The second episode of season three of Hannibal continued in much the same vein as the first episode, offering an exploration of Will Graham’s condition following the events of the season two finale, although moves slightly closer to a consideration of Graham and Hannibal’s relationship. For a series that has been so dependent on the interplay between those two characters, it is particularly interesting to see episodes in which they do not directly interact, aside from in flashback sequences. While Antipasto focused on the power dynamics between Bedelia and Hannibal, Primavera is much more about Will Graham’s reawakening and coming to terms with what happened. The result is a compelling, unsettling and often moving 40-something minutes.
The fantasy sequences continue with the submersion motif that has so far involved Alana (in season two), Bedelia (last week) and now Will Graham and Abigail Hobbs. The submersion either in blood or black water as a metaphor for Hannibal’s continued control over the group. This episode also revealed that this is not the first time Hannibal has played emotional chess with members of law enforcement and Will Graham appears to have found himself an ally in the search. However, Graham is clear that he is not sure what he wants to do if he finds Hannibal.
Overall, the episode uses fantasy sequences to bring us back to the shattered psyche of Will Graham, all while still concealing the fates of Jack and Alana, who receive no mention throughout. A sequence in which the dual fates of Graham and Abigail play out alongside one another is effective in detailing the destruction of the season two finale. Hannibal season three is in no rush to return to Will and Hannibal directly interacting, something which some people may find frustrating. For me, it is a slow, measured response to the chaos from before and a chance to watch all these characters start to rebuild their lives.
Hannibal is currently airing in the UK on Sky Living at 10pm on Wednesday nights.