On April Fool’s Day, exactly eighteen months after Mr. Poopy Butthole told us the show would return “in like a year and half,” a new episode appeared out of nowhere. Let’s talk about it. There’ll be spoilers, but it’s the first 22 minutes of new material in years, so it shouldn’t be hard to catch up.

The Rickshank Redemption begins with Rick free from prison, celebrating with his family at Shoney’s, which definitely feels like an April Fool’s prank. Almost immediately it falls apart, though, and the Shoney’s is revealed to be Rick’s cerebellum. The Galactic Federation is inside his…

Logan, the new X-Men installment, was marketed very well. In one of its trailers, a tired and miserable Wolverine fights to protect a little girl while Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” plays. It was marketed as gritty and dark — the tragedy of a man who can’t die and who’s tired of living. It was sand and dirt and harsh sun, cracked leather and cracked lips.

It was marketed as real.

And it is, up to a point. (If you haven’t seen Logan yet, look away. It’ll be nothing but spoilers from here on out).

The beginning of the…

This is an analysis of Aperitivo, the fourth episode in the third season of Hannibal. I’ll be referencing my analyses of the first, second, and third episodes, so you may want to read them if you haven’t. I’ll also be spoiling a few things from later in the show, so you’ll definitely want to finish watching unless you’re feeling brave.

While Antipasto is probably the best example of Hannibal’s departure from the mainstream, Aperitivo isn’t far behind. “Aperitivo” is actually the first course in a traditional Italian meal, not the fourth. …

This is an analysis of Secondo, the third episode in the third season of Hannibal. If you haven’t, you might want to read about the first and second episodes first. You’ll definitely want to finish watching the show first, as I’ll be referencing later episodes and ruining some surprises.

If you’ve done all that, let’s get started.

Antipasto and Primavera show us, respectively, Hannibal and Will’s attempts at coping with the season 2 finale. Each ends with its protagonist coming to terms with the fact that, despite himself, he can’t move on.

Secondo follows the aftermath of those realizations, with…

This is an analysis of Primavera, the second episode in the third season of Hannibal. If you’d like to read about the first episode, I’ve got you covered. If you haven’t finished the show, go do that first, because I’ll be referencing later events.

Primavera is very much the yin to Antipasto’s yang. The first episode shows Hannibal working alone through the repercussions of Mizumono, and the second shows Will doing the same.

But while Hannibal tries to surround himself with external influences, Will’s action is almost completely internal. …

This is an analysis of Antipasto, the first episode in the third season of Hannibal. I’m going to be playing fast and loose with references to later episodes, so run away if you’re worried about spoilers.

Hannibal was cancelled not long after its third season started to air. Despite wild critical acclaim, each season received worse ratings than the last. Antipasto probably did nothing to help the situation because frankly, as a season opener, it’s a little baffling.

Season 2 ends with four major characters near death, and not a single one makes an appearance here. Leaving loose ends in…

Just before the mic drop is Will’s only conversation with Reba. Will’s clear parallel all along has been with Dolarhyde, and Molly is his Reba. It’s no mistake that his final conversation with both of them is in a hospital bed. Will defends Dolarhyde, saying he wasn’t a freak, but a man with a freak on his back. In defending Dolarhyde, he’s also defending himself — Hannibal is the freak on his back, and he deserves sympathy.

Reba’s having none of it, though, and she has a remarkably clear-headed view of her relationship with Dolarhyde. She’s used to drawing freaks…

There is a very basic explanation for Will’s motives: He thought his family was safe, but since Dolarhyde is alive, he knows that they’re not, and he pits Dolarhyde against Hannibal to save them once and for all. If you’ve told yourself that you’re watching a normal show about a righteous family man who’ll do anything to save his wife and child, then you could be totally happy with this explanation.

But that isn’t what this show is. And Will isn’t righteous. He didn’t even have this family until a few episodes ago, and in the previous episode he admitted…

The FBI’s plan is terrible.

And that makes sense, when you consider that Will came up with it. Jack is incredulous. When Will explains that Dolarhyde will come after Hannibal, he says “You sound pretty sure.” Hannibal is even more incredulous: “That sounds weak to you. Even as you say it, it sounds weak.” So why does anyone go along with it? That I am not sure of. Alana, specifically, has every reason to stop it. She and her family would probably be safer with a hundred free Dragons than a single free Hannibal. That I genuinely have trouble digesting.

Will is usually honest with Bedelia. Or rather, he tells her the lies he tells himself, and she breaks them down. She helps him digest what he is becoming. We can trust him to reveal his true intentions to her more than to anyone else right now. We open just after he has told her about the FBI plan:

We assign a moment to decision. What you propose is so thoughtless, I find it difficult to imagine that moment exists.

This hearkens back to Will and Jack’s conversation about Will’s phone call to warn Hannibal:

Not all our choices are…

Liz Baessler

I have an MA in English and a lot of time on my hands.

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