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Hannibal: Aperitivo

“It’s not right if the view stays the same.”

It's not right. 'Aperitivo' gives new meaning to scar tissue, one-upping your colleagues, PTSD and a bunch of psychopaths helping each other out.

Happy hunting.

Well, Chilton's back and is, in this reviewer's humble opinion, the glue that held this episode together. He, at least, had the best lines. Even his smarminess was earnest. He tried every tactic in the book to rally the team, necessarily shifting gears based on whom he was trying to appeal to. Bless. While I was in love with many aspects of each of his scenes, my favorite was the teaser with Mason. Their twisted fucked up strip show, in all of its grotesque glory, is one of the finest things I have ever seen on this show. Hannibal successfully turned them inside out (by proxy even), so that now their exterior properly reflects the monsters they already were.

You're that clever landshark.

Imitation allows us to better understand the behavior of others.

I'd argue that Hannibal actually got most deeply inside of Will. (Alana wins her own kind of award, however.) I mean his coping tool for the waking reality is a fantasy where he holds Jack down so Hannibal can slit his throat. It has to end every way it can. Will's other coping mechanism, with sparks flying, is to put fire to metal to liquify it and re-bond it to something else. It's pretty deep. Fastidiously repairing a docked-in-his-driveway boat was his best use of time, maybe his only use of time, in the months that preceded his trip to Italy. Simpler times in boatyards with Dad. That life is an anchor stringed behind him in heavy weather.

Friendship with Hannibal is blackmail elevated to the level of love.

A mutually-unspoken pact to ignore the worst in one another in order to continue enjoying the best. You guys, Caroline Dhavernas is having the best time. It's so much fun to watch, too. (The camp cleverly infusing her scenes is just fantastic.) I guess this is the evolution of feeling poisoned. There isn't a conflicted bone in her body when she visits Mason. Either time. While Chilton's vengeance is sticky co-mingled with his itch for celebrity, hers is a wrath of unmitigated darkness. Something tells me she is going to be spending a lot of time with the Vergers.

This heart of mine has been hurt before. This time I want to be sure.

I know what's coming for you, Will. You don't have to die on me, too.

Of all the acts, though, my favorite involved Jack's and the passing of Bella. The contrast of her quiet transition into death with the unresolved and violent trauma these characters have to live with was majestic. There was no dialogue for minutes at a time while we watched Jack experience the luxury and decency of letting his wife go and all of the closure that allows. Even after spending a night in Hannibal's cupboard with a shard of glass in his neck, he remains the most intact psychologically. When he and Will are sitting together in the church, the history between them circled around Jack's grief in the softest way. Theirs is a considered reflection of relationships between men as much as Hannibal and Will's is.

By the episode's end, I had that same treasured feeling this show can so capably fill me with. It's that rapturous tension that only a show with this level of dramatic irony can deliver. When Jack shows up at Will's and Alana meets him at the door to tell him that Will's gone, there is loads of unspoken agreement. There's a plan, you guys. These shredded shattered souls still have a plan. And they're in on it. Together.

Odds and Ends:

*Every slo-mo scene where the horror of the physical injury of each character was featured was jaw-dropping. Chilton's stands out but Jack's drops of blood ascending almost killed me as well.

*The lighting was out of control in this episode. There were countless moments when half of someone's face was lit. It made the times there were a full face shot that much more effective.

*Re: Will -- I just kept thinking -- the empath has it the worst. He always will. The entire first season with Garret Jacob Hobbs was every bit his personal hell and he barely knew him and never shared any of himself with him.

*Marc Jobst had some really fine moments as the director of 'Aperitivo'. Chilton's face over Alana's hospital bed was such a weird cool angle to shoot from... Jack and Bella's faces side by side as he held her and waited for her to die, with her face eventually going out of focus was inspired.

*#SaveHannibal #FannibalFamily

*Joe Anderson is not not Michael Pitt.

*Hi, Glenn Fleshler (Cordell). Perfect. I have PTSD from the last time I saw you.


Mason: “Tell you what; you show me yours and I'll show you mine. There. Now we can talk face-to-face.”

Will: “I told him to leave, 'cause I wanted him to run.”
Jack: “Why?”
Will: “Because -- because he was my friend. And because I wanted to run away with him.”

Alana: “I've always enjoyed the word 'defenestration'. Now I get to use it in casual conversation.”

Alana: “They told me a lot of marrow got into my blood and that I should expect to find myself thinking differently.”

Hannibal: "You were so afraid of me. The last time I saw you -- before that last time I saw you…"

Mason: “…You see, I'm free, Dr. Bloom. I'm right with the Risen Jesus and it's all ok now. And nobody beats the Riz. He will rise me up and smite mine enemies and I shall hear the lamentations of their women. That was once you, I'm told. Dr. Lecter got deeper inside you than he did any of us.”

Alana: “Forgiveness isn't all it's cracked up to be, Mr. Verger. I don't need religion to appreciate the idea of Old Testament revenge.”

Bella: “I'm not afraid of dying. I'm not afraid of what it will be like to be dead. I'm more curious of any what-ifs than I am of any absolutes. You can do something that I can't, you can cut out what's killing you.”

Cordell: “Scar tissue is an awesome demonstration of self-preservation. The flesh's fight to exist, down to the most basic cell, is a wonder.”

Alana: “You're preparing the theatre of Hannibal's death. I'm just doing my part to get him to the stage.”

Quotes: The Frederick Chilton Edition

“Each of us whose life intersected Hannibal Lecter lost something. A limb here, a lung there. A few feet of intestines. - The dead - The dead at least have the luxury of being done with what they lost. But you and I, we still itch.”

“Couple of suckers we've been. He set us up and knocked us down. What bothers me the most is, I think it was easy for him. Shooting monkeys in a barrel.”

“The optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds; the pessimist fears this is true. This is your best possible world, Will. Not getting a better one.”

“You got yourself to the window, Dr. Bloom, if not through it.”

“We could all use a little group therapy while we're down here.”

“Will has not had his breakthrough yet. He is saving that for Dr. Lecter.”

“It's only a matter of time before they are back in each other's orbit. Shame not to have the good seats. If only to support poor Will.”

“…Will Graham is alive because Hannibal Lecter likes him that way.”

“You dangle Will Graham and now you cut bait? You're letting Hannibal have him hook, line and sinker."


  1. Joe Anderson is really not Michael Pitt. I've been watching Boardwalk Empire, so I was very aware of that fact during this episode! (I think Anderson is doing a fine job. I was just a bit taken out of the story by the casting change.)

    This episode got me thinking about bodies. Probably because of the slo-mo replays of various injuries. There are gradations of injury here: Verger is the most injured, then Chilton. Then Alana. Will. Jack.

    I think that same order works for how far Hannibal had to push each character to become a killer (or to make them plan his murder). Pushing Verger took almost no work at all. Ditto Chilton: the man seems to have no moral center. Alana has always seemed a bit out of her league with Hannibal and Will. Will required the most effort: as Chilton put it, Will has encephalitis as an excuse. Jack needed a double-whammy (Bella's death and his own injury) in order to be pushed down the path of vengeance.

    I think Hannibal respects those that he considers his equals, or close to his equal. That's why he was so willing to let Verger eat his own face off, but only stabbed Will and Jack. The amount of injury Hannibal inflicts tells us how much or little he respects the person.

    But it also takes us back to the question of psychic driving and the fishing metaphor from Season Two. Hannibal, as author of all this insanity, has created a situation in which he has made many people want to become murderers. Hannibal often says he wants people to find their true selves, but he seems convinced their true selves are murderous, which I don't think is true. He has made himself bait in order to corrupt from afar.

    Report from the books: Alana got a few of Clarice Starling's lines in this episode.

  2. Pitt couldn't play Verger because of other commitments apparently. So he gave them no choice. Ah well. Poor show, and it's cancelled too. Pitt was ace on Boardwalk Empire.

  3. Josie,
    I like the way your mind works.

    Hello! Yes, it's a shame that Hannibal has been cancelled.

  4. Hi.
    Also meant to say thanks for the great reviews. I'm so glad Chilton is back.

  5. I'm still wishing there was a bit less wallowing overall, and the overly stylized "philosophical" dialogue is starting to wear thin --- apparently three to four episodes of Hannibal-speak is the point of diminishing returns for me --- but I was genuinely moved by the material with Jack and Bella in this episode. Knowing that Laurence and Gina are married in real life makes those scenes much more potent for me, and so I sobbed through a good bit of this outing.

    I can't figure out if Alanna is really hell bent on revenge, or if --- as you indicated may be the plan, Heather --- she's ultimately trying to help Will, like Jack seems to be. She told Chilton that the revenge he wanted would require some manipulation to bring about. So are her manipulations a force of "good" (helping a friend, bringing a killer to justice) or a force of murderous revenge? I like having the mystery for now.

    I sort of love that Mason Verger's new visage makes him resemble one of his prized pigs.

  6. Jess,
    I cannot agree enough about Jack and Bella (Gina/Laurence). It was really well-done.
    I think each character is entertaining their own revenge fantasy and that Alana's falls somewhere between Jack's and Mason's. I also like having the mystery and unpredictability of it all -- you know, for all that we know is coming, and maybe because its focus on (wacky) human motivation makes up its core, this show really does manage to surprise me quite a lot!

  7. *Trailer music* Chilton: "I'm putting together a team..." (why aren't they rushing to join him? ;-;)
    Michael Pitt's great but post - face lift Mason is how I remember him now so it's really just more jarring to see him in s2. He is different though, for sure, and I like what Joe Anderson's doing with him here. I prefer it, I mean.


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