Hannibal just knows where to cut.
Hannibal: Season 3: Episode 2: Primavera: GRADE: A-
Hannibal takes a slow burn approach and time to catch up again with its second episode this week, but to show how part of the aftermath from the bloody massacre at the end of season two. Hannibal seems to give us another appetizer this week in lieu of starting us on the main course which I kinda hope comes next week since I can only be teased for so long. While the episode is yet again another great installment, I feel like things need to get moving along, but on to the episode itself, which lets us know the season is set eight months after the finale so if that was your bet in your own betting pool, congratulations!
So not only does it appear that Will survived, but against all odds, so did Abigail. As she puts it, Hannibal just knew where to cut them and turns out that’s true when along the journey of trying to discover Hannibal, Will remembers that Abigail did die from her injuries before Will could ever recover. He really did know where to cut. While Abigail still hated Will for lying to her and going after Hannibal, who she still believed it, Abigail was always an anchor for Will, not just in the sense of her being a hallucination this week, but also in how she was the one part of his mind that also held on to Hannibal, that led him to knowing where to go thanks to a bit of a flashback in his mind palace. Kacey Rohl brought a complexity and intrigue into the role os Abigail with complicated father-daughter relationship to Hannibal, who arguably treated her far better than her actual father, minus the slitting of her throat right in front of Will. Abigail was fascinating to watch and I don’t think the show will have another one like her.
Along the way of tracking Hannibal, Will comes across someone else doing the same, Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi played by Fortunato Cerlino. Pazzi is after Hannibal as well, but seems to have been at it for about going on twenty years when he last was on his trail and Hannibal was a “”a young Lithuanian man”, which also shows damn younger Mads Mikkelsen still had killer cheek bones. Even then Hannibal had a flair for elegant murders, such as positioning a couple bodies to recreateBotticelli’s “Primavera” (episode title!). Their interactions are interesting as they do share a common goal, but Will isn’t too sure of which side he’s on as he tells Pazzi which makes the ending chase after Hannibal in the catacombs of the church so entertaining. The tension and pacing it as the end fares better than the extended flashback to the season two finale in the opening which did run a bit, but was excellent to watch in terms of setting up our episode here. The camera work going in and around as well as the very tense moment Will calls out to Hannibal in order to forgive him was truly nicely done. Hannibal and Will’s great chase for each other is on.
I think the real highlight of the episode was the first appearance of the stag this season. Will looks over the origami heart corpse of Anthony Dimmond which then creepily unfolds itself and on bloody hooves walks its way towards Will and man that was a real mind fuck. Its also that moment that agains makes you ask how this could get by standards and practices. Hannibal honestly keeps pushing its own envelope that I worry about when is the moment NBC might put its foot down and I’m curious for the later half of the season in which the Red Dragon is being introduced and how that’s gonna be done on this show. That’s for later.
Hannibal toys with its food for a bit longer and now seems ready for its bigger appetite. With Jack coming back into the fold next week and both Hannibal and Will’s story intersecting, it seems the steam is about the pick up and I’m gonna sit here with my finest dish and enjoy it.