Series 3 of Hannibal is, of course, largely about people who have been horribly wounded. Cut to pieces. Shattered. Reassembled. Stitched back together in new shapes. They’ve spent months ‘recovering’, only to discover that the process has fundamentally changed them. They cannot ‘recover’ their old selves.
The show itself is taking episodes to ‘recover’ from the trauma of the end of Series 2. That episode horribly wounded the show itself. Cut it to pieces. Shattered it. Dismembered it. We are now watching a show, a formula, a set-up, in fragments. Roughly stitched back together but unable to return to its former shape.
If Series 1 was a police procedural slowly going mad because of its own affinities, and Series 2 was a police procedural actually being slowly and gradually usurped and warped by those ascendant affinities, Series 3 is a police procedural shattered into fragments and glued back together by a triage doctor in an afterlife casualty ward.
Because Series 3 shouldn’t exist. It shouldn’t be on the air. It is the ghost of a television programme. It is the reanimated zombie corpse of a television programme. Series 3 is what television programmes look like after they’ve ended, after they’ve been cancelled and are no longer being made and only exist in the television afterlife.
Which is bitterly ironic, if you think about it.