WHO’S HUNGRY? Seriously, after “Secondo,” I may never eat anything but peanut butter sandwiches for the rest of my life. While Hannibal cooks his way though Italy, Will travels to his dearest frenemy’s ancestral home, and another season two survivor shows his face. Spoilers await!
The opening shot is blood, or wine, pouring into a glass? Oh, it’s Bedelia drinking it, so it’s gotta be wine. They’re back in their to-die-for chic Florence apartment, and she’s got a question for Hannibal: was it nice to see him? The “him” is so loaded she doesn’t have to say the name. We know she means Will.
It was nice, “among other things,” our conflicted antihero admits. “He knew where to look for me.”
Bedelia’s not surprised. For one thing, she knew that Hannibal knew where Will would look for him, particularly given the heavy hints he’d dropped to him in the past. Obviously, the Norman Chapel was gonna be the first place he’d go. She’s also nonplussed when Hannibal says that Will has forgiven him. Forgiveness is a two-way street, she reminds him. It requires the participation of both the betrayer and the betrayed.
“Which one are you?”
“I’m vague on those details.”
Betrayal and forgiveness should be viewed as akin to falling in love, she says. But she’s also got another opinion to share: Hannibal is going to be caught. It’s destiny, boo. Hannibal wonders if she’s concerned for him — as her patient — or concerned for her own neck, but breathy Bedelia is pretty confident she’ll be able to navigate her way out of whatever accomplice-type charges might be coming her way. Hannibal doesn’t share her confidence (so he says), but he’s dead right about where Will Graham will be looking for him next: “Someplace I can never go. Home.”
A close-up on Hannibal’s grim face dissolves into a close-up of Will’s similarly somber visage. He strides through a darkened room, across a pool of blood ... before returning to the real world. He’s in Lithuania, scaling the imposing, vine-choked fence that encircles the Lecter family manse. Let’s just say it’s not a very welcoming setting; there are clouds of mist, rusty locked doors and looming turrets, an overgrown graveyard, etc. While we’re waiting for one of Lecter’s vampire relatives to pop out, the camera swoops down to focus on the one grave with a bright flower growing out of it: that of Hannibal’s sister, Mischa.
As Will’s gazing through his binoculars at the castle, he has another dreamy Hannibal flashback. Hannibal’s childhood memories are buried in his memory palace, “and here you are feeling for the latch.” The rooms in the palace are all different, Hannibal says. Some of the rooms contain screaming, but he doesn’t hear it ... “Because I hear music.” As the camera drifts through shadows, it begins to shake, and glass shatters. Whoa! Ok, Will’s jerked back to the Lithuanian woods, because someone is shooting ... at him? (He is trespassing pretty blatantly, after all.)
Out come the binoculars again. It’s a beautiful, dark-haired woman toting a shotgun, and she takes down a bird as Will watches. Cue weirdly sensual close-ups of this mysterious creature plucking the bird in a room full of swirling, slo-mo feathers. Welcome to the Hannibal universe, lady, you’re gonna fit right in. As she cleavers the claws off, we cut to ... Hannibal, sleeves rolled up in his kitchen, coolly chopping a human hand off a disembodied arm before slicing and seasoning the flesh as strings swell in the background. Somebody’s having a party!
And indeed, it’s cranky Professor Sogliato come for dinner — as you’ll recall, this is the guy who questioned the credentials of “Dr. Fell,” who is actually Hannibal. Despite using a fake identity, Hannibal does know how to play at being a curator, in addition to being a hell of a cook. Oh, and a bartender, as it turns out; on tonight’s menu is the last tipple ever served aboard the Titanic. Professor S. isn’t sharp enough to catch on, but we know he’s doomed, and it happens quite quickly, in the form of an ice pick jammed into his temple.
He clutches on to life, chuckling crazily, until Bedelia’s had enough, and elegantly yanks it out. He slumps over, bleeding profusely. “Technically,” Hannibal snarks, “You killed him.” She’s not interested in verbal repartee at the moment, though, realizing that Hannibal is no longer concerned with “keeping the peace” in their new life. “You’re drawing them to you ... all of them.” The camera returns us to the Norman Chapel, where a hat-wearing figure is illuminated by candlelight. OMG! It’s Jack Crawford!
While Jack is studying crime-scene photos of Hannibal’s heart display from last week, Florence’s finest, the Il Mostro-obsessed Inspector Pazzi, approaches. Like Pazzi and Will, they have something in common, immediately, but Jack is way more clinical. “Dr. Lecter will strike, but his needs don’t force him to strike often.” Pazzi, who’s also obsessed with rehabbing his own reputation, wants to buddy up with Crawford, but Crawford can’t help him, since they’re not looking for the same man.
Meanwhile, Crawford’s quarry is huddled over a campfire on the grounds of Castle Lecter, surrounded by ... fireflies? He follows them to a mossy monument marked with a small handprint and has been overtaken by snails, then sneaks up to the house that sits below the castle, where the mysterious woman is cooking one of her birds. In the basement, Will discovers a small cell where a babbling, grimy man has been imprisoned. Inevitably, he hears a click as the woman takes aim behind him with her shotgun. Not so expected: the first words out of her mouth. “You’re upsetting him,” she chides.
Will turns on the charm. He’s a friend of Hannibal’s! He’s unarmed! And, hey, what’s up with that man you’re keeping locked up like an animal?
“I wouldn’t do this to an animal,” she intones. She is stone-cold, and she clearly has her reasons.
What did he do? “He ate her,” she says, meaning Mischa Lecter. The woman has been keeping the man prisoner, and vice versa, for a long time, she says. When Will asks how she got into this odd situation, she turns the tables. She’s still pointing the gun at him, even as they walk away from the house. “That question applies to both of us.”
Her name is Chiyoh, and she puts down her weapon only when Will shows the scar Hannibal gave him. As this uneasy truce is brokered, we cut back to Hannibal, who’s enthusiastically preparing a pair of lungs (guess whose!) for consumption at yet another dinner party. These guests, however, are not on the menu ... though they are unknowingly being cannibals.
Meanwhile, Chiyoh — who claims to understand why Hannibal is the way he is — tells Will that it was Hannibal who told her that the prisoner killed and ate Mischa. After she convinced Hannibal not to kill the prisoner, he left her in charge of guarding him. He was curious if she would kill the man, Will deduces.
But first, after Will assures her that he’s not there to kill her, because he’s not like Hannibal, she asks why he’s trying to track down the man who left him with such a horrible scar.
“I’ve never known myself as well as I know myself when I’m with him,” he admits, haltingly.
Back in Florence, as a series of shorter scenes begin to intercut, there’s another luxurious bath for Bedelia. This time, Hannibal is tenderly (?) washing her hair. “Would you like to talk about your first spring lamb?” she asks. “Why can’t you go home, Hannibal? What happened to you there?” And the final blow, before she ducks under the water: “How did your sister taste?”
The prisoner might know. Or he might not. But Will, driven by the same curiosity that made Hannibal entrust Chiyoh with his care, breaks the lock off the man’s cell.
Back in the chapel, Jack speaks to Pazzi about what Hannibal did to them. Both he and Will were dead, he says. “Will Graham understands Hannibal. He accepts him. Who among us doesn’t want understanding and acceptance?”
When Chiyoh brings her prisoner yet another poultry meal, he attacks, and she does kill him — just as Will and Hannibal wondered — but it’s in self-defense, and she looks plenty horrified after. Will tells her he did it so that she would be free, and she sees a familiarity in the manipulation technique, pointing out, “You’re doing what he does. He’d be proud of you.” The two acquaintances share a bottle of wine, and she agrees she’ll help Will find the man that scarred them both.
But first, Will makes his very own gruesome sculpture using the dead man’s body, hoisting it high; it’s as artful as one of you-know-who’s own creations. And speaking of that sleek cannibal, he’s tickling the ivories back in Florence while Bedelia nudges him to share his feelings about Will. “What your sister made you feel was beyond your conscious ability to control or predict,” she says. (“Or negotiate,” he adds.) Bedelia thinks that Hannibal feels the same way about Will Graham.
She’s right, of course, but now they’re back to their earlier conversation that compares forgiveness and betrayal to love. “We can all betray. Sometimes we have no other choice,” she says (foreshadowing?) Mischa, Hannibal says, influenced him to betray himself, but she didn’t betray him. And he forgave her.
“If past behavior is an indication of future behavior, there is only one way you’ll forgive Will Graham,” Bedelia surmises. And she’s right, because his response is in the affirmative:
“I have to eat him.”
Top image: Forbes