Hannibal: Contorno (recap and review)

Will and Chiyo in Hannibal
Last week in Hannibal, Aperitivo teams or, more accurately, partnerships were formed. All following the Lector trail to Florence. Dr. Bloom and Mason Verger, Will Graham and Chiyo, Jack Crawford and Rinaldo Pazzi, are all on their way to Hannibal, and he is waiting with his own partner, Bedelia. In Hannibal, Contorno their paths are intertwining to a degree and some are closer than others. Verger is still the wheelchair commander having sent out his contract for a live Lector to be delivered to him and he is positive that he will win in this intense competition.

On their train journey, Chiyo and Will converse and analyze one another. She tells Will that he must kill Hannibal as he fears he will become Lector if he does not. Chiyo also reveals to Graham that “there are means of influence other than violence” but that violence is what Will understands. Highlight of their conversation, before she pushes him off the train, is their allegorical discussion of the snail. The allusion to the “belly of the beast” is perfect verbal imagery of what happens to most of Hannibal’s victims.

The most touching part of the show is when Jack releases Bella’s ashes into the waters of Florence, “Ciao Bella” and then throws his wedding ring in after. He then meets with Pazzi and his wife, where he talks about meeting his wife in Florence and the three toast the late woman. Pazzi reveals to Jack, inadvertently, that he will “sell” Hannibal to collect the “bounty.” He tells Crawford that he is disgraced and “out of fortune.”

Verger’s “armchair detective” Dr. Bloom, shows her collected evidence, wine receipts and bills for dinner service plates and cutlery, that proves Hannibal is in Florence. As she trots out her findings, Bedelia is shown going into a “fine grocer”and ordering the same thing once a week. During her presentation, Verger shows once again that underneath all those scars and that money, he is a crass disgusting individual.

Pazzi questions Dr Fell about the disappearance of his predecessor and of Sogliato who is the second man to disappear from the Palazzo. Hannibal; as Fell, asks the Inspector about his ancestors and the most infamous ancestor of all, Francesco who attempted to assassinate “Lorenzo the Magnificent” during Mass in 1478. Later in the episode, Hannibal will show Pazzi a woodcutting of the disemboweled Francesco just before killing him.

After their conversation, Pazzi rings Mason Verger’s hot-line number to claim the bounty for Hannibal. Later he goes to collect the first of two required pieces of evidence that will prove it really is Lector when the inspector dies, after being questioned by Lector, by hanging and being disemboweled. Hannibal cuts the man open before flinging his body out of the window leaving Rinaldo as a “living woodcut” of Francesco.

As Rinaldo’s body swings outside the Palazzo, Jack Crawford looks up at Hannibal. The two meet upstairs and Jack slowly and deliberately sets out to beat Lector to death. Lector fights back but the big man’s rage and focus is overwhelming. At one point Crawford shoves a grappling hook through Lector’s leg.

A bloodied and wounded Hannibal climbs to the window where moments before he had thrown the disemboweled Inspector Pazzi to his death and as Jack closes in for the kill, Lector uses his latest victim to escape.

The pretty one sided altercation between Jack and Hannibal is filmed against the score of Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie overture and it adds much to the scene. The use of this particular piece feels like a homage to A Clockwork Orange where Alex attacks his Droogs to prove leadership. In this case it is Jack attacking Hannibal to prove he is in control…almost.

Lector escapes and the teaser to the next episode shows that a beaten, bloody Hannibal is in danger of being defeated, not by Jack, but Chiyo; with a high-powered rifle. This show continues to amaze and enthrall. The music, the lighting, the cinematography, the acting are all top notch and the fact that NBC has axed the show beggars belief. Mad Mikkelsen, Lawrence Fishburne, Hugh Dancy, Gillian Anderson, Caroline Dhavernas and Tao Okamoto, along with the rest of the cast, all have brought multi dimensional life and depth to their characters and made this show a brilliant testament to the fact that some television is beyond what passes for entertainment on other networks.

Shame on you NBC.