Hannibal “Primavera” Review (3×02)

11 Jun


“I forgive you.”

Usually, friendships don’t last after you get stabbed in the gut by that supposed friend. Alas, this is Hannibal, and it comes as no surprise that the show is continuing to delve into the twisted, yet romantic, relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham, into the mutual fascination that drives much of the characterization in the series. Essentially, the episode plays out as a raging conflict within Will Graham’s mind: can he forgive Hannibal for what he did? Or, was that fateful night in “Mizumono” the dissolution of their relationship?

We get an interesting set up for the episode: at the beginning, Abigail shows up with her throat bandaged, appearing to have recovered from Hannibal slashing her throat. “If everything that can happen happens, you can never really do the wrong thing,” she tells Will. “You’re just doing what you’re supposed to do.” It’s a really scary thought because it’s the type of rationalization that can be used to justify pretty much any action, and here, it’s paired with the line “We don’t have an ending; he didn’t give us one yet”. This informs one of the overarching themes of the show: the notion of control, of free will vs. fate. Is Hannibal the one pulling all the strings? Is Will just doing what he’s supposed to do, or is this all part of his own plan?

And with this, it’s to be expected that we’re exploring the comparison between Hannibal and God (or, as we saw last week, Hannibal and the Devil). “Defying God is his idea of a good time,” Will tells new character Chief Investigator Rinaldo Pazzi, and he also later mentions that “Hannibal doesn’t pray, but he believes in God intimately”. “There’s some comfort in prayer,” Pazzi says. “It leaves you with a distinct feeling that you’re not alone.” After all, the foundation of the Hannibal-Will relationship lies in the connections forged through an intimate understanding of one another, and the religious elements of this relationship are extremely interesting to ponder.

In fact, the Will-Abigail conversations in this episode are very much grounded in religious ideas. They constantly talk about “some other world”, about Hannibal making a place for them, about right and wrong and doing what Hannibal wants them to do. It’s eventually revealed that Abigail didn’t survive, that she’s a hallucination, and the final conversation between the two on the steps of the church is extremely heartbreaking. Kacey Rohl and Hugh Dancy are absolutely phenomenal there, and Will coming to terms with Abigail’s death is certainly one of the most poignant moments of the series. “This is the only place I could make for you,” he tells Abigail, and she disappears. One is then operated on, and the other is embalmed. What a brilliant juxtaposition that is.

The episode culminates with a final walk through the crypt of the church, and it’s clear that the maze-like nature of those tunnels reflects Will’s mind itself. We can see how damaged Will is, how deeply affected he’s been by Hannibal Lecter. He admits that he doesn’t know which side he’s on, that he doesn’t know what he’ll do when he finds that beautiful bastard. And so, he looks up, hoping Hannibal will hear him as he says those words: “I forgive you”. We don’t know when they’ll meet again, but there’s no doubt that they are connected to each other on a deep, dark level.



-Thanks, Bryan Fuller. I really needed to see Abigail with her throat slashed another 50 times.

-Rinaldo is like a future Will. Abigail is like the part of Will who wants that happy family with Hannibal.

-I’m glad Abigail’s dead. Okay, not like that, but I just mean I’m glad there’s finally a long-lasting consequence to Hannibal’s actions here.

-Okay, so that human-heart-turning-into-stag image somehow tops pretty much everything else the show has done in terms of being disturbing. This show, man.

– “I read about your incarceration.” “Keep reading; I was acquitted.”

– “God knows where I’d be without him.” Will and Hannibal, if you don’t end the series with a full on make out session, the entire world will be disappointed.

– “Valentine written on a broken man.”

-The show’s used the “sinking into a large pool of blood” image three times now. It’s a great way to visually illustrate how these characters are being consumed by Hannibal’s influence.

Photo credit: Hannibal, NBC

3 Responses to “Hannibal “Primavera” Review (3×02)”

  1. #peggyatthemovies June 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    Oh to see Will & Hannibal back together again was such sheer joy I almost cried… 🙂

    • polarbears16 June 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

      I agree! Oh, and I also saw Kingsman. Such an absurd movie, which is part of its charm. Really enjoyed it! 🙂

  2. kerotanstation June 17, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    Great post. This show really demands keen attention to appreciate the subtext. Shaping up to be a great season.

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