While Hannibal comes to a revelation with the help of Bedelia acting as his therapist, Will Graham pays a visit to the Lecter estate in Lithuania and finds a solitary woman named Chiyo caring for a caged man. Will discovers that this caged man ate Misha Lecter, Hannibal’s sister, and that Chiyo persuaded Hannibal to keep him imprisoned rather than killing him. Will points out that her determination to keep the man alive trapped her and that Hannibal was likely curious if she would eventually kill him. Will and Chiyo bond over their mutual dedication to Hannibal, despite his manipulation, and Will sets the man free in an attempt to set Chiyo free. Instead of escaping, the man returns to try to kill Chiyo, forcing her to finally kill him. Will insists that he didn’t want that to happen, but Chiyo knows that Will is just like Hannibal and was just as curious if she would kill. Chiyo and Will team up to search for Hannibal. Before they leave, Will artistically arranges the dead body of the man as a suspended butterfly made with broken wine bottles and chicken bones, covered in snails – a message to Hannibal.
Meanwhile, Hannibal kills another of his associates and holds a dinner party with another. Bedelia looks on with incredulous amusement as the man and his wife rapturously consume the meal Hannibal has prepared. All the while, Bedelia calmly probes Hannibal’s mind and his feelings towards Will concerning his betrayal, planting the idea in Hannibal’s mind that to forgive Will that he must eat him.
During all this, Jack Crawford arrives in Palermo. Pazzi approaches him as he did Will, trying to convince him to help him catch Hannibal. Jack also declines, saying that he’s not there to catch Hannibal, but to find Will.
This is another slow burn of an episode, with the characters working through their personal feelings of desire and betrayal and struggling with the act of forgiveness. Will finds another trapped soul in Chiyo, bound to the whims of Hannibal and incomplete without him. Will tells her that he’s never known himself as well as he knows himself when he’s with Hannibal. It seems more and more that Will doesn’t want to catch Hannibal, but that he has decided too late that he wants to go away with him. And while its unclear exactly what Chiyo’s relationship is with Hannibal – although its likely she’s his aunt through marriage, if the books and Hannibal Rising are any indication – now that she’s free she also wants to find Hannibal, although her motives are also unclear.
Bedelia is becoming pretty dark and much more insensitive to Hannibal’s violent lifestyle. While she still declines to take part in his cannibalism, she finds herself amused by the people who Hannibal has tricked into eating his prey. It seems to me that during the course of her therapy sessions with Hannibal this episode that she is actually manipulating Hannibal, coldly and calculatingly pushing him toward the realization that he needs to eat Will in order to forgive him. While the realization feels organic, the seeds were carefully planted and the logic delicately woven in order to lead Hannibal to that conclusion. What is going on in Bedelia’s mind and what sort of person is she becoming that she wants to push Hannibal to eat his best friend?
We finally see Jack, who looks well enough but seems to be in a place of quiet acceptance and understanding. At this point his wife has likely died from her cancer – potentially while Jack was in recovery from his own wounds – with Jack himself apparently having died briefly before being revived. Jack, like Will, has come to an understanding regarding Hannibal and the events of last season, seeing things with perfect clarity in retrospect. Jack isn’t after Hannibal. He’s not out for revenge or even necessarily for justice. Jack claims that he’s there for Will, to support Will the way he didn’t support him before. Pazzi is likely getting frustrated by constantly being turned down on his hunt for Lecter.
It looks like things pick up a little next week as all Hannibal’s victims come together in a search for him. Mason Verger, of course, is out for blood and is looking for Hannibal to be eaten alive by his pigs. Alana appears to be alive, but bound to a wheelchair. Even Frederick Chilton, who was shot in the head but conveniently never confirmed to be dead, appears to be alive and on the hunt.