'Hannibal' Review “Aperitivo”

Adam Reynoso ‘15/ Emertainment Monthly TV Writer
After three episodes of finding out where Will (Hugh Dancy), Hannibal (Mads Mikkelson) and Jack (Laurence Fishburne) are, the fourth episode of the season spent the entire hour flashing back to the immediate aftermath of the events at Hannibal’s home and finally revealed the fates of Alana (Caroline Dhavernas), as well as catching back up with Mason Verger (Joe Anderson) and the reveal that Dr. Frederick Chilton (Raul Esparza) did in fact get a shot to the face.

Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. Photo Credit: NBC
Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. Photo Credit: NBC
In a chilling opening, Chilton proposes why Mason should hire him as his therapist, an interesting angle to bring the two together, but the conversation soon turns back to Hannibal and how they both survived his attacks and manipulation. The conversation becomes interesting once Mason tells Chilton he will speak more openly if he reveals his disfigurement, hidden under layers of makeup and concealer. This scene proves to become effective and revealing for both characters involved as they show their true intentions for Hannibal and how while Chilton wants to study him, Mason wants to exact his revenge.
The show utilizes Chilton to an astounding extent, using him as a way to steer the narrative and rally Hannibal’s victims together in hopes of catching him. The strongest points of the episode are his interactions with the rest of the cast and the apparent change that’s occurred within Alana. The flashback episode continues to see how everyone’s reacting to Hannibal and how each character has gotten to their current place in the narrative.
Alana tells Chilton that the marrow that’s entered her bloodstream would change her way of thinking, according to the doctors. To see this change and reinvention, it’s something not many shows succeed in. But after seeing how far Hannibal’s manipulation went with her, this was easily the best route to take her character. She’s decided to approach Mason about his search for a doctor and her new thought process is evident as she too wants revenge on Hannibal. Her interactions with Margot could also serve as possible hints as to where that relationship may go, as sparks seemed to ignite between them.
Seeing how Jack survived was also important to see. As he awakens, he’s thinking about how he wanted to hear Bella’s (Gina Torres) voice one more time. It was his dying wish, so when he hears her calling his name again, he believes he’s in fact dead and that perhaps they went together. But he survived, and she’s still barely holding on in the bed next to him. He sees her in pain and knows he can’t keep her like this. So he finally accepts her fate and acknowledges Bella’s wishes, taking her life and releasing her from her illness.
Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. Photo Credit: NBC
Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. Photo Credit: NBC
The relationship between the two has always been strong and their chemistry could stem from their real life marriage, but it adds to their characters in the show. Watching as he prepares her for her funeral while also flashing to her preparing for her wedding day was poignant, sweet, and hauntingly beautiful. The show has managed to continue this style of showing death and happiness with ease. But saying goodbye to Bella felt like the last thing holding Jack back and ultimately prepares him to find Will before he loses him too. Hannibal’s letter of condolence seemed to show how Hannibal is slowly leading his enemies to him for another confrontation.
As for Will, he did appear in these flashbacks, contemplating what to do. He has a conversation with Jack where he imagines holding Jack down while Hannibal slices his throat open. It’s a gory, dreamlike sequence that adds to the theme this show and season has embraced fully. But Will admits to calling Hannibal and Jack accepts it. He just warns him to be on the same page when recounting the events to the officials. As seen before, Will admits how he wanted Hannibal to leave and even wanted to go with him. They have a connection that has grown immensely over the past three seasons. To see all three characters inevitably converge in Florence will be the ultimate pay off for the first half of the season.
In possibly one of the best episodes of the season, if not series, the show turned its focus back to how these characters reached their current points. It gave enough answers to push the story forward and set up where the end of this arc is heading, which has to be a dinner with the Vergers, Hannibal and everyone else.
Overall Episode Grade: A+

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