Reasons I love this scene so much:
- Both of them are showing so much less emotion here than they were in the earlier scene with Alana. Because now they don’t have an audience, and are testing the waters with each other.
- Hannibal just *has* to toss that friendship line back at Will in the light of Will’s new “I’m confused, please help me” angle. Both because Will’s flat rejection of his friendship hurt and he can’t quite hide it, and to try and figure out what - if any - angle Will is playing.
- Will absolutely sidesteps the question. He doesn’t lie - Hannibal would catch that - but he doesn’t answer. His “but we’re just having conversations” addendum still doesn’t actually explicitly confirm or deny that he thinks of Hannibal as a friend.