Bon Soir, such simple words in French but to Hannibal they carry the politeness and unnerving dark agenda. This is how we begin episode one of season three of Hannibal, as with previous seasons the show reveals much of the world to the viewer even the first five minutes of the show. As Hannibal rides up in his motorcycle we are hit with stunning scenes of Paris at night. On many levels, this shows Hannibal’s attempt to integrate himself (and Bedelia Du Maurier) into European high society. A considerable amount of dialogue is devoted to Hannibal’s personal aesthetics going as far, as turning the people around him into objects that could only be understood in a context of their own.
Hannibal does not simply manipulate people into an object but rather emerges truth from them. Much like the Heideggerian view of art but that will be deconstructed later in this review. We are given a flashback to when Bedelia was attacked by a patient within that flashback. We see Hannibal create truth by revealing something about Bedelia in which traps her into Hannibal’s scheme. There is a bit of dynamic between the current events and flashback they do not just give us backstory they also permeate the primary theme of aesthetics. Such as Gideon’s exchange of words with Hannibal and the fact that Gideon is falling apart. To Gideon’s dismay, his limbs are prepared in a manner that is not just decadent but brought close to Hannibal’s view of their true aesthetic form. Hannibal treats the flesh as a canvas where a considerate amount of time and effort is put into creating the meals for the sake of sensory perception. The flashback of Gideon serves the purpose of showing us the nature of aesthetics not just from reality, but to an underlying part of reality. Gideon mentions the nature of cannibalism during his unfortunate dinner, “It’s only cannibalism if we’re equals”. This is a clear mention of the binary feature of ethics. To which Hannibal does not believe that no one is his equal. So rather than put himself into a category that carries the meaning of cannibalism, he denies this and sets up his own notion of ethics and reality. Therefore, supplementing his aesthetics as his reality and ethics. This is what Hannibal inflicts on his perceptible world.
For the most part Hannibal uses metaphors and hyperboles to reveal truths from his perspective but this also causes him to hide many untruths. Due to a limited perception, some truths remain hidden and in a way they become the embodiment of life for Hannibal. The central theme of the episode and season might be that truth is a perspectival event where we carry our own weight when we judge and theorize about truth and reality. Some might refute this as being relativism. Relativism is a much shallower in its depth due to lack of connections and meanings that can adhere to it unlike perspectivism. To this Hannibal sets up the notion that words are beyond the meaning of truth, with this we are separated from given actual meaning from the outside world. This way Hannibal throws the Kantian notion of unconditional obligations out the window not just to give us a reason for his murderous deeds but to reveal pieces of his world to us. Which simply puts us in a position where this old way of thinking and talking about morality itself should be abandoned. Since all of morality is based in rationality, it should be seen as common sense that this will lead us to view morality in a beneficial terms towards us. This is why Hannibal begins to use the Post Darwinian view of morality to make his case. He notes that morality is made by us, for the sake of navigating things that surround us because if they are positive and they would produce positive outcomes but this makes morality nothing special. This also makes morality something that evolves along a process.