No, the other news. You know, let's not say "canceled." Let's say, rather, that NBC has set the show free.
PREVIOUSLY ON: QUEEN AND CANNIBAL: Happy cannibal vrooms; Paris and Florence are gorgeous; you get a flashback! And you get a flashback! LOOK UNDER YOUR CHAIRS, EVERYBODY GETS A FLASHBACK; a massive timeline of what we know about Bedelia, including how she ended up playing house with Hannibal in Europe and wwwwtfffff is her arm doing down Zachary Quinto's throat; snails eat Gideon and Gideon eats snails; a really cute guy tried it with Hannibal and ended up his new arts and crafts project; it was not that kind of party.
@cleolindajones: How you know you're beyond help: "Oh, #Hannibal's on, I need food."
@cleolindajones: "Oh, hey, ginger cookies"
So! Pasta or painting?
@BryanFuller: CHOOSE YOUR PRIMAVERA
I was surprised to discover that pasta primavera originated in the 1970s and was popularized at Le Cirque; I had assumed it was much older than that. Focusing on "the crisp new vegetables of spring"--primavera being the Italian word for spring--it's "usually highlighted by light flavors, aromatic herbs and bright colors," with a sauce "based on a soffritto of garlic and olive oil, and finished with Parmesan cheese.... Though recipes for cold pasta primavera may be found, they are best classified as antipasti" (*cough*) "[meaning] appetizers."
@KaceyKadoodles: it's Thursday night? what are you having for dinner? @NBCHannibal? Good call! (But also eat real food because it's good for you & stuff) 💖🔪✨
@theliminalzone: HAPPY ABIGAIL HOBBS DAY, @NBCHannibal @BryanFuller @KaceyKadoodles #hannibal 💖🔪🔪🔪💖
@manatee73: 1 of my fav things from working on #Hannibal is @KaceyKadoodles song&dance numbers while she's covered head to toe in blood.
@BryanFuller: IN CASE YOU FORGOT HOW MUCH BLOOD WAS IN THE SEASON 2 FINALE, WE'RE GOING TO REMIND YOU AND THEN ADD MORE BLOOD #HANNIBAL
@cleolindajones: I HEARD YOU LIKE BLOOD WITH YOUR BLOOD SO I GOT YOU SOME BLOOD FOR YOUR BLOOD
@cleolindajones: Should I just go ahead and lie down on the floor now
@DireRavenstag: You would be in fine company. My Will is very fond of floors.
We've got a problem now, which is that if you're a recap-only reader and you don't know what's been going on past the "Mukozuke" recap, the end of "Mizumono"--which is what we start with here--is not going to make any sense. You are going to be sitting here like, how did Will break Hannibal's heart, the last time we checked in Will fucking hated him? So I am going to have to run you through a quick highlight reel of the turn last season took after episode 7, not necessarily in order (feel free to skip past):
>> Will got out of dungeon-jail and shoved a gun in Hannibal's face but couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger; finally he showed up at The Best Office Ever with a GQMF haircut and announced that he wanted to resume therapy;
>> Will took Jack ice-fishing and they agreed, via deep metaphor ("Use live bait that moves and excites [fish, cannibals] to action... You have to create a reality where only you and the fish exist. Your lure is the one thing he wants, despite everything he knows"), that Will would hook Hannibal and Jack would land him, so all of this started out as Will planning to psychologically seduce Hannibal into incriminating himself, but that is... not what happened;
>> Will and Hannibal sat around the office multiple times talking about how, exactly, Will "fantasizes" about killing Hannibal (with his hands, for greater "intimacy");
>> Will nearly murderized a dude and Hannibal did stop him but also gave him the Tender Murder Caress and busted out some book lines about Clarice all like MY SWEET BUTTERFLY, SO PROUD OF YOU;
>> Will DID murderize a dude (that Hannibal sent after him) and Hannibal tenderly bandaged his bloody knuckles afterwards; I should mention that Will punched the guy to death while imagining it was Hannibal and/or the Wendigo;
>> Will dreamed about Hannibal in intricate rope bondage talking about love, and then Will and the Ravenstag dream-killed him in a giant orgasmic sploosh of blood;
>> Will dreamed about Hannibal bound in a straitjacket and then cut his (Hannibal's) throat so that blood splattered his (Will's) face;
>> Will imagined a threesome with Hannibal and Alana while having sex with someone else, and then the Wendigo got involved and I don't want to talk about that anymore, let's focus on how Caroline Dhavernas volunteered to be Margot's girlfriend;
>> Alana came over for dinner with 1) the cannibal she was currently sleeping with and 2) the empath she kissed that one time, and was like "the fuck is going on with you two," and Will was like "lol boundaries" and Hannibal just shrugged;
>> Will brought Hannibal filet of "Freddie" and had him cook dinner, to Hannibal's microexpressive delight;
>> Extreme Closeup Homoerotic Tiny Bird Eating;
>> Alana realized that whatever the fuck was going on with those two, "it's a courtship";
>> Hannibal drew sexy fan art of Will as the dying Patroclus (cousins. totally cousins)
>> Hannibal realized that Will had totally faked Freddie's "death" and tried to give Will a chance to confess over rack of lamb but left out SOME KEY INFORMATION;
>> Everything was terrible.
At which point WELL SHIT I HAVEN'T RECAPPED MIZUMONO EITHER, SO BASICALLY Jack went to Kade Prurnell and was like "We're gonna go confront Hannibal at his house, he invited me to dinner, I'm taking snipers, it's gonna be great," and Prurnell was like WHAT NO and Jack handed in his badge so he could just go do it anyway on his own time (but without snipers, or even Beverly Katz waiting in the bushes, because she couldn't, because HANNIBAL ATE HER) and the next thing you know Hannibal's winging a BUTCHER KNIFE through Jack's HAND and they beat the shit out of each other with pieces of kitchen and Jack barricades himself in the pantry so he can bleed to death in peace and then Alana gets there to find an airborne Hannibal trying to shoulder the door down and is like "HANNIBAL WHAT THE FUCK" and he's like "You should probably go now before you die. P.S. I took all your bullets" so she runs upstairs to reload but then [SURPRISE!] fucking SHOVES HER OUT A WINDOW and Alana's lying there bleeding on the doorstep in the rain and then WILL gets there and it's like,
I'm not even the first person to make that joke, that is SINCERELY what it is like, and Will's like "OMFG ALANA" and Alana's like "Will... [cough] no... [wheeze] leave me... [gasp] GET THE MOTHERFUCKER" and then Will arrives at what's left of the kitchen:
Now, what I'm telling you from here on out is actually being replayed in "Primavera"--this entire "Mizumono" scene, all over again, and the dialogue will be relevant later, I promise. And bear in mind: Will thought that Abigail was dead, he and Hannibal went to the scene of her "death" and it was covered in arterial spray oh and also Will COUGHED UP HER ACTUAL EAR so season two began with Will proving to himself that he didn't do it and then trying to convince everyone else that Hannibal did. And among all dastardly deeds, Hannibal killing Abigail is the one thing that Will's never been able to get over. Except now Will finds out that ABIGAIL WASN'T KILLED AT ALL.
She's legit missing an ear, though.
Abigail sobs that she's sorry (for pushing Alana OUT OF A SECOND-STORY WINDOW), Hannibal told her to, she didn't know what else to do--and Will asks, "Where is he?"
And Abigail just stares over his shoulder.
You know where he is.
Now, the rest of "Mizumono" had been about how Will's "seduction" kind of backfired and left him divided between Hannibal and justice. It seems that Will walks into that kitchen with his loyalties split about 50-50, and in 3x04, "Aperitivo," a couple of episodes from now, we find out he genuinely did not know what he was doing to do. But I feel like this is the moment that tips the balance for Will. "You were supposed to leave," he says pitifully. "We couldn't leave without you," says Hannibal.
Aaaaand there it is. Will's ready to run away with Hannibal.
(I wrote that before we saw "Aperitivo," in which Will literally tells Jack, "I wanted to run away with him.")
Actually, I was delighted when this happened, because it's exactly the right knife, the linoleum knife  from the Red Dragon back story . I'd figured that this had to be where the season would end up, that we could come around full circle to the book origins and and Hannibal's "Kill them all" message to Dolarhyde would have much greater weight now that, in show canon, the whole thing would be ridiculously tragic (I had even imagined opera music keening in the background). So I'd spent all of "Mizumono" anticipating this with exquisite dread, and then the knife comes out, and it's PERFECT, and I was GIDDY...
@cleolindajones: oh God oh God you know what's coming you know it
@cleolindajones: TENDER MURDER CARESS OH GOD IT'S THE KNIFE YOU KNEW IT YOU KNEW IT
@cleolindajones: HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A CANNIBAL SCORNED
for about five whole seconds and then everything was terrible again. BEHOLD HOW VERY TERRIBLE. Hannibal just rips Will open, and guilty agonized Will just lets him, and I can't tell if Hannibal hugs Will tight because, among other reasons, he wants to help hold Will's guts in or he wants to prevent Will from doing so himself (blood is hitting the floor like rain) while Abigail >:Os in horror and the whole thing is scored to super-slo-mo "Goldberg Variations," and it's just terrible. It is Lie Down Next To Alana In The Rain terrible.
@DireRavenstag: Fleshmeats get so emotional about penetration.
(Hugh Dancy after it aired: "So the ending--when Hannibal opens me up with a knife--seemed, in some strange sense, like the perfect consummation and something that was almost, in that moment, desired, in addition to being shocking and potentially deadly. [...] I think Will had built up such a teetering tower of cards, that in the end, the only possible version in his conflicted state that might have worked is that embrace where Will was cut open.")
"Time did reverse," Hannibal says hoarsely. "The teacup that I shattered dared to come together. A place was made for Abigail in your world. Do you understand?" (Will, meanwhile, is twitching and groaning in his arms. Gonna have to get back to you on that one.) "That place was made for all of us. Together. I wanted to surprise you. And you... you wanted to surprise me." I'm sure Hannibal wanted to be sure that Will wanted to be with him, not just We Stayed Together For The Kids, but DAMMIT, HANNIBAL! If you'd just fucking TOLD HIM--
I'm not sure if Hannibal throws Will to the floor or just lets him drop; all I know is that everyone's bleeding and crying, even Hannibal, oh please God don't make me go through this again. "I let you know me," Hannibal bitters, "see me. I gave you a rare gift... but you didn't want it." Will, trembling, in no small part because he is holding his own guts in: "Didn't I?" DAMMIT, HANNIBAL!!!!!! IF YOU'D JUST TOLD HIM ABOUT ABIGAIL!!!!!1!
And then I was delighted again, because the rewritten ending from the Hannibal movie gets mixed in: "You would deny me my life." "No... no... not your life..." "MY FREEDOM, THEN, you would take that from me. Confine me to a prison cell." Yes, and I am LIVING FOR THE DAY. BRING THE PRISON FOOD AND THE VELCRO SHOES UNTO ME. "Do you believe you could change me, the way I've changed you?"
(Bryan Fuller: "Will's plan succeeded; he absolutely seduced Hannibal Lecter. That's part of it for Hannibal. 'You tricked me, and I allowed myself to be tricked.' The other part was just the devastating loss of the friendship." "Going through what Hannibal did with Will, in the two seasons, is probably the closest he's ever been of loving anyone," says Mads Mikkelsen, his arm around Hugh Dancy the whole time, because these two are adorable.)
"I already did," says Will.
Hoooo boy. You gonna regret saying that.
"Fate and circumstance have returned us to this moment when the teacup shatters. I forgive you, Will," says Hannibal, in a kitchen with Abigail and Will, again.
@cleolindajones: Traditionally, "I forgive you, Will" is around the time I start throwing shoes
"Will you forgive me?" And you know, I spent a year thinking Hannibal meant "for gutting you a minute ago," and I couldn't figure out why Will immediately starts pleading. And then I realized... Hannibal's saying, "Will you forgive me for what I'm about to do?" And that's why Will starts gasping "Don't, don't, oh no, no, no, no," because Hannibal reaches out to Abigail--who goes to him, confused and afraid but she goes to him, I will never get over that--and proceeds to slice her throat open, AGAIN, AT Will, ON Will, for pure absolute spite, you are a terrible dad Fancy Dad and you should FEEL BAD, and Will is just lying there in a giant pool of their combined blood sobbing and once Abigail hits the ground because Hannibal just DISCARDS HER at him, Will crawls over, clutching his stomach together with one hand and trying to hold all her blood in with the other and it's just the most AWFUL FUCKING THING.
@aMoTPodcast: Alright, so that scene was still completely emotionally devastating. Glad we checked up on that, wasn't sure
("Gutting Will and slicing Abigail's throat was decidedly less romantic, however. Did he just want to hurt Will as much as possible?" Bryan Fuller: "Absolutely. [He's saying,] 'This is the world that we could've had together and it was going to be beautiful. And you ruined everything.'")
On a technical level, there are some really incredible behind-the-scenes pictures of the throat-cutting effect, taken from the side. It was a fully functional practical effect; it looks real.
@lorettaramos: #Hannibal BTS - preparing Abigail for blood spurting. So...much...blood spurting. @KaceyKadoodles
Granted, everyone admitted that the amount of blood on the floor was way more than two human bodies would contain.
@lorettaramos: So...much...blood... [Will and Abigail lying in giant pool of blood]
@KaceyKadoodles: there was a sizeable discussion about the puddle. the puddle was a big deal.
@manatee73: @KaceyKadoodles always does awesome jazz hands and dances between takes. Especially when she's covered in blood.
I hear Hugh Dancy loves fake movie blood, though, so he's got that going for him.
@lorettaramos: Hugh was having a little too much fun on that take.
@lorettaramos: Hugh preparing for a wet t-shirt contest perhaps?
@lorettaramos: Bonus round. #Hannibal #wettshirtcontest
Given all the fan service last episode, what's good for the gander is... good for the other gander, I guess.
And now, Hannibal leans down for his parting words, which are surprisingly comforting, in a Worst at Helping kind of way. "Hannibal trying to help Will die peacefully" is a concept introduced in Ted Tally's script for the Red Dragon movie, in which they have an existing therapeutic relationship with kind of a father-son overtone: "I don't want you to feel any pain. In a moment, you'll begin to feel light-headed, then drowsy. Don't resist, it's so gentle, like slipping into a warm bath. I regret it came to this, Will, but every game must have its ending." (Given that Martha De Laurentiis produced that movie as well, the opening sequence feels like a dry run for the show in some ways.) So the show transposes this to Will's more thematic love of fishing: "You can make it all go away," says Hannibal. "Put your head back. Close your eyes. Wade into the quiet of the stream."
("What do you when a scene like that is over?" "Have a beer. No, that's what we did.")
Exit Hannibal into the rain, and once he's on a plane with Bedelia, he leans his own head back and closes his eyes; in the kitchen, Will sees a gutted Ravenstag bleeding out on the floor with him and Abigail. And now, officially, here's what the Dire Ravenstag symbolizes: "The stag always represented the connection between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter." Which (I'm guessing) is why it first shows up after Hannibal leaves the copycat murder scene for Will in the first episode: the game has begun. Hugh Dancy: "And the final image that you have in the kitchen of Will lying in the kitchen bleeding out with his breathing slowing and seeing the stag also dying out in front of him seemed like a release. In being gutted by a linoleum knife, that dark image that Hannibal had instilled in him had been freed."
Yeah... the Ravenstag's not doing so good.
@DireRavenstag: Ah, memories. Fancy fleshmeat yapped on forever while I was flopping around on the floor.
And now we get to new material... and it's very Shining-esque WAVES of blood-water rolling out from under the Ravenstag. And then we go past "wade into the stream" to "sink down into a SEA OF BLOOD,"
@jvlamingwriter: Water. Rebirth. Baptism...
in a visual not unlike Bedelia sinking into her ocean-bath. And then a teacup falls as well, shattering when it hits the bottom.
@idoherty451: That fucking teacup has gotten more airtime than some actual guest stars on this show. #stillnotovermizumono
YES, ABOUT THAT. Sorry to front-load the recap with so much back story, but that's why I'm here, I guess. (Skip if you wish.) The breaking teacup, which we've seen in multiple episodes, is a really weighted symbol because of the way it was used in the Hannibal book. Which is already phantasmagorically weird, but then there's a scene where Hannibal's watching the Stephen Hawking documentary A Brief History of Time, and he... decides that he's totally gonna reverse time and bring back his dead little sister Mischa. As you do. And I was sitting there back in 1999 reading this the day it came out, fresh off the UPS truck, and it was the first time I had ever felt that Hannibal Lecter was actually insane. Previously it was just "he's evil because he likes it," as I think Ridley Scott put it. But then we get to this point--a literal "loss of contact with reality" definition of psychosis here. So by the end, he's got Clarice all druggy and brainwashed or "psychic driven" or however you'd like to put that, and he tells her about the Reverse Teacup Entropy theory and--wait, let me look this up:
"And so I came to believe," Dr. Lecter was saying, "that there had to be a place in the world for Mischa, a prime place vacated for her, and I came to think, Clarice, that the best place in the world was yours."And then Clarice pushes her coffee cup onto the floor and lets it shatter to prove a point, which is, in essence, "how about no." And thus: "Dr. Lecter watched the shards, and they were still." And then she starts talking about breastfeeding and SUFFICE IT TO SAY, READER, that they end up running away to Argentina together.
The firelight did not plumb the depths of her bodice as satisfactorily as the candlelight had done, but it was wonderful playing on the bones of her face.
She considered a moment. "Let me ask you this, Dr. Lecter. If a prime place in the world is required for Mischa, and I’m not saying it isn’t, what’s the matter with your place? It’s well occupied and I know you would never deny her. She and I could be like sisters. And if, as you say, there’s room in me for my father, why is there not room in you for Mischa?"
Now, part of the psychic driving had involved him making her confront the exhumed body of her beloved father. (Thus the "room in me for my father" line.) (NO, I AM NOT KIDDING.) So we get to "Oeuf," 1x04, and Recently Orphaned Abigail drops a cup of shroom tea while Hannibal's trying to ~open her mind, and Alana had specifically told Abigail that they hadn't been able to bury her father yet, and I started clutching at my desk and screaming. Fortunately, that is not the turn that episode took, but the show thereby established Abigail as a Mischa figure while introducing the image of the breaking cup representing both the girls.
Then, in "Kō No Mono" (2x11), the Abigail-Mischa cup is explicitly connected to the concept of turning back time. I'll get into the Mischa part of the conversation in the next recap, but here's the teacup part: Hannibal says the Abigail reminded him of his younger sister, to whom he was "a father," and Will tearfully asks, "Why did you kill her?" Hannibal replies, "What happened to Abigail"--notice how vague a turn of phrase this is--"had to happen. There was no other way." Will tells him that he still dreams about Abigail, about teaching her how to fish (which we see him imagining at the beginning of "Takiawase"). "I'm sorry I took that from you. I wish I could give it back," says Hannibal. "Occasionally, I drop a teacup to shatter on the floor. On purpose. I'm not satisfied when it doesn't gather itself up again. Someday perhaps, a cup will come together."
At this point, back when the episode first aired, I saw several fellow viewers say, "Abigail's alive and they just told us so."
(Which, knowing what we know now, means that "Takiawase" opens with us seeing Abigail in the memory palace, and ends with Beverly seeing Abigail in the basement.)
In summary (I'm done now, carry on), the teacup entropy reversal thing is an unusual departure from reality for Book Hannibal, whereas in the show, Hannibal is intentionally using it as a metaphor to prepare Will for his big "surprise." And so the payoff in "Mizumono" is, Time did reverse. The teacup that I shattered dared to come together.
And this is why we see the teacup come back together yet again:
And so we're given this image of time reversing in order for Will himself to pull himself together. I consider this to be the first big hint as to what's actually going on with this episode--that he can't yet cope with what's happened. When Will regains consciousness (whatever kind of consciousness that may be), he finds himself in the hospital, recovering from his gutting:
Honestly, I thought at the time that his perfectly coiffed hair and whisper of stubble was another hint. "Woke up like this" my ass.
@aMoTPodcast: Hey there, Somebody Helped Will Graham, everything's coming up Milhouse
And then a doctor comes in, gets Will a drink of water, and tells him that someone is "very anxious" to see him:
@BryanFuller: HOLY SHIT YO #AbigailLives
@neoprod: Could it be?? #AbigailLives
@NBCHannibal: YOU GET AN ABIGAIL AND YOU GET AN ABIGAIL AND YOU GET AN ABIGAIL
@Tattle_Crime: @NBCHannibal BUT DO WE GET TO KEEP HER?
@aMoTPodcast: I'm going to be frank with you guys, did not see that coming
@cleolindajones: are we sure even now though
@aMoTPodcast: I dunno if I'm 100% but all the #AbigailLives stuff is pretty convincing
@cleolindajones: I have trust issues tho :(
See... Bryan Fuller said a year ago that episode two was "Don't Look Now with Will Graham." That's a movie (and story by
@MrAaronAbrams: SPOILER! This episode has twists. Or maybe not. Maybe that's the twist. That there's no twist. SPOILER! It's not. There's twists.
@MrAaronAbrams: No one more gasp-worthy then the great @KaceyKadoodles. Though I'm a little disappointed she isnt rocking a jaunty neck kerchief.
@KaceyKadoodles: You're really nice & stuff. 💝 P.S. Death to the neckerchief 💀👊
So now, Abigail and Shaggy Dad get to catch up. I love the composition of this shot:
"They told me he knew exactly how to cut me," she tells him. "They said it was surgical. He wanted us to live." "He left us to die," counters Will, who is still hoarse and weak. Abigail insists, "But we didn't. [Yeah, about that...] He was supposed to take me with him. We were all supposed to leave together. He made a place for us." "Abigail..." "Why did you lie to him?" she blurts out. Slowly, Will says, "The wrong thing being the right thing to do was... was too ugly a thought." "He gave you a chance to take it all back and you just kept lying. No one had to die." Which means that "Abigail" is tacitly admitting that someone did die. So yeah, a guilty conflicted Will is basically arguing with himself at this point. "It's hard to grasp what would've happened, what could've happened, and in some other world did happen," he says.
@cleolindajones: Deep talk about the multiverse tonight
@cleolindajones: True story: every time I trip and *nearly* fall, I think about how there's at least one universe I actually fell in.
@cleolindajones: I... I trip a lot
@BryanFuller: WILL AND ABIGAIL DISCUSSING SOME OF PHYSICIST HUGH EVERETT'S THEORIES OF THE MULTIVERSE
"I'm having a hard enough time dealing with this world. Hope some of the other worlds are...easier... on me," says Abigail. (I like the idea we'll get to later that she is spiritually, independently present to some degree, being all like, "MEANWHILE, I KEEP DYING.")
"Everything that can happen, happens," says Will. "It has to end well and... it has to end badly. It has to end every way it can. This is the way it ended for us." See, on some level, he knows. But Abighost, or the part of Will that won't let her go, insists that they don't have an ending: "He didn't give us one yet. He wants us to find him." "After everything he's done, you'd still go to him?" Will asks the part of himself that has been brainwashed by Hannibal. (I can't even imagine what life in Hannibal's thrall for a year was like for her.) Abigail nods: "If everything that can happen, happens, then you can never really do the wrong thing. You're just doing what you're supposed to."
@jvlamingwriter: Pre destiny is what Abigail's all about...
@arrakisfilm: #Hannibal 302 was a wonderful episode to edit. "Everything that can happen happens....this is the way it ended for us."
It's an interesting idea to mull over, but also a bit morally convenient, as worldviews go. I tend to feel like we have to strive to act as though we do have free will, to make our best effort in the universe we get, or we might as well just lie down and give up. That's sort of my version of Pascal's wager, I guess. Point being, Will is very much dealing with post-traumatic stress, and "it had to happen this way" is how he's coping with the situation right now. Of course he feels guilty; in a way he's excusing not just his own actions but everything Hannibal has done, maybe blaming himself for what happened instead, then excusing that as well: You can never really do the wrong thing.
Eating people, though. I'm pretty sure eating people is almost always the wrong thing.
@BryanFuller: "IF EVERYTHING CAN HAPPEN HAPPENS, YOU CAN NEVER DO THE WRONG THING. YOU'RE JUST DOING WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO" IS MY EXCUSE FOR EVERYTHING
On that note, Will drifts off to sleep... and then "wakes up" when an antler stabs up through his bandages. He looks around--his hospital bed is in The Best Office Ever. And the moment his feet touch the ground, he's fully dressed, in the way that things change moment to moment in dreams.
He grabs a page out of a flurry of papers--one of his encephalitic clock drawings, and the center bursts into flame,
which segues to a shot of handwritten manuscripts burning in the fireplace. Will's wandered into a previous scene (man, I LOVE when the show does this) early on in "Mizumono," before everything turned into a tragic bloodscape, back when Hannibal was still doodling MURDER HUSBANDS 4EVER 💖🔪 💀 on his Trapper Keeper. (It was a fine Italian leather Trapper Keeper.) Hannibal's burning his notes and papers in anticipation of their elopement: "When we have gone from this life, I will always have this place," he says, sounding insta-nostalgic. (I was greatly relieved to hear that we could see The Best Office Ever again.) Will: "In your memory palace?" "My palace is vast, even by medieval standards," says Hannibal, and the funny thing is, this dialogue really was in "Mizumono"; the show was already laying the foundation for season three. "The foyer is the Norman Chapel in Palermo--severe, beautiful, and timeless, with a single reminder of mortality: a skull, graven in the floor."
That's what we're seeing now. But here's a similar shot from the "Mizumono" version of the scene:
@cleolindajones: oh shit Hannibal totally told him where to find the thing
The heart tableau from "Antipasto," that is. And among the dream-papers fluttering around the room, Primavera Will is standing there, watching his own memories like an out-of-body experience.
Mizumono Will looks back at him, and then Primavera Will starts searching the floor.
@lorettaramos: #Hannibal BTS with Will and his Doppelgänger (1) (2)
@lorettaramos: #Hannibal BTS Mads and Hugh having a BIT too much fun on set.
Will finds the Graven Mortality Skull on the office floor, and as he looks up, the The Best Office Ever morphs into Hannibal's chapel.
In the episode itself, everyone refers to it as "the Norman Chapel," but it seems to also go by "the Palatine Chapel"--Cappella Palatina. It's "the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily situated on the ground floor at the center of the Palazzo Reale in Palermo, southern Italy," commissioned by Roger II of Sicily in 1132. It was built on top of an existing chapel, which became the crypt (remember that for later). My understanding is that what we're seeing now is a large replica set with the huge ornate ceiling filled in via CGI; given the gruesome tableau we saw at the end of the previous episode, it's pretty obvious why the Chapel wouldn't allow location filming. In real life, it's dedicated to St. Peter, with Byzantine architecture and mosaics "of unparalleled elegance... subtle modulations of colour and luminance." Indeed, Eight Months Later, Will and Abigail look very impressed.
@valaripradiks: omg it actually IS a murder family summer vacation
Notice Abigail's jacket, which I'm guessing is red as an homage to the daughter's raincoat in Don't Look Now, but the ombre shading also gives it a "blood-soaked" quality. Wandering through the chapel, they talk about God for a while--feeling closer to God, looking for God, believing in God--as you do on this show. But God isn't who Will came to find: "What I believe is closer to science fiction than anything in the Bible." "We all know it, but nobody ever says that G-dash-D won't do a G-dash-D-damned thing to answer anybody's prayers," Abigail quips--quietly, because they're in a church, after all. (Is it just me, or do those lines sound more like Will's personality than hers?) Will replies, "God can't save any of us because it's... inelegant. Elegance is more important than suffering. That's His design."
"You talking about God or Hannibal?" (lol Abigail.)
"Hannibal's not God. Wouldn't have any fun being God." (I thought he was Jesus though?) "Defying God, that's his idea of a good time." (Ah, right, Satan.) And then Will looks down at the mosaic floor: the graven skull in the foyer of Hannibal's memory palace.
@DeLaurentiisCo: The original art for #Hannibal Episode 302, "Primavera," from @thetuxedos.
"Nothing would thrill Hannibal more than to see this roof collapse mid-Mass, packed pews, choir singing... he would just love it," says Will (looking over actual people trying to say their actual prayers in this actual church, thanks). Man, I really need to collect Hannibal Lecter's Terrifying Thoughts on God like I keep meaning to. This specifically calls back to "God's terrific. He dropped a church roof on thirty-four of his worshippers last Wednesday night in Texas, while they sang a hymn" in "Amuse-Bouche," but "typhoid and swans, it all comes from the same place" also made it into a later episode. All of this taken from the books, of course.
"And he thinks God would love it too," says Will, looking up at the vast artwork of Jesus. A rumbling sound: he imagines the church ceiling starting to crumble, dust falling onto his hand.
@manatee73: I'm beginning to think Will eats Mescaline like M&M's to hallucinate this much.
They tried to tell us, y'all. That said, I keep arguing for "clues" and intentional ambiguity, but here's a bit of misdirection: Abigail does look over and make eye contact with a sad-looking priest--then awkwardly looks away.
@BryanFuller: SO WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE IT MEANS THAT THE PRIEST SAW ABIGAIL, TOO?
I'm going to guess it means that she genuinely had some kind of spiritual presence outside of Will's mind? By the end of the episode, Will has to let go of Abigail's actual spirit, then, almost like he's keeping her from moving on as well because he can't accept what happened. Whereas, in a medical sense, hallucinations--like the kind Will had during his encephalitis--aren't really a thing you can just decide to stop having.
(Bryan Fuller: "And so when the priest turned and made eye contact with her, and she averts her eyes and he does the same, that was a very intentional move to say there is a presence with Will. And perhaps there is life after death in some way. It posed the question without answering it.")
@MrAaronAbrams: "Elegance is more important than suffering. That's his design." "Are you talking about God or #Hannibal?" "What? No, I mean @BryanFuller."
@BryanFuller: HAVING BEEN RAISED CATHOLIC, I LOVE ALL THE CHURCHY GOD STUFF
@BryanFuller: HUGH DANCY AND @KaceyKadoodles LOOKING FOR GOD AND #HANNIBAL [lol Kacey]
@lorettaramos: And sometimes the cast and crew would play poker on the Palermo chapel set. True Story.
Oh, man, playing poker with Le Chiffre. "Here, let me save you some time, here is all my money."
A time-lapse shot of the chapel exterior; blood runs down a sword onto the Graven Skull Floor; the heart tableau appears. So now we're back to the ending of "Antipasto," which means... wait, how did Hannibal know to go to Palermo that particular week? How did he know when Will would show up in Italy? Does he have someone watching the chapel for him? Actually, you know what, I could buy that. Maybe the Sad Priest, even.
And the next time Will visits the chapel, it's a scene he ought to feel pretty at home with:
"Is it him?" asks Abigail, hiding behind Will: is the crime scene Hannibal's work? The police tell Will to leave--"Please, sir, the chapel is closed"--but then a detective says in Italian, "No, don't let him go. I want to talk to him."
Even the Palermo police station is gorgeous and baroque:
And while Will's waiting to be questioned, he encounters one Chief Investigator Rinaldo Pazzi of the Questura di Firenze.
@BryanFuller: PLEASE WELCOME @FCerlino TO #HANNIBAL's TABLE #SCREAMAVERA
@manatee73: @FCerlino is also super suave
We'll get the various versions of the character in a minute; for now, suffice it to say that Fortunato Cerlino's Pazzi has done his homework. "I read everything I can find on FBI profiling methods. I read all about your incarceration." "Keep reading," snarks Will, "I was acquitted." Well, it was more like Hannibal framed Chilton and everyone went "well, fuck it, I guess you can go home now," but sure. Pazzi is on the ball, however: "You come to Palermo and soon--very soon--a body is discovered. The priest at the Cappella dei Normanni said you have been spending a lot of time there." (You will note that the priest apparently did not mention Abighost.) "I've been praying," says Will, maybe more deadpan than Pazzi realizes. Pazzi replies, "There is some comfort in prayer. It leaves you with the distinct feeling--you're not alone." Yeahhhh, he has an idea what's going on. But for now, Will is summoned for questioning. "Ciao."
And since we don't see what's said behind closed doors, this is as good a place as any for a break.
CONTINUE: PART TWO.