Review: Hannibal (S3 E5/13), Wednesday 8th July, Sky Living

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17Things go from bad to worse for Hannibal fans, as it now seems that both Amazon and Netflix have passed on the opportunity to pick up the cancelled show; and as if to put the final nail in its coffin, the contracts of lead players Mads Mikkelson and Hugh Dancy have apparently expired. Let’s hope that some miracle of resurrection can be performed before the show breathes its last.

Meanwhile, we must squeeze what blood we can out of season three, which has now settled into a sort of Easter Egg hunt, with three teams; Will Graham and Chiyo, Jack Crawford and Inspector Pazzi, and Mason Verger and Alana Bloom. Each team is of course hunting Hannibal, and one suspects that whichever finds him first, will wish they hadn’t.
 
The Will/Chiyo team-up doesn’t get off to a good start. They’re on the train to Florence, each exploring the other’s psychological make-up, and have just reached he stage of sharing a kiss when Chiyo interrupts proceedings by pushing Will off the train. Clearly she believes – and let’s face it, she has no other examples to go on – that violence is the key to any relationship. Will seems to have been groping his way to some sort of friendship with her, but Chiyo just isn’t open to that approach. Will’s left bloodied, and foot-slogging it to Florence.
 
While Hannibal and Du Maurier discuss the fact that he is waiting to kill Will, the two deaths at Hannibal’s institute have brought him under suspicion. Pazzi is on the case, and while Chiyo has spoken of Hannibal’s charm, he’s clearly going to need more than that to get out of this one; questioning him, Pazzi sees through Hannibal’s masquerade as Dr Fell, and feels that his quest for El Monstro is coming to an end; plus, he’s inclined to pick up Mason Verger’s $3m reward for catching Hannibal.
 
Jack Crawford too is pepping up; after scattering his wife’s ashes and parting with his wedding ring, he seems ready to return to work, and indeed is resolved to the idea that he can seek personal revenge against Hannibal.
 
Mason Verger too is closing on Hannibal with the help of Alana Bloom, who has had the sense to track him through his love of art and fine dining, rather than through the trail of bodies he leaves behind him. Alana recreates a Hannibal dinner for Verger, who demonstrates that he’s quite capable of being a loathsome human being regardless of the mutilation Hannibal inflicted on him.
 
But it’s poor old Pazzi who suffers first from the inevitable results of catching up with Hannibal; driven by pride, greed and desire to please his young wife, he tries to collect a fingerprint as proof for Mason Verger, and ends up getting disemboweled and hanged in the style of one of his ancestors. His death was inevitable, of course – no-one who goes up against Hannibal can survive, with the possible exception of Will Graham. Alana Bloom tries to save Pazzi, but her call only serves to alert Hannibal.
 
So we’re somehow pleased when Crawford, searching for Pazzi, tracks down Hannibal and delivers a severe beating (to the soundtrack of The Thieving Magpie). It’s something of a shock, Hannibal always having been in control and inviolate, but perhaps we should have seen it coming, particularly as Hannibal taunts Crawford over the death of Bella. Crawford obtains an element of revenge by throwing Hannibal from the window, and while he escapes, Hannibal is injured and disturbed – his plan to bring all his acquaintances to him has worked, but the result has been the opposite of his intentions.
 
The episode is something of a side-dish, as its title ‘Contorno’ implies, particularly in its recurrent theme of snails (Chiyo likens herself and Will to snails eaten by birds, passing unharmed through their gut and emerging in a strange place – not unlike the experience of encountering Hannibal). While the episode throws obstacles in Hannibal’s path, we know that he must overcome them; not until he meets Will Graham will the immovable object meet the irresistible force.
 
Chris Jenkins
For all our Hannibal coverage, go here

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