Hannibal – Contorno Review


By Carolyn Deas (@carolyndeas)

It seems as though everyone is on the trail of Hannibal Lecter. Where could he be now? What is he doing? Will and Chiyo are on their way by train while Mason Verger has another plan to find the man of the hour. El Monstro is sure to be caught soon, right?

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

During the train ride from Lithuania to Florence, Chiyo tells Will of her past with Hannibal. She was sent to Lithuania to live with his aunt and be her attendant, to learn from her. She wound up learning a lot from Hannibal, too. “He comes in the guise of a mentor.” Chiyo recalls Hannibal burning incense for her to identify. Will describes Hannibal as a cat, “Charming, but one you can’t play with.”

Will is agonizing over inevitable change. He’s reached a state of moral dumbfounding where he is en route to kill Hannibal while Hannibal is waiting in Florence to kill Will. Let’s remember, folks, that these two consider themselves friends. Deep down, they don’t want to hurt each other but because of circumstances beyond their control, they have to eliminate each other.

Jack is spending time in Italy, too. He spreads his wife’s ashes in a river, and he throws his ring in, too. This is a special place for Jack because this is where he first met his wife and how she got her nickname, “Bella.” This seems to bring him to peace and I’m really happy about that because there is nothing more frustrating than someone moping around, unable to do their job for the other people they care about. He needed the closure and he finally got it. Good for you, Jack!

Later that day, Jack joins Inspector Pazzi at his home for dinner with his wife. This seems so familiar with all of the dinners that Jack’s been to in the past at Hannibal’s house, but this meal isn’t one he’ll regret. When Pazzi’s wife steps out of the room, Jack addresses one of his concerns. “You weren’t in Palermo on official business either, were you?”

Pazzi discusses how his search for El Monstro in the past has left him disgraced. He’s no longer taken seriously within his department and he’s interested in reclaiming his position as a detective. Jack isn’t interested in helping. He’s only in Italy to keep Will safe.

I’m sure you’re wondering what’s going on with those that are also interested in Hannibal, like Mason Verger. After doing some research, Alana Bloom, now Mason’s psychiatrist (and maybe partner in crime?), is laying it all out for Mason, literally. She has a place setting on the table with all of the knives and forks and whatnot, and she explains patterns in purchases that she has found (not sure how – I was unclear to that, but if you know, pass the info along). The pattern, it seems, finds the exact same purchase of wine at a deli every week for three months. In Florence. This is the same deli that we often see Bedelia stopping at. Is this another way she’s trying to get found? If you remember, she was at the subway a few weeks ago and looked straight into the security camera. Is this her plan?

Now Will and Chiyo are on a sleeper train. From the top bunk, Will asks if she was afraid of what she was becoming. You has an excellent response when she says, “I wasn’t becoming anything. I was standing still exactly where he left me standing.” Like taxidermy. Which, if you think about it, is kind of what Hannibal does. He takes his victims and makes them into art. That’s just what taxidermy is – taking an animal and putting it on display. She was a victim, too, but she lived. Chiyo explains that she isn’t like Will – malleable. She’s violent when it’s the right thing to do, but she believes that Will likes the violence. Hannibal and Will afforded each other experiences. Will got to pretend to be a killer, not only in his “brain blast” things on cases, but because he got to be like Hannibal when he ate humans for dinner. Will is afraid he’s going to become Hannibal if he doesn’t kill him.

Hannibal is doing his job, pretending to be Dr. Fell, when Inspector Pazzi decides to stop by. He asks Hannibal about the missing people (that Hannibal killed) but the conversation turns when Hannibal starts to talk about the history of the Pazzi family. He knows too much. Later when talking to Bedelia, Hannibal knows he’s been recognized by the inspector that was chasing him all those years ago because, “All of the elements of epiphany were there.” Hannibal mentions that Pazzi is still deciding what to do. Someone has put a price on his head and Pazzi is wondering whether it is worth being known as the man that caught Hannibal or better to sell him. The notoriety will eventually go away.

Pazzi takes to a pay phone and calls an information line. He wants to talk to someone about the bounty for someone’s death. He gets nowhere and hangs up. Later on (not sure how they hooked up, but like I said, if you know, let me know), Rinaldo Pazzi is video chatting with Mason Verger and Alana Bloom. Mason is the one that’s put a bounty on Hannibal. He’s offering 3 million dollars for Hannibal alive. Alana makes sure to ask that Pazzi is aware he’s selling Hannibal into torture and death and Pazzi seems unfazed.

Back on the train, Will awakes from a nightmare to find that Chiyo is gone. He finds her at the back of the train. He asks her what she is hoping to find. She says she’s not looking for Hannibal. “I told you there were means of influence other than violence, but violence is what you understand.”

Then, BAM! Chiyo shoves Will off of the train! What? Why? Is she protecting Hannibal? Does she want to find him by herself? What is going on?!

Have no fear, my friends. Will is okay. Somehow he finds the strength to get up and walk along the tracks behind what looks like a moose, or is it the imaginary deer that seems to be everywhere? I’m not sure because I thought that the deer died, so hopefully they explain this later on.

Here’s where the interesting part happens (if you didn’t think the rest of it was interesting). Inspector Pazzi stops by the museum again, no doubt for Hannibal because he wants that reward money. Hannibal plays nice and shows Pazzi some of the Pazzi family heirlooms, like a wooden piece that has a carving of Francesco Pazzi on it with his bowels out (which apparently is strange for that time period, but I’m no history buff). This is when Hannibal takes his chance and attacks. Hannibal says that he hasn’t “had a bite all day” which can only mean he’ll be tonight’s main course. Meanwhile, Jack is at Pazzi’s home with Mrs. Pazzi, waiting for the inspector to arrive and they both are very anxious. Jack seems to know what’s holding him up so he heads for the museum.

Hannibal makes a deal with Pazzi. If he tells him what he needs to know, he’ll leave without hurting him. Pazzi takes this chance and blabbers about everything. He sold Hannibal to Mason but hasn’t told anyone about Hannibal. At that very moment, Alana calls Pazzi to warn him that Hannibal will not go easy. Problem is, it’s too late and Hannibal answers the phone. There’s nothing Alana can do now!

Hannibal throws the phone and politely asks Pazzi, “Bowels in or bowels out?” Regardless of the answer, Hannibal throws him out window and he’s hanged. Just then, Jack shows up and sees Hannibal. He enters the house in search of El Monstro and uses music to disguise his footsteps. The music in the background reminded me of a cartoon. With the music as a cover, Jack is able to attack Hannibal from behind. There’s a lot of pushing and shoving and punching (which makes Mozart’s piano sonata that much funnier) and it looks like Jack is winning. Jack is finally able to pin Hannibal down when Hannibal asks, “How will you feel when I’m gone?”

Jack just replies, “Alive,” and shoves Hannibal out the window. Amazingly, Hannibal manages to limp away.

What does this mean for Hannibal? Did Jack want him dead or just injured? Who is going to find him first? Jack, Will, or Chiyo? This was an excellent episode but with Hannibal able to recover from a two-story fall, it makes me wonder if this man is invincible. I mean, who survives stuff like that? I wish they would have explained more about Chiyo but I’m hoping that they give he more of a background in future episodes. How did she get so influenced by Hannibal?

Rating: 4/5

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