NBC’s Hannibal Antipasto TV Show Review. Hannibal: Season 3, Episode 1: Antipasto held many nods to the third novel involving Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Chief among them was the European locale of the episode (and presumably the majority of the new season). The setting was not decoration for an established character, like when they go on vacation within an episode. Italy was apart of the story, took part in the narrative. The setting allowed certain events to happen.
Absent from the episode was Will Graham. What was he doing during the events in this episode? Convalescing? Being debriefed by the FBI? It was frustrating not to know, especially considering how Season 2 of Hannibal ended.
Seeing Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) dance with Hannibal showed how ensconced she had become in his world, in Hannibal, and in their joint masquerade. Whatever her game is with Hannibal, he already knows about it, its mundane and he doesn’t care, or it’s so well hidden he can’t detect it.
Is Dr. Du Maurier the new Will Graham for Dr. Lecter? Is Dr. Du Maurier studying Hannibal close up? Will that be her excuse when Hannibal is captured? Or will she claim she was brain-washed or in mortal fear for her life? Whatever her eventual rationale to the authorities, she still has immunity for all of her past crimes up until the point where she got on a plane with Hannibal. She can always tell the authorities that she was unaware of the attacks and murder at Hannibal’s residence. She can also say that she did not read an American newspaper or use the Internet once she got to Europe.
Hannibal killing and insinuating himself into a particular part of European society was intriguing to witness. He had already proven himself a note-worthy surgeon and therapist in the United States. In Europe, he had no status. He had to prove himself and his credentials all over again. He was relegated to the start of long process once more. It seemed Hannibal found it all amusing, the give-and-take of the process, the challenge where there previously had been none. Seeing Hannibal rise to the occasion when an opponent turned his back on him was the highlight of Hannibal “singing for his supper.” Hannibal was pretending incompetence and being stumped the entire time-googness. It was wonderful theater.
The viewer probably wasn’t expecting the flashbacks with Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard), making their frequent appearance all the more welcome. Also welcome was the black and white of the scenes, adding a substantive touch to the proceedings, enhancing lines like: “It’s only cannibalism if we are equals.” Dr. Gideon handled his dismantling better than most would have in his situation. His hope, his prophecy that someone would do the same to Hannibal was the only attack he was capable of mounting after losing limb, after limb, after limb. Mason Veger, on the other hand, will have far more resources to make his revenge wish come true.
The dinner party between Dr. Lecter, Dr. Du Maurier, and Anthony Dimmond (Tom Wisdom) had a brilliant moment: “My husband has a very sophisticated palate. He is very particular about how I taste.” The response from Mr. Dimmond, shocked but not missing a beat: “Is it that type of party?” Hannibal looked at his “wife” then responded: “No. It’s not that type of party.”
It’s rare that a TV show has dialogue that well-written but Hannibal is not your ordinary murder drama. Hannibal exceeds Dexter in every way possible.
Watching Dr. Du Maurier pull his forearm out of his patient’s mouth was horror movie gore at its finest. It was gruesome, fleeting, and out-of-the-blue in all the right ways.
I hope the remainder of the season matches it.
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