X-Files News is on Archival Mode. Updates are on hiatus.


This week's Hannibal departs from Europe and both Hannibal and Bedelia and instead focuses on the emotional trainwreck that Lecter left behind him when he fled the country. We catch up with many of the characters we haven't seen or haven't seen enough of since last season's brutal finale. It's a quieter episode, slow burning, but crucial to the transformation of all the people who will help hunt down Hannibal Lecter.



Aperitivo begins with the return of Dr. Frederick Chilton of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. That gunshot wound to his face apparently only scarred him, lucikly missing his brain. Throughout the entire episode, Chilton visits each of the series' major characters in an effort to recruit their help in hunting down Hannibal Lecter.

Mason Verger summons Frederick Chilton to his estate under the guise of therapy. The two come to realize that they have very different plans for Hannibal Lecter. Chilton, ever one for the limelight, wants to capture Lecter and house him in his institution as if he were a rare artifact for display. After Lecter made Verger cut off pieces of his face and feed them to Will Graham's dogs, Verger is a tad miffed about the whole situation.

Later in the episode, we see that he is already making plans to feed Hannibal alive to a pack of pigs. (This is a story line you're probably familiar with if you have seen the movie Hannibal.) The two share their battle scars, taking off their makeup and masks respectively to display what Hannibal Lecter has done to them. They talk "face to face", but part ways as they don't see eye to eye.

We then enjoy a nice, bloody revisit to Lecter's Baltimore kitchen as Will Graham dreams in his hospital bed. A visitor comes to see Will, but unlike his dreams or imagination in past episodes, this isn't Abigail Hobbs, no matter how hard he wants it to be. Chilton stops by to, as he stated, become Will's friend. He wants Graham's help to catch Lecter.

While Will has been horribly scarred by Hannibal, both physically and emotionally, he is still conflicted when it comes to Hannibal. We enter Will's imagination again, this time at the last supper he, Jack Crawford, and Hannibal were supposed to have. In this version, they dine peacefully until Will helps Hannibal kill Jack. However, that's just what could have been. 

Both now fully healed, Jack Crawford comes to visit Will out on his rural farm. Jack begins discussing that night in Hannibal's kitchen, wanting to make sure Will doesn't disrupt the official FBI narrative of what occured. Of course for Will, nothing is that black and white. He speaks about calling Hannibal and telling him to leave town before the FBI could catch him.

This wasn't to stop any type of dramatic bloody showdown, but because Will still considered Hannibal Lecter his friend and he "wanted to run away with him". Crawford looks shocked, but for viewers who have been inside Will's head for the last two years, this isn't surprising, though still heartbreaking.

Next we are reintroduced to Alana Bloom. Sitting in a white, sterile hospital in some type of traction for fractures to her pelvis, she's almost stripped bare except for the white wrap that covers her almost like a hospital bikini. The bruising over her torso and legs makes it clear this isn't beach season though. Frederick Chilton stops by to visit her next. He reminds her that he did warn her about Hannibal Lecter.

Alana doesn't show the typical response we'd expect from her, but instead declares that she has always liked the word defenestration and is glad that she now gets to use it more often. Like before with Mason and Will, Chilton is in Alana's hospital room to recruit her to his hunting party. Who he really wants is Will though, and Alana tells him that will require some manipulation.

Once out of the hospital, Alana, dressed in black and in a wheelchair, heads to Lecter's house to track down Will Graham. He's sitting in the kitchen, "visiting old friends" in his imagination. Will is carefully adding the memories of that night to his own memory palace. He and Alana discuss Hannibal and she makes the astute assessment that, "Friendship with Hannibal is blackmail elevated to love." Wanting to be alone, Will asks Alana to leave and he continues to sit with a bloody, imaginary Abigail Hobbs on the floor of Hannibal Lecter's kitchen.

Now walking with a cane, we see a healthier looking Alana Bloom headed to the Verger mansion. She is the next psychiatrist summoned for "therapy" by Mason Verger. Dr. Bloom first meets Margot Verger who seems to have recovered from the horror of what her brother has done to her. Perhaps because he is missing half his face and is confined to a wheelchair, Margot feels slightly safer than she used to around her brother. 

Alana and Mason discuss religion and "Old Testament revenge". It becomes clear that what Verger wasn't able to find with Chilton, he has with Alana Bloom. They've both been tormented by Hannibal Lecter and both want their revenge. Alana is pleased to find that Verger hasn't been telling the FBI everything he discovers about Hannibal, ensuring that they have the edge in hunting him down. 

Jack Crawford is the last character we catch up with in this episode. We see him back inside Hannibal's pantry, blood dripping from his neck. He tries to call his wife, but passes out first. He awakens in a hospital bed next to Bella's own hospital bed. Jack is confused, thinking he had died in that pantry. A dying Bella tries to convince her husband to do what she cannot: cut out what's killing him. She urges him to move on past what Hannibal Lecter has done, and free himself.

Unable to deny his wife, Jack takes what she says to heart and lets go of the hunt for Hannibal. Chilton tries to recruit Jack next, but Crawford holds steady in his new found "focus". Chilton tries to convince Jack that Will Graham will lead Jack right to Lecter, but Jack needs to get home to his wife. This only lasts for a short while though, as Bella is deteriorating rapidly. She passes away in Jack's arms after he gives her an injection. At Bella's funeral, Jack reaches down to her casket to press a kiss to her forehead. When he stands back up, he notices familiar handwriting on a card in a flower arrangement—Hannibal Lecter has sent flowers.

Back with Mason Verger, we see him making his preparations to have Lecter eaten alive. We also see a flashback to the surgery that gave Mason back (some of) his face, which is mainly just scarred chunks of skin that have been stiched onto his head. He seems pleased though. The audience is also privy to more of the plotting happening betwen Dr. Alana Bloom and Mason Verger. Alana has some keen insight into where to find Hannibal. She assumes he is in Europe, and knows that his high class tastes will be key to tracking him. 

The episode finishes with Will sailing off to Europe to bring us to the scenes from recent episodes. Alana Bloom takes care of his dogs, as always. And when Jack Crawford shows up at Will's house, Alana tells him that, "Will knows what he has to do." Clearly Alana knows what she has to do, too. Now we're just waiting on Jack Crawford. 


Everyone in this episode is Hunting for Hannibal Lecter, but not all of them have the same goals. Will Graham misses his friend. Jack Crawford misses his wife. Frederick Chilton wants his prize. Alana Bloom wants revenge on the man who betrayed her. And Mason Verger is preparing the theater of Hannibal Lecter's death.

Will Graham has always had an active imagination. He is able to empathize with even the cruelest of hummanity's players. Hannibal Lecter is one of those players. He was also Will's friend. Lecter's unique mindset enabled him to get close to Will in a way that few have done. Hannibal understood Will, and Will, Hannibal. Despite the fact that his friend attempted to disembowel him, Will misses that connection to Hannibal. 

We've seen in the last two episodes that Will is tracking Hannibal, but what he plans to do when he finds Lecter isn't totally clear. He is still painfully conflicted and takes to living in his own head with alternate realities and ghosts. He sits in Hannibal's kitchen and reminisces about the past. The kitchen in his Baltimore home is where Hannibal Lecter created his culinary masterpieces for guests, now it holds Will Graham, perhaps Hannibal's most unique creation. 

For Will's sake, you almost want everything to end up okay. Maybe Hannibal and Will can be besties and catch a baseball game on TV. Or maybe they can eat pieces of Bedelia in a grand Italian feast. Whatever happens though, it's not going to be pretty, but maybe Will can learn to let Hannibal Lecter go. Only after he has found him of course.

Dr. Alana Bloom has always been an empathetic and caring character. She looked after Will the last two seasons, but things have changed drastically. Long gone is the Alana Bloom that sat in her car and screamed and cried over Will Graham. She's now colder and less emotionally receptive. Perhaps being thrown out of a window by a dead girl directed by the cannibal you were sleeping with will do that to you. 

Her transformation in this episode reminds me somewhat of Will's in season two. When she's not wearing all black, she's wearing bright red. Carrying around the colors of death and blood may not bode well for her. However, in the meantime, she is out to hunt down the man who violated her. Not only was she professionally wrong about Hannibal Lecter, but she was also sleeping with him which much feel like an even greater betrayal. As Mason Verger pointed out, "Hannibal Lecter got deeper inside of [Alana] than he did inside any of [the others]. 

Like Will Graham became darker last season, now Alana Bloom is the one plotting death and keeping secrets. She is working with Mason Verger, who while he got what was coming to him, is still one of the most vile personalities we've seen on Hannibal. She has put aside her professional ethics and her own morality to seek revenge, with whomever will help her accomplish that goal.

They told me a lot of marrow got into my blood, and that I should expect to find myself thinking differently.

Alana says that she hasn't taken her knowledge to the FBI because Jack Crawford is done at there, but really she's more interested in a justice that the FBI can't provide. The new Alana Bloom is darker and stronger than the one we saw last season. She and Will had an interesting connection. Their budding relationship was sweet, though a little too heavy on the psychiatry. I'm a little sad that the old Alana is gone, but I'm intrigued by what the new one will be able to accomplish this season. Plus, she's right; defenestration is a great word.

One of the most beautifully heartbreaking parts of this episode was Bella Crawford's death. Jack loved his wife dearly, and we've seen the two of them struggle with her illness in the past. It was only a matter of time before she died. The scene with Bella and Jack both in the hospital was particularly touching. One of her last acts is to help save her husband from the ramifications of Hannibal Lecter's Baltimore kitchen. She knows how single-minded Jack can be and that this case would haunt him forever if he didn't let it go. He agrees to do as she asks; how could he not? 

However, now that Bella Crawford is gone, will Jack be able to live up to her request and let Hannibal Lecter go? Given that Hannibal's demise is imminent, I think the answer to that question is obvious. Bella Crawford is dead and Hannibal Lecter has sent flowers. The hunt for Lecter is the only thing left that Jack has to hold onto. He can't let Will Graham be the next person to die. 

He has copyrighted the phase "Hannibal the Cannibal". Frederick Chilton is eager to hunt down the man who framed him and caused half of his face to be dropping off his head. Chilton's motives are very clear all through the episode. We know exactly what he wants, and he has sought out help from everyone possible. Of course, if The Silence of the Lambs is any indication, Chilton should have Lecter locked up in his own institution very soon. However, Chilton was turned away by everyone he visited in this episode. Mason Verger, Will Graham, Alana Bloom, and Jack Crawford all want nothing to do with him, or have their own, unique plans for Hannibal. So the question is, who, if anyone, will help Frederick Chilton?

Mason Verger is another in this episode whose motives are clear. He finds an unlikely ally in Dr. Alana Bloom. The two will make an interesting pair as they hunt down Lecter with Verger's resources and Alana's insights. Mason has already begun the preparation to have Lecter eaten alive, but it won't be so easy to trap the man that outwitted some of the FBI's brightest minds. 

Hannibal Lecter is drawing Will Graham to him, leaving breadcrumbs throughout Europe. It is only a matter of time before the trail to Hannibal becomes clear. The question is, who will find it first?