There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

It’s back! Huzzah! I’ll admit I was iffy on last season at times, but Hannibal remains one of the most fascinating shows on television. It’s as beautiful as it is gruesome, with stellar performances and enough dark comedy to keep me laughing and feeling bad about laughing. I was delighted at the end of last season to see Bedelia run off into the sunset with Hannibal after he dispatches the rest of the cast. Gillian Anderson is a goddess, and Bedelia quickly became intriguing to me. Mostly because of her performance, yes, but also because I see her similar to Clarice in the series … post Hannibal. See in the books, Clarice eventually joined Hannibal as his partner and fellow cannibal. I wonder if this is the start of that type of relationship. I just want her to survive, even if she’s quickly sliding into darkness with him. He does have  talent for surrounding himself with people who struggle with their own dark side. Or rather he’s attracted to it, and bringing it out in them. It’s hard to say how much Bedelia is actually in control of herself, she even remarks on it in the episode, but my guess? She is. She just doesn’t want to admit she is.

So at the end of Hannibal Season 2, he left Jack, Will, Alana, and Abigail for dead and flew off to Europe with Bedelia. This premiere doesn’t show us any of the main cast,  but focuses instead on Hannibal and Bedelia as they swoop around and make new lives for themselves. Bedelia flirts with disaster as she sits every day at the train tracks in front of a camera, almost begging for someone to see her and report it. But it doesn’t seem like he’s really controlling her, precisely. We only get to see a few glimpses of the scene when she killed her client, and that was Zachary Quinto, by the way. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him later this season as they delve into what really happened with Bedelia. Is it possible she’s always been just one step away from being a killer herself? How do we know that’s even been the first time? Hmmm. Bedelia eats a creepy type of food that apparently makes someone taste better (!!!!), and she refuses to eat meat for the obvious reasons. She and Hannibal are presenting themselves as a happily married couple as he got a job teaching Dante. It seems there are zero pretenses now; she knows exactly who he is and she’s starting to become his partner in all ways.

HANNIBAL -- "Antipasto" Episode 301 -- Pictured: Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter -- (Photo by: Brooke Palmer/NBC)Bryan Fuller makes much ado about his refusal to sexualize violence on the show. This isn’t a bad thing, we have more than enough sexualized violence on TV, movies, and in real life. The thing is he seems to think that rape, or only one type of rape, is what that means. I would argue what happened to Margot last season was absolutely sexualized violence, considering her reproductive parts were forcefully removed from her body. But Hannibal has no interest in that, clearly. If he does kill Bedelia some day, rape and sexual violence won’t have any part in it. Just eating her will be enough. He’ll probably want to break her first, like he has everyone else, and he’s well on his way. But I can’t help wondering how much he’s really had to try. We know that he’s groomed her in some ways, in the past. However she killed her patient he was involved with. But he trusts her too, in his way, and respects her. This doesn’t seem like a game to him, although it could very well be, if and when he gets bored.

But she’s the one who is curious. They run into a poet who knows them from before, and he is deliberately set up by Bedelia to get in Hannibal’s way. The poet thinks he might be invited into their deviant games, or that he could partner up with Hannibal. Why do all the psychopaths find their way to him eventually? In any case, he isn’t playing the same game they are. So she gets “curious” and sets up the chips a certain way that Hannibal kills the poet for. He asks if she’s observing or participating, which is a very specific question, and he points out that she was participating by manipulating the situation. She seems terrified … but maybe she’s more terrified by how much she wants to be a part of this. I don’t get the sense she fears him so much as she fears who she is becoming or who she always has been that’s now coming to the surface. There’s no real happy ending to this situation, but I can’t help hoping she survives it somehow. I can’t imagine how she will, however. It was a fun premiere and different from what we are used to. I want to know what happened to everyone else though, so I will be excited to hear from them.



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