Welcome to the most interesting pseudo-marriage in television history! Though you may have hoped to catch a glimpse of Will Graham & Co. in the aftermath of last year's bloodbath of a finale, the Hannibal Season 3 premiere "Antipasto" focused almost solely on one topic only — the relationship between Hannibal and his psychiatrist-turned-fake-wife, Bedelia. Throughout the entire episode, fans were treated to a firsthand experience of what this "marriage" entails. But is Bedelia being controlled by Hannibal or is she acting purely on her own free will? Will Hannibal kill Bedelia or does she serve some greater purpose to him in the long run? These are questions I think the series intends for us to grapple with, though, judging from her actions throughout the hour, I'd say she should be considered less like his victim and more like his equal, which is a big part of what makes this dynamic so exhilarating to watch unfold.
Let's not forget that Bedelia has a longstanding history with Hannibal as both a patient and a colleague. I think she's well aware of how his mind works, possibly even more so than she let's on. Of course, that's not to say that necessarily she's safe from his culinary cruelty, but I'm willing to bet she knows what she's gotten herself into and has an endgame in mind. Bedelia is also completely self aware of what's going on around her thus far. If she were being controlled by him, this would more than likely not be the case. And when Hannibal ponders if she's optimistic that he won't kill her, she responds by saying "not entirely." She understands that danger is nearby. She just has no intention of falling victim to it. Even if Hannibal is having her eat certain foods to help control the way she tastes…
Creepy much? Then there's the fact that we know she is capable of killing someone as proven by the flashback with her former patient. (I see you, Zachary Quinto!) Hannibal may have sent the patient to her and helped to bring this murderous outcome to fruition, but she's the one who did the deed, not him. There's a darkness to her that we have yet to fully tap into, which could be what Hannibal intends to use against her. But I think she's way too smart to let him. Either way, I can't wait to see how this marriage continues to develop. Dr. Lecter, you may have just met your match.
Images: NBC (2)