NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ season 3, episode 3 review: The ghost of Mischa Lecter

“Hannibal” so far this season has certainly been ethereal, to say the least. It has been beautifully imaginative, but one of the disadvantages has been that at times there has been so much imagery and time-jumping, the story has been somewhat hard to follow.

Tonight’s episode “Secondo” to us still had some of that visual flair, but at the same time was also a little easier to follow given that we did not have to spend as much time flashing back to the day of the infamous fight. Also, we had a chance to see Jack Crawford back in action as he hunted down Will Graham, who was in turn hunting down Hannibal Lecter and was willing to travel all the way to Hannibal’s original home in Lithuania. This is the sort of place that looked straight out of a Halloween movie … and was somewhat beautiful at the same time.

In terms of new visitors, tonight was a breakout episode for Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto), the new arrival who just so happened to be at Hannibal’s old pad. How did she end up there, and were her and Will Graham really one and the same? In addition to a master of the rifle, she also proved to be a master interrogator as she had Will admit that he never felt quit the same as when he was in the thrill of the chase with Lecter.

Genuinely, we thought that Chiyoh’s time was going to be reasonably short-lived as she started to struggle in a fight with the supposed “killer” of Hannibal’s sister Mischa. Luckily, she was able to make a move of her own … sort of. Will “set her free” by relieving her of a burden; did he really want the man dead? He will not admit it, but Chiyoh insisted that his actions as some sort of bizarre freedom fighter put the chain in motion.

While Will continued to search for answers and was told that Hannibal would never dig up this part of his past, Lecter himself sat down for another fancy “dinner party.” Throughout the scenes with Mads Mikkelsen and Gillian Anderson tonight, we had a death-by-technicality, one terrifying bathtub massage, and Bedelia sinking into the tub after she asked Hannibal just how his sister tasted.

As a whole, this was an important background episode for Hannibal’s childhood, but at the same time it served valuable as we continued to see Hannibal’s ultimate disregard for being caught, while at the same time also the lengths that Will is willing to go for what he calls “justice.”

Through all of the episode, Mischa and the guilt that Lecter feels over what happened was a recurring theme. That is what caused the ghosts and the tableau in Lithuania, and Hannibal’s own feelings of betrayal from so long ago, being brought to the surface now by Will’s abandonment. For Hannibal, forgiveness simply comes through pain, and the only way to free himself now of the murder of Will is apparently to devour him whole. Episode Grade: A-.

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