrifice, Hannibal got away.

The carnage Hannibal left when he escaped with Bedelia is impressive: Jack was stabbed and left for dead, Alana crashed through a second-floor window, Abigail came back from the presumed dead only to be slashed in the throat yet again, and Will tried to save her while fighting for his own life. Hannibal had killed before, but never so many, or so violently, on screen for the audience to see. Just like Alana, Jack, and Will, we too now see Hannibal for what he is, in no uncertain terms.

It wasn’t an easy road last season for the trio to see the truth. Will started the season arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. As he began to uncover his memories, with help from Dr. Chilton, Will began to recall what Hannibal did to him. Privately, he held firm in the truth, blaming Hannibal and trying to find ways to stop him (including hiring a killer to end Hannibal once and for all). Publicly, Will knew no one was going to believe him until he got some proof. So he hatched a long con with Jack to catch the Chesapeake Ripper. A con so good that no one knew what was real and what was a trick.

After the charges against Will were dropped and he was released from the hospital for the criminally insane, he pretended to return to a normal life. Will helped on cases with the FBI, and he resumed his therapy with Hannibal. He played with his dogs. He met and formed a relationship with Margot Verger, another of Hannibal’s patients who might be better off without his specific brand of treatment.

But life as usual is not really on the menu (haaa) when Hannibal is involved. At the earliest opportunity, Hannibal started manipulating again, coercing Margot to get pregnant by Will in a plan to produce an heir for the Verger fortune. It might have worked, if Margot’s abusive brother Mason didn’t catch Hannibal’s attention. Hannibal hated his rudeness.

So Margot, Mason, and Will became pawns in Hannibal’s game. Every time Margot made a move to escape Mason, Hannibal made sure she was trapped even further. She got pregnant so her son could inherit the fortune that she, as a woman could not. And so, Mason forced her under the knife for a hysterectomy. Will began to love the idea of being a father, then was forced to mourn the idea of a child. Hannibal pushed them all so hard they broke—this was his design.

When Will told Mason that Hannibal was responsible for everything, Mason tried to kill Hannibal, but somehow it was Mason instead who ended up with a broken neck and a scarred face (in a scene that disturbed me so much it took me weeks to get over). Hannibal saw Mason coming—he sees everything that’s coming—and he can orchestrate others’ pain just as easily as a new song on his harpsichord. ... Which is also how he played Alana. Fed up with Will, believing he was denying reality, Alana turned to Hannibal. What she found instead was a smokescreen. Hannibal got close to Alana and used her for alibis and cover stories, and Alana was happily taken for a ride.

Crime reporter Freddie Lounds was able to see through the smokescreen, and fortunately for Freddie, her fake death may have precluded her real one (how could Hannibal kill her for knowing the truth when she’s already dead?). Will and Jack faked Freddie’s death so that Hannibal would believe Will killed her. As she became part of Jack and Will’s plan, Freddie learned a lot about Hannibal, which will ultimately go into a best-seller, no doubt.

The FBI, however, was left in the dark. When Jack and Will’s plan finally came to light, Jack and Will were accused of entrapment and Will charged with the murder of a man he killed in self-defense after Hannibal set him up to do so. Jack bent the rules of the FBI with Miriam Lass, and he bent the rules for Will. Death follows Hannibal, but chaos follows Jack.

When Jack knows he is running out of (semi) legal options, he goes to Hannibal himself. Last season opened with a fight between Jack and Hannibal, and the season finale is where that fight ended. Hannibal knew they were coming for him, so Hannibal did what he always does when he is forced into a corner. He fought his way out. And Jack, Will, Abigail, and Alana—all those who saw the truth about Hannibal with their own eyes—are left dead or dying in Hannibal’s pristinely decorated home. Although Hannibal’s former friends (frenemies?) are left for dead, the truth finally lives. Jack and his team now know for sure who they are looking for, but will they be able to find him? Will they LIVE to find him?

Season three of Hannibal seemingly will be focused less on searching for the truth and more on literally searching for Hannibal. His escape with Bedelia, his former psychiatrist and ice queen of my heart, sets up the show for a new dynamic. The pair is on the run, living—and likely killing—in Europe together. I can’t wait to find out more about Bedelia and her reasons for helping Hannibal, and I am dying to see how Jack and Will can act now that hiding the truth isn’t holding them back. Presuming, of course, that they are still alive to search.

What are you most excited about this season? I love Bedelia and can’t wait to see what she is wearing on holiday in Europe—and who she and Hannibal might be having for dinner.

Hannibal comes backreturns Thursday, June 4, at 10/9c on NBC. Meet me back here for weekly reviews! I’ll bring the dessert.


  1. What are you most excited about this season?

    Now that he’s back in Europe, I’m hoping for some exploration of Hannibal’s background and what made him the monster he is. In the books, he was born in eastern Europe (Lithuania, I think) before World War 2 and it was the horrors of the Eastern Front (especially seeing his sister killed and eaten by deserters) that made him what he was. He’s obviously far too young for that backstory to work in the TV series, so I’m genuinely curious to see what they come up with instead.

    I love Bedelia and can’t wait to see what she is wearing on holiday in Europe

    Something delightful, no doubt. Speaking as a guy, but one of my guiltier pleasures of the last season was getting to appreciate just how amazing Gillian Anderson is looking these days...

    Hannibal comes back Thursday, June 4, at 10/9c on NBC.

    Unfortunately it’s not being shown until the 10th in the UK. I’ll be reading your reviews with interest, but probably won’t get much opportunity to comment:-(

    1. I'm so glad you'll be reading! I haven't read the books, so I'm coming in blind about the background info of a lot of the characters, but I think the differences between the books and show are so interesting. Hope to see you in the comments again as you are able to!

  2. I love Hannibal and I love that you going to write about it. I´m sorry because i don´t write/ talk english very well, but i´m going to read your reviews every week.
    Thank you for doing it.