Hannibal: S03E03 “Secondo”

“He’d be proud of you. His nakama.”

Season three of Hannibal will not be rushed. It seems there is no shortage of unfinished business back in Baltimore, but we remain in Europe, trying to understand what everything means. But there is progress. Things move slowly, but they are moving, and the conclusion here – if it can even be called as much – is a decision that seems forgone.

This episode is incredibly fog-shrouded and quiet. Some of the dialogue is difficult to pick up, but the visuals absolve the need to capture every word. We can see the past and the present come together here, as they prepare for the future.

Hannibal and Bedelia are making friends, and sharing some of the elaborate meals with their guests. It’s a high price to pay for such exquisite cuisine: come for dinner, stay to be the next dinner. Bedelia’s reaction to yet another murder is disappointment, maybe? Her disgust for his impulsive behavior is open. She remarks that Hannibal is drawing attention to himself, which is not a surprise to him. This is deliberate. The honeymoon is not meant to last forever.

secondo dinner.jpg

Shame, though. Hannibal and Bedelia have maybe never looked better. Their clothes here would be gaudy if they weren’t so damned stunning. But, unfortunately, this episode is not entirely about decadent dinners where only some of the guests survive.

Jack is here, in Florence. He meets Pazzi to commiserate – these are two men haunted by the same ghost. Jack has come to Europe, and Pazzi back to his past failure, in hopes of a catharsis. The two men talk of God, of their shared experiences, and of Will.

Mister Graham is nowhere near Florence, though. In search of Hannibal, he has gone, in Dr. Lecter’s words, to “a place where I can never go. Home.” And Will is nearly alone in his search. Nearly.

Secondo Chiyoh.jpg

The past is here, too, in the form of a castle and a striking woman with a shotgun. Will watches her for some time, exploring the grounds and finding some hallmarks of Hannibal’s past: snails, a family cemetery, and a scapegoat. It is here that our hunting woman finds Will, and holds him at gunpoint until finding out that they have something in common. Much as the snails prefer to be social, our characters find themselves drawn to their counterparts.

Will has a visible scar, which is what finally allows Chiyoh to trust him. There is talk of the past, and Will sees what he should have already known: he is not the first to assume judgment for Hannibal’s appetites. And just as the scapegoat is a captive, so, too is Chiyoh. Will knows this game well enough, though Chiyoh has refused to concede even at the cost of her own freedom.

The scapegoat is given a chance at freedom, but his desire for vengeance is too powerful to simply escape. And so he returns, and Chiyoh is forced to kill him. It was self-defense with no other option, but finally, the game ends. So Chiyoh and Will leave to find Hannibal, leaving the scapegoat as a monument to everything they both leave behind, wings finally spread in ascension.


The episode ends with Hannibal and Bedelia reaching a conclusion of sorts. Hannibal plays music as his plan is set in motion, and he speaks openly with Bedelia about his past. Finally, there is talk of the future, too. Specifically, Will’s future, and how it may be brief, as he is slated to become the next dinner guest.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Good lord do Hannibal and Bedelia dress well in this episode. Hannibal’s striped brown suit is the standout but everything they wear is glorious. Even relatively casual pieces, like the black dress Bedelia wears early on, or Hannibal’s sweater in the closing scene, are wonderful.
  • I give this episode two Husserls out of five. Very little gore, honestly, but the icepick scene is not easy to watch.
  • To be clear, I really like this episode. It’s not as visually striking as some – outside of the fancy dinner parties and the clothes there – but all of the juxtaposition is handled very well.
  • One thing that seems out of place is Will making a fire in the woods, at night. Will, what exactly were you doing out there, anyway? Waiting for Chiyoh to just casually invite you in? It’s not all bad – it leads to the firefly / fountain scene – but it seems inexplicable.

Next episode: “Aperitivo”