In case you were harboring any ill-founded delusions that this episode would be anything other than torturously excruciating exceedingly painful, it opens with Mizumono. By which I mean, it opens with kitchen scene at the end ofMizumono.
I have to say I was genuinely perturbed by this. I thought I had accidentally turned the livestream to some sort of nightmare channel that only airs the last ten minutes of Mizumono on a loop (and where, like, probably the only commercial is that Super Bowl Nationwide one about the dead kid because it contains similar levels of fucked-up-edness).
But, who knows? This episode goes pretty heavy into alternate universes and parallel timelines. So maybe this time it will be a little easier?
Then as Will is laying in a pool of his own blood, the blood levels rise because someone looked at this scene and was genuinely like, You know what this scene is missing? MORE FUCKING BLOOD. But luckily they opted for CGI blood this time, instead of single-handedly depleting Canada’s supply of corn syrup.
So there’s lots of blood, the Will-teacup shatters and then comes back together again into a shiny new Will-teacup, who’s lying in a hospital bed. A nurse comes in to give him a drink and let him know that someone has been waiting for him to wake up.
That’s right, guys. Abighost is here to make Will feel shitty about all his life choices and also validate his Murder Family fantasies. With nary a “Hey, Will, how are you feeling?” Abighost accuses Will of betraying Hannibal and asks him why he didn’t choose to run away them.
“The wrong thing being the right thing to do was too ugly a thought” is what he actually says. He then talks about how it’s hard to think about what could have happened, and what “in some other world did happen.”
“I hope some of the other worlds are easier on me,” Abigail says.
Abigail then makes the point that if everything that could happen has in fact happened (in all those parallel AU worlds), then nothing that they do could be considered wrong.
That’s right, guys. You heard it here first! Nothing you do is wrong because an AU version of yourself did the right thing and all that shit balances out in the end. I can always count on Hannibal to validate my bad behavior. I’m gonna kick so many elderly people in the shins tomorrow, guys, just becauseHannibal said I could.
After Will has a relatively fucked up (on a scale from 1 to 10 Stagensteins, I’d give it a solid 3 Stagensteins) nightmare, we are transported eight months into the future, where Will and Abighost arrive at the Norman Chapel in Palermo.
While they talk about God, a priest breaks all rules of imagos (insofar as imagos have rules) and looks directly at Abigail, or, you know, just happens to stare in her general direction.
Will mentions that to God, elegance is more important than suffering, and he’s not actually talking about Hannibal HE SWEARS.
Even though Hannibal sure does love to compare himself to Jesus Christ, Will insists that Hannibal is no God: “Wouldn’t have any fun being God. Defying God, that’s his idea of a good time.”
But you know who’s really having a grand ole’ time?
I can think of no better defining symbol for Hannibal’s mind palace than Inappropriately Ecstatic Skeleton Guy.
Later (probably, but who really knows with this show?), it’s time for CSI: Palermo. Will and Abighost are at the crime scene that Hannibal left behind at the Norman Chapel, where the crime scene investigators are out in force. Do you think they also have a Team Sassy Science (a Squadra Impertinente Scienza, perhaps?) More important, do you think that the Italian authorities are as incompetent as the FBI? Probably, if they’re allowing a civilian so close to a crime scene.
Finally, one of the investigators notices Will just standing around and makes a big deal about it. Geez, don’t they know that hovering awkwardly at crime scenes is kinda Will Graham’s thing?
Later, at the Italian police station Will sits in a chair in the middle of all of the bustle. “Signor Graham,” someone says to his right.
It’s Chief Investigator Rinaldo Pazzi, who came all the way from Florence to drawl awesomely at Will Graham about how suspicious it is that he showed up at the chapel around the same time as a dead body.
Will claims that he was praying. “There is some comfort in prayer,” Pazzi rasps epically, “It leaves you with the distinct feeling you’re not alone.”
After he’s done talking to the Palermo police, Will heads out of the station only to run into Investigator Pazzi again. Wills asks him what he’s doing in Palermo.
“I’m like you. I do what you do,” Pazzi gravels deeply. “We share the gift of imagination.” Pazzi is basically saying that he’s Italy’s version of Will Graham, but like a version that seems relatively more well-adjusted, and one who probably doesn’t live with 100,000 dogs.
Pazzi tells Will about Il Mostro, who was his version of the Chesapeake Ripper twenty years ago. And like the Chesapeake Ripper, Il Mostro (and this will come as no surprise to anyone anywhere) was Hannibal Lecter.
Pazzi admits that he flubbed the arrest and that the crimes of Il Mostro were pinned on someone else. Honestly, he should just be happy that he survived the ordeal with all of his appendages attached to his body.
During this discussion, Will and Pazzi are transported to the Norman Chapel, the only explanation for which being that Pazzi’s voice transcends both time and space and functions as a sort of TARDIS.
Pazzi hands Will the Anthony Dimmond crime scene photos and leaves him to it. Will gets into the zone and starts empathing the scene. (To my great distress, I can no longer say “penduluming the scene,” because Will’s mind pendulum has disappeared until further notice. Whether this is specific to only Hannibal’s crime scenes, where Will doesn’t need a sharp differentiation between his and Hannibal’s thoughts because he knows Hannibal so intimately, or all crime scenes in general remains to be seen).
Anyway, he does his thing, which for some reason involves actually touching the skinned body heart.
“A valentine written on a broken man,” Will intones, and the heart starts beating.
Will slowly backs away as the heart transforms into a creature for which the fandom has many names. Some call it Walking Corpse Deer. Others have named it Stagenstein. I myself prefer to be less descriptive and more visceral with my monikers, so I’ve affectionately dubbed it HOWTHEFUCKWHATTHEFUCKWHYTHEFUCKFUCKTHISSHIT, or simply Howie for short.
(Another name that I was tossing around was Anthony Deermond, but ultimately discarded it because I decided that it was important to maintain a certain level of respectability as a recapper.)
Anyway, Will backs away from Howie and promptly falls over like a fucking noob.
Abighost’s voice yanks Will back into reality. Will breathlessly says that he does feel closer to Hannibal here, and then starts laughing because it’s between that and screaming and weeping uncontrollably. He says that Hannibal left them his broken heart.
Abighost points out that Hannibal misses them. “Hannibal follows several trains of thought at once without distraction from any,” Will qualifies, “and one of trains is always for his own amusement.” Which I guess is the real hazard of befriending Hannibal. You never know if you’re on the happy family express train-of-thought to Italy or on the encephalitis train-of-thought headed straight for Hallucination Station.
Abighost reminds Will that Hannibal had made a place for all of them together. It’s at this moment Will finally admits that he made a place in this world for Abigail the only way he knew how, which is in his imagination because Abigail is indeed a ghost/imago. PLOT TWIST. Oh, yeah, and we get to watch Abigail’s throat split open once again. Take one for the road, guys!
Meanwhile, Hannibal is watching all of this transpire from church balcony like the pining brokenhearted creep he is.
After a sad montage scene of Will in the hospital and Abigail at the morgue, Pazzi comes back to the chapel to check in on Will. Will wants to know why Pazzi thinks he can catch Hannibal this time around. Pazzi points out that he has Will to help him, even though Will seems pretty ambivalent about helping.
During their convo, Will glances at the entrance to the catacombs where he imagines blood seeping through beneath the door, which is a pretty solid indication that Hannibal is somewhere on the premises.
Pazzi asks him where Hannibal has gone.
“He hasn’t gone anywhere,” Will says. “He’s still here.”
Then there’s a 134 minute catacomb scene that features such fascinating events as WILL WALKING DOWN DIMLY LIT CATACOMB PASSAGES and PAZZI PURSUING HIM IN THE DARK WITH HIS GUN. This scene is so long I learned how to speak Italian and knitted a sweater for Howie in the interim.
Instead of finding Hannibal, Will and Pazzi just find each other. Seriously, why did they even split up for this exercise? Did Pazzi, like, give Will a head start or something?
On second thought, this scene probably takes places the night after Pazzi and Will’s last conversation, and they both arrived at the catacombs independently. It’s just that the way it’s shot makes it seem like they occur sequentially. Time in this episode follows more dream logic than real world logic.
Will tells Pazzi that he shouldn’t be down here alone and seems a little peeved that Pazzi interrupted whatever murder courtship forgiveness ritual Hannibal and Will were just engaging in.
Pazzi points out that he’s not alone, he’s with Will. “You don’t know whose side I’m on,” Will says with much exasperation.
Pazzi tries to bond with Will over their shared experiences with death, but Will doesn’t want his empathy or his trust. “You are already dead,” Pazzi realizes. Instead of answering, Will tells him good night in Italian and, just to be even more ambiguous about whose side he’s currently on, he mysteriously disappears into the shadow of the crypt to be amongst his dead brethren.
It looks like Will has picked up on Hannibal’s penchant for over-dramatics. Pazzi takes a hint and leaves, while Hannibal lurks in the shadows like the pining heartbroken ninja cat creep that he is.
Will and Hannibal resume their catacomb dance, until Will pauses and calls out Hannibal’s name. Hannibal stops to listen.
“I forgive you,” Will whispers.
“YOU WHAT?? SPEAK LOUDER.” Hannibal doesn’t say. Instead, he leaves without a word, goes home to Bedelia, and drowns his sorrows in a bucket of people gelato and a bottle of Limoncello (that’s how Italians deal with breakups, right?).
Food For Thought:
- This episode seemed kind of short until I realized that 25% of its run time (and I actually calculated this) is devoted to Mizumonoflashbacks and the world’s weirdest game of Italian Catacombs Hide and Seek.
- I hope Investigator Pazzi doesn’t die because if he does who am i going to fancast as the narrator of my biopic?
- Crackpot Theory Corner: Since the episode got pretty heavy-handed with the “Will is dead” imagery, I’m gonna call it now and say that Will is actually dead and this is Hannibal’s dream. Oh, and he’s also Keyser Soze. And also probably actually twins. PLOT TWIST.