Hannibal: The Number of the Beast is 666 (review)

Jack Crawford and Freddie Lounds
This penultimate episode of Hannibal, The Number of the Beast is 666 may not be the most horrifying, that surely belongs to episode 2.12 Face Off where Mason Verger ate his nose and a good part of his face (in this viewers humble opinion that still strikes right to the bone), but last night the vision of Dolarhyde ripping off Chilton’s lips comes damned close. Later director Guillermo Navarro matches that “ripping” horror with a Sergio Leone type close up of Chilton’s face and his terror filled eyes as he starts burning.

Hannibal has always been a bit of a gore fest. At least in terms of buckets of claret being sprayed and great gouts of the stuff splashed over the walls and floors. Oddly, for a show that languishes in the sensuality of serial murderer’s committing their heinous acts, with special emphasis on Lector and his devotees love of “food,” this episode goes straight for the throat (The lips?) and bypasses the loving attention to the act.

There is no operatic overture or classical music to accompany scenes of preparing a feast. The only thing observed being eaten in this latest offering had Hannibal slurping down Chilton’s lip and then chortling about it with Crawford. The delight and focus is different. There is no sensuality here, just Lector proving that revenge is indeed best served cold…and raw.

Hannibal correctly diagnoses Dr. Chilton as not being made of the “proper stuff.” (The Lector version of the “right stuff” but spot on all the same.) Will says the same thing later on, after Chilton has punished by the Red Dragon for his “lies.” That are provided by Graham during the Lounds pseudo interview.

Will: “Chilton languished unrecognized until “Hannibal the Cannibal.” He wanted the world to know his face.”

Bedelia: “And now he doesn’t have one.”

– The Will Graham version of “be careful what you wish for.”

This entire installment cranks things up nicely. While the series has deviated from the book in term of victim, Freddie Lounds has his lips ripped off in the book, this change of fate makes a certain amount of sense. Although it implies that Chilton will not survive long enough for the cinematic tease where Lector tells Clarice Starling that he’s “going to have an old friend for dinner” as the Frederick disembarks from an airplane while Hannibal watches from the payphone where he talks to the FBI agent.

In this verse, that clearly will never happen. It would have been, presumably, in poor taste (not to mention seen as being misogynistic to an alarming degree) to allow Dolarhyde to rip the lips off of the female version of Freddie Lounds. (One wonders if creator Bryan Fuller considered this when he changed the gender of Freddie for the TV series.) Although the nice touch about the whole incident is how Graham set up Frederick for the assault.

In keeping with the strange allure of Hannibal and his world, it is oddly satisfying that Chilton was the object of Dolarhyde’s rage, something we share with Will who clearly shares Lector’s disdain and active dislike of the pompous psychiatrist. Hubris thy name is Dr. Francis Chilton and both Graham and Hannibal recognize this annoying and unflattering trait.

When Crawford, Will and Frederick meet with Freddie to write the article that will enrage the “Tooth Fairy” (Chilton’s uncomfortable and awkward recommendation that the word “fairy” bothers the Red Dragon and it they really want to “piss him off” they should use the homosexually offensive term to describe him is perfect and highlights his character perfectly.) The entire scene between Chilton and Graham is horribly amusing.

Chilton to Freddie: “The Tooth Fairy’s actions indicate a projective delusion compensating for intolerable feelings of inadequacy. Smashing mirrors ties these feelings to his appearance.”

Will: (slightly behind Chilton translates) “And not only is the Tooth Fairy insane, he is ugly and impotent.

As this goes on, Chilton looks increasingly bothered by Will’s baiting of the killer. As we stifle the urge to giggle at Graham’s obvious taunts, the unease felt by Frederick becomes shared by all. Graham putting his hand on Chilton in the photograph is a signal, as the lipless and burnt to a crisp doctor accuses Will later, “You put your hand on me like a pet,” although Frederick’s statement was somewhat harder to understand.

One thing is apparent. After the attempt on his family, Will is allowing his “inner Hannibal” to come to the fore. He clearly set up Chilton for the fall, as Bedelia says later and Frederick notes in ICU. Underneath the horror of this episode there is the clear indication of hubris. Not just from Frederick Clifton either.

“Beware the wrath of the lamb,” says Hannibal to Jack Crawford. He tells the FBI agent that they should all fear Will’s wrath. At the end of their exchange, Jack tells Lector that Dolarhyde is not the dragon, Lector is and follows up with “The Devil himself bound in the pit.”

“That makes you God, Jack” Hannibal replies.

“Yes it does,” says Crawford.

Before the end credits roll, we see the humiliation of Chilton, his punishment and his burning. (Like Will’s pretend burning of Lounds, Frederick is set on fire while bound in a wheelchair.) Reba has been kidnapped by her now former lover. The next step is for Dolarhyde to rid himself of the one human thing in himself, Reba.

Disturbingly, Will spends much of his time, when not setting up Frederick Chilton, with Bedelia Du Maurier. Through her we learn that Hannibal loves Will and we also discover this upsets her or at least makes her jealous. She relays to Graham that Lector may well have “agency in the world” but that he will never allow anyone else to kill her. As he is in captivity, Lector will never kill and eat her, the idea upsets her enough that she sheds a tear.

Richard Armitage was terrifying this week as Dolarhyde/The Great Red Dragon. Mads Mikkelsen was, as usual, brilliant and the scene where he mimics slurping down Chilton’s lip for Jack Crawford was priceless. The Hannibal Lector version of a raspberry.

Hugh Dancy, clever, droll and increasingly Hannibal by proxy. Just brilliant.

*Sidenote* Watching this latest episode I noticed that Dr. Alana Bloom and Bedelia Du Maurier sound very much the same when the talk. Tone, pacing and phrasing appear to be almost identical. It makes me wonder if this was intentional? Were Gillian Anderson and Caroline Dhavernas cast because they sound alike? Just a thought…

Special kudos to Raúl Esparza as Chilton. This performer has managed to bring out the worst in at least one viewer as he channeled his inner despicable “poor winner.” Yet when he was in the clutches of Armitage’s character one could not help but feel sorry for the “little man” who begged to be great. As Will says in the show, Chilton wanted to be great and it was not in him. When faced with the devil he crumpled and paid for Graham’s insults.

It speaks volumes that the first words out of Chilton’s lipless mouth had nothing to do with helping to stop the Great Red Dragon, but were, instead, accusations of Graham’s treachery. Proper stuff indeed.

Will has stated that he cannot go home. After the attempt on his wife and child, he has decided to stay away until the Dragon is caught.(Hence the photograph showing clearly his “temporary” location) Now that Dolarhyde has taken Reba, the series is speeding toward its conclusion. One that might be quite different from Thomas Harris’ books.

Fans of the novel will no doubt wait with bated breath to see what will be kept in from the series’ literary base. In a world where gender has been changed, character’s created and fates traded, anything can happen. The season finale of Hannibal airs August 29 on NBC. Do not miss it.

Hannibal: Digestivo (recap and Review)

Hannibal and Will in the truck at Muskrat Farm
Last week’s episode ended with both Will and Lector hanging like sides of beef, or pork, and being welcomed by Mason Verger; after Hannibal began to saw open his protege’s head in front of a horrified and screaming Jack Crawford. This week in Digestivo it is revealed how things went from impromptu brain surgery to Muskrat Farm in the apparent blink of an eye.

During this episode, the viewer learns just how strong that bond is between Chiyo and Hannibal, just what a pig, literally, Mason Verger is, and how two women can kill a man with an eel after “milking” him. Poetic justice is the underlying theme this week and the show ends with a large dose of irony where Hannibal and Will are concerned.

While Jack screams and blood splatters through the air the same inspector that Crawford annoyed while he questioned Bedelia about the whereabouts of Dr. Fell, Commendator Benetti, turns up with several men and they take charge of the situation. Crawford repeatedly identifies himself in Italian as an FBI agent. The inspector tells his men that they are taking Graham as well as Hannibal, but not Jack as the FBI agent is not worth any money. Benetti tells Crawford that he is to be Lector’s latest victim.

“Arrividerci,” says the Commendator after instructing two of his accomplices to “prepare” Jack like Lector meant to slaughter Will. After leaving, the two Italian law officials move in to comply and two silenced shots take the men out. Jack Crawford, it seems, has more lives than a cat as he cheats death not only for a second time from Hannibal, but also from the polizia.

His savior? Chiyo.

She is, as Lector said earlier, very protective of him and obviously Chiyo has spared Jack to learn where Hannibal and Will have been taken. The two talk, after he convinces her to remove the needle that has been left in his neck, about exactly where Hannibal has been taken. Crawford explains that he will have to be very careful leaving Florence as he has been reported dead.

It now appears to be equally obvious that Chiyo will now head to Maryland and Muskrat Farm in an effort to save Hannibal.

Meanwhile back at the farm, Bloom and Margot wake up in bed together and after a phone call from Italy, the two share thoughts on Mason and Hannibal. Mason is enjoying his victory over Lector and gloats while he explains to the two captives, who are still hanging upside down in the back of the truck, that he still has his father’s knife, used to check for pig fat. The blade is shoved into Hannibal, who does not make a sound.

Mason continues to taunt both Lector and Will in the pig pens and later he speaks of Jack Crawford’s death to Dr. Bloom when Margot comes in and tells him that “feces is flying in Florence,” as the FBI agent is alive. After expressing disappointment at the news, Mason questions Bloom about her loyalty. Alana warns Verger that if he plays with his food it can bite him. Mason declares that he is not playing and she replies that Hannibal is. “He is always playing,” Bloom explains.

Both Hannibal and Will are unwilling guests at a meal hosted by Mason and served up by Cordell. Will realizes that Verger wants his face and after Hannibal question’s his next actions, Mason tells his new cook that Graham looks dry and needs some moisturizer. As Mason talks of his plans for Hannibal, Cordell starts to apply the salve when Will leans over and bites a chunk of flesh from the doctor-cum-cook’s face.

While Cordell screams, Will spits out the piece of cheek onto his plate. “No shorties for you Mr. Graham,” Mason says. He tells Will that he will be fed to the pigs after Cordell removes his face and transplants it onto Verger’s scarred remains. Later Doemling sews the bit of cheek back onto his face and immediately after brands Hannibal. Lector recognizes that Mason wants him to feel everything that his pigs do before being slaughtered and eaten.

The brand says “Verger.”

Hannibal taunts Cordell and states that Mason has a lot of ideas behind that “faceless skull.” Doemling takes offense and tells Lector that the longer he is respectful, the longer he will keep his tongue. The two speak of how the appendage will be prepared and Cordell goes into detail. Hannibal approves. Cordell then tells his captive that he will come back in a few hours and remove everything from below Hannibal’s elbows and knees. After a little discussion about how Lector will be kept alive, the doctor promises to always cook Hannibal to perfection.

Mason continues to torture Margot with promises of having his child. After questioning his sister about her relationship with Bloom, he tells her that a surrogate already exists for her “harvested” eggs. Margot demands to see her and Mason tells her that “she’s resting.” Verger also tells his sister that the surrogate is “on the farm.” Margot threatens him and he applauds her “maternal instincts revving up.”

Bloom and Will have a chat and she reveals that Jack is still alive. Graham accuses Alana of giving him and Hannibal up to Mason. She tells Will that she thought the FBI would have rescued Will and Lector. Graham tells the doctor that she needs to evolve her plans since that is not going to happen.

Margot comes to visit Hannibal in the pig pen. He is bound up with a collar around his neck. They talk about Mason’s promise to her about the surrogate and the baby. Lector tells her that Mason will deny her and that he always will. Hannibal tells her she needs to kill her brother, reminding her that he did mention this before in session. As they talk Alana comes in and shoots the guard.

Lector tells the women that the guard has a knife in his pocket and tells them if they cut one side of the rope he will do the rest. Bloom asks Lector to save Will and to promise, he does and she asks if he will kill Mason. Hannibal says that Margot will do this and that she should take some hair and skin from him and place it in Verger’s hand. She cuts the rope and the two women leave. Hannibal then removes his bonds and stands up.

Will is in prep and Mason is wheeled in by Cordell. Verger taunts Graham and tells him that he only wants his face and that since he believes in Jesus he is free. Doemling injects Graham telling him that he will not be able to move but will feel everything. Hannibal is watching.

Margot and Alana find the surrogate. It is a sow. A baby has been sewn into its uterus, the fetus is dead. After checking that the infant is not alive, Margot insists that it be taken out. Cordell starts to cut Will’s face and says, “Be sure to tell me if this hurts.”

Cue interlude of a face being removed from someone’s skull and Margot cradling the dead infant. Mason wakes up with his new face, the bottom of which is covered with a plastic half-mask. He begins calling for Cordell and reaches for a mirror, the face he is “wearing” is not Will Graham’s but his sycophantic cook’s. As he looks at the face, it slips off. He begins screaming for Cordell.

Meanwhile Hannibal is carrying Will across the snowy landscape of Muskrat Farm. Two men are following and Chiyo kills them both. Margot and Alana confront the pistol packing Mason after he learns that Cordell is dead and that Hannibal has escaped. He thinks the sow uterus very funny and warns his sister that if she kills him, with no heir, the Southern Baptist Church gets his entire fortune. Alana and Margot reveal that while he was unconscious, they stuck a cattle prod up his anus to stimulate his prostate gland, with Hannibal’s help, and the two have more than enough sperm to produce an heir.

Mason is shoved into the tank with his eel and the creature enters the monster’s mouth, killing him.

Hannibal and Will are back in Graham’s house, Chiyo stands away from the building in the snow, cradling her sniper rifle. She and Lector talk and she tells him that she cannot go home any more than he can. She reveals that is was Mischa’s plight that started her journey and Hannibal admits to eating his sister but not killing her.

Lector tells Chiyo that she is between iron and silver between the periodic table. Will dreams of a breaking tea cup and Hannibal asks him what he wants to talk about, teacups and time and the rules of disorder and Will says the teacup is broken. It will never, he says, “gather itself back together again.” “Not even in your mind?” asks Hannibal.

The two talk about the things they share and their differences. Will says that he will not find Lector after this is over and that he does not want to think about him anymore or know where he is or what he is doing. He bids goodbye to his “addiction” and Lector leaves.

Outside Will’s house police cars converge on the building. Jack Crawford exits one vehicle and Graham tells the man that Hannibal is not there as officers enter his house. “Jack, I’m here,” says Lector as he emerges from the shadows, arms up, and turns himself in to Crawford. This is his “punishment” for Will, who now knows exactly where Hannibal is and what he is doing.

Hannibal congratulates Crawford on catching the Chesapeake Ripper and Jack says he did not catch him, he surrendered. Hannibal looks at Will and replies that he wants to be where Jack always knows where he is at, meaning of course, Graham. Crawford tells officers to put Lector in his car and Chiyo walks off as the snow “tinkles” down in the forest.

This is the last of the Red Dragon “preamble.” The next time the audience see Lector he will be imprisoned.

In this first half of the final season, Hannibal proved just what a master gamesman he is. Mason Verger overplayed his hand with sis and picked the wrong accomplice in Cordell. Margot has gotten her wish and Alana managed to save Will from both Hannibal and Verger. Looking at the teaser for the next episode of Hannibal, it appears that the FBI, and Jack Crawford, have forgiven Graham and allow him to get involved with the Red Dragon killer.

It was apparent from the very first time that Mason mentioned it that the surrogate was going to be a pig. This particular bogeyman was nothing if not predictable and Mason will be missed. The series will be replacing Verger with Thomas Harris’s introductory killer from his novel.

Brilliant and thought-provoking as usual, Hannibal, in its last season on NBC, continues to feature outstanding performances from all its cast. Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Katherine Isabelle, Tao Okamoto, Caroline Dhavernas and Joe Anderson, the Brit actor playing Mason Verger this season, all knock it out of the park with their portrayals. For the time being, Hannibal airs Saturdays on NBC.

Hannibal: Dolce (recap and review)

Hannibal and Bedelia in Dolce
Last week’s episode of Hannibal, Contorno had Will thrown off the train by Chiyo and Rinaldo Pazzi was murdered in the fashion of his infamous relative. In Hannibal this week, in Dolce; Will and Jack reunite, Bedelia is questioned by the late Rinaldo’s colleague, Chiyo intervenes and Jack gets a nasty cut from under the table. Will and Hannibal are taken to Muskrat Farm where Mason Verger welcomes them.

This episode changes from the extremely dark appearance and theme that has made up season three of Hannibal thus far. At the start of the episode, Lecter limps bloodied and injured through the streets of Florence. He is next seen soaking in a tub and then Bedelia begins treating his wounds, stitches are needed and one has no doubt that this is done sans anesthetic.

Jack and Will reunite as Crawford watches the la polizia wrap Pazzi in a bodybag. Jack asks Graham whose side he is really on. The two discuss Hannibal and Jack says that the man is wounded and worried, Will disagrees saying that being hunted rattles him no more than killing. They also discuss Rinaldo Pazzi, who decided to become a bounty hunter and therefore placed himself outside the law and alone, Jack echoes the statement referring to himself and Will.

It is at this point that Crawford questions Will about what he will do when they find Hannibal. When asked why he did not kill Lector when he had him, Jack responds, “Maybe I need you to.” This mirrors what Bedelia and Chiyo have both stated that Will needs to kill Hannibal or vice versa. Bedelia packs Hannibal’s bag.

The two discuss their relationship and why Hannibal has not eaten the doctor yet. The supposition is that she deserves to be savored before eating so Bedelia lives another day.

Cordell, prepares pigtails to resemble fingers, “Ah finger food,” says Mason. Serving up the dish, he also has made another from the pig’s marrow. Mason starts choking on the pigtail and Cordell holds up a Buddhist singing bowl for Verger. Doemling suggests that they “Peking Duck” Lector and Mason dreams of a crispy honey covered Hannibal.

He is awakened from his Hannibal dream by the news that Pazzi is dead. Bloom tells Mason that he needs to buy more Italian police to replace Rinaldo or he could lose Hannibal. Du Maurier is “shooting up” a cocktail of drugs and she meets Chiyo who has let herself in. The two discuss Hannibal and Bedelia muses whether or not the woman is a greater mistake than Will.

Later Jack and Will confront the drugged Du Maurier, who insists that she is Mrs. Fell, and it is during their off kilter Q&A that Will slips off to meet with Hannibal. As Jack calls Will’s name, Bedelia muses who will catch Hannibal first, Graham and Crawford or Verger’s purchased polizia.

Mason and Margot talk babies, uterus issues and incest. Mason wants to have a baby with his sister and she reminds him that the last time they talked about this, he had hers forcibly removed. Will comes across Hannibal sketching in front of a Botticelli, his drawing has the faces of Will and Bedelia, and the two talk. Future and past are discussed as is the fact that Will and Hannibal are beginning to “blur” and Will says that every crime of Lector’s feels like one that he, Graham is guilty of.

As the two men walk down the cobblestone street, Chiyo watches from the top of a building through a sniper scope. When Will pulls a knife out of his right trouser pocket, she shoots him in the shoulder.

A kaleidoscope sexual interlude between Bloom and Margot ends with the Verger sibling asking Alana what she knows about harvesting sperm. It appears that sis is interested in Mason’s proposition. An Italian detective questions Bedelia about “Dr. Fell” and Crawford tells the man that Fell is Hannibal. He also reveals to the detective that he knows that Mason Verger has bought the la polizia. The official tells Jack that he can go.

Will wakes up strapped to a chair, shirt off; wound exposed. Hannibal is preparing to take out bullet lodged in Will’s shoulder and he hands the agent his knife. “You dropped your forgiveness Will,” Lector says. “You forgive like God forgives,” he finishes.

There is a moving Rorschach Inkblot Test sequence where Will and Hannibal merge and separate only to merge again. During the fluid scene Will asks “What’s for dinner?” Lector replies, “Never ask, it spoils the surprise.” As the two images come together and start to spin, Will opens his eyes, he is still in the chair, his shirt back on.

Hannibal comes in the room with a soup tureen and begins to spoon liquid into Will’s mouth. He tells Graham that he will regret leaving Italy. At the other end of the long dining table there is another place setting and Will asks who the guest will be. Jack enters the room and approaches Will.

“He is under the table Jack,” Will says and Lector’s knife slashes Crawford. The polizia detective shows Bedelia the pictures on file of the real Dr. Fell and his wife Lydia. Du Maurier insists that she is Lydia Fell and the cop says that he does not care. When it is made clear that the lawman does not work for the Questura but for Mason Verger Bedelia gives him the information he needs for him to capture Hannibal.

Jack is strapped to a chair at the other end of the table from Will. Hannibal tells him that the drug he gave the FBI agent will allow him to do little more than chew. A horrified Jack watches Lector take an electric bone saw and start cutting into Will’s forehead. As the sound reaches a crescendo, Jack’s screams are drowned by the noise and the freshets of blood flying through the air.

Hannibal and Will are next seen hanging upside down surrounded by dead pigs and Mason Verger welcomes them to Muskrat Farm.

The writing in this episode is so tight that it screams and the interwoven links and signposts are delightfully clever. Hannibal’s quoting of the nursery rhyme, “To market, to market to sell a fat pig…” forewarns that Mason will have won by the end of the show.

Considering that dolce is word meaning “softly sweet,” it seems that Mason is about to have his sweet revenge on Hannibal after all. The re-enactment of the dinner at the end of season two, “the menu was not right,” mutters Will, makes it apparent that Jack was not meant to survive this second party.

Gillian Anderson was spellbinding as Dr. Du Maurier as was Tao Okamoto as Chiyo. Okamoto may not have had much screen time, but she rocked it when she was on camera. Anderson proved that even when her character was high as a kite, she can seduce the audience with an ease that could be seen as obscene. Kudos to Katherine Isabelle and Caroline Dhavernas in that intense sexual union where nothing was seen but was so erotic/exotic and damned artful.

The whole of Hannibal season three could be said to be the same, erotic; in term of the devotion to food, exotic; Margot and Mason…and the newest member of the household Cordell, and damned artful; the entire show, its cast and the creators. One final word on cast; Laurence Fishburne exudes so much gravitas, just from his eyes alone, that he may just overtake Moran Freeman as the current crown holder of this descriptive phrase. Hannibal continues to air Thursdays on NBC. Intelligent television for the discerning viewer, do not miss this if you like to think about what you have seen.

Hannibal: Contorno (recap and review)

Will and Chiyo in Hannibal
Last week in Hannibal, Aperitivo teams or, more accurately, partnerships were formed. All following the Lector trail to Florence. Dr. Bloom and Mason Verger, Will Graham and Chiyo, Jack Crawford and Rinaldo Pazzi, are all on their way to Hannibal, and he is waiting with his own partner, Bedelia. In Hannibal, Contorno their paths are intertwining to a degree and some are closer than others. Verger is still the wheelchair commander having sent out his contract for a live Lector to be delivered to him and he is positive that he will win in this intense competition.

On their train journey, Chiyo and Will converse and analyze one another. She tells Will that he must kill Hannibal as he fears he will become Lector if he does not. Chiyo also reveals to Graham that “there are means of influence other than violence” but that violence is what Will understands. Highlight of their conversation, before she pushes him off the train, is their allegorical discussion of the snail. The allusion to the “belly of the beast” is perfect verbal imagery of what happens to most of Hannibal’s victims.

The most touching part of the show is when Jack releases Bella’s ashes into the waters of Florence, “Ciao Bella” and then throws his wedding ring in after. He then meets with Pazzi and his wife, where he talks about meeting his wife in Florence and the three toast the late woman. Pazzi reveals to Jack, inadvertently, that he will “sell” Hannibal to collect the “bounty.” He tells Crawford that he is disgraced and “out of fortune.”

Verger’s “armchair detective” Dr. Bloom, shows her collected evidence, wine receipts and bills for dinner service plates and cutlery, that proves Hannibal is in Florence. As she trots out her findings, Bedelia is shown going into a “fine grocer”and ordering the same thing once a week. During her presentation, Verger shows once again that underneath all those scars and that money, he is a crass disgusting individual.

Pazzi questions Dr Fell about the disappearance of his predecessor and of Sogliato who is the second man to disappear from the Palazzo. Hannibal; as Fell, asks the Inspector about his ancestors and the most infamous ancestor of all, Francesco who attempted to assassinate “Lorenzo the Magnificent” during Mass in 1478. Later in the episode, Hannibal will show Pazzi a woodcutting of the disemboweled Francesco just before killing him.

After their conversation, Pazzi rings Mason Verger’s hot-line number to claim the bounty for Hannibal. Later he goes to collect the first of two required pieces of evidence that will prove it really is Lector when the inspector dies, after being questioned by Lector, by hanging and being disemboweled. Hannibal cuts the man open before flinging his body out of the window leaving Rinaldo as a “living woodcut” of Francesco.

As Rinaldo’s body swings outside the Palazzo, Jack Crawford looks up at Hannibal. The two meet upstairs and Jack slowly and deliberately sets out to beat Lector to death. Lector fights back but the big man’s rage and focus is overwhelming. At one point Crawford shoves a grappling hook through Lector’s leg.

A bloodied and wounded Hannibal climbs to the window where moments before he had thrown the disemboweled Inspector Pazzi to his death and as Jack closes in for the kill, Lector uses his latest victim to escape.

The pretty one sided altercation between Jack and Hannibal is filmed against the score of Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie overture and it adds much to the scene. The use of this particular piece feels like a homage to A Clockwork Orange where Alex attacks his Droogs to prove leadership. In this case it is Jack attacking Hannibal to prove he is in control…almost.

Lector escapes and the teaser to the next episode shows that a beaten, bloody Hannibal is in danger of being defeated, not by Jack, but Chiyo; with a high-powered rifle. This show continues to amaze and enthrall. The music, the lighting, the cinematography, the acting are all top notch and the fact that NBC has axed the show beggars belief. Mad Mikkelsen, Lawrence Fishburne, Hugh Dancy, Gillian Anderson, Caroline Dhavernas and Tao Okamoto, along with the rest of the cast, all have brought multi dimensional life and depth to their characters and made this show a brilliant testament to the fact that some television is beyond what passes for entertainment on other networks.

Shame on you NBC.