ROUND 2… FIGHT!
Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
The episode opens with Will and Chiyo sitting in a dark train headed through a dreary countryside toward Florence and whispering slowly to each other about Hannibal.
Honestly, I don’t understand why people complain about how dark this show is. I personally have rectified this problem by locking myself into a windowless vault and donning night vision goggles every Thursday night at 10. After making this adjustment, I can 100% see everything on the screen most of the time.
It’s easy, guys. Come on now.
Chiyo tells Will about her childhood with Hannibal. They used to play a game where he would make her identify burnt wood and incense solely by scent because apparently Hannibal’s long term plans for Chiyo involved slowly boring her to death.
“He was charming the way a cub is charming. A small cub that grows to be like one of the big cats,” Chiyo says.
I really like this metaphor, but I have to confess the first time I watched the episode, I thought she said “cup” instead of “cub,” so my real-time experience of this line went something like this:
“He was charming the way a cup is charming…
(Me: huh, weird adjective for a cup, but not the first time someone’s been compared to a drinking vessel on this show so ok)
“A small cup that grows…
(Me: what a weird anthropomorphic cup, but I’m still totally on board with this metaphor)
“…to be like one of the big cats.”
(Me: this is some next-level metaphor shit. I can’t wait to unpack this analogy at a later date)
Full Disclosure: English is my second lnaguage
Will inadvertently channels Hannibal’s murder mentor schtick by needling Chiyo about murdering Nameless Cannibal two episodes ago. However, Will’s murder mentor game is frankly weak and seems to consist mostly of smiling smugly and being a creepy fuck. Needless to say, Chiyo isn’t biting. When asked if she keeps seeing the murder in her mind, she says she sees Will because the best way to throw off Will Graham is to get literal on him.
Will smiles creepily.
They then talk about how snails are resilient fuckers that can survive a bird’s digestive tract and then viciously fight over which of them is the snail in this metaphor and which the bird, but they do so very slowly in complete darkness and in hushed tones.
After some softcore snudity, we are transported to Florence where Hannibal is feeding Bedelia some snails (to complete the circle of imagery, I suppose).
Hannibal says he used to maintain snail gardens to attract fireflies when he was younger, and, sure, fireflies live brief lives, but Hannibal thinks that it’s “better to live true to yourself for an instant than never know it.”
Bedelia brings up Will Graham: “Almost anything can be trained to resist it’s instinct. A shepherd dog doesn’t savage the sheep.”
“But it wants to,” says Hannibal, who presumes to understand the inner workings of a dog’s mind. “Will has reached a stage of moral dumbfounding. Empathy and reciprocity.” Is that what Will’s current life stage is called? If so, then I hope he outgrows it fairly quickly. I find it a little wearying.
Bedelia tells Hannibal that Will Graham is on his way to kill Hannibal, while Hannibal lies in wait to kill him. This image neatly ties in with the Hannicat and Will Dograham metaphors. Dogs hunt their prey, while cats lie in wait for their prey. I’m totally on board with this metaphor and 88% sure that I’m hearing it correctly.
After the credits, Jack stands on a bridge in Florence and tosses Bella’s ashes into the river, along with his wedding ring. The cinematography is stunning. Here’s a gratuitously self indulgent gif of it.
Jack has dinner at Pazzi’s house, where we’re introduced to Pazzi’s wife because if Pazzi must die at the end of the episode, then he is going to leave behind as much emotional baggage as possible OR SO HELP HIM.
Jack and Pazzi talk about Pazzi’s current disgraced status at the Questura. Jack warns him of the dangers of operating outside of the law. Pazzi absorbs none of this advice and instead devotes all of his effort to correcting Jack’s pronunciation.
Oh, and they’re eating hare because if everyone else gets a fursona this episode, then Pazzi’s is totally a dead rabbit.
Next scene, Alana is teaching Mason about cutlery. She tries to tell Mason how she tracked Hannibal down to Italy, but Mason seems to be chiefly concerned with being a gross fuck.
“How do you taste, Dr. Bloom?” he says like a gross fuck. “Sweet, I bet. I’m sure you got a taste of him too. Spitters are quitters, and you don’t strike me as a quitter.”
Excuse me while I boil myself in oil. It’ll have the double effect of cleansing my soul, while also making me into a tasty treat. Alana somehow manages to ignore Mason and settles for glaring at him instead.
Suffice it to say, Mason is pleased with Alana’s sleuthing. “Bravo,” he congratulates her (because he’s the type of guy who says “bravo” unironically).
Later, on the Train of Gloomy Lighting and Even Gloomier Conversation, Will and Chiyo are having the grimmest sleepover party ever. The type of sleepover that includes bunk beds and gossiping about boys, sure, but also includes approximately 100% more awkward pauses and taxidermy talk than the average sleepover.
Will asks Chiyo if she ever thought about what she was becoming while she was stuck at Lecter Manor. Chiyo insists that she wasn’t becoming anything, that she was stuck, that she’s not malleable like Will, that she killed out of necessity, that frankly it’s starting to look like a necessity to toss Will off the train–
“Hannibal and I afforded each other an experience we may not otherwise have had,” Will continues, and Chiyo says that Will is afraid that if he doesn’t kill Hannibal, he’ll become him, but that “there are means of influence other than violence.”
Next scene, Pazzi visits Hannibal at the museum to question him about the disappearance of his predecessor. He recognizes Hannibal instantly and does a not very good job of hiding it.
Pazzi briefly asks Hannibal about Sogliato and turns to walk away, but Hannibal calls him back to ask whether he is “Pazzi of the Pazzi.”
“How did you know that?” Pazzi asks suspiciously. Dude, because your last name is literally Pazzi and you’re Italian? *Facepalm*
Hannibal gives us a history lesson on the Pazzi family, after which our Pazzi (I guess we’ll take ownership of him) asks Hannibal to call him if he finds any clues.
Pazzi leaves to go stare at at Hannibal’s wanted notice for a few hours.
After that, he calls the Where In The World Is Hannibal Lecter Hotline from a payphone in a scene where we learn that he is motivated not only by a desire to restore his honor, but also by a desire for money? All right then.
Meanwhile, Hannibal plays the piano at home while imagining sketching Botticelli in his black and white days and talking to Bedelia about the difference between the piano and harpsichord. It seems that Hannibal’s longterm plans for Bedelia also involve boring her to death.
Bedelia just wants to know if Pazzi knew who he was.
“When I looked into his face and stood close enough to smell him, I was well aware that all the elements of epiphany were present,” says Hannibal, who can not only smell medical maladies, but apparently the physiological underpinnings of abstract thought as well. (Quick! On a scale from 1 to encephalitis, how sweet do elements of epiphany smell?)
Bedelia seems a little frustrated with Hannibal’s inaction, but Hannibal tells her that bounties are great as an early warning system. He then helpfully explains why Pazzi would all of a sudden be interested in a bounty. Long answer: credit has a short half-life. Short answer: dolla dolla bill y’all (and because Thomas Harris said so).
Will has a nightmare of a dead Chiyo impaled upside down on antlers. Will’s anxiety dreams appear to mostly involve him accidentally mixing up symbols from the different seasons of Hannibal.
Will wakes up to find Chiyo gone and joins her out on the train balcony. When asked why she’s looking for Hannibal, she admits that she already knows that he’s in Florence. She didn’t tell Will because “there are means of influence other than violence.”
She then kisses him and says, “But violence is what you understand,” and then pushes Will right over the railing.
In his fall, Will breaks four of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and does eight dozen barrel rolls off the train.
He lands heavily on the train tracks, hopefully hard enough to knock some of the creepy fuck out of him (Not all! Just some), hopefully not hard enough to greatly hinder the rest of his journey to Florence.
As he lays on the tracks, the Ravenstag appears and rouses him to lead him onwards.
Over at a bank, Pazzi is Skyping with Mason Verger and Alana Bloom. Mason offers three million dollars for Hannibal alive, but tells Pazzi that he needs to acquire one of Hannibal’s fingerprints. After they settle the terms, Mason bids Pazzi farewell with an “toodle-oo” and the three of them spend the next five minutes awkwardly staring at the screen trying to figure out how to hang up a Skype call.
Pazzi goes fingerprint hunting at the museum. He and Hannibal share heirlooms of one of Pazzi’s ancestors Francesco de Pazzi, who was hanged for treachery. Does anyone else smell all the elements of irony or is that just me?
During this conversation, Pazzi clumsily tries to snag a knife Hannibal had been using to slice fruit, in the process committing such rookie mistakes as turning his back on Hannibal, being unsubtle as fuck, and being a dumbass in general.
Hannibal takes him down while Pazzi pockets the knife to no one’s very great surprise, except perhaps Pazzi’s.
Pazzi comes to strapped to a hand cart. Hannibal cheerfully informs him that his liver and kidneys would be suitable for eating right away, and if he tells him what he wishes to know, he would at least consider not nomming on him.
“You can trust me, you know?” Hannibal says with much camaraderie, as if he weren’t presently fashioning a noose out of cord. Pazzi tells Hannibal what he he sold him to Mason Verger.
“Thank you,” says Hannibal. “I called the number on his ‘wanted’ site once, far from here, just for fun.” Hannibal goes to such great lengths to be a troll. I love it.
Mid-interrogation, a concerned Alana calls Pazzi, probably to warn him not to turn his back on Hannibal or to be a dumbass in general. Hannibal picks up the phone instead.
“Inspector Pazzi. My name is Alana Bloom. You don’t know me, but I know your benefactor,” Alana begins. Don’t lie, Alana. We were all present for that awkward Skype call.
Hannibal interrupts her and tells her that she caught him at an awkward moment, though he’d love to chat with her at a more convenient time and hangs up.
Turning his attention back to Pazzi, he asks, “Bowels in or bowels out?” chooses for him, slices open his stomach, and pushes him out the window.
Anyway, Jack, who had just been having coffee with Pazzi’s wife, arrives just in time to see this display. Jack and Hannibal lock eyes, and IT IS ON.
Hannibal heads back inside and quickly goes on the defense when he can’t immediately detect Jack. Hannibal’s defense strategy seems to chiefly involve him being loud as fuck while he goads Jack about Bella.
Jack, who can’t fight with out some pump up music, puts on some classical music, sneaks up behind Hannibal without shoes and sends him flying through the glass of a museum display.
There then ensues a thoroughly satisfying three minute fight sequence between Jack and Hannibal, though to call it a fight scene would be erroneous. It’s more of a no holds barred beat down because Hannibal doesn’t manage to land a single hit.
During this brief span of time Hannibal’s body gets twisted in all manner of uncomfortable positions, and Jack has zero intention of untwisting him to their mutual benefit.
Highlights include such Jack Crawford signature moves as the Headbutt Backward Toss Through the Museum Display Combo ©
and the Arm Caught in the Breaking Wheel Secret Technique (Irony Included) ©
To his credit, Hannibal manages to maintain a certain smug air throughout the fight, as if this beating were merely a minor inconvenience like, say, a traffic jam or a census taker.
Jack finishes the fight by hitting Hannibal upside the head with a grappling hook, which sends Hannibal out the window.
On his way down, Hannibal manages to grab hold of Pazzi’s body to break his fall, hits the ground, gets up, and hobbles off. Jack looks as shocked as I am that Hannibal can manage to walk at all.
While Jack is struck immobile by his shock, Hannibal walks off to go find Will so they can talk shit about everyone who’s ever tossed them from a great height and also bitch about how no one else, like, really gets them, you know?