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Review: ‘Hannibal’ Season 3 Episode 3, ‘Secondo,’ Moves At A Snail’s Pace

Review: 'Hannibal' Season 3 Episode 3, 'Secondo,' Moves At A Snail's Pace


PREVIOUSLY: Review: ‘Hannibal’ Season 3, Episode 2, ‘Primavera’: I Forgive You

Appetizer

Hannibal and Bedelia are chilling in Palermo, but Hannibal
knows Will’s on his trail, so he leaves him a valentine in the form of a
heart-shaped corpse. Will decides the best way to get into Hannibal’s head is
to visit the ancestral Lecter home in Lithuania. The audience braces itself, as
the show seems prepared to jump into “Hannibal
Rising”
territory.

Most Unsubtle Moment

I removed the “wonderfully” from the title, since
this episode is basically an unsubtle moment in its entirety.
“Hannibal,” as a show, is a really delicate balancing act. It’s
over-the-top as a general rule, and with its lingering close-ups, often
half-baked philosophizing, and grandiose murder tableaus, it’s to the creative
staff’s credit that the show doesn’t more often dissolve into kitsch. Of
course, all the ponderousness can also easily just slide into tediousness and
boredom, and that’s unfortunately the case this week. “Secondo”
spends a great deal of time making the not-at-all subtle subtext of the
previous two episodes (and seasons) text. Will and Hannibal’s relationship is
akin to love. No one’s ever understood Will or Hannibal as much as they
understand each other. Will’s quest to capture Hannibal is a classic
“abyss gazes also” situation, and might cost him his sanity and his
soul. These are all points this episode makes quite explicitly, more than once,
and it often makes for pretty tedious viewing.

PS Hope you liked all the close-ups of snails in the premiere,
because this episode doubles down on those. Snail fetishists, rejoice!

Will Graham: Doin’
Stuff!

Will pokes around the Lecter grounds for what feels like an
eternity before coming across Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto from “The
Wolverine”), the estate’s shotgun-wielding caretaker. Turns out Chiyoh is
actually the jailer of a man who allegedly ate Hannibal’s sister Mischa, one of
the only people Hannibal has admitted being close to. Will’s convinced that Hannibal
was the one who ate Mischa (and he’s not the only one, as we’ll see) and he
decides to free the prisoner. Of course, the prisoner comes back for revenge
against Chiyoh, but she’s able to stab him in the neck before he strangles her
to death. Will convinces Chiyoh to join in his quest to find Hannibal, although
she’s a bit wary, since freeing the prisoner to see what he and Chiyoh would do
is a Hannibal-level bit of manipulation. In case you missed it, Chiyoh is happy
to say so outright. Still, Chiyoh should be an interesting addition to the
cast, since Will needs someone to play off of on his quest and she’s suitably
mysterious so far. We’ll see how it goes.

Hannibal and Bedelia’s
European Vacation

Will on his tail has Hannibal feeling fussy, so he starts
acting out. First he invites the professor that was mean to him in the premiere
over for dinner, then buries an ice pick in his head — when Bedelia pulls it
out, Hannibal offers a snotty “Technically, you killed him.” Hannibal
gets downright cheeky when he invites his boss and his wife over for dinner,
observing the absence of the aforementioned ice-picked professor with all the
subtlety of Principal
Skinner in that one “Treehouse of Horror.”
He and Bedelia spend a
lot of time talking about Will, which is where we get the “these guys are
in love” speeches. Each has betrayed the other, yet their intimacy is
undeniable, which has been pretty firmly established in the earlier episode. In
the end, Hannibal decides to approach his Will Graham problem with his usual
solution: “I have to eat him.”

Sickest Burn

Bedelia is also curious about what Will might find at the
Lecter estate, but Hannibal is cagey. Hannibal doesn’t have many weak spots,
but Bedelia knows one. As Hannibal washes her hair in the tub, she wonders
aloud, “How did your sister taste?” then sinks below the water. I
guess that’s her version of a mic drop.

The Main Course

Just when you think the usual food porn is about to kick in,
we quite literally cut to Hannibal, slicing off a hand from a human arm and
lovingly preparing the arm for supper. It’s as upsetting as you’d expect it to
be, but the final dish, as always, looks divine.

Bedelia, for what it’s worth, is still sticking with oysters.

Jack Attack Is Back,
Uh, Jack

During one of Hannibal and Bedelia’s verbal sparring sessions,
Bedelia susses out Hannibal’s motive for his new recklessness, “You’re
drawing them to you, aren’t you? All of them.” Cut to JACK CRAWFORD, ALIVE
AND WELL, checking out the church crime scene. Inspector Pazzi shows up,
because I guess he has an inspector-sense for when Americans with whom he can
wax philosophical arrive at his crime scenes. Jack tells Pazzi he’s not after
Hannibal, but Will Graham, because he feels responsible for him and he wants to
find Will before he does something he can’t take back. Not much Jack this
episode, but some Jack is better than no Jack at all.

Grand Guignol

This week was pretty light on the nightmare-inducing imagery,
provided you aren’t that skeeved out by ice picks to the skull. But in case you
were worried we’d go a whole episode without some nutty corpse-play, Will dolls
up the dead prisoner like a firefly and leaves it as a mash note to Hannibal.

Grade: C+

READ MORE: Watch: This Bloody Gorgeous Recap of ‘Hannibal’ Will Whet Your Appetite for Season 3

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