HANNIBAL Review 3.05 “Contorno”

Bowels in or bowels out?

How will you feel when I’m gone?

Alive.

Things aren't looking great for Hannibal, and neither do they look great for Hannibal. In "Contorno," we see a glimpse of what is to come as Hannibal holds up Pazzi's family heirloom and peers into it, into a scold's bridle like the one that will one day muzzle his own features. In episode 8 of this season, we will be introduced to the events of Red Dragon - does that include Will seeking out Hannibal in prison? With only three episodes to go and with the indolent pace that has so far marked the third season, it feels hard to believe that our European traveler will be behind bars in time for us to meet Francis Dolarhyde, but one thing is for certain: it will not be Pazzi who bridles the beast. After decades of selfless searching, in the end Pazzi's avarice left him unworthy. 

Also unworthy: Mason Verger, who contributes nothing but money to the search. Alana uses her insight into Hannibal's character and tastes, and Pazzi is doing the actual looking, so Verger has quite some nerve to think he's earned the right to feast on a silver plattered Hannibal from the comfort of his own home. Despite her unpredictable alliance with Verger, "Contorno" offers a brief reprieve from this new Dark Alana, as she breaks her resolve and calls Pazzi to warn him against Hannibal, though too late, as Jack was also too late. Alana could be worthy of ending Hannibal, as could Bedelia, though both women, like Will, are compromised by the romance they've shared with him, a romance that allowed Hannibal access to their deepest thoughts and wants, a foothold into their manipulation, a manipulation he still wields over Alana in as few words as "Nice to hear your voice."

Will is certainly compromised by those feelings, and his Hannibal surrogate - sitting across from him in that train car as Hannibal once sat across from Will in his office, as probing and as willing to be probed as Hannibal once was - hurts him just as Hannibal did, kissing him and then tossing him from the train. “There are means of influence other than violence, but violence is what you understand," Chiyo tells him. It is, now, all Will understands, and maybe it always has been. Maybe that's why Hannibal chose him. Maybe that's why he understands Hannibal. Maybe that's why it's Hannibal - his stag - who saves Will, wakes him to rise, bloody, and continue his journey down the tracks carrying him toward Florence, toward Hannibal, toward his heart. 

Jack Crawford, on the other hand, is not compromised by any warmth for Hannibal Lecter. Jack is worthy, fueled by a virtuous rage and with nothing to lose, as Bella's ashes and his own wedding ring lie at the bottom of the canal. He lumbers toward Hannibal, silent and relentless like a righteous Jason Voorhees, and he beats the everloving shit out of our elegant cannibal. Hannibal's left broken and bleeding and less in control than we've ever seen him. This was not Hannibal's design. Still, he's saved by his own carnage, minimizing his fall by hanging on, briefly, to Pazzi's body before limping away into the night under Jack's watchful glower.

Even so, Jack Crawford cannot be the one to bridle Hannibal. He is here for Will Graham, but Will is here for Hannibal, as Hannibal is here for Will. They have broken each other's hearts, and now they plan - Will, on his single-minded journey and Hannibal, lying in implacable wait - to end each other's lives. Now that's reciprocity. 

Follow my Hannibal reviews here. This week's episode will be covered by Phil as I travel to SDCC. Apologies for the lateness of last week's!

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