Expressionism washes back ashore and reunites us with the other half of Hannibal’s resident hallucinatory protagonist. A recovered Will Graham discovers himself in a foreign land with one thing on his mind; find Hannibal Lecter. But what does finding him mean, and will he confront the monster as friend or foe? The flowing piece travels up and down shattered memories bringing uncharacteristic closure while opening a familiar door exposing the antlers of evil. Even with the help of a local inspector, Will’s plight remains singular and unrelenting. Now comes the real chase.
Very much of this episode hinged on both a quality in deception and a willingness to absorb a man’s mental awareness of the world outside and within. I never grow tired of the imagery that continues to provocatively outdo itself every episode. Layers are what make this show outstanding and that’s barely scratching the surface along with the amazing acting and commanding dialogue we’re treated to week to week. Each sequence is both disgusting and full of morbid fascination. Turning away is foolish if we’re to understand the complexity of the moment. This week was applause worthy minus the core piece of subterfuge that almost had me guessing what was real. But from here on out, don’t try and make us wonder who’s alive and who’s dead, just be faithful to the truth.
Last season’s final moments are replayed with Hannibal mortally wounding both Will and Abigail. Amidst Will’s departing consciousness, he’s brought back to the surface as he awakes from his coma, seemingly with Abigail by his side at the hospital. 8 months later, the two are paired in Italy on the trail of Hannibal’s recent murder at a rich chapel. Will meets Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi who reveals he once tried to arrest Hannibal for a murder twenty years ago but was unsuccessful. Will hallucinates at the chapel by the murder scene and grows weary of Hannibal’s continued hold on him. It is then revealed that Abigail did not survive being cut by Hannibal and Will had kept her memory alive in guilt. When Pazzi arrives at the chapel, Will laments that Hannibal is nearby and the two search the catacombs for him. Unable to find Hannibal, they part ways with Hannibal spying on Will. Before Hannibal leaves, Will whispers “I forgive you”, knowing his old friend heard it.
I was always a fan of Abigail and had to grit my teeth when I realized too early she was just a figment. Their scene at the hospital was genuine and easily believable considering Abigail had a bandage and mentioned how Hannibal knew how to cut them without killing them. But then Abigail is with Will in Italy and the fantasy just falls apart too quickly in my eyes. Sure the priest and Abigail stared at each other, but that’s the lure of deceit. Unless a character actually spoke to Abigail, there was just no way that storyline could continue. I’ve been burned too many times in the past with the same kind of ruse, but they did try and give Abigail some semblance of departure that wasn’t just her throat being cut and being the end of it. What’s interesting is that Will imagined that no matter what, Abigail wanted to return to Hannibal. It’s strange and surreal but also equally engrossing that Will projects his own needs onto her as though he’s the one not entirely convinced that’s what he wants, when it could very well be. In any case, Abigail meant something to both Will and Hannibal and now that connection has been severed forever. It’s just Will now, hunting the hunter.
It can never be overstated how enthralling the dark and twisted dreams and hallucinations are in this show. From the broken tea cup manifesting as Will himself, to the human body shaped as a heart that unfolds and gradually morphs into the dreadful antlered creature that represents Hannibal’s true form. It’s reaching out to Will and demanding attention in the most wicked ways. All of this translates to Will’s unknowing conclusion as to what he’ll do when he finds Hannibal. His statement “I forgive you” can easily be interpreted as yet another one of Will’s long con. We have to believe that Will isn’t so far gone that he’d just jump onto Hannibal’s side and live his life as an accomplice to a prolific and undefeatable murderer. No, the tale has to remain fixed and equal to the book’s interpretation. Will isn’t evil and he isn’t going to give in just because Hannibal is alluring and sensible to Will’s psyche. Lines have to be drawn and somehow Will is going to win this enduring arc.
Pazzi is another book orientated character that makes his debut to Will which is something interesting as in the series the two have never met. This Pazzi is just as compelled to find Hannibal yet it’s much more personal and analogous to Ahab and the white whale. For now, he’s allowing Will to center in on Hannibal however he can with the hopes that the monster can be caught. Their dialogue so far is a bit silly in the grand scheme of reality, but Will has never been one to be very straight and honest with his words. One haunting fact remains is that Will predicted Hannibal will kill Pazzi if he continues his investigation and those who have read the series know the answer to that dilemma.
Seeing Abigail and Will having their moments of reflection. There was an honest maturity that Will created for Abigail yet the world he built for her was limited and very borrowed on time. In truth, her personality was continued off of her mentality that she was under Hannibal’s control for fear and dependence. Will couldn’t save her and couldn’t keep her alive even in memory. Still, it was a nice gesture to give those who wanted to see a better life for her character, and I for one am glad Hannibal never made her into dish.
This was Abigail’s last episode so I’m giving it to her. As a character she was convincing enough to be considered a live and supporting person. It was just the order of events and practicality that couldn’t seal the trolling the show did to us. Will is moving past her and as a character not involved in the book series, she made a lasting impression on both protagonists. Even as a figment, she tried to help Will while still expressing a necessary bond with Hannibal, something that Will himself is fighting to understand. What I find the most amusing in this is that Will has a hallucination and is then woken up by another hallucination that was Abigail. That just shows how truly subverted Will can get.
Since Will is acting alone, does this mean he no longer has a connection to the FBI, or is he back on a sting to trap Hannibal, we just don’t know yet?
The doctor said someone wanted to see Will, but was that in itself a dream or was the person someone who we never saw like Alana or Jack perhaps? Jack we know had to survive because he’s still an important supporting character in the series, but Alana we still don’t know yet for sure what might have happened.
The body as a heart that changed into a stag was absolutely gut wrenching and chaotic and will stand as possibly the most epic of dream sequences next to one or two others that really stood out. Hannibal really knows how to get inside Will’s head even from a country away.
I know it was probably too soon, but having Hannibal and Will communicate even with one or two lines in the echoing catacombs would have been an awesome scene. But then we’d know too soon what Will’s intentions are and his line of forgiveness shouldn’t have been a dead giveaway.
Will Bedelia and Will meet before Hannibal and Will do? If so, how will the two interact and handle the monster who knows how to control and manipulate virtually everyone he meets?
8 out of 10. My only real gripe comes with having a 5-6 minute flashback at the beginning of the episode. It was played almost entirely verbatim and could have been shortened with the same message being over-layed. Still, it was a fantastic return to the surreal focus that makes this show engaging, mesmerizing, and full of gory symbolism. Will is strictly following one man’s design and only one. Hannibal won’t kill simply for the food of it and has to be careful when he’s forced to make hasty decisions such as that. And again, thanks for setting us straight on Abigail’s fate, it wasn’t what many wanted, but at least she can rest. Thanks for reading all, see you next week.
No more words