Hannibal 3×05 ‘Contorno’: Maintaining equilibrium

Hannibal 3x05 Cover

“Contorno” seemed to suggest a sort of balance in the world.  If you put negativity into the world, you’ll receive that same negativity back, like a whiplash effect that doesn’t suggest justice, but equilibrium.  It’s not as if this suggestion negatives the randomness of the world, as you can be a wholly optimistic person and still end up with terminal cancer, but the way you view the world does affect the way that the world treats you.  Perspective is a lens that changes the events you move through in your life, and as a result, it affects your quality of life.

Hannibal 3x05-1

Source: NBC

When Chiyoh tells Will that the only thing he really understands is violence, is it any surprise that the last we see of him is Chiyoh throwing him off of the train, him hobbling away into the darkness?  If all you understand or expect is violence, then that’s what your life is going to be.  When we see Will and Chiyoh talking on the train, their faces are bathed in darkness, only barely visible in the light.  But if they were to lean forward, they would reveal more of themselves, the light illuminating their shoulders, arms, torsos.  It’s all a matter of perspective.  How willing are you to exist in the darkness when, if you so choose, you can stumble into the light?

Hannibal 3x05-2

Source: NBC

This is the question for all of the characters on Hannibal.  Everybody is chasing Hannibal of their own volition; nobody is coming to Hannibal because they are forced to.  With Will, it’s a matter of forgiving Hannibal through amputating the part of himself that Hannibal has infected.  With Jack, it’s trying to save those around him.  With Alana and Mason, it’s about vengeance.  And with Pazzi, it’s about money.  They’re all taking a step into the darkness for their own reasons.  And as they step further into the darkness, they find the darkness affecting them.

Hannibal 3x05-3

Source: NBC

Jack and Pazzi are the two that step furthest into the darkness, and it affects them in different ways.  Pazzi, after accepting Mason’s bounty and tracking down Hannibal, ends up tortured and murdered in the same way that his ancestor was: disemboweled and hanged until dead.  In accepting that he would be responsible for Hannibal’s torture and death, he invites that kind of retribution onto himself.  Jack, on the other hand, wants to exact vengeance on Hannibal, so he tracks him down and fights him.  This operates in the opposite fashion that their fight in the Season 2 finale operated, where here Hannibal is beaten to a pulp, with little more than a scratch on Jack.  This season has been walking a fine line between treating Hannibal like an embodiment of evil and a human being, and this mirror effect shows him as somebody who takes upon him the same kind of retribution that everybody else has.

Out of all of the episodes thus far in Season 3, “Contorno” is easily the best.  Not only does it finally push forward the plot in a meaningful way, but it also highlights some character interactions that we’ve been waiting for all season.  With the next two episodes wrapping up the first half of the season, and the back six pushing into uncharted territory, it looks as if “Dolce” and “Digestivo” will both be following the same trend.  There’s a showdown to be had between Hannibal and Will, and blood will be shed.  It’s just a question of whose blood it will be.

What do you all think of Season 3 so far?  Are you excited for the inevitable showdown between Hannibal and Will?  What do you think will happen to them?  Let me know in the comments!

Michael St. Charles

is just a Michigan State University grad who loves a good story. If he’s not off teaching the young ones how to solve quadratic functions or to write an expository essay, he’s watching old-school HBO shows, indie horror movies, or he’s playing Resident Evil 4.

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