Ricky Church reviews the fourth episode of Hannibal season 3…
While ‘Aperitivo’ was another relatively quiet episode, it provided a lot of forward momentum on the big threat of the season and everyone else’s story. That’s saying something considering this episode was an extended flashback dealing with the fallout of Season 2’s finale, finally revealing the fates of all involved in the bloodbath and how they got to where they currently are now.
The whole format of the episode was actually typical of a regular premiere. This is most likely the episode many people expected to get at the start of Season 3 as it revealed what happened to everyone in the months following Hannibal’s escape. Its interesting then that this was saved for the fourth episode, letting the audience focus on Hannibal’s free reign in Europe while questioning what had become of everyone else.
Two side characters who hadn’t appeared in a while opened up the episode in a very interesting manner. Dr. Chilton and Mason Verger are two of Hannibal’s most deplorable characters, though the latter far more so as he’s just an outright villain and creep. Their ‘show me yours, show you mine’ trade of facial scars Hannibal left them was a great reminder of the people other than the main characters Hannibal has hurt. They’re both clearly very bitter, but it also hasn’t stopped Chilton from copyrighting ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ for his book, one of the few humourous moments in the episode.
Since Jack was already seen alive last week, the purpose here was just to show what happened to him in the intervening months. Jack seemed more than happy to leave the FBI and Hannibal behind, content with everything he had done and worked on. The time spent with his wife Bella really opened his eyes to the pain she was in as her cancer took her toll. Eventually he decided to finally fulfill her wish and let her go before the cancer completely overtook her. These scenes were filled with emotion and played very well by Laurence Fishburne and Gina Torres. The fact they are actually married in real life only helped elevate the emotion as they’re both acting their biggest fear as a married couple.
Alana was quite prominent throughout ‘Aperitivo’ since she remained the only member of Hannibal’s massacre whose fate was left a mystery. Unlike Will and Jack, Alana has not withdrawn into herself and become more reserved or soul searched, but gone out of her way to seek revenge. Whether this is a choice she is making freely or due to her fall, since they made a point of stating her injuries may make her feel differently, Alana is going to some very dark places if she’s willing to align herself with Mason Verger.
It’s not totally surprising though; Alana’s reasoning goes far beyond being used romantically and sexually. Hannibal was her mentor and confidant for several years. Not only did he play with her emotions and inflict psychological and physical trauma on her friends, but he’s now betrayed years of friendship and trust between them. Her discovery of Hannibal’s true nature, as well as her anger, seems to have given her new insight into how he thinks. Will the Alana Jack and Will knew previously ever come back, or will she drown in her newfound anger? It will prove very interesting where her alliance with Mason takes her.
One that note, viewers were introduced to Joe Anderson as Mason, taking over from Michael Pitt last season. Whereas Michael Pitt was very unstable, switching emotions at the drop of a dime, Joe Anderson’s is much more collected. Mason is still mad as hell and dangerous, but his patient demeanor is a strong contrast to his old personality. His injuries haven’t made him any less crazy, but more composed, which may make him even more of a threat, especially as he plans for Hannibal to be eaten alive. Suddenly Dr. Gideon’s words to Hannibal in the premiere seem much more foreboding.