Hannibal in season three is dark and continues to be seductive. Secondo, episode three takes us back to the literal beginning of Lector, all the way to his Lithuanian childhood home, Misha and what drives him. Jack Crawford is in Florence, following not Hannibal but Will Graham. Du Maurier, is still with “her husband” and Chiyo kills the prisoner. This is not the only death in the episode.
At an intimate dinner party, Sogliato is served not only a meal that Hannibal has lovingly prepared, but is also the recipient of an ice pick in the temple. Revenge, as Lector knows, is best served cold and the man who annoyed him in season one has been dealt with. Sogliato sits frozen at the dinner table with the handle of the pick protruding from the side of his temple. Muttering in both English and Italian, mostly confused gibberish, Du Maurier decides enough is enough. Leaving her seat at the table, she goes to Sogliato and yanks the pick from his head. Immediately the man falls forward and face plants the dish in front of him.
“Technically, you killed him,” says Hannibal.
Will goes to the Lithuanian home, where it all began for Hannibal. Once there, he imagines speaking to Lector there and in reality he bumps into Chiyo. She is keeping a man prisoner, because Lector told her that he killed Misha.
Later in the show, Hannibal serves up Sogliato to a couple of his colleagues. Will lets the prisoner go and Chiyo kills him by shoving a knife in his throat as he attempts to strangle her. “I’m sorry,” she says just before the blood starts to jet from his neck. She also tells Will that he is turning into Hannibal.
By the end of the show, Du Maurier guides Hannibal to the conclusion that the only way he can forgive Will is to eat him.
Season three has been incredibly dark, not just in content but in presentation as the lighting for each set piece is murky and the tones are all this side of deep black. Certain scenes have the viewer reaching for the brightness control in frustration. There is no real need. Each portion of the show is all about the overall ambiance.
The clever inquisitive conversation that hints at an intellect so profound that normal people are left in awe. The same high IQ that created individuals who have an appreciation for classical music and a taste for human flesh prepared ornately, lovingly.
Watching Hannibal wash Du Maurier’s hair at the end of the episode feels the same as when he gently and seductively prepares his victims for the feast. While the show thus far has been very dark, the parties, where he serves and kills Sogliato and later the second one where he serves the academic prig to his other guests, the lighting is not dark, the audience can see the almost obscene attention and devotion to eating that the guests and Hannibal exhibit.
The score, an opulent operatic piece, swells as the camera flashes back to the preparation and now zooms in on the food and the guest’s reaction to it. An extreme close up of the escargot being lifted steaming from its serving shell. This is beyond delight of a good meal, this is an orgasmic sensation made all the more obscene because in a moment, the guests will be eating Sogliato along with Hannibal and Bedelia.
According to the book’s lore, Hannibal began his compulsion of cannibalism after being forced to eat his sister. It is interesting that this season, which is going back to the beginning of Hannibal, to dwell on the incestuous consumption that started the whole thing off. Observing the loving way that Lector prepares his victims, caressing the flesh with spices and herbs, juxtaposed against the violent chopping when he prepares the cuts shows a violent demonstration of love. Was this the way he prepared Misha?
This is very reminiscent of the way Chiyo prepares the bird. Caressing the meat and violently dissecting it. Hannibal’s influence obviously. Just as he, Lector, is compelled to consume human flesh, an act of love, so too do all those he has touched feel the need to devour those they love.
Jack Crawford says he is there for Will and it is apparent that Hannibal spared both men to see where this will go. Just as Chiyo points out to Graham when he let her prisoner go, Will has become Hannibal because everyone who is influenced by him, does so.
All of season three is evocative of a fugue state, mainly because of the slow, dark appearance and the pace. Slow, sometimes lurching forward almost unwillingly, the episodes feel like some sort of dream state instead of reality. The series has always had this air, but now it has increased exponentially and made the events on screen take on an obscene beauty which one cannot stop watching.