The murders on this episode of Hannibal revolve around technicalities. The episode opens on a seated Hannibal, discussing Will Graham’s admission of forgiveness. Hannibal seems almost visually shaken as he parses out this newly developing situation. Bedelia asks him the obvious question – he could predict Will Graham’s whereabouts before, does he know where Graham’s going next? Hannibal says it’s somewhere he can’t go anymore, or doesn’t want to.
The third episode of Hannibal’s second season is called “Secondo”, and reveals one more survivor of season two’s climactic bloodbath. In this case it’s Jack Crawford, arriving in the church from episode two. He meets with the same inspector as Will. They talk about the parallels between Will and everyday churchgoers, wondering if Hannibal hasn’t essentially become a deity to the man. The most surprising revelation in this episode is that Jack isn’t here to catch Hannibal; he’s here because he feels responsible for Will’s state. After all Jack brought Will back into the world of serial murder. Despite this being Jack’s first appearance since Hannibal left him dying, his storyline is relatively low-key. Instead the synchronicities between Will and Hannibal allow this episode of Hannibal to really thrive.
Will spends the episode in Lithuania, lurking around the Lecter familial home. There’s a Japanese woman hunting on the property, seemingly living in Hannibal’s abandoned family home. Will watches her for a while as she hunts pheasants on the property. He breaks into the house and finds another person living there. It’s a man, caged in a wine cellar. He’s filthy and dressed in rags and doesn’t speak a word of English. He’s clearly spent a disturbingly long time in the manor’s snail-infested basement. As Will attempts to communicate with the prisoner the woman walks in behind him and cocks her gun.
Will introduces himself as a friend of Hannibal. The woman posits that Will is Hannibal’s “nakama,” a Japanese word for intimately close friends. The woman lets Will in and makes him tea. The two talk, and she explains the situation she’s found herself in. Hannibal asked the woman, named Chiyo, to kill the man in the basement. He supposedly killed Hannibal’s sister (although Will is quick to point out they only have Hannibal’s word for that). Hannibal wanted to see if Chiyo could kill. She couldn’t, so instead Hannibal made her imprison and watch over the man for the rest of his natural life. She looks shaken up and asks Will if he’s “like Hannibal.” Will seems more and more like his mentor with every passing day, and this episode in part revolves around interrogated Will’s transformation. Will responds that if he were like Hannibal he would have already killed and cooked Chiyo and fed her to her prisoner. Chiyo can’t help but note how much thought Will has put into this. Eventually Will assuages her fear by showing her the scars across his gut. “Last time I saw my nakama he left me with a smile.”
Will sneaks off however, and coldly frees Chiyo’s prisoner, chasing him off into the woods. Next we see of Chiyo she’s in the basement checking on her prisoner, who has let himself back into the cage and lies waiting for his captor. When she approaches the cage he leaps out and begins to strangle her. She manages to stab him in the neck and survive the altercation. She accuses Will of orchestrating the whole attack. Will denies it, but it’s hard to believe him. Especially when he uses the man’s corpse to create a giant insect themed art statement.
This isn’t the first time Will’s channeled Hannibal when defacing a body someone else killed, but this time it seems less necessary, and Will seems more involved in the death. Technically he didn’t kill the man, that’s true. However when Chiyo suggested that Will too wanted to know if she would kill it seems potentially true. The two decide to go after Hannibal as a team, Will because he knows himself best when he’s with Hannibal (or so he claims) and Chiyo for not immediately apparent reasons.
Meanwhile Hannibal is hosting dinner parties. The first one sees another academic couple visiting his and Bedelia’s home. He serves them prosciutto made from the arm of his last victim. They talk, and as far as Hannibal’s dinner parties go it’s relatively uneventful. The next party he hosts sees the school head who’s been rather oppositional towards Hannibal since the first episode. The two trade aggressive banter until the man accuses Hannibal of not paying enough attention to the details. Hannibal spins suddenly and stabs the man in the head with an ice pick. Lecter leaves the pick stuck in the man’s head and sits back down. The stabbed man’s face twitches with an array of surprisingly happy emotions as the pick scrambles his brain. Hannibal admits that it was rash behaviour while the upright man twitches. Eventually the horror of it is more than Bedelia can cope with and she gets up, wraps her hand in a napkin, and tugs the ice pick free. The man suddenly collapses bloodily onto his olives. Hannibal grins contently and calmly points out what just happened, “Technically you killed him.” It seems that he’s successfully tricked Bedelia into participating.
This is the first season of Hannibal to start adapting books, but this episode isn’t the first time Bryan Fuller has defied the expectations suggested by the novels (which I have not read). In the novels Hannibal’s raison d’être is to witness the murder and consumption of his sister, and all this episode’s references to Hannibal’s sister and the home he can’t return to seems to reinforce this. Then Hannibal’s discussion with Bedelia unfolds. She asks Hannibal what happened at his old home. “I happened.” Later Bedelia brings the subject up again while she’s bathing and Hannibal is washing her hair. The show seems to reveal the truth behind the situation with her accusatory question, “What did your sister taste like?” After asking this Bedelia slips silently into her bath water.