Hannibal Review: ‘Aperitivo’
July 1st, 2015 | by James Morgan
Hannibal was given depressing news this week. Our James Morgan has all the angles covered on the latest episode and the future of the Hannibal television series.
Tending The Wounds
Well after three very slow episodes, season three of Hannibal has finally given us what we wanted.
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But did it come too late to save the series?
First to be resurrected is Dr. Frederick Chilton, who was last seen being shot through the face by Miriam Lass, because Hannibal messed with her head. He is having a his revenge, plotting together with another one of Hannibal’s victims, Mason Verger.
Mason was built up as a vile, manipulative heir to a slaughter house who found himself in therapy with our favorite cannibal. As you know Hannibal has a tendency to ‘eat the rude’, but he finds Mason beyond that and decides it would be more fun to drug Mason and make him feed himself to Will’s dog. Hannibal breaks his neck and leaves him seriously disfigured and paralyzed.
While Chilton and Verger compare their scars only one thing is clear to them, revenge.
We then return to that night, at Hannibal’s house.
We get a replay of the night Jack, Will and Alana were left for dead. The visuals here are amazing, but I feel we’ve seen this scene over and over this season. It is meant to highlight the injuries Jack and Alana sustained, as they have been absent thus far.
Its a shame really, because the cliffhanger last season was brilliant and it kept you waiting and wondering. You would have thought that someone would have kicked the bucket by now.
Alana isn’t really the most interesting character in this series. So far, she has acted as the love interest for both Hannibal and Will, but she doesn’t really bring anything to the table. She is brought back as a therapist for Mason Verger, who wants to rope her into his revenge squad.
A Problem With The Narrative
This episode started over with such promise, the creepy Dr. Chilton visiting Will in hospital to say he empathizes with everything Hannibal did to him, they share that pain.
After that the episode falls completely flat. We catch up with Jack and Will just as Jack’s wife is killed. The timeline is so back and fourth that we lose a piece of the narrative along the way and the audience struggles to keep up with them. There is not enough believable evidence to show that the characters went through a traumatic event together because they are all so wooden.
Will and Jack were last seen in Europe chasing breadcrumbs to Hannibal’s memory palace, this episode jumps back but doesn’t really progress in terms of story.
After Jack’s wife dies from cancer, something that felt very rushed; he receives a condolence letter from Hannibal. This makes me question what Hannibal see’s in Jack, is he a friend or is it respect for nearly beating him?
Will’s mind is delved into even deeper this week, when we see him imagining a dinner date with Jack and Hannibal. Its Will’s version of what would have happened that night had he been there. His version has him and Hannibal holding Jack down and killing him together.
Will later confesses that he wanted to run away will Hannibal, after Jack confronts him about tipping Hannibal off with a phone call in the last season. He defends his actions by saying that Hannibal is his friend.
Will’s head is seriously messed up. What with seeing visions of a dead Abigail to him having strong feelings for Hannibal.
Where do we go from here?
The answer may have been handed down this week by NBC executives.
The main issue with this episode must surely have been that god awful prosthetic makeup used on Mason Verger. But this series is called Hannibal and unfortunately Hannibal doesn’t even get more than 5 seconds screen time.
There are too many stories going on at the same time, it all feels very insignificant.
Hannibal is a great character and together will Will Graham their onscreen chemistry is simply acting at its most brilliant. These factors have all been lacking this series and the characters’ stories are moving too wildly for the audience to follow.
I’m a huge fan of the first two seasons; the visuals, cinematography and script keep me entranced.
This season has simply been poor.
I feel like we are heading to a confrontation with this plot arc, but with the story jumping back and fourth its no wonder Hannibal has been dropped by NBC.
I only hope it gets better again so another network realizes its potential.
Fingers crossed we get it!
James Morgan is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @monkeymorgasm