There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

My past few episode reviews of Hannibal have been negative, which makes me sad since I still maintain this is one of the best shows on TV. Or at least one of the most creative and unique shows, and that means a great deal to me. In a sea of shows that basically all follow the same path or tropes, Hannibal likes to go in a different direction. It’s canceled now, and that came right before the first episode this season I really liked. I know why they canceled it, but I do hope it gets picked up by someone else. Previously on Hannibal, Hannibal killed Abigail, gutted Will, and seriously injured Jack and Alana.  He then flounced away and flew to Italy, where he’s been living with Bedelia. For some reason no one immediately went to that area, since he’s known for loving that culture. Will’s on the hunt for him, and he met up with Chiyoh,  who has been keeping a prisoner for Hannibal for many years now. Will forced her into a position where she had to kill her prisoner, so now she’s off on the hunt with him. Jack is also in the area hunting Hannibal, although he said it’s not to find Hannibal, but actually to find Will.

First things first, ALANA BLOOM. I am delighted to see her alive and well and being particularly fabulous. I was frustrated all last season with Hannibal’s manipulation of her, but I also understood where she was coming from and why she was so willfully blind about him. But she’s definitely gotten past that now. She mentions that she’ll be thinking differently now, which indicates that she’s rising into her dark glory in a lot of ways. She’s recovered, and she is looking for flat out revenge now. Mmmm. Dark Badass Alana Bloom. I can get behind that. She teams up with Verger to find him, after Chilton sends her to be his new therapist. Chilton meets with all of them one by one, and there’s a creepy scene where he and Verger take off their make up and show their real injuries. Yuuuuuck. Jack says he wants to focus on Bella instead of going after Hannibal, since she’s finally in the last stages of her cancer. Jack gives Bella that overdose she wanted to let her go, and at the funeral, Jack gets a message from Hannibal with his condolences. Naturally this adds insult to injury. But it does feed into Bedelia saying that Hannibal is trying to purposely goad/lead people toward him. Why exactly? Does he want to be caught? It seems like he does, or maybe he just wants to keep being chased.

150617_2874822_AperitivoThe show keeps jumping around in time, so it’s not always very easy to know when something is happening. Vaguely you can piece together everyone’s physical recovery in the past, and Will and Jack’s current presents in Europe as more current. Jack finally goes looking for Will at his home, and he’s already gone, and Alana knows he’s on the hunt. Chilton makes it clear that Will survived only because Hannibal wanted him to; is that true of the others too? He is a lethal person, he could probably have made certain they all were done. He’s an ambiguous character, it’s hard to know how his mind works. Not ambiguous in the sense he’s clearly evil, just ambiguous in what he wants from these people who used to be his friends. Or who he still thinks of as friends. So they certainly are all headed for him.

I think my problem with this season so far is twofold: I think it’s overly artistic instead of grounded in reality and artistry, and I’m losing sympathy with Will. The show has started to feel more pretentious than bizarre, and that’s always a turn off. Yes, we get it, you have stunning visuals and music, but it’s getting boring. I still want a story, I still want characters, I don’t want these bizarre confusing dream-like sequences as the only thing happening. This episode is the closest to having real action and driving the plot forward, and I hope it continues from here. As for Will, I’ve always had sympathy for him in the past, and I liked his arc last season after Hannibal blamed him for the murders and he plotted to end him. It just seems like a weird 180 for him to now be all about Hannibal and be torn on whether he wanted to run away with him or not. Yes he says he felt like his true self with him, but that true self is not appealing to me. It’s creepy. And sad? I know he’s being heavily manipulated and gaslit by Hannibal, but he was definitely getting more aggressive and on his own path last season. Now he feels like a ghost of a person mooning over a psychopath. It’s just not working for me. I worry he’s going to get to Hannibal and then chicken out again. We get it, they have a weird bond. That shouldn’t override all common sense and decency, in my opinion. So that makes me torn for certain. I do hope more happens in the next few episodes, because I’m getting a little bored of it.



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