Welcome, this week’s episode of Hannibal is titled “Primavera.” Much like last week, not many answers were given, actually only one, but we’ll get to that later. As always SPOILERS AHEAD! So let’s get cracking on our latest bounty of nightmare fuel.
In the season premiere Hannibal focused on the current lives of Hannibal and Bedelia. This week the show focused on FBI analyst Will Graham. Unfortunately, there’s less plot machinations and information than last week. Instead, the viewer is subjected to more crimson imagery, as is Hannibal’s trademark, but cranked up to 11. We are now two episodes past a season finale cliffhanger and the details of who died and who lived in the season two finale is still unclear. Instead, we’ve seen closeups of blood droplets, waves of blood, tea cups reassembling, a scene from the past season finale, a scene from the past season finale played backwards, etc. You get the idea. The entirety of “Primavera,” while beautiful to look at, feels like time wasted.
Excuses such as that we’re supposed to be learning about Will’s well-being or the intimacies of the relationship between Will and Hannibal are complete bologna. Will hasn’t been mentally stable since he shot Garrett Jacob Hobbes, however Bryan Fuller lies to us for about half of the runtime of the episode about Abigail being alive, seemingly just to prove that Will is still crazy old Will. It turns out Abigail is just a figment of Will’s imagination. This would be much more clever if The Sixth Sense and Fight Club didn’t already exist. Here, it feels pointless. The show has better things to do.
Thankfully, there are some better things on display in this episode. We meet a new character in the form of an Italian inspector who chased Hannibal in the past. Back then Hannibal was labeled “Il Monstro.” He was never caught. Will examines Hannibal’s latest crime, an origami heart made out of human flesh. He uses his special empathy powers and even says, “This is my design,” for all the fans. However, there’s no pendulum and Will is all by himself. The fates of Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom have yet to be revealed. Is this the same show from the previous two seasons?
After Will goes on about ten vision quests in a church chapel, he explores some catacombs where he just knows Lecter is waiting for him. The Italian inspector follows him down there and what follows is a fitting tense moment.Will tries to act like he’s evil in front of the inspector to scare him off. He even walks backwards into shadows while saying phrases in Italian. Hannibal’s hiding behind some pillars and looks all sad because he can’t talk to Will. Eventually Will screams into the catacombs, “I forgive you!” I can’t make this up.
Hannibal used to be a pulpy violent crime show that didn’t take itself too seriously and provided plenty of clever plot twists in an interesting narrative. “Primavera” feels like the team has gotten too big for their britches and overestimated the importance of the content their dealing with. If it wasn’t only the second episode, I would guess that the show is spinning its wheels. It’s all style and no substance. What worked for the premiere only worked because it was a premiere, the second time around I feel burned.
Even the admittedly horrifying heart to stag transformation (you know the one) didn’t satisfy my Hannibal cravings. It was empty-handed and shallow. Hannibal can do better and it needs to if it ever wants another season.