11:00 pm EST, June 18, 2015

‘Hannibal’ season 3, episode 3 recap: Tell me a story

Tonight’s Hannibal begins to shatter the illusion of new beginnings as Italy becomes a bit more crowded.

Thus far, Hannibal‘s third season has presented two distinct compositions. Hannibal and Will’s second chapters are about to converge. As the heightened anticipation escalates, “Secondo” merges their journeys into a dually written piece.


Hannibal - Season 3

Will’s resurgence in Hannibal’s life changes the structure of his narrative. The feelings of flattery quickly fade to concern. Forgiveness, though offered, takes more than a one side making an effort. Bedelia points out that the betrayer and the betrayed must each acknowledge the faults of both sides. But who betrayed whom? Both Hannibal and the audience are both a little vague on those details.

Bedelia likens the push and pull of betrayal and forgiveness to falling in love. One cannot control whom they fall for, nor can they ever know who they’ll betray. Is Hannibal truly in love (platonic or otherwise) with Will Graham, or is he in love with the psychological games that satisfy his curiosity?

Hannibal - Season 3

In seamless transition to the next scene, Hannibal’s face morphs into Will blurring the lines the slightest bit more between the two minds. We find ourselves in Lithuania outside the Lecter estate. Like Hannibal, the Lecter estate is intimidating, composed of sharp angles, and mostly hidden in shadows. Will finds a humble little home under the shadow of an massively intimidating structure. But the once peaceful home is now a place corrupted by memories and ill fated events, not unlike the man standing at its door.


What does this place hold for Hannibal? Will takes a stroll through the shared space between his and Hannibal’s mind palace, the office of the former therapist. Here Will takes his seat across from the doctor and discusses what lies beyond the Norman chapel. The darker recesses of Hannibal’s mind palace contains rooms filled with screams. The echoes of which never quite reach the halls. In their place a classical piece of music plays. A sad composition to mask a darker, unbearable sorrow.

As Will’s second piece is picking up the tempo, Hannibal puts the finishing touches on his own accelerated second movement. Professor Sorriato is treated to the finest serving of forearm an Oxford TA had to offer. On the drink menu is Punch Romaine, the specialty cocktail served at the last dinner aboard the Titanic. Bedelia knew the professor’s visit was ill-fated, but even Hannibal was taken aback by how quickly his impulses ended the evening’s festivities. After Hannibal stabbed him with the ice pick, Bedelia puts an end to the horrid sight by pulling the ice pick out of his skull, sealing the professor’s fate. Technically, his blood is on her hands. Technically.

Hannibal - Season 3


If Hannibal’s plan was to call everyone back to him, the pieces on the board are moving in his favor. Jack Crawford, scarred, but alive finds his way to Palermo where he meets Inspector Pazzo. Another man Pazzo sees as a comrade in the hunt for Lecter dismisses his mission. Crawford is not there for Hannibal or the satisfaction of being right. He is there to take Will Graham home.

Will shortly finds that he is not alone on the grounds of the Lecter estate and follows a young woman into a wine cellar that houses more than the Lecter’s red reserve. A man, all skin and bones, locked away catches his eye. Before he can do anything, the mystery woman, Chiyoh, has a rifle against his head. A brief look of relief washes over her face when she hears of Will’s connection to Hannibal. But it takes some convincing to get Chiyoh to trust in his tale of sorrow.

Hannibal - Season 3

Will reveals the smile Hannibal left for him on his abdomen and Chiyoh takes him into her confidence. Their tales echo the same plot, different setting. The prisoner was left to Chiyoh’s care after she refused to let Hannibal take his life. Hannibal sought revenge on the man for eating his sister Mischa. His curiosity in her act of compassion and whether or not she would kill the man herself spared the man’s life. It is very likely that Chiyoh is still a train of thought running through Hannibal’s mind today.

The guest of honor does not fill his seat at the table, but rather the plates of others as Hannibal serves his guests the lungs and heart of their detained colleague. The dish, Hannibal explains, was the first he served to honor memory of his sister. An honor Bedelia tries to understand later on when she pushes the questions concerning Hannibal’s blockade from his childhood home. Nothing happened to him at home, but rather, he happened. That leaves Bedelia to ask, “What did your sister taste like?”

Hannibal - Season 3

Will decides to write a plot twist into the next pages of Chiyoh’s story. Setting the prisoner free, Will waits in the wings as he retreats back to his cell, leaving it unlocked and attacking Chiyoh when she brings his evening meal. She stabs him during the attack. With Will’s curiosity quenched, and Chiyoh free of her obligation, she decides to take a seat with him at his piano. But first, Will must place the finishing touches on the piece he began alone. A nod to Hannibal’s style, yet unique in its own way. Using the shattered pieces of the Lecter home, Will draws up the prisoner in the form of a dragonfly. A beacon of his self-realization in the shadow of Hannibal’s influence.

Hannibal literally plays the end of his second melody. If Will makes him feel the same way that Mischa once did, must their relationship be rectified the same way? Mischa’s influence over Hannibal was her fault. One which Hannibal forgave. But if past behavior influences future behavior than Will’s betrayal has only one outcome beyond forgiveness.

Hannibal must eat him.

Hannibal season 3, episode 4, “Apertivo,” airs Thursday, June 25 at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

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