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TV Review: Hannibal 3.1 “Antipasto”
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Hannibal Season 3 Antipasto Review

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 1 “Antipasto”
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Written by Bryan Fuller, Steve Lightfoot
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Eddie Izzard, Tom Wisdom, Zachary Quinto
NBC
Air date: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 10pm

Long ago, Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelson) was a supporting character in the visionary drama that bore his own name. But as the series has progressed, Dr. Lecter staked and hunted his way to the forefront, ripping through the show’s scenery and, in last year’s season finale, all of our major characters. It’s fitting then that the season three premiere begins with Dr. Lector taking control of the show in a very direct way: He stalks, he preys, he hunts, and he kills – all before the opening credits.

Bonsoir. Good evening.

Welcome back to Hannibal.

As the good doctor begins his residency with Dr Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) in tow, director Vincenzo Natali’s gorgeous direction guides the way through the stunning European landscapes. There’s something even more chilling about Hannibal’s behavior in Europe than in America – he’s more loose (even if it’s only slightly so). But the question that seems to continued to be asked, whether actively or passively throughout the episode is “observe or participate?” – with many of our characters wanting to think they’re just observing, but are more directly participating than they’d like.

Bedelia’s the character that most directly exhibits this, however most of her participation may or may not due to Hannibal’s manipulation of her. In a long-awaited flashback sequence to the night Bedelia sought Hannibal’s help facing her attacker, the seeds were sown for Hannibal’s influence to begin to trickle in, much like the drops of the Rabbit’s blood in the store she frequents. This background, as hazy and dreamlike as the rest of the show, isn’t a fully complete picture – even with the details we’ve been given. It’s a foundation, though and seeks to show just how magnetic Hannibal continues to be to those around him.

Gideon (Eddie Izzard) seems to be the only one that’s keenly aware of the role he’s playing: he’s very much a participant, forced to observe – a fitting fate for the man who once pretended to be the Ripper. Gideon is also keenly aware that Hannibal would much rather be dining with a certain Mr. Will Graham. Hannibal makes his intentions clear, offering his “heart” up for public display and as a sign for Will to find.

“Antipasto” is the table-setter. The appetizer. The taste before the main course. And while lots of season premieres feel more table-setting than others, Hannibal’s third season jumps right into the action, the visuals, and the characters we love so much.

Bonsoir, Hannibal. A good evening to you, indeed.

Quick thoughts:

– Bonsoir, and welcome to our coverage of Hannibal. This is one of my favorite shows (much like The Americans) and I’m eager to talk about it with you all.

– “Observe or participate?” is not only a fitting question that not only suits Belinda, but a nice metatextual declaration for those passionate fans who cling to the show in a manner similar to those snails who latch themselves to Dr. Gideon’s arm.

– That dead patient is being played by none other than one (Zachary Quinto), who had already been confirmed by Bryan Fuller to be returning at some point in the season.

– I can’t talk enough about how beautiful this show is. Hannibal is very much a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

What did you think of the episode? Sound off in our comments below!

Video

Hannibal – First Look at Season 3 (Preview)


Get a look inside the new season of Hannibal with stars Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Laurence J. Fishburne III, Gillian Anderson and Caroline Dhavernas. Hannibal returns June 4 at 10/9c on NBC.

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