Hannibal, battered and bloodied after Crawford’s attack, has made his way home to Bedelia, who stitches him up; Will, battered and bloodied after being attacked by Chiyoh, has made his way to Florence, meeting Crawford as the eviscerated Pazzi is cut down. Why did neither attacker follow through and make the kill? – because only Hannibal or Will can kill each other, and their inevitable reunion is coming closer. We’re now into the part of the story originally covered in the novel Hannibal, though of course there are many changes in plot and character, not least the absence of the character Clarice Starling.
Bedelia is certainly no Starling. There’s always been an assumption that she’s resolved to being eaten – she certainly recognizes the fattening-up routine – but now she reveals that she has no intention of ending with Hannibal. However, he offers to cover for her when he is inevitably caught, and she holds out the tantalizing possibility that he still might get to taste her.
Mason Verger, meanwhile, is anticipating chowing down on Hannibal, and Cordell suggests Peking Ducking him. The double entendre is surely intentional. We’re not clear how he hopes to catch him with Pazzi dead, but then Chiyoh has no trouble at all finding Bedelia; the two discuss their intentions for Hannibal, then a doped-up Bedelia gets more visitors – Will and Crawford. They don’t fall for her claim that she has been brainwashed by Hannibal into thinking that she is Lydia Fell. Does she then lead Will to Hannibal intentionally? We don’t know, but the two meet in an art gallery; Will tells Hannibal that he wanted to understand him before laying eyes on him again. So that’s what the last five episodes have been about.
‘Every crime of yours feels like one I am guilty of’ says Will – yes, the two characters have started to blur into one, at least in their own minds. As the two cross a palazzo, Will draws a knife, a shot rings out, and Will falls. Chiyoh, positioned on a roof with a silenced rifle, has done what she had to do to save Hannibal. Hannibal gets Will somewhere safe and cuts out the bullet, confessing that he’s pleased that Chiyoh finally killed her prisoner at the Lecter home. Will passes out, and imagines Hannibal as the deer god, in a special effects tour-de-force.
The Italian police turn up to question Bedelia, and Crawford reveals that Dr Fell is in fact Hannibal Lecter, so even the Italians can work out from her papers that she is not Mrs Fell.
Meanwhile Verger, regretting having had his sister Margot sterilized, comes up with the charming idea of using Alana as a surrogate womb. Conveniently, it seems the two women have become lovers, whether incidentally or as part of a plot of Alana’s. And so to one of the whackiest sequences of the series so far, as, accompanied by psychedelic music and kaleidoscopic visual effects, the two women make love. No nudity, of course – perish the thought that a series featuring so many throat-slittings, disembowellings and disfigurements might feature anything as tasteless and offensive as a bare female breast.
When Will awakes, he finds himself tied and drugged at Hannibal’s dinner table, and soon Crawford is in the same position, lured by Chiyoh. It’s a re-run of the dinner scene in Baltimore from the previous season. When Hannibal takes out a bone-saw and starts cutting open Will’s skull, it’s a clear nod to the end of the movie Hannibal and the death of Paul Krendler; but we all know that Will can’t die this way. But as the blood starts to fly, how can he possibly escape?
Cut to a snowy scene – back in the USA? – with Will and Hannibal bound, bloodied, and hanging upside-down in a meat-packing plant. Enter Mason Verger, who welcomes them to Muskrat Farm.
So what the hell’s happened? Though we don’t know what’s become of Bedelia or Crawford, best we can figure, Bedelia has given Hannibal up to the sleazy mustachioed Italian cop to protect herself; the cop has saved Will, and delivered him and Hannibal to Verger in order to claim the reward. From being Hannibal’s crippled victim, Verger has become his nemesis. Inevitably Will and Hannibal will have to team up to fight Verger. Zap! Pow!
If you think it’s all become a bit like ‘60s Batman & Robin, complete with inescapable doom-traps, Verger as The Joker, Crawford as Commissioner Gordon and Bedelia as Catwoman, perhaps this isn’t entirely unintentional. What will Hannibal pull out of his utility belt next week? Tune in, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.
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