Hannibal: S03E02 “Primavera”

“How did he know we were here?”
“He didn’t. But he knew we would come.”

We are moving forward, but slowly. Whereas “Antipasto” was every bit a euphoric dream, “Primavera” feels more like sobering reality. Hannibal may have escaped to the uneasy reality of a stolen life and the facade of his coexistence with Bedelia, but for everyone else, there are consequences. But even this represents progress – the cold reality of being torn open by your beloved murder husband is a world apart from the dreamy formality of Florence.

Nearly a quarter of this episode takes place in “Mizumono”, and even more of it is spent processing what this means. Will has survived – this is Hannibal’s design, of course – and so has Abigail, somehow. There are scenes, fragments of memories – Hannibal’s home – before Will is finally awake.

Eight months later, we return to Europe. Palermo, a chapel. Will and Abigail are here, and so are the local police, investigating a grotesque scene. There is talk of God, but not a sermon. We are questioning. It’s true that there is a man upstairs orchestrating events, but as we will see, he is in the balcony, not in the sky, and diametrically opposed to the painted Jesus that oversees everything here.

Will makes friends. Unlike Hannibal, he is known here – Renaldo Pazzi, the inspector, is not unaware. He has seen this before, and he has known the beast.

primavera young

(Caption: OH MY GOD.)

These are two men, touched by the Monster of Florence, similar but not the same. But lest we spend too much time trying to unpack what their shared history means, let us not forget about the present. There is a man made into a heart, here after all. “A valentine written on a broken man.” It is a love letter, of course, the only thing that a heart made from a corpse could possibly be. But somehow, this is not enough. The heart begins to pulse, and then, it unfolds.

primavera stag.jpg

Abigail brings Will back to the present, and finally, some truth. Abigail is here, but only because Will is here – she lives in his memory palace now. There is one final flashback, to  Baltimore, where we see the dead and the dying. One life will go on, and with it, the memory of a life that has ended.

“Primavera” ends as Will and Pazzi stalk the catacombs, knowing that the dead is here, but also the leather-clad shadow of death. Candlelight and endless arches lead Will in circles. The search is fruitless. We have come very far, but still have miles to go before our murder husbands will be together. Patience. There are others involved here, and we will see them soon enough.

Stray Thoughts:

  • This is a very understated episode, which is a strange thing to say about an episode where a corpse heart unfolds into a corpse stag. But this all feels necessary – it seems impossible to move forward from being nearly murdered in your twisted romance without processing it a little.
  • I appreciate that this show would save Kacey Rohl’s name for the credits and preserve some surprise.
  • The operatic soprano that scores the scenes of Will’s emergency care and Abigail’s preservation after being taken from Hannibal’s home is beautiful.
  • I give this episode a score of one and a half Husserls, out of five. There’s some blood, and seeing Abigail’s throat open up in the cathedral is a little disturbing. The corpse heart is not really gore so much as it is straight horror, though.

Next episode: “Secondo”