Jack Crawford is alive and well!
Even better, he's here to help Will Graham! Frankly, after the end of Hannibal Season 3 Episode 3, it's obvious that Will Graham needs some help. Again.
There were three separate, yet related, stories in this episode. Will visited the Lecter estate in Lithuania and found a little more than he bargained, Jack made his way to Italy to find Will, and Hannibal continued to be the funniest cannibal around.
At the Lecter estate, Will met Chiyo, a woman who has been living in the Hannibal Lecter aftermath for decades. She was left to care for a man that Hannibal claimed was responsible for the death and consumption of his sister, Mischa. Chiyo didn't want Hannibal to kill the man, so she stayed to keep him alive, in a cage.
Will is in an interesting middle place between Chiyo and Hannibal. Part of him is reflected in Chiyo. Their lives both have had puppet strings dangled and manipulated by Hannibal Lecter. They've both been made to feel responsible or guilty about Hannibal's victims. They have both been victims of Hannibal's curiosity.
However, part of Will is starting to reflect Hannibal. When he strung the caged man up like a firefly, complete with wings of broken glass, that was not the Will Graham we've always known. That was the Will Graham who is starting to see himself in the eyes of Hannibal Lecter.
Chiyo: Why are you looking for him, after he left you? With a smile?
Will: I've never known myself as well as I know myself when I'm with him.
I do believe that Will set the man free so that Chiyo could leave. However, I also believe that a part of him had to have known that a man kept in isolation in a cage for decades would have no place to go but back to that cage. He knew there was a possibility that the outcome would have been what it was.
Hannibal creates culinary masterpieces from his victims, and creates works of art from what's left of them. He sees them as beneath him, and he does this to make things out of them that were better than who they were. He has no regard for them as people, but he can appreciate them as art. Or as food.
I think Will was also trying to make the caged man into something better, not out of self-importance, but out of regret for his outcome. Will elevated him because he had been debased for so long. Where Hannibal creates art out of his victims out of contempt, Will did it out of compassion. Will's motivation for his, umm, artwork, though still messed up, was vastly different.
Will's self-awareness in Hannibal's presence may also mean that Will could be reminded of his own goodness in the presence of Hannibal's psychopathy. Hannibal's darkness may illuminate Will's light. While Hannibal's imagery continues to be that of the devil, Will may still be on the side of the angels, as evidenced by the statue of the angel and the light of the fireflies. There's still hope for Will Graham. Jack Crawford seems to think so.
Hannibal seems to have a gift for making others feel responsible for his damage. As Will felt responsible for Abigail Hobbs, so Jack Crawford felt responsible for Will Graham's fate. Jack came to Italy with the sole purpose of finding Will and somehow fixing him.
I'm not here for the monster. Not my house, not my fire. I'm here for Will Graham.Jack
I wonder what happened in the months between their recovery and Italy to convince Jack that Will was slipping. Whatever it was, Jack knew enough to follow Will to Italy. Jack has found an ally in Investigator Pazzi. How will that partnership work, given that Pazzi wants his "Il Mostro," but Jack just wants Will? Can they work together towards different goals?
While Will was off carrying the weight of the Hannibal world on his shoulders, and Jack was carrying the weight of Will Graham, Hannibal was off feeling sorry for himself. He felt so betrayed by Will that he couldn't bring himself to forgive him.
Honestly, Hannibal feels betrayed. After everything he's done to Will – let him live with encephalitis, framed him for murder, killed his surrogate daughter, tried to kill him – Hannibal feels betrayed. As we say in our everyday vernacular, I can't even.
As Bedelia so helpfully pointed out, Hannibal feels so betrayed and brokenhearted because he loves Will. The kind of love, however, remains wonderfully twisted and complicated.
It's not as simple as romantic love (however simple that can be), though that is part of it. What Hannibal feels about Will can't be reduced to a common denominator. He also talks about Will in the same breath that he talks about Mischa, his sister, which shows that there's some filial love there.
As Hannibal states that he has to eat Will Graham to forgive him, it is strongly implied that he also ate his sister. Will doesn't believe the story he told Chiyo, and Hannibal mentions that the meal he cooks in the dinner with his colleagues (that contained "lamb's meat") was first done in honor of his sister. On some level, Hannibal regards Will as he did Mischa.
Hannibal Season 3 is borrowing a lot from the the third novel in the Thomas Harris series. In the novel, Hannibal first tried to make Clarice Starling into a surrogate Mischa, before she offered him herself. I think that this aspect of Hannibal's relationship with Clarice is partly being explored here with Will Graham. Though in the novels, Hannibal became what he is because he witnessed what happened to Mischa, not because he did it.
Bedelia's relationship with Hannibal is just as vague and complex. For someone who seems to abhor Hannibal's murderous tendencies, she sure doesn't seem to mind when he washes her hair. She also seems to be able to work Hannibal, knowing how to push and pull regarding Will and Mischa, and seems comfortable making it known that she had an exit strategy from all this.
Let's end on a fun note though. Soglioti's death was probably one of the funniest scenes ever on that show. Hannibal was just so unbelievably irreverent, and poor Bedelia found herself unwittingly participating in yet another of Hannibal's murders.
Technically, you killed him.Hannibal
- The food. Hannibal served Soglioti the cocktail served as part of the last meal on the Titanic. I don't actually know why I thought Soglioti would still survive that dinner.
- The visuals, again. I loved the shattered glass theme that went through the show, including the breaking ice that make the Titanic cocktail. My favorite this time was the shattered glass distorted view of Hannibal's American home, as Will imagined Hannibal's memory palace.
- The cannibalism jokes are back! The quote of the day comes from Hannibal's shameless self-aggrandization:
Guest: You have a very good butcher.
Hannibal: I do indeed. The lamb must be newly slaughtered, the organs cooked the same day. I always oversee this process personally.
What did you think? What was your favourite cannibal pun? Do you think Will is still good, or is he turning into someone else? Remember you can always relive the best moments when you watch Hannibal online.