Time to slowly enjoy our meal.
Hannibal: Season 3: Episode 4: Aperitivo: GRADE: A
It’ll be hard to tap dance around this pretty earlier so let us just rip the band-aid off, NBC has cancelled Hannibal and will continue to air the now remaining nine episodes. I will say we have had three pretty great years (so far, but hey I fully trust this to go out on top) of an exceptional television drama and that’s awesome, but I am well aware of the original four year plan Bryan Fuller had thought out which wrapped up with Red Dragon, probably a much better thing that’s in the second half of the season now, but even with all else he was doing he still had a deep commitment to this show and it still showed. Now as of this writing the show is being shipped around in hopes of a season four, which I’m honestly fine with at lease just one more season. Amazon and Netflix of course being the prime targets so wherever our favorite cannibal may eat his next meal we should embrace what a fascinating story this show is. So whenever its putting up #SaveHannibal or signing a petition, the love is ever evident and should never be ignored. Now with all that said, it kinda pisses me off after viewing what is early the best episode of the season thus far.
This week is essentially an entire flashback episode, which is also mostly light on Hannibal, that further shows more of the aftermath from season two in and also felt like an episode that as my friend and author of Invictus Alpha, Scott put it was, Hannibal vs. The Sinister Six. It certainly builds up the oncoming collusion and with so many characters back where do we start?
Ah yes Dr. Fredrick Chilton which means we are once again graced with the presence of the ever welcomed Raúl Esparza who is the connecting thread throughout the episode. After getting very detailed slow motion recap as to his shot through the face via Miriam Lass, we see he is talking to Mason Verger who is now played by Joe Anderson who just comes in and fits right into the fold of things as if he was here all along besides Michael Pitt. They discuss things, among them being Hannibal and their differing plans for capturing him. Mason is on the side of Hannibal being eaten alive whereas Chilton is still Chilton and wants Hannibal in his hospital for he is now the golden egg to him more than ever. He’s even already copyrighted the name, “Hannibal the Cannibal”. Never change, Chilton. Never.
What’s also great is when Mason suggests they talk face to face and we see the true faces of Mason and Chilton which is delightfully Hannibal in how its gorgeously horrifying with a great mixture of practical and digital makeup used to make the grotesque looks.
Chilton then goes off to see Will where its essentially the same scene with Abigail from episode 2 since its revealed that Will was talking to Chilton all along and that he even knew it himself. Chilton digs deeper and lets Will know what he probably already knew and that we did, Hannibal meant for Will to survive. Will acknowledging that was Chilton in place of Abigail shows even greater character work for Will that one of his few anchors in this crazy world is gone since he could make sense of it given he’s unsure where his allegiance right now given comments made again in episode 2 and the dream he has where he and Hannibal have dinner with Jack and they both work together in killing him.
Jack even knows that Will alerted Hannibal, which he responds he wanted him to get away, not start the bloodbath that happened because he and Hannibal are friends. Which makes Jack’s motivation to go after Will as to save his friend a bit puzzling given this was said before Will high tailed it right out of the states.
Speaking of Jack, his fallout is devastating in many ways as he’s put into forced retirement and sees Bella finally succumb to her cancer, farewell Gina Torres. Jack’s concern was never going after Hannibal, it was Bella and it was painfully heartbreaking to see the scenes in which he’s currently in the moment of her death and how he thinks back to her being right there. Great editing and pacing on that and also very in character for Jack.
The one that is changed the most from the events of the finale and arguably the episode highlight in an already great one is Alana Bloom. Caroline Dhavernas finally makes her way into the season and I’ve never been more glad to see her. Bloom has been a good character and while she was a bigger part of season two, she’s kinda been eschewed along with many of the female characters on here since many of the focus has been Hannibal, Will, Jack, and a number of other male characters, but things have changed now with her and Bedelia taking a huge stake in terms of prominent roles the season.
The betrayal she felt at the hands of Hannibal have made her tougher and a more brash person which is evident when Chilton comes her way. Apparently the fall did much more than change the way she walks now thanks to all the marrow, though she prefers to use defenestration since she can use it in a causal conversation no. Its the ay she thinks. She bought into the lies Hannibal fed her between their times in and out of his bedroom. She too is obviously putting on a face herself with the brighter clothes and more evident makeup.
Alana is a purely vengeance driven woman now which makes sense that she is teaming up with Mason to bring down Hannibal. She and Mason seem to be of one mind when she spouts, “I don’t need religion to believe in Old Testament revenge.” The scene is great and really shows a start for an intriguing character arc for Alana this season that has me completely fascinated for what will come next and how she plays into the events.
Its also starting to move into motion with Mason asking his nurse Cordell (Glenn Fleshler) to help start making arrangements for Hannibal to be eaten alive. Also we get a brief scene of Margot talking with Alana. I’m happy she is back as well.
Aperitivo is a watermark of quality for Hannibal. This really shows what great storytelling the show is capable of with intriguing character work and masterful direction and style, so much wonderful slow motion this week. I wish the show could go on for just a little while, but that may or may not be the case because of the recent cancellation news. Whatever Hannibal’s future may be its going to be remembered by me as one the best shows ever put on television.