Hannibal: S03E06 “Dolce”

We open with Hannibal walking home, battered, through conspicuously empty streets. Jack watches as Pazzi’s body is cut down, and Will is there. The two men meet amicably, but Jack still has questions. Even from the audience perspective, there is not a clear answer to the open question of Will’s loyalty. When he finds Hannibal, will he do the right thing?

Hannibal returns to Bedelia. She cares for him, but there is also a bag packed. It is Bedelia’s – this is meant to be her exit. She is under no illusion about what her future holds, that she is meant to be eaten, and not quickly. What they alluded to previously is coming to pass. The honeymoon is over, and real life

Dolce Han Bed balcony


We spend this episode going between Baltimore and Florence. Mason has not given up, and with Cordell’s help, speculates on his revenge. So many delicious options. His plans may be open-ended but he is salivating at the possibilities. And he is not the only one working to shape the immediate future.

Everyone has a game here, it seems. Mason still hopes – and finances – dreams of seeing Hannibal butchered. Alana and Margot are there, ostensibly to help, but they have their own agenda. There is talk of a child, of a family, though the perspectives differ. There is also some graphic nudity. Alana – she of the now nonexistent neckline – and Margot have become bedfellows in every sense.

Dolce margot alana.png

But Margot and Alana – as well as Mason and Cordell – remain in Baltimore. Money may buy influence, but they still must wait as the plans of others converge in Florence.

Jack is here, and seemingly the only honest man in Florence. Everyone else has something of an agenda: Bedelia self-medicating and denying her identity, La Policia openly working on behalf of Mason, Chiyoh watching from a distance. And Hannibal and Will reunite, at last. But their reconciliation is short-lived.

Dolce museum.jpg

Will attempts to stab Hannibal but is wounded by Chiyoh, leaving him at Hannibal’s mercy. “You dropped your forgiveness, Will.” Is this a sick love or a violent breakup? Hard to say, but it appears that we are done with Hannibal trying to understand his feelings for Will.

And, as no good deed goes unpunished, Jack returns, but only to find himself impaired and witness to Hannibal preparing to saw Will’s head open. A last supper. The saw roars and there is blood! But there is also the sky. The transition is ambiguous, but the destination quickly becomes clear.

The episode ends in a truck. There are hogs, but not only hogs. Will and Hannibal hang upside down. As the truck opens, Mason Verger welcomes them to Muskrat Falls.

There is a lot of movement in this episode, but it remains unsatisfying. It feels like we’re allowed to understand the characters but also denied a conclusion, if only for one more episode. Some of this is near maddening, particularly Margot becoming mostly passive again, taking a backseat to Mason’s antics. I suppose we have to settle for progress on most fronts, if not the one that matters.

Stray Thoughts:

  • This has to be a producer’s cut, based on the saw scene and the Margot/Alana scene. I can’t believe NBC would have aired the latter, even late on Friday night.
  • Speaking of Alana, her plaid suit – and nonexistent neckline – look fabulous here. Also, the Hannibal/Bedelia balcony scene is very well dressed. Hannibal’s grey sweater looks incredibly luxe, and Bedelia’s dress is nothing less than stunning. A good episode for fashion even without a standout suit.
  • I give this episode two Husserls out of five. Mostly not bad, until the last few minutes – basically everything before the saw is reasonable.
  • Bedelia denying her own identity would be funny if it wasn’t so damned absurd. It’s still funny, though.
  • Hannibal taking the saw to Will is a nice nod to the grisly scene in the movie that shares its name with this series. I appreciate the references to the other adaptations of Thomas Harris’s work, even if I greatly prefer this show to them (Silence of the Lambs remains very good, though.)