I’m back with my thoughts on yet another disturbingly delicious episode in the horror brilliance known as NBC’s “Hannibal.” This fifth episode, “Contorno,” is not only the best entry of the third season thus far, but I’d argue that it’s one of the best episodes of the whole damn series. Combining elements of 2001’s “Hannibal” with pieces of 2007’s “Hannibal Rising,” this fifth episode is everything I love about this series within the space of an hour.
I also suspect that something fishy might be happening with this cancellation, which I will get deeper into during the Dessert portion of this article.
Appetizers: A lot happens in the space of this episode, so I’m going to just a couple of the lighter plotlines as appetizers. Compared to every other graphic developments in this episode, revelations that could be seen as devastating are actually tame in comparison to what happens. Will is traveling to Florence, in search for Hannibal, with Chiyoh (a former friend of the titular cannibal serial killer) by his side. It seems like there might be a sort of romantic relationship between them, but she shoves him off the train for some inexplicable reason at the last second, so it looks like Will be taking longer than expected to get to Florence. Meanwhile, Mason is still on the hunt for Hannibal with plans to eat him alive, which is a disturbing twist on the source material.
Jack Crawford finally throws his wife’s ashes into a river, complete with slow motion showing the ashes hitting the water as well as his wedding rings. It’s like “The Matrix” but with things being chucked into the water.
Main Course: The best moments come in the latter half of this episode. Pazzi’s impending death finally arrived and it’s just as twisted as Ridley Scott’s visual telling on the scene. Hannibal proceeds to duct tape Pazzi and question him before throwing his disemboweled corpse off the balcony of a building.
I thought he would implement the scold’s bridle shown earlier, which may have been far cooler, but alas it was just some good old-fashioned silver duct tape from Home Depot
As opposed to crowded streets found in the novel and film, the courtyard is deserted, save for one man: Jack Crawford. Jack proceeds to go up a few flights of stairs, turn on some classical music to avoid being heard, sneaks up on Hannibal and proceeds to beat the living shit out of him. I cannot properly express how therapeutically awesome this scene was. It’s perfectly constructed and oh so satisfying to see a manipulative serial killer who has caused so much pain, suffering and killed so many good people finally get at least some form of comeuppance, even if he only winds up with a broken arm, a mutilated leg and a limp.
I have a feeling that Hannibal will be making his way behind the bars of Chilton’s asylum very soon.
Dessert: So this is not only one of the very best episodes of Season 3 thus far, but it’s one of the very best episodes of “Hannibal” ever. It’s right up there next to the Angel-maker from Season 1, Verger’s face-lift from Season 2, and the massacre-filled finale of the second season.
However, I think I might go all conspiracy theory here and say that Season 3 may have intended to be the final season of Hannibal from the very beginning. They’ve already covered some major ground from the final novel and the Verger subplot seems to be moving along with full-speed ahead. Who knows? Perhaps, the third season will be a more than satisfactory closing chapter to one of the most incredible horror series to ever grace the small screen.
I’m looking forward to everything that comes next, including two episodes before we enter the “Red Dragon” story line.