Hannibal 3×1 Review: Antipasto
Antipasto, the traditional first course of an Italian meal, was a satisfying starter after our long fast. We’ve been starved for more, but the he-ate-us is finally over. Hannibal is a work of art. Every slow motion blood splatter, every tightly framed shot, all the way down to the aspect ratio details is done with purpose. It’s visually stunning, but crafted in a way that everything has meaning. Even the shot where Hannibal stands in front of a projector slide includes a perfectly-aimed image of Lucifer’s face directly over his. While the plot was light and seemed to serve mostly to put new pieces on the board for the rest of the season, the visual style elevated the entire episode to one of the best hours of television I’ve seen in many months. Hannibal is back and it certainly did not disappoint.
A large portion of the episode focused on Bedelia. While she was initially introduced as a character that seemed aware of what Hannibal is, but not outwardly intimidated by it, her strength in the face of an obviously dangerous man has waned. She can barely keep up appearances in front of others, constantly averting her eyes and speaking with a subtly wavering voice. This is not the Bedelia of season one, but a frightened victim who has no way out. But really, who can blame her? While Hannibal seems to be honest with her, his honesty doesn’t exactly mean much. It could be just another play at manipulating her and, after Anthony pointed out that the meal they were eating was often used to make meat taste better, it’s quite possible that Hannibal may place her on his menu at some point in the future. To avoid such a fate, she has to avoid being either rude or a liability. If she becomes either, I have no doubt Hannibal would kill her in a heartbeat.
Speaking of the character Anthony, it was great to see Tom Wisdom show up on this show. I’ve been enjoying his portrayal of Michael on Dominion, but this role was completely different from the badass archangel I’ve come to know him as. Unfortunately he became a liability, which meant that his time was cut tragically short. Thankfully Dominion premieres next month so I don’t have to wait too long before his gorgeous face is back on my TV screen.
The most surprising thing for me was the expanded background on Abel Gideon’s time with Hannibal. He didn’t just eat his own leg then die. He actually stuck around with Hannibal for a while and seemed to get eaten very slowly. I’m bizarrely fascinated by the dynamic at play between these two characters. I can’t even really articulate why, because it’s very clearly a horribly messed up situation, but Gideon just takes it in such stride. He is, after all, a serial killer though, so he’s going to react to things in a peculiar way. This, however… is beyond strange. I can’t take my eyes off this interplay.
And I’m just going to take a moment to get completely shallow. Can we just stop and appreciate Mads Mikkelsen in leather on a motorcycle? Just for a moment. Please.
Yes. Good. Moving on.
There was no Will Graham this week, and the fates of the characters from the finale are still left up in the air. We can make educated guesses based on who was present at last year’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, but we just don’t know for sure. It’s possible these characters may only show up in flashback sequences and not much more.
Author: Angel Wilson
Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.
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