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Five Things to Know About ‘Hannibal’ Season 3

[dropcap] F [/dropcap] ans of gorgeous cinematography, shocking gore, sexual innuendo, and damn fine TV rejoice: Bryan Fuller’s gloriously insane Hannibal is returning for its third season one week from today (June 4). I was lucky enough to witness the first three episodes of Season 3, and will be reviewing the entire season right here at CutPrintFilm.

For now though, allow me to whet your appetite and tease your palate by spilling the guts on some details revealed in the first three episodes, titled “Antipasto,” “Primavera,” and “Secondo,” respectively. I shall do my very best to avoid any major spoilers, but those who consider any information at all to be a spoiler should probably look elsewhere.

1. Hannibal and Bedelia Are Exactly in Some Great, Affectionate Romance

Perhaps the best news of Season 3 is that Gillian Anderson joins the cast full-time as Bedelia Du Maurier, former psychiatrist and now apparent accomplice to Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen). The cheeky ads for Hannibal have been playing-up Gillian Anderson’s promotion from recurring guest-star to full-time cast member with things like the hash-tag #BrideOfHannibal. It’s fun and plays up a classic horror trope (think Bride of Frankenstein or, uh, Bride of Chucky). Anderson joining the cast full-time is fantastic, and she’s great on the show.

However, die-hard fans, also known as Fannibals, have flooded Tumblr and other similar sites with fan theories that this implies Hannibal and Bedelia are sexy serial killer lovers having a sexy good time in sexy Italy. The truth is much more complex than that. Bedelia is not exactly having a blast in the first three episodes. If anything, she seems traumatized, and Anderson does a great job of making us feel genuinely concerned for her character.

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2. We Get More Details About Bedelia’s Past Attack

We’ve learned in the previous seasons of Hannibal that Gillian Anderson’s Bedelia was violently attacked by one of her patients, and that the patient had actually been Hannibal’s before he referred him to Bedelia. We don’t see the attack itself (yet), but we see the gruesome aftermath.

We get our first glimpse of the attack post-death, played (in fake corpse form) by a fairly well-known actor. No spoilers, but fans following casting news for the show will be able to put the pieces together.

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3. A Large Part of These First Three Episodes Is Heavily Lifted From Thomas Harris’ Novel (and Ridley Scott’s Film Adaptation) Hannibal

Bryan Fuller has said in the past that he loves Ridley Scott’s much-maligned film adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal, and it definitely shows in these first three episodes.

Hannibal hiding out in Italy is a big part of both novel and film, and Fuller recreates entire scenes from the book and film here, specifically pertaining to Hannibal’s new alias–museum curator Dr. Fell.

One scene in particular, that has Hannibal giving a slideshow presentation about Judas Iscariot in Dante’s Inferno, is even filmed almost identically to the way Scott filmed it in his film adaptation.

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4. We Learn the Definitive Fates of Three of the Four Characters Who Met Bloody Ends in the Season 2 Finale.

In the Season 2 finale, “Mizumono,” several major characters meet with rather gruesome fates after finally discovering Hannibal’s true nature. Special Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) gets a nasty stab to the throat. Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) gets pushed out of a high window. Abagail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl)–who everyone already thought was dead to begin with–reappears only to have her throat brutally cut by Hannibal. And Will Graham is all but gutted by Hannibal and left to bleed-out on the kitchen floor. It was a shocking, bleak ending, and many fans were left wondering: which of these characters will survive, and which will finally shuffle off this mortal coil?

Well, Will Graham survives. Is that a spoiler? I guess. It shouldn’t be though, since all the trailers for the show make this pretty clear, and he’s the second lead character so they’re obviously not going to kill him off.

As for the rest of the gang: some promotional photos seem to hint at which other characters survive–but who’s to say this isn’t misdirection? It wouldn’t be the first time; before the first episode of The Shield aired, actor Reed Diamond was advertised as a main cast member, and appeared in the pilot’s opening credits as well as promotional material. This was a coy bit of misdirection from series creator Shawn Ryan in an effort to shock people, because Diamond’s character, Terry, was shot and killed in the very first episode.

Similarly, Joss Whedon–the man who loves to kill beloved characters–finally had actress Amber Benson appear in the opening credits of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in episode 6.19, “Seeing Red.” Benson portrayed witch (and Willow’s girlfriend) Tara, and had already appeared in several episodes before getting her name in the opening credits. The cruel twist, however, was that this was also the episode that her character was murdered. (Side-note: Joss Whedon, I will never forgive you for this, because Tara was one of my favorite characters).

So while promotional photos for Hannibal might seem to give away who lives and who dies, take them with a grain of salt. The first three episodes, however, show us the definitive fates of three of the four characters. One of them is obviously Will. You’ll have to watch the show to see about the other three!

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5. Hannibal’s Mysterious Past Starts to Come to Light

Thomas Harris’ 2006 novel Hannibal Rising acted as a prequel to his other books (Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal), detailing the history of Hannibal Lecter. The book dealt with Lecter’s youth, and laid out how he became the cannibal we know him as today.

Fuller and company are borrowing from Hannibal Rising, but putting their own little twist on things. Near the end of the third episode, layers slowly begin to peel away and the audience starts to discover more and more about Hannibal’s backstory. Will Graham is also discovering it along with the audience, and there’s a good chance he won’t like what he finds.

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Hannibal is back June 4 at 10/9c on NBC

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Written by

Chris Evangelista is the Executive Editor of Cut Print Film & co-host of the Cut Print Film Podcast. He also contributes to /Film, The Film Stage, Birth.Movies.Death, The Playlist, Paste Magazine, Little White Lies and O-Scope Musings. 'The House on Creep Street' and 'Beware the Monstrous Manther!', two horror books for young readers Chris co-authored with J. Tonzelli, are available wherever books are sold. You can follow him on Twitter @cevangelista413 and view his portfolio at chrisevangelista.net

  • Malvinna

    One of the best reviews and insight on Hannibal S03 that I’ve seen so far! Great job.

  • Jayne

    Well done!