If the last episode of NBC’s Hannibal made it seem like the cannibal’s good times in Italy were rapidly coming to an end, then the start of episode six–titled “Dolce”–pretty well confirms that those days are completely over. The latest installment saw some very tender exchanges between certain characters, and also some very shocking moments, leading up to a conclusion that should make Fannibals more than excited for next week’s episode.
“Dolce,” like a delicious dessert, brings the show to where we have wanted to see it from the beginning of the season. Characters that have been separate for all of the previous episodes finally come together, and the episode is much more plot driven, as plot points move along at a rapid-fire pace. After the spectacular murder of Inspector Pazzi and the severe beating he received from Jack Crawford, “Dolce” opens with Hannibal stumbling home, bloodied and limping. He can’t hide anymore from all the people that want to capture or kill him, and even those closest to him are ready to leave him to fend for himself. Bedelia is seen bathing Hannibal and tending to his wounds, but we all know that her sympathy isn’t real. In their next scene, Bedelia boldly announces to Hannibal that she is leaving him–though she does hang around until at least the end of this episode to help out some other characters. She even seems to mock Hannibal a little by saying that she knows what his plans have been for her all along, and before the two of them share the first kiss we have seen between them, she says “You may make a meal of me yet, Hannibal.”Will Graham and Jack meet up at the scene of Pazzi’s murder–Will looking very much worse for the wear after his tumble off the back of a train at the hands of Chiyo. Will and Jack acknowledge the dual concern they have about Will’s priorities when it comes to Hannibal but nevertheless they still set off looking for him, starting with an interrogation of Bedelia. She’s not much help to them, having injected herself with some kind of drug just before they arrived at her door. Even under the influence, Bedelia is still playing her own manipulation game. She has hung around Hannibal all this time precisely for these moments when she can watch while others go after him, wondering which one will get to him first. It would be a real shame for her character to see her just fade away, although with the direction the plot takes this episode, it’s hard to imagine her importance in future situations.
The biggest event of this episode, character-wise, is the reunion of Will and Hannibal. After he and Jack question Bedelia, Will finds Hannibal at a museum, sketching a recreation of a painting like he used to do as a young man in the city. There is no big fanfare as Will just calmly sits down next to Hannibal, the two of them smiling. The scene is oddly sweet, and the two of them play off the scene at first like old friends meeting up after a long absence. It might not be wrong at all to say that they are genuinely happy to see each other again. Will makes the correct analogy that they are like conjoined twins, and wonders if either of them would be able to survive their separation from each other. This was a wonderful scene for the two actors, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, as they have always been able to pull off the messed up and complicated relationship between the characters and make it feel real. There is a bond between the two men, but each of them still knows who they really are and what they must respectively do in regards to their relationship. The twin comparison is emphasized in a later scene when the audience sees, through Will’s drug-induced haze, the two faces swirling around and mixing until they completely converge to form a whole new looking person. It’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Their relationship will no doubt be tested in future episodes, as they both become victims of the same person.
Before Will and Jack arrive at their apartment, Bedelia also gets an interesting visit from Chiyo. The women size each other up, figuring our their respective allegiances to Hannibal. Neither of them seems to trust the other and for a second, it looks as if Chiyo might do something to Bedelia, especially considering her loyalty to Hannibal (even he says to Will later that she has always been very protective of him). Chiyo helps Hannibal survive a little bit longer by shooting Will in the shoulder just as he is about to pull a knife on Hannibal as they are walking out of the museum–but then she backs down when she and Jack arrive at the same time to the apartment where Hannibal is holed up with Will. Jack is immediately suspicious of her, but I have a theory that these two may work together in the future to save Hannibal and Will from Mason Verger, who finally gets his man at the end of the episode.
It’s quite a strange turn of events. The entire story is not fully laid out to the audience yet on just how Hannibal and Will got into Mason’s clutches–although I’m sure the creepy Italian police officer who was getting information out of Bedelia had something to do with it. The scene starts out with Will and Jack tied to chairs at the dinner table. Hannibal finally decides to end everything before he can be caught, and without much hesitation, he brings out a surgical saw and starts cutting into Will’s head. But just as fast as this shocking moment begins, it quickly ends as the scene goes through a dramatic transition through one drop of Will’s blood, to Hannibal and Will hanging upside down in a box truck amongst pig carcasses. Mason then enters, uttering the chilling line, “Welcome to Muskrat Farm.”
Mason does not have good plans for these men. In an early scene, Mason and his chef are testing out different possible ways that they can cook Hannibal when they finally catch him, so Mason obviously has no problem with cannibalism himself. Unfortunately, Hannibal is not his only focus. He still wants to produce a pure Verger heir, but cannot get it from his sister Margot because he forced a hysterectomy on her last season. Mason asks her if she knows of anyone else that could carry a child for him, and my mind immediately went to Alana. She and Margot share an intense and passionate sex scene in this episode–strangely filmed with a mirror effect at first, and then spiraling into a freaky kaleidoscope effect–but we all know that any relationship on this show does not come without a price. Is Margot playing Alana to her own agenda? She’s definitely capable of it, considering the similar treatment she has had to put up with from her brother all her life. Despite appearances, though, Alana still doesn’t seem like a strong enough person to deal with the kind of crazy that revolves around the Vergers, and she’s going to need to pick the right side to be on soon if she wants to survive.
Hannibal‘s final season is at just about the halfway mark, with only seven episodes left to go. Audiences still need to see what Hannibal and Will endure at the hands of Mason Verger, how they escape, and then right after that, the introduction and chase of the Red Dragon serial killer. Though it’s still sad, it does seem fitting that the series is ending where the source material begins. It has been an amazing two and a half seasons so far–let’s hope that continues with the conclusion to this season.