TV Review: "Hannibal" 03x01 "Antipasto"


#SaveBedelia #ReturnOfCheekbones

It's time to turn your stomach and rub your tum-tum with the season three premiere of Hannibal. The first episode opens up with Doctor Hannibal Lecter and Doctor Bedelia Du Murier posing as a couple in Florence, Italy where Hannibal has taken on a job at the prestigious Palazzo Capponi museum as a curator under the false moniker of Doctor Fell. Despite maintaining a facade of opulence and upper-crust domesticity, Hannibals' appetites are just as strong as ever. Over time however, as Bedelia becomes further exposed to Lecters'... tastes, it becomes evident that Dr. Du Maurier is in fear for her very life.

Without the appearance of Graham and co. back in the States, the inaugural episode of Hannibal pays strict focus on the lives of the faux Mr. and Mrs. Lecter and it's one of the most tensest hours of television in recent years. Hannibal has laid his deep-set, predacious eyes on a target: an arrogant, swaggering poet with no sense of manners called Anthony Dimmond (Tom Wisdom) and he wastes no time in turning on the class and know-how in order to befriend this know-it-all lambkin all the while subtly intimidating Bedelia; if she tries to do a thing to put a block on his desires, he will have no choice but to retaliate.

Well, that would have been more sincere if he wasn't giving her a diet of acorns and oysters, a traditional ancient Roman practice used to feed animals intended for slaughter in order to make them delicious. Oh God, Bedelia, what have you got yourself into?!

The best part about this entire episode is the psychological warfare that also acts as a double entendre as psycho sexual banter between Hannibal and Bedelia. While posing as a couple, they hold hands, go out to dinner (when Hannibal isn't cooking), dance and are nigh-inseparable complete with some in-jokes that could be construed as filthy: "My husband loves the way I taste.". It's Hitchcockian erotica. While Hannibal felt the need to conceal his true nature from Will Graham, it is with Bedelia Du Maurier that he feels the most content to let it all hang out... and in response to this, Bedelia has permitted her own dark side to peak through her cool, enigmatic professional exterior.

Ever since she and Hannibal crossed paths, she has taken an intense interest in him as much as he has her and the more she became exposed to him, the more her super-ego starts to tilt in favor of the id. It's quite a dark, revolutionary sub-chapter in Bedelias' story but it warrants to be seen just to see how deep the dynamic is between both characters. There is something very sexy about this relationship despite the fact we don't actually see that facet of a relationship being consummated nor is one made from actual romance. It's all about the mind, folks and although Bedelia has become a victim, he in a sense trusts her to see him for what he truly is and he knows that he not only has her fear, but also her intrigue and that is what drags her further under.

"I'm gooooin' unnnnnnddeeerrrrrr!"
Seeing Hannibal ingratiate himself in this brand new culture is like seeing a sensual chameleon change his appearance- Florence is a place that Hannibal feels most at home in, with his love of art, literature and culture, a hub of history of the past and forefront to the future, his pleasure, his lifeblood. Florence is heaven to him, a fairy tale but there are no angels, and no fairy godmothers, only mere mortals, the cattle, the cattle that belong to him, and he the Anathema.

"Antipasto" was a beautiful premiere episode, so gorgeously shot. It appears this show has not lost any of its touch. The sets in particular are just immaculate to say the least, seeing these locations, indulging my eyes with them, I wanted to BE there, I could almost smell the wine, the food, I wanted to dance to the music played and get positively lost in this world. For me to have said of that is redundant- Hannibal is back and it is just as grotesquely beautiful a symphony as ever. Bellissimo!

Favourite moments: "It's not that type of party", the return of an old friend and Hannibal recites Dante in front of some portly Florentine social classist who thinks the Good Doctor dude got no literary game. Big mistake, buddy.

Special note: Gillian Anderson has the best costume designers at her back. All of her clothes are couture at its finest. Ugh. <3

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