Wow. What an episode. ‘Digestivo’, which was the 7th episode of season 3, felt more like a series finale at times than a mid season episode, expertly wrapping up stories from this season and really the show as a whole. Knowing that HANNIBAL’s time is nearly up — as we have for the past handful of instalments — really gave the themes of this episode a unique aurora, sometimes the show made me think the writers knew of their fate all along. There was some serious winking go on here. Maybe it was just me.
We started off things where we left off last week (kind of), with Will’s head being sawn open by Hannibal but of course proceedings were interrupted and the two best pals were transported across the Atlantic to Mason’s farm, ready to be branded, tortured and worse… much worse. This episode was super creepy and Muskrat farm was given an incredibly sinister tone to help portray all the evil that lives there.
“I’m committed to enjoying every bite of you”.
Mason has been a tour de force ever since he debuted on the show last season, and even though the character has gone through a casting change, the head of the Verger estate has continued to chew up every scene he has appeared in, inserting some much appreciated humour (although twisted) into the shows makeup. The scene at Mason’s dinner table, where he and the equally horrific Cordell discussed their messed up plans for our heroes was superb. I can’t believe this show has gone on as long as it has to be honest. It’s just too fucked up. Mason wanting to wear Will’s face while eating Hannibal? I mean come on! Oh and then the reveal that Margot’s eggs had been implanted into a surrogate pig?! It doesn’t get creepier than that. This show was never meant to live but the fact that it has is a damn miracle, a miracle both equal parts disgusting and beautiful. We have been blessed to witness such abhorrent goings on for as long as we have. We are a lucky bunch indeed.
Hannibal’s half smile/smirk throughout events at the farm was an awesome touch and bizarre reaction to the horrors that were being mentioned. The look on his face, the look of enjoyment or maybe pride as he realised what has occurred because of his actions was just perfect. He looked like he was downright enjoying the cruel and malicious scenario he had helped to form. The scenes between Hannibal, Margot and Alana were also exceptional this week. Lecter telling Margot that it “would be more therapeutic” if she killed her brother was fantastic and such a Hannibal thing to say.
The Margot/Mason/surrogate story has been a sad one, a weird one, but undeniably miserable. Margot has been a victim of her brother’s cruel depravity her entire life so to see her get her revenge on Mason — after she and Alana freed Hannibal from his cage — was a delight. Mason has been a real treat this season and last, so it was fitting that he was the recipient of an equally fabulous death. One could tell that Eel of his had been dreaming of swimming down his owners throat for quite some time. Another touch of twisted madness, madness that would only appear on this show, was the revelation that while Mason was unconscious he had been milked for his sperm, via a cattle prod… God, I love this show.
“Promise me you’ll save him”.
After being released from his captivity and after making a promise to save Will, Hannibal goes on a off screen rampage, taking care of Cordell, stealing Mason’s swimmers, and heroically rescuing his friend. The fact that we didn’t see this happen was a nice touch. These scenes were played somewhat out of order and presented in a way that always kept the audience on edge. HANNIBAL has never acted by convention and I for one appreciate such unique ways of revealing plot points.
The real crux of this episode, the lynch pin for all future goings on, was the scene back at Will’s house, where he and Hannibal shared a truly great heartfelt scene which allowed Will to really get some things off his chest. After waiting and hoping all season long that these two would get together and run off happily into night, Will basically dumped Hannibal, telling him that he was done, telling Hannibal to leave, that he didn’t want to chase him anymore. That yes, they are very much alike, but that he didn’t share Hannibal’s wickedness, his depraved tendencies. “You delight. I tolerate” he spoke so softly, breaking more hearts than the ones in that room. Hannibal seemed to take this in stride, hurt, but acceptant, but only then to reveal he hadn’t left after all, surrendering himself to Jack. This may have been to spite Will, a screw you towards being discarded so bluntly. You have to understand that Will is Hannibal’s entire life now, he has nothing without him, no purpose, no place in the world. “I want you to know exactly where I am and where you can always find me” he says to Jack but really talking to Will. Letting his friend know he can’t be abandoned so easily.
“The teacup is broken. It‘s never going to gather itself back together again“ is how Will puts it to Hannibal in the middle of that immaculate scene, referring to the world they tried to create, the life they wanted to share. That dream is over for them now, at least for Will. It’s broken for us too. We as an audience witnessed it’s breaking when the show was announced as cancelled. For us it will never be fixed. And like Will we will always know where to find Hannibal. He and the show will live on inside our memory palaces. Or, you know, just on Blu Ray or something. But Hannibal and HANNIBAL will be around for at least a while longer, back for the second half of the season, the Red Dragon chapter that fans of the source material have been eagerly anticipating since the shows inception, and up to no good I am sure, delighting and depraving in equal parts, helping us to build more rooms for the memories of our friends, friends that I can’t believe we ever got to know so well.