Eight months after being stabbed, Will travels to Italy in search of Hannibal.
We now know that Hannibal is living large in Europe, but what has become of the people he left behind? Returning to the events of last season's finale to find out, we follow Will as he enters Hannibal's home and discovers Abigail still alive. She tearfully explains that she didn't know what else to do but to do as Hannibal instructed. When Hannibal enters the room, he reveals he spared Abigail as a gift for Will. But Will betrayed him and that means Will must be killed. Hannibal stabs him in the stomach, and Will falls to the ground, blood gushing out of him. Hannibal is hurt that he let Will see the real him and in return, Will tried to take his freedom. But he forgives Will in spite of that and hopes Will can do the same. That ominous statement makes Will realize Hannibal has no further plans to keep Abigail alive. With her throat again sliced, Abigail finds herself bleeding out on the floor next to Will. As they both lay there dying, Will sees the stag, similarly injured. After it dies, a wave of blood flows from it and washes over Will and Abigail. Will envisions falling into a dark abyss and sees Hannibal's teacup shattering. But when the teacup comes back together, it takes the form of Will, now lying in a hospital bed. He's alive and his abdomen is wrapped in a bandage. An attendant sees that Will is awake and says there's someone dying to see him. Enter: Abigail.
Abigail tells Will the doctors described Hannibal's attacks as surgical; he knew exactly how to cut her to ensure she - and Will - lived. Abigail presses Will on why he lied to Hannibal and ruined their chance of a new life together. Will argues there's no point in thinking about what could've happened, but Abigail is not ready to drop the subject. She maintains Hannibal purposely didn't kill them because he wants them to find him. Will asks her if she would go back to him, after everything, and Abigail says yes.
That night, Will is awakened by a pain coming from beneath his bandage. He sees blood pooling under the gauze and antlers trying to force their way through. When he sits up, he's still in his hospital bed, but now he's in Hannibal's office. When he climbs out of bed, he's fully clothed. Papers are falling down all around him, and by the fireplace, he and Hannibal are burning them. Will watches this memory unfold and an important detail comes to the forefront of his mind: the foyer of Hannibal's memory palace is the Norman Chapel in Palermo, Italy. Back in his hospital bed, Will imagines looking up at the ceiling of the Norman Chapel. Just like Abigail, he wants to return to Hannibal.
Eight months later, Will and Abigail set out do just that. They tour the Norman Chapel and trade thoughts on the existence of God. Will comes to a stop in front of an engraving of a skull in the chapel's floor, just as Hannibal had described. There's no sign of him that day, but Hannibal soon makes his presence known. When Will and Abigail return to the chapel, the police have closed off the area where Hannibal placed his heart, a massive recreation shaped out of Antony Dimmond's remains. As Will tries to move closer, a police officer stops him. Another shouts that he wants to talk to Will.
At the Palermo police station, Will makes the acquaintance of Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi. Pazzi is visiting from Florence, and he is very familiar with Will, particularly the charges that were brought against him. He wonders aloud why, shortly after Will arrived in Palermo, so did a body. Their conversation is cut short when Will is called in for questioning, but Pazzi is waiting for Will when he's done. He explains that he and Will share a gift: they both live for the moment they make a connection between a crime scene and its culprit. Pazzi tells Will the story of Il Mostro, the monster of Florence, a killer known for arranging his victims' bodies like paintings. Pazzi met Il Mostro 20 years ago. He shows Will a photo of the man. To no one's surprise, it's Hannibal.
Pazzi nearly caught Hannibal back then. After two of his victims were arranged like the subjects of the Botticelli painting Primavera, Pazzi began regularly visiting the painting. On several occasions, he spotted a young man replicating the painting by sketching it. Pazzi knew Hannibal was Il Mostro but because there was no evidence connecting him to the crime, he went free and another man was convicted in his place. The desire to catch Il Mostro has stayed with Pazzi ever since and with Will's help, he now believes it can be done. To that end, Pazzi provides Will with a file on Hannibal's heart and leaves him inside the Norman Chapel to get to work.
Will circles the heart in his mind and realizes the body was first skinned, then bent and twisted to achieve its shape. He dubs the creation a Valentine written on a broken man. As Will touches the heart, it begins to beat. Then, the heart unfurls itself. The legs and arms grow hooves and a stag's head emerges from the neck. The terrifying creature begins to walk toward Will, who trips and falls on the ground. But before the stag can make contact, Will awakes from his reverie by the sound of Abigail's voice. Will confirms Abigail's belief: Hannibal left his broken heart for them to find because he knew they would come. Will asks Abigail if she still wants to go with Hannibal and again Abigail says yes. Will scoffs at the idea that there's any place the three of them could have actually gone but Abigail says Hannibal made a place for them. Will says that's not true. A place wasn't made for Abigail. As soon as he says it, Abigail's throat slits itself and blood begins pouring out of her. A wider shot of the chapel reveals Will sitting alone on the chapel floor. An even wider shot reveals Hannibal is there, too, watching Will from high above.
Flashbacks from the night of the bloodbath show that after the paramedics arrived, Will was carted off on a stretcher and he witnessed Abigail's lifeless body being zipped into a body bag. While surgeons operated on him, morticians cleaned and prepped Abigail's body for the morgue. Has Abigail been voicing Will's subconscious thoughts all along? Even after everything, is Will searching for Hannibal not to catch him, but to be reunited with him? It's a question that Pazzi might be wondering about, too. When he returns to the chapel, he admits Will is his ticket to catching Hannibal and asks Will where Hannibal has gone. Will looks to the tunnels below the chapel, sees blood pooling at the doors that mark the tunnels' entrance, and says Hannibal hasn't gone anywhere.
With only candlelight to guide the way, Will enters the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the chapel. He hears something and calls out for Hannibal. When there's no response, he follows the sound, going seemingly in circles. Pazzi, gun raised, follows Will into the tunnels but loses him quickly. He calls to Will, but Will continues on his path uninterrupted. We see that someone is watching Pazzi intently and that he is about to be surprised. But just when it seems that Hannibal has found another victim, Will comes forward out of the shadows. He says Pazzi shouldn't be exploring the tunnels alone, but Pazzi counters that he's not, he's with Will. Only Will doesn't know which side he's on. Will again tells Pazzi to leave before Hannibal gets to him, and this time, Pazzi listens. As he exits, we see Hannibal was only inches away, hidden behind a pillar. Will continues searching for Hannibal, who follows him from a safe distance. Feeling his presence, Will stops and tells Hannibal he forgives him. This stops Hannibal in his tracks, but after a moment, he leaves without revealing himself. Will simply listens to him walk away.