Hannibal Season 3 Premiere Review: The Italian Job

Hannibal S03E01: "Antipasto"

Bryan Fuller has declared Hannibal to be a bit of fanfiction based on Thomas Harris's novels. Fuller and the show's other writers use the novels (and the films, albeit to a lesser extent) as sources of inspiration to tell their particular take on the Hannibal Lecter saga, or least the parts of the saga they're legally allowed to tell at the moment (poor, dear Clarice). Certainly there's elements of fanfic at play within Hannibal (Bedelia, Abigail, Miriam Lass), but as Season 2 progressed, and as we begin Season 3, the show feels more akin to a remix of the Lecter stories, with the brains behind Hannibal weaving different parts together the way DJs sample and reconstitute works to create a new one while still feeling like its sources in some ways.

In the books, Will Graham never encountered the Vergers and Mason's plot to feed Hannibal to his pigs wasn't put into motion until after Hannibal Lecter escaped FBI custody during the manhunt for Buffalo Bill. And now as Season 3 opens in "Antipasto," we find Hannibal (and Bedelia) in Europe following the very bloody mess he left in and around his house in the Season 2 finale. Lecter's flight to Europe—and assumption of the name Roman Fell of the Palazzo Capponi—only occurred years after his escape during Clarice Starling's days as an FBI trainee in the novels. Here, Hannibal still fled to Europe not only to survive, but to forget.

This is what I mean when I say Hannibal uses its source materials in a way that creates a wholly new work that still feels like the original. In the novels, the flight to Florence is motivated, in part, by a sense of freedom from years incarnation, a chance for Hannibal to walk the actual areas of his memories and memory palace. It also makes for a great hiding spot. This reordering and remixing of events helps to set Hannibal apart, but it's not done in a slavish way or in a way that suggests the show is simply checking off Hannibal Lecter plot boxes from a list. For lesser shows it would be, but for Hannibal, the writers find ways to make those plots work for them instead of the other way around. Here, Hannibal's flight to Europe was as much the escape from the law as it was from his past... even as Bedelia would very much like to escape her present.

In the case of Hannibal's escape, it was all laid out for us in the flashbacks with Gideon. Like his beloved snails, Hannibal does not like to dine alone, and while I doubt he knew Bedelia would return to her home following her appearance at the FBI—likely, he thought it was just a safe spot to grab a quick shower—the opportunity to have a traveling companion that understood him to a certain degree was something that could not be passed up. However, like Gideon before her, Bedelia is not Will Graham. No one is Will Graham save for Will Graham.

And that is why, even after however many months it has been, Hannibal still misses his friend. It's why he contorted and bent the remains of (who I presumed to be) Anthony Dimmond ("I'm here to help you untwist, to our mutual benefit." Oops!) into a the shape of a heart and left it in (what I presume to be) the Cappella Palatina in Palermo. Hannibal is a broken man, and so he served up a broken man in the form of a man's heart. It's the worst, "I'm yours... if you can catch me" valentine ever.

Even though Will isn't there in Italy, he still functions as a warning to Bedelia. Hannibal's too much of a gentleman (in his own way) to outright threaten Bedelia into staying—though his discussion of observation and participation came dangerously close—and instead used a lecture about The Divine Comedy as a not-so-subtle warning. His lecture at the Palazzo Capponi focused on the ninth circle, and that round was where those who had committed treachery against others were punished. Given how choosy Hannibal is about the people who see him without his person suit, he clearly feels a special tie to both Bedelia and to Will. He's already gutted Will for his betrayal, and so he likely wouldn't treat a betrayal from Bedelia lightly either.

Hannibal's lecture then continued to focus on the ultimate betrayer in Western culture: Judas Iscariot. The lecture lingered over how hanging and betrayal are often intertwined as a result of Judas' suicide, but I'm surprised that the episode glazed over the more relevant connection between Judas, The Divine Comedy, and Hannibal with a quick nod to chewing Dante's work. In the ninth circle, Satan stood in the middle of the icy circle as the ultimate betrayer of God. In Dante's version, Satan had three heads and each head chewed a particularly noteworthy traitor, with Judas getting the center head. What better way to link up all kinds of betrayal in Hannibal than through dining on the betrayers? There was a lovely image of Hannibal standing right in front of a slide that depicted Satan in the ninth circle, thus laying the image of Satan over Hannibal, and that's likely as close as we'll ever get to that particular connection.

Bedelia likely knew she was on the menu even before Dimmond inadvertently alerted her to that fact. She was, after all, hanging out at train stations with little snacks in the hopes that, at the least, her face would alert someone monitoring the CCTV as to where she was, and thus someone would link her and Hannibal and she would be saved. At the most, maybe she would've summoned up the courage to actually get on the train and simply disappear. She may not be strong enough, though. The fear of Hannibal as both a physical and psychological force—"I still feel I am in conscious control of my actions. Given your history, that’s a good day."—is difficult for her to overcome, and while she was ready and willing to bolt, she's probably staying put for now.

"Antipasto" also shed a bit more light on Bedelia's connection to Hannibal, though some of it still felt cloaked in mystery. We knew she suffered a trauma related to a patient that used to see Hannibal, and that the official story was that the patient attacked her. It led me, and maybe others, to think that the patient was an early attempt to drive someone to kill, like what Hannibal tried on Will, Margot, and Randall Tier. It appears, however, that the patient was just a sacrificial lamb to see if Bedelia, when properly wound, would kill someone, including ripping out his tongue. Hannibal arrived to find the scene exactly as he likely planned it, and offered to help her tell her version of events. 

It was all very good, very rich stuff. Bedelia has always been an opaque character, and her comfort levels with Hannibal's actions have been, like Will Graham's own levels, mixed. Take, for instance, the flashback where Bedelia had a gun drawn on Hannibal as he exited her shower: "You let them see you." "I let them see enough." "How does it feel? Being seen?" "You're in no position to ask, Dr. Du Maurier."

On the surface, it was a question about Hannibal's state of mind and about how he felt about revealing himself to people, but deeper than that, it was one person struggling to keep an inner-monster in check asking another person who has expert control over their monster what it's like to fully embrace it by showing it to others. It's a question rooted in Bedelia wanting a vicarious taste of the sensations she denies to herself, even if a desire for those sensations have been cultivated and nurtured by her interactions with Hannibal. He pulls the latent monster out of people. He did it with Bedelia, and he did it with Will.

It's fascinating to watch a someone else other than Will struggle with this and the fact that it doesn't feel repetitive here is really wonderful. Bedelia is more firmly aware of the situation than Will was (maybe), but she at least has a better touchstone on her sanity than Will ever did in Seasons 1 and 2. Her brain isn't on fire, and she doesn't have Will's heightened empathy. She just lacks the courage to take actions to save herself and/or the innocent people around her. What has Bedelia gotten herself into indeed.



À LA CARTE


– Boy, Zachary Quinto did a good job as a corpse! Yes, that was Quinto as Bedelia's dead patient in the flashback.

– As is the case with Hannibal, certain timeline issues come into play. Like, how long, exactly, did Hannibal keep Gideon in his house before setting him in Chilton's? And, really, Hannibal, you managed to fit the contorted heart-body of Dimmond into a large suitcase and take it from Florence in central Italy to Palermo, which is in southern Italy, on a train? AND ALL WITHOUT YOUR MAGIC PLASTIC SUIT?!

– "Oysters, acorns, and masala. That's what the ancient Romans would feed animals to improve their flavor." "My husband has a very sophisticated palate. He is very particular about how I taste." "Is it that kind of party?" "It's not that kind of party." "No, it really isn't." I died. 

– "Bonsoir!" "Bonsoir." "Bon... soir?" "Bonsoir." "Bonsoir."

– "You smoked me in thyme."

– "My last leg is standing next to me."

– "Imagine what you must take like. Won't be long until someone takes a bite out of you."

– My readings about the ninth level of hell comes from the John Ciardi translation of The Divine Comedy, published by New American Library.


What did you think of the Season 3 premiere?

Comments (113)
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Jun 12, 2015
i was so expecting dimmond to survived longer. im sad he was killed so fast, i rather liked his personality
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Jun 11, 2015
Ok I am probably being a bit thick but I was surprised that Hannibal killed Dimmond. I thought he liked him, and Dimmond didn'tlook like a grass


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Jun 12, 2015
yeah, the murder caught me off guard too. i thought they were headed toward some homoerotic direction. i guess with hannibal there is no such thing as eroticism just food for thought--literally.
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Jun 12, 2015
You know how Hannbal is about aggressive suitors would-be friends. He just can't rebuff like a normal person, he has to snap their necks or drop a bust on their heads. He doesn't even make them into food! The ultimate 'he's just not that into you' gesture.

But I think Dimmond got killed so abruptly due to a) He was too similar and too soon after Will to even bother playing with b) He suggested doing something vulgar and violent to Bedelia c) My bae, Tom Wisdom, is a main character on a super, shitty show on Sci-fi (Syfy?) *sighs to the heavens*
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Jun 12, 2015
lol. i missed your always incisive insight. good to read from you again.
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Jun 12, 2015
Good to know someone finds some sense in my sleep deprived ramblings, lol.
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Jun 11, 2015
Noel, thanks for your insightful review (I missed the CCTV connection to Bedelia's weird train station sit-outs, as well as why Hannibal got on the train...), but please watch out for typos/autocorrect misses:

& a sense of freedom from years incarnation
Incarceration.

& "Imagine what you must take like.
Taste.

Do keep reviewing (and posting those adorable PNGs!).
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Jun 10, 2015
Such a brilliant and intelligent show! Delicious antipasto in my humble opinion! Just keep making more awesome episodes of Hannibal, Banshee and GoT and I will be forever happy whenever I watch tv.
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Jun 10, 2015
These writers are getting a little full of themselves.
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Jun 10, 2015
I tend to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person who prefers to figure things out rather than have shows and movies presume I'm an idiot and dumb things down for me.

Perhaps I missed something between the season 2 finale and the season 3 premiere, but I was pretty lost and think I'm going to need somebody to explain to me what I just watched...lol
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Jun 13, 2015
Season 3 picks up with the last two people we saw in season 2. Hannibal kills a guy and takes his identity. Antony figures out Hannibal has stolen Dr. Fell. Hannibal kills him. All the while there are flashbacks.
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Jun 13, 2015
It's the flashbacks that threw me as to where they fall in the chronology of the story
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Jun 13, 2015
I think the flashbacks with Gideon are pretty straightforward.

I don't know where Bedelia shoving her arm down Zachary Quinto's throat takes place in this chronology. Probably sometime before season 1.

The only one that kind of threw me as to when this flashback is happening is when Bedelia finds Hannibal in the shower. But that takes place right after Hannibal slaughters everyone in the season 2 finale. As far as he knows, Bedelia has left town, leaving her apartment free to use.
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Jun 15, 2015
See, now I presumed that shower scene took place prior to season 1 since at the end of season 2, she knows just what kind of monster he really is.
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Jun 09, 2015
I see that just about everyone liked it. That surprises me. I thought it was crap. I guess it's partially because of the issue with the background sounds that I ranted about in a reply below, but that's not the only reason. The visuals did nothing for me, and the story didn't make me curious about what will happen next.
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Jun 12, 2015
Other than the thwarted threesome joke and Hannibal looking sick as eff in leather on a motorcycle, this ep didn't do a damn thing for me.

I wasn't interested in watching Bedelia be petrified of Hannibal as he fattens and or flavors her up for the slaughter. Watching Hannibal set-up his persona wasn't interesting, even with Italian!Chilton being an unabashed hater. How do you steal the identity of a sorta-famous person in this day and age? Google isn't blocked in Italy.

I generally love the imagery of this show, but this ep seemed to be doing too much for no particular reason.
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Jun 09, 2015
Not only is this show well written, the acting is phenomenal. It's really hard to hate Hannibal even though he is a disgusting cannibalistic psychopath. Mads Mikkelson does a great job being a charming, likable character in spite of his psychosis. Gillian Anderson is a great actress and the discomfort and stress she displayed were spot on.
Missed the serial killer of the week part of the show but Hannibal himself filled that nicely. Waaaaaaayyyy too good a show for network TV. That's what worries me..
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Jun 08, 2015
On the menu or not, I suspect that Hannibal will eat - or already has eaten - Bedelia, several times. She appears worthy of such attention.
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Jun 12, 2015
i guess he has to whet his appetite for the splendor that is will graham.
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Jun 08, 2015
Welcome back Hannibal you have been missed....
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Jun 08, 2015
I love this show but this episode felt like I was watching a collection of webisodes rather than a premiere. The stylized artistic element of the show is great when it's mixed in with Will and Hannibal and their "I know you know i know you know I know"-flirt thing but it felt overwhelming in this episode...and what did the story progress? like an inch? if that. I waited all this time for the story to barely progress. It was an episode of Seinfeld...an hour about nothing.
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Jun 08, 2015
Good to have Hannibal back!!
"It's a double fisted kind of bash." couldn't stop laughing at that
I liked the black and white flashbacks with Gideon
“It’s only cannibalism if we’re equals.”
"My wife and I would love to have you for dinner."
"She disapproves of my disapproval."
"He's very particular about how I taste."
Thought we were going to have a three way there for a sec!
“Clearly you found him as distasteful as I did.” “On the contrary.”
"Are you here to twist me into an uncomfortable position?"
"I'm just fascinated to know how you would feel when all this...happens to you."
Ya that picture was pretty cool!

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Jun 07, 2015
oh man.. i do love this show.
the artistry, the intelligence, the menacing humour & gleeful gore... a pristine example of stimulating entertainment.

one thing that is never given too much credit is the humour.. we can all dissect the analogue verbal sparring & intents between protagonists.. but the humour of hannibal....just kills me. [unintentional pun]

the cunnilingus joke had me in stitches...the whole Gideon feast [thyme, standing leg], asking Dimmond to dinner ..'my wife and I would love
to have you for dinner.' [being a main course], that whole 'Bonsoir monologue' [albeit an inside joke].. it just makes me smile out loud at the delicious banter. [ok..that was a bad pun].

also zach quinto is a multi-arc flashback this season ..what we saw in this ep was the finality..with Dr. Du Maurier [love that hand down throat withdrawal bit].. im sure a few flashbacks will be scattered throughout..before Scully.. i mean Bedelia gets the main course treatment... accompanied with something a little zesty & full bodied.. something to balance the Marsala sweetness!! :P

i still remain impressed & conflicted that this is a network show.. i can only image what this show would look like on HBO or Showtime!! [heck, Amazon & Netflix et al while we dream...]

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Jun 11, 2015
Yes, the humour can be very subtle, and yet sooo titillating. Like the question Hannibal matter-of-factly asks Bedelia while killing the not-so-cunning poet: "Observing or participating?" Got a giggle out of me.
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Jun 07, 2015
I thought it was a great episode, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was already a fan of the show, and enjoy anything that's well written and acted, that also forces the viewer to use their brain a little bit.

However, if they were hoping to gain new viewers and increase their chances of getting a fourth season out of NBC, this was not a good way to start the season. Just reading the posts here, it's clear that even some regular viewers were a little confused, imagine if you were someone tuning in for the first time, using this episode to decide if you wanted to begin watching it regularly.

If Fuller has some kind of back-up plan to NBC and doesn't really care what the ratings are, then my admiration for him will grow even more (which is saying something), otherwise I'll just have to live in the moment and relish every episode, without getting my hopes up for another season.
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Jun 07, 2015
Noel Kirkpatrick, your review and analysis of the show is excellent. I was initially offput by the reliance once again on a classical music piece providing the ambience behind the dripping body fluids , and Hannibal and his ever ready big kitchen knives. I was thinking that they have overused the trope they created, already. Then the Incandescent Gillian Anderson appeared and lit up the screen. I am glad you recognised the bread crumb trail , she is leaving for ? (will?). including the nonchalantly turned establishment labelled sack with the purchases turned toward the CCTV . I have no inkling what the symbolism of the purchases were, but I went from tropes to intrigued as soon as She lit up the screen.
i hope you continue to write excellent critiques.the best thing I have read here at TV.Com in a very very long time.
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Jun 07, 2015
Super happy youre reviewing again! Bedelia might just be Bryan Fullers most glorious character yet. Shw feels real, but not. And thats of course partially Gillian Anderson as well, who plays her magnificently. I just cant figure her out and at the same time I dont want to. I just wanna watch. This episode was amazing, but I do look forward to seeing Will and Alana again.
Also that dude thought he had struck gold! Is it that kinda party? Who would NOT be down for that!? Mads and Gillian? Yes please. Too bad it wasnt that kinda party. It really wasn't ;).
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Jun 06, 2015
Noel, Great to have your breakdowns of Hannibal back. You always bring to light new and interesting things to the.......table.
Season 3 is already proving to be sumptuous visual feast, and the most beautiful show on tv! Happy dining!
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Jun 06, 2015
This episode was a fucking horror intense rhapsody and the AR transiction was amazing. Best Show on Free TV network right now. I can`t believe how many AMAZING NBC shows are right now, from Hannibal to Grimm passing by The Blacklist, 3 of the best TV Shows right now, but Hannibal is FCK AMAZING!!!!

That intro in the streets of Paris is oscar winning material in production and wtv awards. And the music department?? Where are the golden globes for Hannibal in technical awards?? WHEREEEE???
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Jun 06, 2015
Brilliant review, Noel! The minute details you noticed proves that you are a big tv nerd! :P Keep reviewing this show!!
Also the dialogues you mentioned, excellent choice!
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Jun 05, 2015
This show is awesome, but this felt... and I really hate this term... a little pretentious. The first two seasons managed to mix beautiful shots and amazing cinematography with great storytelling, but in this episode the art felt like it got in the way of the story. Hopefully this was just a special introduction to the new scenery and next week we'll get more thought-provoking conversations and suspense, and less close ups of water crashing against the floor in slow motion (even though they're very pretty).
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Jun 06, 2015
U probably didnt notice the amazing "hidden" (almost spoiler) aspect of this episode and maybe season, meaning Bedelia is already dead and the show is regressive. I may be wrong but...
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Jun 05, 2015
Bedelia is a interesting combination of terrified and intrigued by Hannibal. She stays because she hasn't decided on who SHE is yet.
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Jun 05, 2015
Holy smokes, this show is beautiful. I wonder how they even get some of the shots they do. There are few shows this good looking. And, speaking of good looking, gotdamn Gillian Anderson is on fire! I want some of whatever she's having that makes her look so fantastic. Also, this episode was surprisingly funny, especially when Bedeila made that random oral sex joke. So weird, and the context just makes it even funnier. But actually, when I think about it, it's so fucked up. He's getting her ready to be eaten. And not in the good way. Hannibal is most definitely a dick.
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Jun 05, 2015
I agree about the Judas references being warnings to Bedelia, but they also made me think that Hannibal has an alternate reason for keeping her around - he enjoys toying with her.
The way he toys with everyone
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Jun 07, 2015
Hannibal doesn’t toy with her – although at times he gives us that impression. Yes, occasionally he loves traumatizing her psychologically – because it’s fun – but this is not the basis of their relationship.
He cares for her and he’s attracted to her as he’s attracted to all people that pose a threat to him – and are not common criminals – like Will, Abigail, Jack and even Freddie.
Whether this “care” is genuine or not is a big discussion. Hannibal needs the therapy sessions with her as during those he can talk through his thoughts and process his feelings in an honest and above all safe way (doctor/patient confidentiality.) This is how he manages to maintain the clarity of his “reasoning” and to rationalize/ test his evasions and half-truths (like in the session where Hannibal suggested that madness could be the “cure” for modern life and Bedelia responded “Bullshit!”)
Hannibal’s relationship to Bedelia is one based on codependency. Why Hannibal needs her is obvious, why she needs him remains to be seen.
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Jun 07, 2015
Oh… as for the Judas reference it might not be a warning to Bedelia but a “suggestion” – subliminal message is you please.
Dante’s Divina Commedia is an epic poem full of allegories and allusions of biblical tales, which emphasizes on the importance of salvation and divine love. Judas is not “the ultimate betrayer of Western World” – and here I’ll differentiate from most theological texts – but he was the catalyst towards salvation. If it wasn’t for his betrayal nothing would have happened. No arrest, no crucifixion, no resurrection, no "salvation" for humanity – his betrayal was part of a bigger plan!*
So from Hannibal’s point of view, in the way to salvation a Judas is needed. The question is whose salvation will it be, Hannibal’s or Bedelia’s, and at what cost!

* of course that's my interpretation - apart from any religious attachments or beliefs.
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Jun 05, 2015
I imagine Gideon ending as a severed head, eating the last remnants of himself. Or perhaps just a mouth. I'm not sure I understand why Gideon's pretense of being the author of Hannibal's horrific work would exact such cruel punishment.

Also, Bedelia's attitude intrigues me. Is she tagging along with Hannibal just because she's being blackmailed? Hannibal's grip seems to be deeper than that. and had to be particularly powerful to make her board the plane to begin with.

Hannibal feels incomplete without Will. So does the show. It's interesting how the show managed to express precisely that with his absence from the first episode.
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Jun 11, 2015
& I imagine Gideon ending as a severed head, eating the last remnants of himself.
& Or perhaps just a mouth.

But we know Gideon's ending. He was more than that. Did you miss it in season 2?
You do realize that the black-and-white, different-aspect-ratio inserts were either Hannibal's or Bedelia's flashbacks?
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Jun 11, 2015
I don't remember. Refresh my memory please.
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Jun 12, 2015
Gideon was flatlining in the makeshift OR at Dr. Chilton's house. I believe he was head and torso, I don't remember getting a grisly view of him though. It was tasteful.
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Jun 05, 2015
I am confused but I still saw a great episode :) Stunning, as usual, daring as a Hanni & Bede in Italy spin-off, powerful in showing how Hannibal is even a fiercer beast now he’s out. And whatever I don’t get about Bedelia’s exact position, Gideon’s threats, Hannibal’s nostalgia of the Will times... the show did what it does best: create an expectation. What happens with Bedelia: split, murder... it’s already an emotional climax. It did it last season with an epic fight we knew we built up to, and it globally does it by following a story we know, even if it messes with time, places, some people (I’m still waiting for Chilton to come back, no corpse, no death).
This episode gave me a LOT of perspective too: ‘Bonsoir’ is officially the creepiest greetings I heard, and now, when I am at an awkward dinner I will pray it’s because people hope to eat one another the non-Hannibal way.

I seem to have understood the same things everyone, and the review (cool Dante insight, reminded me of Lilah’s speech to Wesley on Angel), saw, but I don’t understand what was showed about Bedelia so well, in terms of facts. That image of Hannibal standing alone in his plastic suit when she first left, man I thought that woman is strong. Then she came back, and left with him. I thought it explained her conversation with Jack, that she actually was warning him because she was on team Hannibal. But if she was just sharing knowledge why come back at all? She cheated death and decides to come back? Putting herself in danger just to give some cryptic warning?
Then she left with Hannibal knowing exactly what he does, why getting cold feet now?
I like the idea that he is like a magnet to her, makes her fantasize about what she could do if she killed again... but I really don’t get the back and forth between strong and weak. Or is the problem the fact that she is a psychiatrist and that lots of doctors, stupid stuffs, crimes... are only ok if she does them, watching someone else do them immediately prompts judgement?
Maybe that is why she stages herself as a prisoner while sending distress signals (instead of plain walking out bare feet).
Is Bedelia trying to “cure” Hannibal?
Am I the only one with the impression She hated the oysters even before she was confirmed it meant she was meal on legs? (also, who eats oysters like that?)
Why is Hannibal prepping her before she even betrays him? Has Will damaged him that way that he isn’t so confident about how people are played anymore?

So much questions... only one fact, I love that awesome show.
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Jun 05, 2015
Bedelia I think realizes at this point that there is no cure for Hannibal. He is so far beyond the point of curing and likely that isn't possible. Someone like him, with his psychosis or his belief that he is more than human isn't anything that could be dealt with aside from the two obvious, which is locking him up and throwing away the key or killing him. That is it. And likely the best option would be to kill him because even locked up he would be more than formidable in his bending people to his will.

It did look like she disliked the meal before it was stated that it was the same type of diet that Roman's used to make their meat taste better.

It isn't so much as Hannibal prepping her for an inevitable meal. It is more probably designed to confine her mentally, to imprison her without the need for bars. He controls most of what she does and she like a prisoner doesn't really believe she can escape. When she looked at the rabbit hanging in the shop, she viewed it as almost a resignation as to what was to become. That was one of the reasons why I enjoyed that scene. But everything Hannibal does and doesn't do is leading Bedelia to believe he is doing it to make her do exactly what he wants her to do. Her only real refuge is the bench at the train station.

I don't think Will damaged him. But I think Hannibal views it as he was damaged because of Will. Not necessarily any volitional act from Will's part. But because Will being who he is lessened Hannibal a bit. Made him more human, have a desire to have a human friend. A weakness. He is still confident in how he plays people. But Will is the one chink in his armor that could potentially be exploited.
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Jun 06, 2015
I do understand that, it just doesn’t add up for me. Everything we saw in that episode is perfect for season 1 Bedelia, the woman who was trapped in a pseudo therapeutic relationship with a man she admired as much as she feared and disapproved of (even if she only disapproved of his killing out of judgement on her own urges).
The woman who left her house, who came back to the FBI was out of the cage. I don’t get why go back in after getting out, especially since she didn’t spend the beginning of her European flight like this. What changed that reset her to her previous ways?
Now I know Hannibal can’t be cured, simple reason is he’s not ill, just dangerously and criminally different. But that feels like a possible way to link Bedelia’s two faces. If at some point she felt that she could cure him, by walking by his side, making him feel accepted, it would cure the both of them of their urges, then it makes sense she came back. That’s why I looked that way. Her having realised after a few weeks/months it wasn’t possible, could explain her “depression”.

I don’t think Will damaged him either but as you said Hannibal behaves that way. He knew Will wasn’t honest; he wanted to believe but knew better so he had a failsafe with Abigail. But I’m not sure he would have cooked Will. He seems to humiliate everyone he turns into food, even if Will deserved punishment for his betrayal; he still was a disappointment, someone he didn’t consider inferior right away. I believe Bedelia has that too. This is why I find it strange he’d prep her. But maybe it is just cruel teasing because she refuses to eat the meat, or a way to push her buttons, reminding her what she knows better than anyone.

Loved the rabbit bit too. But Bedelia is not the rabbit and this is her biggest mistake and potential strength at once.
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Jun 06, 2015
Yea but that is the thing with psychology. More to the point that is the thing about psychologically torturing someone. You can get the person to the point where they could be on the other side of the world and still feel oppressed by their torturer. Look at, for example, women in abusive relationships that never necessarily get physical and they exhibit some of the same behaviors as Bedelia. For another example on TV, a more extreme example would be Reek on Game of Thrones. Plus she has seen what he is and what he can do. She as smart and intelligence and likely as capable as she is and feeling dwarfed by someone else's capability and intelligence. That would be a lot for most people to overcome.

It could very well be cruel teasing. It could be his form on entertainment, he no longer has his normal tools and things to play with in his basement, he just has Gideon, that can't be enough for him, he already beat Gideon and is slowly feeding him himself. For him it has to be like watching the same show reruns.
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Jun 11, 2015
& he no longer has his normal tools and things to play with
& in his basement, he just has Gideon

You do realize these are the flashbacks of things that happened in the timeline of season 2 (but were not shown then)? It's what he did to Abel Gideon between snatching him from the prison hospital and dumping him (his still-headed torso, anyway) to die at Chilton's in order to frame the latter.
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Jun 06, 2015
Ha, funny you mentioned Reek cause I was thinking of him while pondering upon your comment :) I think you led me straight to the solution to my confusion. I accept Reek because I saw Ramsay undo and redo Theon as Reek over a season. As much as I was showed Hannibal’s mastery, I wasn’t shown that degree of power over Bedelia, or anyone, to accept it without questions, or demanding proof. Psychiatrist Bedelia was abused woman material: scared of her own potential for violence, understanding of Hannibal’s abilities, both physical and mental, AND he had something massive on her. But when she came to Jack after she escaped, she came clean about that. I read that as emancipation but it apparently was not. That way it makes sense that she had to face what she thought was her biggest fear in order to recognise it wasn’t. Away from it all fear of jail was smaller than fear of Hannibal. Ok. But I’ll still hold a bit of reserve against the show if only for making her pull the stupid “I had to go back and grab a bag”, unless Hannibal himself confronts her about it calling it a Freudian act :D
As we agreed, that show is splendid at showing. And because it had barely showed Bedelia before this episode, and always in a dual light of vulnerability and extreme intelligence + strength, I lack something to justify that degree of victim about her, the picture still is incomplete to me.
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Jun 05, 2015
I was confused with the story too, so thanks for the excellent review! But Bedelia's psychological struggle was some powerful stuff! I am so anguished and at the same time curious. Also, can't compliment Gillian Anderson enough, she doesn't even look like the same person that plays Stella Gibson on The Fall.
But I need to know if my baby Alana is alive :/
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Jun 05, 2015
Holy spleen crostini! I so missed this show!

It was one of those episodes that one can watch with TV on mute. The imagery was so poetically enchanting! So captivating, so eloquent!

With unique and high quality cinematography; with dialogues precise as fine surgical scalpel; Hannibal is definitely one of the best – if not the best – psychological thrillers ever produced.

Can't wait for it to pick up from where it was left at. No Hannibal can exist without Will.

Exceptional comeback!
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Jun 05, 2015
Simply the most beautiful show on tv. Nothing else really comes close, maybe an argument can be made for Penny Dreadful and its beauty. But Hannibal just makes the scenery part of the show it is its own character and it acts and it is influenced by the other characters within the show as if it itself is alive.

I too like the struggle of Bedelia. I loved the visual of her in the bathtub and how it was analogous as to what she was going through. I often use water analogies in discussing Psychology with clients and patients because it is so familiar to everyone. But for her, it, like Hannibal is enveloping her and overtaking her and she could easily continue to plunge down into and let it overtake her. But it is not her world down there and eventually she is going to have to break the surface and come up for air, or she is going to drown. It was an unbelievable and telling scene about her relationship with Hannibal and that is what makes this show great. This scene and the scene with the rabbit hanging in the shop was far more descriptive than a few paragraphs of subtext that could have been said by her. It was simply phenomenal. I don't know what her result is going to be. But it is going to be a fun ride to see what happens. Especially if she continues to show her face in the train station. It is a genius method of the hope for discovery and I am sure is her happiest moments of the day.

The rest was the usual greatness of the show. Just fantastic in every aspect.

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Jun 05, 2015
I agree, it's such a perfect, amazing and intelligent show because it shows.
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Jun 05, 2015
"How is a show so obsessed with classical music, art and philosophy allowed on the network of "The Voice," "Sunday Night Football" and the sturdy and straightforward "Chicago Fire" franchise? Well, it is because "Hannibal" is only sort of an NBC show. It's produced by Gaumont International, which has the rights to several of Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels — of which "Red Dragon" is the primary source for Bryan Fuller's adaptation here — and sells the show around the world, including to NBC. No one know the exact figure NBC pays for it, but it costs less than a standard drama — especially one with the ambitions and production values of this one — would for the network. And when the cost goes way down, so does the level of supervision, as we see here, as we see on FX with "Louie" and even as we saw in the last few seasons of "Friday Night Lights" on NBC, when DirecTV was picking up the tab, and certain storylines (like a teenage girl getting an abortion) were allowed that likely wouldn't have been under a traditional arrangement."

That sort of explains the NBC anomaly.

Completely agree with your comment. I actually wrote a long ass response but it didn't fucking go through and I'm pissed. I basically talked about why it is great, even made a Banshee comparison and said why these are two best shows at the moment. Bedelia is definitely the highlight of the episode.
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Jun 05, 2015
Oh yea I can see the comparison with Banshee. Both are shot unbelievably well, far better than most shows particularly in their respective genre category. You have the ease of ambiguity of the central figure. While both are essentially villains and do villainous things, they are so damn easy to root for. Hood far more than Hannibal but that is merely because Hannibal eats people. Despite the results of Hood there still are far more villainous people around him. But both of them live, well not necessarily live, but thrive in their own universe. Both view the world similarly, Hannibal views himself as a sort of apex predator among his own species and Hood in some senses does the same.

I wonder who would come out on top in a fight. My money would probably be on Hood.
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Jun 05, 2015
Wow, you took it even further than I did. I focused more on the technical aspects, and how both shows use dream sequences perfectly. I would know because dreams are the most annoying thing ever when they aren't done right.

Those are great comparisons, though I'd probably lump Hood more with Will, and Kai more with Hannibal. That also might be bias on my part because Mads and Ulrich are Danish actors who have done some great stuff together.
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Jun 05, 2015
Oh yeah, that quote was from Sepinwall's review.
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Jun 05, 2015
I can't believe they started a season premiere episode inside the engine of a motorcycle and made it work. The visuals on this show...
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Jun 05, 2015
According to Bryan Fuller, Zachary Quinto is coming back in episode 10.
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Jun 05, 2015
I really love Bedelia and her character, I'm just hoping she makes out alive. I love the character and Gillian so much it would be a shame if they kill her off.
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Jun 05, 2015
Finally!
Well worth the wait. Like an acquired taste, well worth the effort.

"My husband is very particular about how I taste."
Fantastic.

A superb aperitif. What a feast we have waiting for us.
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Jun 05, 2015
This is why the show has low ratings. Its hard to follow. This is one show that I am glad Noel is reviewing. He makes it all clearer.
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Jun 05, 2015
:-) Noel is very keen on linking details to source materials and I appreciate that, but I am not so sure if he makes it more clear or more complicated, to be honest :-D
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Jun 07, 2015
Haha...at least he established the timeline for us. I almost thought those were flashbacks..,:-)
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Jun 05, 2015
I was actually very disappointed with this episode. I was bored, wondering the whole time when Will and the other were going to appear.
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Jun 06, 2015
they aren't Will and everyone else died - this is the show now! :eyeroll:
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Jun 05, 2015
I agree. Last season left the main characters bloody and I feel they should have started out Season 3 finishing out that storyline, instead of creating a whole new one. I understand they need to set the basis for a new season, but wth. They needed to not leave us all hanging on Will, etc. I was just hanging on every minute to see where Will was and what happened.
Also, they play the background music too loud!!! Tone that down so we can hear clearer. I don't understand why shows do that.
When will we get to see the other main characters and where they ended up?



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Jun 09, 2015
I'm glad someone mentioned the volume of the background sounds. The music and sound effects are at least twice as loud as the dialogue. If I crank up the volume enough to hear the dialogue comfortably, the music and sound effects become so lound that it's seriously annoying and may also disturb my neighbors. I don't know if it was broadcast that way, or if it's just the guy who's ripping the show who makes the same absurd mistake every week (since the show started), but I find it very annoying. The only way to watch the show is to sit with the volume control in my hand the entire time, so that I can lower the volume by 10-20 dB every time the sound effects start kicking in, and then increase it again when things have calmed down. It doesn't help that all the sound effects and a lot of the music consist of really annoying sounds.
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Jun 08, 2015
Exactly.
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Jun 05, 2015
Episode 2! (for sure we'll see Will)
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Jun 05, 2015

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Jun 05, 2015
That was without a doubt one of if not the most beautiful looking hour of television i've ever seen. Stunning shots. Whoa! :o
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Jun 05, 2015
I didn't really follow what was going on very well, but everything was so atmospheric and beautiful that it didn't really matter. I'm think the feeling of disorientation I felt while watching was on purpose.
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Jun 05, 2015
I think it was on purpose too. It's a lot about feelings and perception.
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Jun 05, 2015
I'm officially confused and not for the first time by this show.

Flashbacks, timelines all over the place, characters making strange decisions.

Annoyingly hard to follow.


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Jun 05, 2015
You know you have faith in your show when three-fourths of the main cast isn't even in the season premiere. And you know you have faith in your show when you leave the fate of the rest of that cast unanswered - not even addressed - in the premiere. Farscape was going to attempt something similar in their Season 2 premiere but the higher-ups at sci-fi said no - glad Hannibal was able to pull it off. Very different not seeing our main group along for the ride - but Hannibal and Bedelia make for a fascinating pairing which got off to a great start last night. Oh Hannibal, you cannibalistic fiend - we're so glad you're back! 8.5/10.
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Jun 05, 2015
I find myself having to sit with these, and this is funny, quieter episodes of Hannibal to sparse out my thinking. For example, while I had the passing though Bedelia was trying to get herself caught, I was sort of distracted by the distance shots, like that we were going to be sort of timey wimey all season and these events were taking place after Will had narrowed down the country at least. So, you know, after she left the deli the second time, we'd see a figure in shadow in the background.

I'm weirdly dismayed with Bedelia, though I imagine it is one thing to encourage Will Graham while he is sitting in a jail cell and just observe the game Will then began to play than when you are in the game itself. Its like watching Survivor or something, you are sure you could do just as well or better until you are there.

By the end of the episode, I was sort of surprised we didn't get any sort of check in with at least Will (because the show had to know they are on NBC who has little to no idea about spoilers or how to frame them) especially with a lot of the hanging lines about what would it be like for Hannibal when he is caught. Because it seems sort of apparent unless/until they can get clearance to Clarice, they keep Will as the guy who will not just initially put him away but will finally do so. I know, I know what is indicated by that one preview of the season as to whose shoes Will will now be filling, but I imagine part of Will's new version, and perhaps healthy version, of his enhanced empathy is putting himself in the victim's place rather than the killer's. Plus, he doesn't really need to understand Hannibal any longer to figure out who he is.
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Jun 05, 2015
None of Hannibal's foodie guests would pass Gordon Ramsey's palate tests! In fact, I doubt if they were presented with the shock meal in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover they'd realise it was human.
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Jun 05, 2015
great episode, really fantastic to watch, the beauty in every frame is almost too much and the acting is beyond good as always. i have just one question: how on earth is it possible that there are no pictures of this Dr. Fell? How Hannibal managed to take the place of a man who wrote books, a public figure, sure he wasn't Brad Pitt, but in that kind of circle surely one of them professors knows how to use the internet!! eh, i'll let it go considering that all the rest is perfect :)
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Jun 05, 2015
I got a bit lost in the scenery during the episode that I didn't pay close attention to the dialogue. Anyway, it was brilliant. It's sad to see Bedelia the way she is with Hannibal. Once you're in, you can't get out (except with a knife to the gut, or eating yourself). It was even sadder to see Gideon. Put yourself in his position; you can't walk, you can't leave, you're hungry, and the only thing you have to eat is your own flesh (or according to Gideon, he didn't HAVE to do anything at that point, can't blame him). I wonder what his final state is going to be. Headless torso? Or it could be the other way around. Can't wait to catch up with Will next week.
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Jun 05, 2015
So did I miss the news that Will and our other FBI friends would not be in this season or are thy just not in this episode? Did Hannibal actually kill all of them? If so, I'm not happy, the distraction of the weirdo of the week kept us from having to pay so much attention to ever bit of dialog to appreciate how it all connected, reading this review it's clear to me that I didn't get everything. Also I like Will.
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Jun 05, 2015
yes, Will is dead, the show is over, Hannibal wins and is going to eat EVERYONE. the end.
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Jun 05, 2015
Yesss, so glad this show is back! This is how tv should be, great acting, great storyline with beautiful visuals. When the actors don't have to say anything, but you still feel their emotions just by looking at them. That's what you get when you put Gillian and Mads together, love their chemistry.
Hope the flashbacks gets more and more visualy clear for Bedelia as we progress further into season 3. But all in all it feels great to see this artistic show back on my screen, it always give me another reason to open a bottle of wine.
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Jun 05, 2015
I was anxious to see that reenactment of the murder scene which Bedelia killed her patient. Hopefully, Fuller did not cast Quinto just to lay there as a corpse. What a waste! Fuller probably will show the whole murder scene later as another flashback.

Gillian and Mad are almost full frontal naked. WOW.
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Jun 05, 2015
this is perfection, what tv should be. i hope the new season of true detective is on par.

on a side note, just amazed how hot gillian anderson is.
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Jun 05, 2015
Crazy to think she turns 47 in just 2 months.
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Jun 05, 2015
You make 47 sound so old...
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Jun 05, 2015
I'm 22, but that's not what I meant lol. She looks amazing and she is closing in on 50, kudos to her :)
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Jun 05, 2015
It's OK. It's just that I'm 51, and I know many people in their 40s and 50s who look just fine. And actress of a certain fame usually take very good care of their looks. I think one great thing about her is that she doesn't seem to have gained extra weight, which often happens as you get older,
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Jun 05, 2015
Marvelous start to the season, though the end was just a tad bit contrived for my taste. If this Dimmond fellow really suspected Hannibal of doing something to Dr. Fell, why would he so casually go back into his home? Why not ask him out for a drink to discuss his offer of "untwisting?" Furthermore, if Bedelia was trying to flee, as seemed evident, why in God's name would she go back to their apartment? Seemed odd and kind of lacked explanation.

Besides those two pain points, I loved this premier. This show says more with visuals than most shows can hope to through endless dialogue. I liked that this episode had the courage to be fairly quiet and contemplative. While food was a facet of this episode, it was far more focused on liquids, which seemed fitting following the bloodbath at the end of the second season.

At any rate, this show is brilliant, and I am so glad it's back on the air.
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Jun 06, 2015
It seems to me that Bedelia wants to flee but she is beyond capable of doing so on her own at this point. She needs to be rescued, hence staring into the security camera at the train station and making sure that the local merchant's bag label is in clear view.

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Jun 05, 2015
Damn, the only thing I was interested in, who died from the previosu episode, when I know, that would be the last of this crap I watch.
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Jun 07, 2015
No, I didn't watch any trailers.... This show has too many conveniently dumb, naive, incompetent characters. Most screen time has one or more physiologists and the mentioned convenient characters talking to each other in a scheduled session or at dinner about feelings... Also there is one FBI agent who didn't investigate 1 minute during the previous seasons and an extremely lucky serial killer.
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Jun 07, 2015
Physiologists??? Wow, and you call the characters of this show dumb? You just lost what little (if any) credibility you had.
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Jun 08, 2015
Auto correct man.
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Jun 07, 2015
I think this show might be a little too cerebral for you.
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Jun 05, 2015
If you want to know who lived and - stop watching this crap - then please just look it up on the internet and stop bugging the rest of us. go away now.
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Jun 05, 2015
If you've watched any of the trailers, looked at any of the publicity stills, or even watched the opening credits for this episode it's fairly obvious who survived the finale.
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Jun 05, 2015
The escargot is people!

This episode was certainly...artistic. So much slow panning, so much. Like we get it, these mofos are functioning alcoholics, stop with all thewine glass shots.

Tom Wisdom is my bae. So, I'm terribly disappointed that Hannibal and Bedelia didn't slather him in oysters and sex him up for an episode or two before leaving him framed for murder.

I wish Bedelia were having more fun on her gorgeously attired and sumptuously decorated European holiday. I, mean, she didn't shoot Hannibal when he was in his altogether, so I assumed she wanted to roll with the beast.

I can't believe she went back to pack a bag! I hated that contrivance.
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Jun 05, 2015
i am still digesting that abel gideon is somehow a gourmet smorgasbord just waiting for the right chef to serve him up right.

tonight's episode seems to be the flipside of be careful of one's wishes. dumaurier is so blindingly beautiful that i always wondered what it would be like to have her on the show full-time. what i did not anticipate is that she would go from being mysterious and smart and insightful to just another one of hannibal's victims who should know better how to escape being one of his sumptuously dressed entree's.
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