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There are spoilers in this review. Duh!

I keep going back and forth on this season, and this wishy washy feeling made me feel sad when I heard Hannibal was being canceled. Despite the fact I’m not certain about it right now, I still think it’s one of the most unique and interesting shows on TV. It takes chances, and while they might not always pan out, it’s still praiseworthy for that. Instead of all these procedurals that basically pan out to be the same type of episode over and over. I hope it does find a new home, because feeling ambivalent on the season is not the same as wanting the show to end. Plus I want them to get to Red Dragon! Previously on Hannibal, Will’s alive and he’s recovering from Hannibal’s brutal attack. Haunted by the death of Abigail, he’s hunting his friend/foe/nemesis. Hannibal’s meanwhile wandering around Europe with Bedelia and under an assumed name, although his thirst for blood still isn’t close to quenched. Up until now, we weren’t certain if Jack and Alana survived.

It looks like Jack certainly did. He shows up briefly to meet Rinaldo Pazzi and talk about Will. He says he’s there looking for Will, and probably to save him. Jack, if he wants to go crazy along with Hanibal, you might just want to let that guy go. Anyone who knows that guy and still wants to be BFFs with him should be in a psych ward. Yet again it’s hard to tell if Will wants to murder Hannibal or if he wants to join him. I still can’t tell what the show wants. I do appreciate one big thing in the show though: they don’t explain Hannibal away by his tragic past. Anyone who attempted to make him a woobie before, listen to the man himself: “Nothing happened to me. I happened.” Will meets Chiyoh, an attendant to Hannibal’s aunt who has been keeping a man prisoner for him all these years. Hannibal manipulated her by saying her prisoner killed and ate his sister Mischa, and purposely set it up to see if she would become a murderer like him. He’s a great friend. Will sees right through that and knows that Hannibal lied to her about Mischa, and when Chiyoh asks why he’s hunting Hannibal, he says he’s his truest self with him. He’s looking less and less like the good guy at this point, isn’t he? I mean Will’s always walked a careful line, and this show is about the lack of lines in the gray zone, but jeez. It’s getting hard to root for him.

Hannibal-Secondo-11-600x400It gets harder to root for him when he sets up Chiyoh. He sets the prisoner free and she is forced to kill him in self defense. Like Bedelia in the first episode, Will is responsible for this death. He set it in motion knowing what would happen, or what could happen. Not cool, Will. Chiyoh agrees to go with him to find Hannibal, her job now finished, and then Will puts the body out in a really creepy serial-killer like way. I’m not sure how I like Chiyoh just being manipulated by a different man. Why does it feel like all the women in this show end up victims in a way? Chiyoh, Alana, Abigail, Bedelia, even Freddie. I’m not sure I like it. Anyway Bedelia is put in a position where she has to participate in the murders instead of simply react to it yet again, when Hannibal decides to knife that rude critic in the head. By removing the knife and giving some form of mercy, he dies, and she points out technically he killed the man. It is so hard to tell where Bedelia is in terms of being able to control herself, but I think she may be in plenty of control. Why?

Well because it almost feels like she is manipulating Hannibal into purposely getting himself caught. She says she already knows what she will say to defend herself when she’s caught. So she’s clearly aware. And by pushing him to think that eating Will is the best way to go, she’s forcing that confrontation. She’s a brilliant shrink too. They’re both being manipulated. Of course he’s doing it because he’s a psychopath. Her … I’m not sure. But he tells her the truth that he ate Mischa and it made him “forgive” her, so he thinks in order to “forgive” Will he has to eat him. It’s weird that Hannibal seems to think Will has done something to require forgiveness, but a reminder, he is a psychopath. He doesn’t need to make any sense. This season has been iffy for me, because I feel like they’re upping the artsy metaphorical stuff too much. Half the time I’m bored with a scene and the other half I wish more was happening. I always liked that Hannibal was a mix of odd sounds, visual stunning horror, and giant stag metaphor, but with normal day to day stuff too. All of this feels a little too stylistic right now with not as much substance. Because of that, I understand very clearly why they’re having trouble keeping this show on the air. It’s weird even for fans who enjoy it. But I do still want it to live, and maybe if it gets to a channel that will let it be free, it would be even better.

 

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