Hannibal Lecter has settled down in Italy with Bedelia Du Maurier under the identity of the museum curator Dr. Fell and his wife. Circumstances go awry when a former friend of Dr. Fell's visits and finds all is not as it seems.
While stalking Dr. Roman Fell to a party held in Paris, Hannibal Lecter becomes acquainted with Antony Dimmond. They discuss poetry and Dr. Fell, for whom Dimmond served as a TA. Lecter follows Dr. Fell to his house, killing him and (presumably) his wife. Through a flashback, Abel Gideon is seen eating his cooked body with Lecter, where he comments that Lecter is truly a personification of the Devil. Lecter and Du Maurier are shown as having traveled to Florence, Italy, where they are assuming the identities of Fell and his wife. Through a flashback, Du Maurier enters her house some hours after being interviewed by Crawford and discovers Lecter in her shower. She pulls a gun on him, and they discuss what Lecter has done, their relationship, and Graham. In present day, Dimmond arrives in Florence and is invited to Lecter's house for dinner. Through flashback, it is shown how Lecter prepared Gideon's severed arm for consumption - he had fed Gideon oysters, sweet wine, and acorns to enhance Gideon's flavor for the snails fattening themselves on it. Gideon comments that it won't be long until Lecter is himself cannibalized. Over dinner, Du Maurier is revealed to being given the same treatment, as Dimmond reveals that the Romans are the originators of that practice. Through a flashback, Du Maurier murders Lecter's former patient Neal Frank, who was transferred to her, causing her to owe a debt to Lecter in return for his help. In present day, Lecter gives a lecture as Dr. Fell, which Dimmond attends, eager to strike a bargain with him. Dimmond returns to Lecter's house where he is murdered. Du Maurier and Lecter discuss whether she is observing or participating in the murder, and they conclude on the latter. Later, Lecter boards a cross-country train across Italy with a large trunk, and contemplates Gideon's comment on how he will feel when he, too, is hunted down. Hannibal spends his train journey folding a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man into an origami heart. Lecter has done the same thing to Dimmond – his dismembered torso is mounted on the tips of three broadswords in the Norman Chapel, Palermo and has been fashioned to resemble a gigantic heart.
- The episode's title, Antipasto, refers to an appetizer typically consisting of olives, anchovies, cheeses, and meats.
- This is the first episode of the series not to feature Will Graham and Jack Crawford (the latter appears only in an alternate angle/take from “Tome-wan,” whereas the former is entirely absent aside from the “Previously on Hannibal” segment). This leaves Hannibal as the sole character to have appeared in every episode.
- Gillian Anderson joins the main cast, making Bedelia the first main character who is not from Thomas Harris's books.
- This episode and the following one, "Primavera," are tied for featuring the lowest number of main cast members. This episode features only Hannibal and Bedelia, whereas "Primavera" features only Hannibal and Will.
- When Mads Mikkelsen took the role of Hannibal, he told Bryan Fuller he wanted to play him as Lucifer. That subtext comes to the surface beginning in this episode.
- The Paris motorcycle sequence was shot in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and the film crew was repeatedly stopped by police searching for the terrorists.
- Zachary Quinto was initially set to play the role of Antony Dimmond, but had to bow out due to scheduling issues. He told Bryan Fuller he was upset because he had always wanted to work with Gillian Anderson, so Fuller conceived the smaller role of Neil Frank for him. According to the audio commentary, yet another actor was cast as Dimmond and shot some scenes which were later reshot with Tom Wisdom once he was cast.
- The “Vera dal 1926” scenes were initially shot in Florence, but Fuller felt the Italian crew did a poor job of implementing the main unit’s set and wardrobe designs, so the scenes were ultimately reshot later on a Toronto soundstage. (In reality, Vera dal 1926 appears to have closed after the novel Hannibal was written, and long before the series was shot.)
- Unlike the 2001 film adaptation of Hannibal, which actually filmed in the Palazzo Capponi, the TV show uses Toronto’s Royal York Ballroom to double for the interior of the Capponi salon, and the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence for the exterior.
- In the script, Bedelia steps into her shower to wash the blood off after killing Neil Frank. Gillian Anderson expressed distaste with repeatedly being asked to do shower scenes in her film and TV roles, leading Fuller to restage the scene with the more intimate mirror setup.
- In the scripted version of the “observing or participating” scene, Dimmond is dead before the scene begins, having been killed during the act break. Gillian Anderson proposed that Hannibal bludgeon Dimmond with something from his desk, and the resultant blocking (with Dimmond crawling between the two as they converse) was worked out during rehearsals.
Book to Show Edit
- This episode introduces the character Sogliato, from the novel Hannibal.
- This episode has the lowest number of characters from the Thomas Harris novels in the series, with only Hannibal and Sogliato appearing.
- With this episode, the series begins its loose adaptation of the novel Hannibal. The show skips over Part 1 (“Washington, D.C.”), which details Clarice Starling’s career struggles following a botched raid, and starts with Part 2 (“Florence”). The episode adapts the following chapters: Chapter 19 (the dialogue between Hannibal and Sogliato, which in the book takes place at a formal meeting debating “Dr. Fell”’s appointment), Chapter 21 (Hannibal’s musings on Florence and the fate of the former curator, all taken from narration in this chapter), and Chapter 36 (Hannibal’s lecture on Dante to the Studiolo).
- Bryan Fuller’s original plan for the series was to do three “prequel” seasons, followed by adaptations of the novels Red Dragon in season 4, The Silence of the Lambs in season 5, and Hannibal in season 6, with a “sequel” story in season 7. By adapting part of the novel Hannibal at this stage, the series changes the novels’ timeline by moving forward events which took place in the books twelve years after the events of Red Dragon.
- In the novel, the Florence sequence is seen almost exclusively through Rinaldo Pazzi’s perspective. The show holds off Pazzi’s introduction for the following episode and eliminates his role in the two book scenes in this episode.
- In the book, Hannibal has had plastic surgery done while on the run to conceal his identity. Like the 2001 film adaptation, the show ignores this detail, presumably out of a desire not to obscure the actor's face or performance.
- Hannibal riding a motorcycle calls to mind his escape in the book after killing Rinaldo Pazzi, when he pays a motorcyclist to drive him away.
- Hannibal's first assumed name, Boris Jakov, is a tribute to Hannibal's beloved childhood teacher Mr. Jakov from the novel Hannibal Rising.
- Hannibal’s assumed name, Dr. Fell, comes from the novel. However, in the book, it appears to be an invented identity, not someone he killed. The first name Roman is an invention of the show.
- At this point in the novel, Hannibal is on the run alone. The addition of Bedelia calls to mind the end of the book, when Hannibal is in hiding with Clarice Starling as lovers in Buenos Aires. Also, at this point in the book, Hannibal has been on the run for seven years, as opposed to only eight months on the show.
- Gideon calling Hannibal the Devil may reference Romula Cjesku doing the same in the book.
- Hannibal’s line about singing for his supper was spoken as a jab by Rinaldo Pazzi in the book.
- Bedelia’s line, “Even the most contentious Florentines...” comes from narration in the book.
- Bedelia asking if Hannibal is giving “serious thought” to eating Sogliato calls to mind Hannibal telling Pazzi he is giving “serious thought to eating [his] wife” in the book.
- Bedelia visits grocer Vera dal 1926 and orders two bottles of Bâtard-Montrachet, and “tartufi bianchi” (white truffles) in order to catch the authorities’ attention. In the book, Hannibal places this order at the same establishment. (He also drinks this same wine in The Silence of the Lambs.)
- The show conflates several locations from the book: in the novel, the Atrocious Torture Instruments exhibition occurs at the Forte di Belvedere, and Hannibal’s lecture to the Studiolo takes place at the Palazzo Vecchio. The show places both events in the Palazzo Capponi.
- In the book, Hannibal, as curator, lives in the Palazzo Capponi (a major reason why he sought the position out), but in the show he seems to keep rooms elsewhere.
- Dimmond’s belief that “Dr. Fell”’s predecessor “eloped with a woman or someone’s money or both” comes from narration in the novel.
- Hannibal and Dimmond’s dialogue on humankind becoming “calloused to the lewd and vulgar” all comes from narration in the book introducing the Atrocious Torture Instruments exhibition.
- Although shot on a set, the church in the closing sequence (where Hannibal displays his “Valentine” to Will) is an accurate recreation of the Norman Chapel in Palermo (the Cappella Palatina), which is said to be the basis for Hannibal’s memory palace in both “Mizumono” and the novel Hannibal.
Cut Scenes Edit
- As scripted, the motorcycle sequence was more elaborate, opening with writhing forms — eventually revealed to be the sculpted figures on Rodin’s Gates of Hell — reflected in Hannibal’s visor and in a puddle which Hannibal’s motorcycle splits, sending them flying, “trapped” in water droplets which turn to blood.
- The script features a sequence where Dimmond stalks Bedelia the second time she goes to Vera dal 1926. He approaches her after she makes her purchase and says one of the old scholars at the Palazzo pointed directly at Hannibal when Dimmond asked about Dr. Fell. Bedelia admits that she is not the doctor’s wife, and encourages Dimmond to go the police rather than try to manipulate the situation. They compare her to Bluebeard’s wife, and she asks Dimmond to help her get caught. Dimmond later alludes to this conversation during his chat with Hannibal following the Studiolo lecture, which makes the meaning of the “observing or participating” dialogue between Hannibal and Bedelia much clearer. (The shooting of the Bedelia/Dimmond scenes, including the original Florence location for Vera Dal 1926, can be glimpsed in the DVD/Blu Ray feature Hannibal on the Run.)
|Season 3 Episodes|
Antipasto • Primavera • Secondo • Aperitivo • Contorno • Dolce • Digestivo • The Great Red Dragon • And the Woman Clothed With The Sun • And the Woman Clothed In Sun • ... And the Beast From the Sea • The Number of the Beast is 666 • The Wrath of the Lamb