If you haven’t noticed, I’m a couple weeks behind on my Hannibal reviews. It’s not for a lack of interest. On the contrary. I’ve been so busy prepping for San Diego Comic-Con and my plan to represent #SaveHannibal the best I could that I haven’t had time to write for the show. Due to the lack of reviews while I’ve been away at the convention, the format for these two episodes will be a bit different. Reviews will fall back into the usual format with the next episode, so stick with me here, folks.
This was Jack’s episode from beginning to end. I never trusted nor was I fully invested in the peculiar relationship between Chiyoh and Will, so their scenes paled in comparison. Alana had some fantastic moments in this episode, too. And Bedelia and Hannibal continued to have their creepy Italy-based show of a marriage. But really, can we just give it up for Jack this week? He stole the entire hour.
The first thing we see for Jack is him scattering Bella’s ashes in the Arno. I feel closure with Bella. Deaths are often difficult to do right, but hers had a satisfying conclusion that respected her as a character and didn’t resort to using her as a prop or a plot device. While we do experience much of the pain through Jack, it’s about as far away from a “fridging” as you can get. Overall, I’m satisfied, even though I will miss the character and the actress immensely. But this was a soft and sentimental intro for what turned out to be Jack’s most badass episode to date.
Sometime between getting stabbed in the neck in Mizumo and arriving in Italy this week Jack must have taken special ‘kick the shit out of Hannibal’ classes somewhere. He was previously quite overpowered, but now he’s tossing Hannibal around and knocking the crap out of him like it ain’t no thing. Even when Hannibal tried to turn it around and use Bella’s death to rub salt in the wound, Jack was having none of it and clocked him out the window. All of this happened while “La gazza ladra: Overture” played in the background, adding an almost comical air to the scene, despite its extreme sense of bad-ass-itude. The entire fight sequence was brilliant, and I’m usually not a fan of fight sequences. Then again I’m not usually a fan of extreme gore. Or police procedural. Or cannibalistic serial killers. And yet here I am.
I hardly had time to absorb this episode, though, because I also had to jump right into the next episode.
Okay, a lot happened this episode, but… kaleidoscope sex. I did not see that coming between Alana and Margot, but if you are going to throw in some lesbian sex out of left field, I have to give major props for filtering it through a kaleidoscope.
Speaking of homoerotic relationships, Will and Hannibal were finally reunited and there was much blood-covered embracing and thinly-veiled sexual tension. Yes, yes, I need to put a disclaimer here like I do nearly every Hannibal review I write. I usually leave my non-canon shipping at the door when I review shows, but with these two it’s damn near impossible. Once more Will is terribly injured and once more Hannibal is pulling him close and stroking his neck and… I don’t know how I’m supposed to leave it at the door here. I mean sure, when Hannibal uttered the line, “I would have liked to have shown you Florence,” Will was strapped to a chair drugged out of his mind and probably very close to being killed, but you know, romance!
This show has warped my perception of shipping forever. Thanks, Bryan Fuller.
Meanwhile Bedelia… Oh dear, Bedelia. It’s quite a gamble to cast yourself as mentally ‘confused’ as an alibi to such horrific crimes, but it seems to be what she’s going with. If anybody can pull it off, it’s Bedelia. And if any actress has the chops to do it, it’s Gillian Anderson. I’m really eager to see where this goes.
The ending of the episode, however, was rife with confusion. I’m really not sure how we went from Hannibal sawing into Will’s head to them hanging upside down at Verger’s farm, but I guess that’s something we’ll get explained next week. I’m even more confused because during the panel at SDCC I thought they mentioned there was going to be a massive time jump between these episodes, but I supposed I could be mistaken about where that occurs. More time needs to pass before we get to our Red Dragon plot and I somehow don’t think it’s going to pass with Will and Hannibal hanging upside down with a bunch of pigs. Stranger things have happened, though.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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