On this week’s episode of Hannibal, Will takes a walk through Hannibal’s past and comes across a new face who becomes his much-needed ally on his quest to finding Hannibal. Jack Crawford makes his triumphant return and yes, he’s actually alive, unlike Abigail. Bedelia pokes and prods Hannibal some more, really pushing her limits of Hannibal’s patience. Bedelia’s newfound daring attitude allows her to somewhat freely speak her mind, and it’s a nerve-wracking development, because Hannibal could kill her at any given moment. This episode in particular was far more symbolic and “artsy” than any episode before it; the illusions and dream/mindscapes appeared with enough frequency for me to question what’s real and what’s not making this episode a standout. Not everyone prefers the imagery provided by Hannibal, but I absolutely loved it!
Hannibal and Bedelia provide a more subtle role as Bedelia tries to help Hannibal understand his situation with Will. Hannibal is quickly becoming bored of his surroundings and spends his time pining away for Will and the excitement he brings along with him. Will understands and accepts Hannibal; it’s a fact that’s pointed out by Jack, who is not in pursuit of Hannibal but Will. Hannibal seems to recognize and crave Will’s acceptance, yet he’s also feeling truly betrayed by Will leaving him in a bit of a dilemma. By the end of “Secondo,” Hannibal (with the help of the oh-so-manipulative Bedelia) comes to the conclusion that the only way he can forgive Will is by eating him. Bedelia compares what happened between Hannibal and Will to falling in love. As Bedelia sees it, “Betrayal and forgiveness are best seen as something akin to falling in love.” One would automatically assume that Hannibal is now out to kill and eat Will, but I don’t think Hannibal has the ability to kill off the one person that truly understands and accepts him. In my mind, Will is fulfilling the role assigned to Clarice in the books and movies.
While Hannibal and Bedelia carry on deep discussions about love and Will Graham, this episode emphasizes Jack’s return and Will’s discovery of Hannibal’s dark past. Jack is back, but not for Hannibal. This time, Jack is solely focused on Will and intent and protecting him no matter what the cost. Jack’s compassion and guilt is what drives him to protect Will. In the previous two seasons, Jack pushed and pushed Will until Will finally broke. In his mind, he’s responsible for everything that’s happened to Will and, honestly, he’s completely right. Jack is the one who introduced Will and Hannibal, leading to all the events that have occurred thus far. Though, in Jack’s defense, one could argue Will and Hannibal’s meeting was predestined. Jack, for possibly the first time, is acting in favor of Will instead of putting him at risk. When Jack eventually comes face to face with Hannibal and Will, I’m curious to see how their interactions play out.
Will’s entire journey this episode revolves around him finding out more about Hannibal and gaining a new ally, Chiyoh, who's Castle Lecter’s current groundskeeper. Her relation to Hannibal remains unknown, but she clearly knows him and has been subjected to his expert manipulation tactics since Chiyoh has been staying at Castle Lecter, guarding a prisoner Hannibal told her killed his beloved sister Mischa. Chiyoh explains Hannibal’s backstory to Will, informing him about Mischa’s awful death, which she presumes led Hannibal to be the way he is today. It’s a statement Will openly disagrees with, claiming, “Mischa doesn’t explain Hannibal. She doesn’t quantify what he does.” Will’s comment collates with Hannibal’s when Hannibal tells Bedelia, “Nothing happened to me. I happened.” Will seems to take on the role Hannibal had in Chiyoh’s life as he manipulates her into killing the prisoner. Now that the prisoner is dead, Chiyoh is free to join Will on his pursuit for Hannibal. I’m not quite sure how to feel about Chiyoh, but I’m looking forward to her interactions with Will; Will and Chiyoh have already developed some sort of a bond, whether it’s romantic or strictly platonic remains to be seen.
Overall this episode was phenomenal, in typical Hannibal fashion and had me yearning for more. Watching one Hannibal episode a week is never enough, which makes me wish Hannibal was a Netflix show. That way, I could watch the entire season in two days. At the end of each episode, I always tend to theorize what comes next. This season, however, I’ve been more worried about Will Graham’s longevity. Bryan Fuller still plans on gaining the rights to Clarice, but I really don’t want that to happen if it means replacing Will with Clarice. These 3 seasons have focused solely on the Will/Hannibal relationship and if it were to shift over to Clarice/Hannibal, I’d be well and truly devastated. Will is a truly unique character whose presence is completely necessary on Hannibal; I’m completely biased because Will is my favorite character.
An interesting thing to note about Will in this episode in particular was how his actions were reminiscent of what Hannibal would do. Before meeting Hannibal, Will was obviously clever. However, due to his ability to completely empathize with killers, Hannibal in particular, Will has become increasingly intelligent and deadly. He’s a formidable foe with the ability to go toe to toe with Hannibal Lecter. Most times, Will is seen as a victim whose mind was broken by Hannibal, yet this episode served as a reminder of just how manipulative and dark Will can be on his own (without that influence of Hannibal). This is what makes Will Hannibal’s equal. Hannibal saw Will’s potential right from the start, and it’s the reason why he can’t seem to let Will go. Now that Hannibal has declared he needs to eat Will, their reunion might be sooner than expected, but will Hannibal stick to his sinister declaration? Honestly, no. At this point in time, Hannibal eating Will can only serve to cripple him. Hannibal has basically become too attached to Will, more attached than he originally intended to be.
Do you think Hannibal has it in him to actually eat Will? Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments down below!