Oh Hannibal, how you wound me so! This week’s episode was entirely a flashback that dealt with the consequences of the blood-bath at the end of the second season and featured one of the series' saddest deaths. We also see the formation of Team Kill Hannibal, and I must say I’m extremely excited to see where this will lead the returning characters.
Which characters return this episode? That would be rage-filled Alana, the ever-amusing Dr. Chilton, and the Verger siblings. Before we delve deeper into “Aperitivo”, I need to vent about Hannibal’s unfortunate cancellation. Hannibal, and I say this with full-confidence, is the best television series I’ve seen since Lost and its cancellation is a devastating blow to the television kingdom and ultimately to NBC. The characters, the plot, the music, and the imagery make Hannibal a true standout amongst all the shows on TV right now. It’s engaging, thoughtful and not afraid to push the boundaries set on most network series. I truly hope Hannibal is picked up elsewhere and treated the way it deserves to be treated. It’s the perfect example of how a television series should be.
On to “Aperitivo.” One would think a flashback episode delays the current plot, but in this case the flashback serves to set up each character's agenda and their current state of mind. Alana undergoes a complete transformation and has left behind her old-naïve self who refused to believe a single word Will Graham said about Hannibal. She’s now vengeful, bitter and thirsty for revenge as it becomes clear that Hannibal Lecter is number one on her hit-list. The scene between Alana and Will was one of this episode’s highlights simply because I missed seeing these two interact without Hannibal’s influence. Sure, the two discussed Hannibal, but Alana wasn’t in the dark any longer and the conversation was well and truly honest on both ends.
I’m relieved Alana survived because we now get to see a side of her we’ve never seen before. Alana makes a big move this episode and joins forces with the disfigured Mason Verger in order to get the revenge she so desperately wants. Joe Anderson made his debut as Mason since Michael Pitt left the role previously and I must say, Anderson did a fantastic job. Mason is still bat-shit crazy and is now fueled by his hatred for Hannibal. Anderson portrayed Mason’s emotions and state of mind brilliantly. Welcome to the Hannibal family Mr. Anderson, I hope you enjoy your stay!
Chilton plays a key role this episode as he interacts with mostly everyone. He’s now disfigured due to the bullet that connected with his cheek via Miriam Lass. Chilton is on his own mission to hunt down Hannibal and funnily enough Chilton copyrighted the name “Hannibal the Cannibal.” Oh Chilton, you certainly haven’t lost your unexpected humor and sass. In episode 2 of this season, when Will first wakes up in the hospital we’re led to believe it was Abigail that was visiting him but once it was revealed Abigail was dead, I was left to wonder who truly payed Will a visit. It turns out to be Chilton who says with full-confidence Hannibal did not want Will to die. We get a further look into Will’s mind-frame as its shown Will knew full well he was speaking to Chilton and not Abigail while simultaneously keeping Abigail alive in his mind. So as shown in episode 2, Will saw Abigail but he knew it was Chilton who was conversing with him.
This episode’s saddest moments revolved around Jack as Bella passes away. Jack decides to let his wife go along with his hunt for Hannibal. Jack’s painful decision and heartbreaking last moments with his wife broke my heart as Laurence Fishburne delivered one of his most powerful performances. I’m sad to see Bella and Gina Torres go since she provided such an interesting dimension to Jack’s character. Her death changed Jack and he’s now dedicated to saving Will as he claims he’s already lost Bella and he can’t lose Will as well. This provided additional insight on Will and Jack’s relationship and how Jack genuinely loves and cares for Will. Jack receives a condolence card from Hannibal who expresses how saddened he is by Bella’s death.
Whether Hannibal was genuinely upset or just trying to lure Jack remains unknown, but either way, I really wanted to slap Hannibal. The stand-out moment in “Aperitivo” was subtle yet just as impactful. Jack disliked the view from Bella’s room and upon her death he gazes out to that same view and realizes nothing has changed; the view and the world remains the same and life continues to go on. Jack’s only goal from this point onward is saving Will.
Will is fairly present in “Aperitivo”, but he doesn’t go through a series of changes or revelations like the others do. He’s contemplative and reveals what his intentions were at season 2’s end. As you all recall, Will called Hannibal and informed him the authorities (Jack) were headed his way. Viewers questioned if Will wanted Hannibal to escape and the answer is yes, Will made that phone call in hopes of having Hannibal leave before Jack got there. Will truly did want to run away with Hannibal and that fact alone breaks my heart; if only Hannibal knew the true extent of Will’s motivations and feelings for him. By the episode’s end, Will boards a boat supposedly starting his quest to find Hannibal and finally find some closure.
Next week’s episode is bound to be a treat as Hannibal and Jack come face to face and judging by the season trailer, Jack gives Hannibal a much deserved beat-down. That reunion was the promos highlight and I’m extremely concerned for Will who looks beat-up himself. Hannibal seems intent on "eating" Will and let me just say this: if Hannibal harms Will in any way...I'll be deeply displeased and my heart won't survive Will getting harmed by Hannibal yet again. For all intents and purposes, Hannibal is at the moment gunning for Will; I just hope Will gets the upper hand on this potentially deadly situation.
This season of Hannibal just keeps getting better and better and I pray to the old gods and the new that Hannibal gets picked up by another network or Netflix! Until then, let’s continue fighting to keep Hannibal alive and regularly tweet #SaveHannibal to show our support. Hannibal has probably the best and most dedicated fandom in the history of fandoms. Seriously, there’s no questioning the dedication of my fellow Fannibals! Here’s to Hannibal getting renewed, rewarding the efforts of Fannibal’s all around.