Tag Archives: Hugh Dancy

Hannibal Review: “Dolce” (Season 3, Episode 6)

“If I saw you every day forever, Will, I would remember this time.”

Alright, it’s time to get real about this Hannibal and Will relationship thing. While I’m a HUGE fan of this show, I do NOT understand all that crazy Hannigram stuff. But I will confess this: The reunion of Will and Hannibal in “Dolce” literally brought me to tears.

Forget for a moment that Hannibal murders and eats people. Forget for a moment that Will’s obsession with Hannibal has gotten his friends killed and that Will genuinely considered helping Hannibal murder Jack Crawford. When Will sat down next to Hannibal in the Uffizi Gallery, I saw such joy in their expressions as two best friends who thought they’d never again share a quiet moment together were reunited. I couldn’t help wishing they would stay like that, fixed in time like the subjects in Botticelli’s “Primavera.” How precious that moment was and they both knew it. “If I saw you every day forever, Will, I would remember this time.” What is will never be again.


I’m well aware that in real life, neither of these guys is someone who would elicit much sympathy from me. Hannibal is a sadistic cannibal and Will is an antisocial dick. But within the context of the show, they each represent a lonely soul stranded on an island of his own design who discovers he’s not in fact alone. Unfortunately that island by its very nature is built for one, and no friendship between them — no reconciliation — can last for very long. That’s heartbreaking.

Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen convey such a mix of emotions here with naturalistic micro-expressions on their faces and subtle inflections in their voices. I’m convinced their versions of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter, respectively, are the very best versions that have appeared onscreen to date.

It will be fascinating to see how their relationship evolves once Hannibal is locked up. In the book and movie versions of Red Dragon, Will needs Hannibal to help him catch Francis Dolarhyde. I wonder how much help the Will Graham of the television show will actually need versus how much their reconnection will draw them back together.

There are 7 more episodes of Hannibal left, which could likely be the last 7 times we get to see Dancy, Mikkelsen, et al portray these fascinating and complex characters. When Will tells Hannibal, “I’m curious whether either of us can survive separation,” I find myself wondering how well we fans will fare.


  • “Jack was the first to suggest getting inside your head. Now we both have the opportunity to chew quite literally what we’ve only chewed figuratively.” What a great twist on the brain-eating scene from the book to have Will Graham take the place of Krendler!
  • When Will whispered, “I don’t believe you” to Bedelia, I cheered out loud! These writers are so amazing. It seems like they never miss the chance to call back to a previous moment between two characters.
  • Alana Bloom is now fully “immersed” with the Vergers. I noticed her blood red blouse and it made me wonder how the colors of her clothes maybe match her evolution. I’ll need to pay closer attention when I rewatch this season.
  • That is one wicked expensive dress shirt Hannibal’s dressed Will in for “dinner.”
  • “In my defense, you weaponized your uterus. You shouldn’t have been waving it around like a loaded pistol.”
  • Apparently, Jack and Chiyo were supposed to have a big choreographed fight scene in the elevator but it got cut because of time and/or money. While that would have been cool, I really like the tension in the scene as is.
  • “This isn’t meat, this is man.” Can’t argue with Cordell’s logic on that one.
  • Will, about to be killed and eaten by Hannibal (in which order he does not know), manages probably the best insult a person could make to Hannibal: “The soup isn’t very good.” Hahaha!
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Hannibal Review: “Apertivo” (Season 3, Episode 4)

“One of those friendships that ends after the disemboweling.”

“Apertivo” was the episode 2 I was hoping for. The fact that it comes a little later in the season doesn’t bother me, though, because I think it was a necessary choice for pacing reasons. This episode is electric, and I suspect all of the tension sown in episodes 2 and 3 will begin to pay off in exciting ways from this point forward.

Hannibal - Season 3We’re treated to 3 “surprises” in this episode (though not surprising to those who avidly devour Hannibal news):

First, Dr. Chilton is alive (!), twice resurrected. Surviving the removal of his insides by Dr. Gideon in Season 1 and surviving a bullet to the face by Miriam Lass in Season 2, Chilton proves that no one on Hannibal is dead until we see a corpse, preferably displayed as a work of art. I loved how it was Chilton who came to see Will in the hospital, instead of Abigail as Will wanted/imagined. The disappointment in Will’s face is utterly tragic. It’s like the most perfectly executed bad joke, mirroring Abigail’s second “resurrection,” only this time fo’ realz. The reuse of the dialogue from episode 2 is poignant and heart-breaking. Hugh Dancy’s reluctant delivery of the line “He left us to die” suggests that Will is reliving this scene a second time just as we are.

Second, Alana is alive (!) — with an adamantium skeleton and mutant healing powers! (Not really, but who wouldn’t want to see Caroline Dhavernas as the next Wolverine? Am I alone in this fantasy?) It seems Alana has gained a newfound understanding of Will’s early homicidal instincts.

Season 2 Alana: “Will, it’s wrong to conspire to murder Hannibal just because he’s killing everyone you care about.”

Season 3 Alana: “Hey, Mason, can we conspire to murder Hannibal? He’s killing everyone I care about.”

To what degree is she deceiving Mason? And will her dance with this devil corrupt/transform her in the same way Will’s dance with Hannibal corrupted/transformed him?

And third, “Apertivo” introduces us to the “good as new” Mason Verger. In tonight’s episode, the role of Mason Verger will be performed by Joe Anderson. I wasn’t so sure what to think on first viewing; he seemed kind of flat compared to Michael Pitt’s more flamboyant approach. But the second time I watched the episode I found myself really enjoying the subtleties of his performance, especially in the eyes and voice. Where Pitt’s Mason was operatic, Anderson’s is fully of seething anger.

Also quite interesting was Will’s clear admission of his ambivalence about Hannibal to Jack Crawford. Though still conflicted, Will’s emotions swing much closer towards forgiveness than I ever expected. After the Season 2 massacre — in particular, Hannibal’s sadistic “Indian giver” act of murdering Abigail right in front of Will after resurrecting her for him only moments before — I’d envisioned a vengeance-driven Season 3 Will pursuing Hannibal across Europe. Instead we get a Will Graham who not only imagines an alternate world where he participates in Jack’s murder, but perhaps even wishes he had. Apparently this is not one of those friendships that ends after the disemboweling.

(By the way, that scene that begins with Crawford’s murder and transitions through to the conversation in Will’s garage — all set to those sweeping and weeping melodic strings — could be the most beautiful moment in the entire series so far.)

And seeing all of Hannibal’s victims together in one episode like this makes me think that perhaps Hannibal’s goal is rarely to kill. Killing is incidental. First principles, Clarice. What is the first and principal thing he does? What needs does he serve by killing (or attempting to kill, or positioning people into situations where they might be killed)? He wants to see what people become. As Mason Verger says, “Survived him? This is exactly how he intended me to live.”

In summary, “Apertivo” has the potential to be one of my favorite episodes of the series. Every moment between any two characters is pregnant with so much history and so much emotion that what might be born henceforth is something only Hannibal/Hannibal can imagine.


  • A boat! That’s exactly how Will Graham would travel to Europe!
  • Jack’s goodbye to Bella. Maybe Laurence Fishburne’s best performance in the series. Actually, he rocked this whole episode.
  • What does it say about this cast of characters that Chilton is acting the most rationally of all of them?
  • “Friendship with Hannibal is blackmail elevated to the level of love.” Best line ever. My head exploded when I first heard it.
  • I cheered out loud when I saw Katherine Isabelle’s name appear in the opening credits!
  • “The optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears this is true.”
  • Did Mason Verger really quote Conan the Barbarian???
  • Are we to assume that Jack Crawford doesn’t know what “copyright” means, or is it the writers who don’t?
  • Defenestration! Now I love that word, too!
  • The POV of Will’s intestines during the gutting.
  • Sitting there in Hannibal’s house, Will and ghost Abigail reminded me of David and ghost Jack from An American Werewolf in London.
  • Hannibal’s note of condolence to Jack quotes from John Donne’s “A Fever.”
  • Ah, the eternal Baltimore winter.
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