As much as I like Hannibal, I can’t deny that the third season has been off to a bit of a slow start. So far, the characters have been sitting around talking, with occasional digressions for dinner and vivisection.
Those dinner conversations are far more entertaining than they are on most shows, and Mads Mikkelsen remains as captivating as ever. Even so, drama is usually more compelling when the stakes are clear. Why are these people still in such close proximity to one another?
That changed in the second half of “Secondo,” the third episode of season three, which concludes with a bombshell about Hannibal’s past.
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Note: We’ll be recapping every episode of Hannibal for the rest of the season. Be sure to catch up with our recap of last week’s “Antipasto.”
If “Antipasto” showcased just how vital Hannibal Lecter is as a central figure, “Primavera” is a mostly successful attempt to demonstrate that Hannibal can get by without its most charismatic star.
Episode 2 begins where Season 2 left off, rehashing the bloody showdown between Hannibal Lecter, Will Graham, and Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl) before shifting to the hospital where Will and Abigail are recovering from their wounds. Despite her most recent brush with death, Abigail is eager to find Hannibal and reform the family that was fractured like a teacup in Hannibal’s kitchen.
Note: We’ll be recapping every episode of Hannibal from this point forward. We’re starting with a belated recap of “Antipasto” to makes sure everyone is caught up for “Primavera.”
When we last left Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), he was lying in a puddle of his own blood on Hannibal Lecter’s kitchen floor. For all we see of him in the first episode of season three, maybe he still is.
In other words, “Antipasto” is not as concerned with tying off loose ends as it is in establishing a new status quo. Will is present in name only, while Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) is present only in flashback. Meanwhile, Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) has fled the country to establish himself as a man of taste in high society. After murdering a professor and assuming his identity in France, he works his way to Italy where he wows a stuffy room full of educated men with a scintillating lecture on Dante’s Inferno.
Needless to say, Hannibal fits right in.