Episode 3 “Secondo” embellishes the merger of Hannibal’s three protagonist actors set on different stages, each with a supporting cast member to reflect and philosophies with. Relationships both internal and external are composed through the evolution of murderous acts and the search for a soft theme of understanding and acceptance. The past is murmured throughout giving the core villain some semblance of a reason for his existence, yet in the end, Hannibal’s vision is clear; he intends to eat Will Graham.
While close-ups of life and death in the guise of animals and victims were the core focus on our voluptuous cinematography, I found the vision in this episode less detailed and more strained than imaginative. Will’s travels into his psyche as well as that of Hannibal’s were less poetic and engaging than the real conversations he had with Chiyo, who is a fascinating new addition to this richly gothic series. Hannibal and Bedelia’s misadventures were a bit of the same as seen in the premiere, but they managed to rotate who had the mental advantage this time around. Jack and Pazzi’s scenes were the least concerning or interesting even though their tones were better matched than Will and Pazzi’s were the week prior. The real struggle is pace and it’s greatly subdued by creative camera work even though we were fairly warned long before the trailers began to start the Hanni crazy once more. The showdown is very clear which is the biggest positive that has been released thus far making the anticipation of Hannibal’s capture that much more enticing, especially if he’s orchestrating the result subconsciously.
During a candid conversation, Bedelia openly states to Hannibal that he’ll eventually be caught. Hannibal determines Will has moved onto his old estate where he cannot return to. Will arrives in Lithuania and finds the Lecter estate. He spies on a youthful woman, Chiyo who kills wild game around the property. She prepares the carcasses and gives them to a prisoner who is later identified as the man who killed and ate Mischa, Hannibal’s younger sister. Will discovers the prisoner and is caught, but Chiyo and Will come to an understanding over both knowing Hannibal and his legacy. Meanwhile, Jack arrives in Italy where he resides at the church where Lecter was last seen and he converses with Pazzi about Hannibal, searching for Will and the religious aspects of life and afterlife. Hannibal invites Sogliato to dinner and during the meal impulsively stabs him in the head. He later cooks him as a meal served to the Albizzo couple. At night, Will lets the prisoner free but he returns and attacks Chiyo who is forced to kill him. Will set up the scenario so that Chiyo would free herself and the two align to find Hannibal. Will prepares the body as a large moth(?) to be displayed as a sign. Later, Bedelia converses with Hannibal about what forgiving Will will entail and Hannibal surmises that he must eat him.
I thoroughly enjoyed Hannibal and Bedelia’s scenes even through they ran the same theme between the two which is both subverted and straight to the point. Her fear still exists on her sleeve but she wears it as prominently knowing it will do her no good to fear him, because in some unknown capacity, he needs her. As a reoccurring motif, Hannibal delights in serving his guests human meat and they adore him unknowing of the ingredients. Yet it is here that Bedelia sees the art for what it is and even trembles a bit at the process of keeping the lie intact. Her resilient nature comes in the form of guessing at Hannibal’s reason for human consumption and uses Mischa as an instrument to goad him. What I like the most is the calm demeanors they elicit while she tells him he’s going to be caught and he’s practically doing it on purpose. Hannibal, in a way is like an entity that requires conflict to satiate even deeper desires than eating flesh. It’s almost incidental at this point because what really drives him is the nature of his own capacity to feel for others. He accepts and states how entropy leads to chaos which poignantly covers the second law of thermodynamics in that chaos must always increase. He embodies that element and does his best to thrive in the moment while still playing chess at the maximum performance possible.
Will and Chiyo made a great pair. She’s a bit of an enigma still because she’s not Lady Murasaki, who has yet to be revealed. How the two are integrated we’re not sure yet, but the mystery is fascinating to discover and Will needs a real ally, one who isn’t the ghost of Abigail. The only part I struggled to understand is the age of the prisoner who was played by Julian Richings, a fantastic actor (His portrayal of Death in the Supernatural show is second to none) We’re in 2015 which makes WWII very far away. Unless they are placing Hannibal’s childhood in the 60’s, this seems like a difficult concept to grasp on when his childhood trauma took place. It’s a nitpick, one that I’m happy to discard in favor of the plot at hand. As for Will, he’s still playing the neutral victim who forgives but doesn’t forget what happened to him. I like Chiyo because she’s new and at the same time someone who suffers at the hands of Hannibal but for vastly different reasons. I’d like to think she’ll be a formidable supporting character, but then again, her nature could be something else entirely given who she’s associated with.
I don’t have much to elaborate on with Jack and Pazzi’s scenes. It’s good to see Jack back, but we know next to nothing about his time spent recovering and why specifically he’s looking for Will. He mentions that both he and Will died when Hannibal cut them both, but it was told in a strange affirmation as opposed to an awakening of the spirit. Pazzi duplicates his mannerisms and concern over finding Hannibal, but at least with Jack the dialogue flows a bit more freely as Jack is normally a very sensible and upfront being. They kept their scenes short and for now what I saw was an acceptable length. I’d like Jack to have more purpose and direction when next we see him.
The dinner scene when Hannibal stabs Sogliato in the head with the ice pick. I swear I felt the point touch my temple for that fraction of a second which was a brilliant quick shot. Bedelia’s reaction was also priceless including Hannibal’s remark about being impulsive and technically not responsible for his death. He banters at the expense of his own amusement while Bedelia struggles to maintain her calm manners as she pulled the ice pick from Sogliato’s head. It was all around a funny and gruesome scene to watch.
I found Bedelia displayed more bravery and composure during her one on one scenes with Hannibal including the intimate bathtub scene where she threw the preverbal grenade in Hannibal’s lap by asking how her sister tasted then casually slipped away to let her hair rinse in the bathwater. She’s playing at scenarios detailing Hannibal’s rise as a cannibal when he won’t specifically speak to his childhood, yet Mischa’s fate seems to be relatively commonplace among both Will, Chiyo and kind of by Bedelia. She’s stoking the fire, but convinced she won’t be burned. I hope for her sake she doesn’t tread too close the next time she decides to poke at the master villain.
I’m surprised Jack didn’t immediately tell Pazzi that Hannibal had killed a lot of people in America when Pazzi mentioned not hearing from the monster in twenty years. It’s not like Hannibal had been hibernating the whole time with only thoughts of killing in Italy.
Still no sign from Dr. Bloom yet. She’s listed in the show’s credits, let’s get going already! I’m starting to think we need an entire flashback episode detailing the missing eight months between seasons.
I don’t agree with having Will speak to an imaginary Hannibal during episodes like these. Season three is anticipating the reunion and I’m fine with keeping the two separated until the gut-wrenching climax when they must face each other again. Will’s interpretation of Hannibal doesn’t fully represent the monster and I’d like the two to be genuinely real when they speak to one another.
7 out of 10. Some previous seasonal cliché’s made their way back into the fold of this episode but I feel the show has evolved into new territory and needs to explore those elements while we further dive into the psyche of our tried and tested characters. Some of the imagery just didn’t compare to last week’s episode and that was bound to be a serious possibility because that heart/body/stag/thing was just such a gruesome highlight, it would have been difficult to top. I enjoyed the new character interactions but felt Jack and Pazzi was the weakest of the three, understandably so. The core of Hannibal is beginning to surface which will be interesting to see how far it goes, but I hope it doesn’t include moments where Hannibal truly loses his composure and does more than just react with an ice pick. Hannibal isn’t an angry person and shouldn’t suffer from the indignities of being called out or mocked as a person of intellectual value. He wins when he eats the person who annoyed him, not because of the kill. Thanks for reading all, see you next week.
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