Hannibal: “Contorno” Review

hannibal season 3After a couple weeks of slow going, things are finally starting to pick up in Hannibal town. Let’s get right down to this reviewing business.

Spoilers and the requisite Hannibal-content trigger warning after the jump!

Our disparate character plotlines are continuing to mesh and it’s actually refreshing after a the first few episodes.

Jack has befriended Pazzi, the Italian inspector, and after a brief stop to scatter Bella’s ashes and his wedding ring into the Mediterranean, heads off to hang at Pazzi’s house. Their friendship is doomed to be cut short, however, because Pazzi takes it into his mind that he needs to catch Hannibal himself—and even contracts with Mason Verger to get paid for doing it. (According to Hannibal’s apparently encyclopedic knowledge of everything, assassination is a Pazzi family tradition going back centuries to the Renaissance.)

pazzi hannibal contorno


Unfortunately, he’s not so successful—Mason demands Pazzi provide a fresh and identifiable fingerprint from Hannibal as proof that Pazzi has found the right guy, and when Pazzi ventures back to get it, Hannibal trusses him up and interrogates him. Once he’s got all the information he wants, he eviscerates and defenestrates him. Back in America, the newer, bloodthirstier Alana apathetically scolds Mason for sending Pazzi to his death.

In Florence, though, Jack has grown nervous with how long it is taking his new buddy to return home. He heads off to Hannibal’s office himself—and gets there just in time to narrowly miss being splattered with Pazzi’s entrails as Hannibal tosses his sliced-open corpse out to hang from his office window. Enraged, Jack confronts him, and this time, satisfyingly, maintains the upper hand all through their fight. After throwing Hannibal through several glass cases filled with medieval torture paraphenalia, he smacks him in the face with a grappling-hook-ish thing, knocking Hannibal himself out the same window he so recently cast the late Pazzi out of. Unfortunately for the rest of the characters, though, Pazzi’s corpse is still hanging there, and Hannibal is able to shimmy down it and escape yet again. This time, however, it’s not a clever or well-planned escape; he’s limping away and is going to have to lick his wounds, seeing as he’s been outplayed for the first time.

Meanwhile, Chiyoh and Will are the only two who haven’t found their way back to the ensemble cast yet. They’re headed to find Hannibal, though, and they appear to be bonding on their long-ass train ride, if their late-night train bunkbed conversations are any sign. chiyo will hannibalAt least it seems that way till the end of the episode, when Chiyoh reveals that she’s known Hannibal was in Florence all along, and shoves Will right the fuck off the end of the train. Is it because she wants to kill him herself? Because she wants to protect him from Will? Or because Will was an asshole and took the top bunk? We’ll presumably find out next episode. Meanwhile, Will—whose body has adapted into that of an anime protagonist and can now shrug off grievous bodily harm with general ease—wakes up on the train tracks and starts hoofing it to Italy on foot, following our old friend the Ravenstag down the tracks.

This season has definitely suffered from a lack of its more formulaic episode plots to forward its larger myth arc, but it’s finally starting to tie all its threads together. I’m finally getting invested in where the rest of this half of the season will take us. I’m not sure yet whether I’m worried or excited for the Tooth Fairy half—while it will probably give us back the more familiar case of the week format, it also comes after yet another time jump that we’ll have to re-acclimatize to.

mason verger pazzi skypeProbably my biggest beef with this episode was Alana. While I certainly accept that a traumatic experience can change the way a person behaves, I question the once-deeply-empathetic Alana’s decision to partner with Mason on her personal Hannibal search. Is it just that he was the wealthiest, most manipulatable option? He is constantly terrible and crass to her, always alluding to her former sexual relationship with Hannibal in the crudest terms (“Spitters are quitters, and you don’t strike me as a quitter”, etc.) He’s the creepiest and most unpleasant person on this show, and the titular character is a cannibal serial killer. Plus, we didn’t see Margot at all this episode either, so I didn’t even get the small consolation of pretending Alana is into her.

Next episode’s preview seems to be full of tense moments and character reunions and other fun stuff, and for the first time since before this season started, I’m actually really hyped for it. See you next week!

Episode Tally:
Broken display cases: Lots
Meals that were people: Presumably zero. What’s this world coming to?
Trains running from Lithuania to Italy: Apparently not many, or Will’d’ve gotten run over.
Torrid lesbian affairs: A tragic zero

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