Hannibal: And the Woman Clothed With the Sun (review)

Will visits Hannibal
Last week saw Hannibal becoming aware of Francis Dolarhyde, aka The Great Red Dragon and now he and Will are teaming up in And the Woman Clothed with the Sun, a “two-parter.” Lector warned Graham against taking on the case, baiting the hook that he always intended Will to take, telling him that Crawford would knowingly allow Graham to be sucked into that maelstrom once again. After reading the note, and the news clipping, Will burnt both in the fireplace and then arranged to meet with Hannibal.

The beginning of the episode sees Will visiting Hannibal in his special “Silence of the Lambs” cell and asking for Lector’s help. His refusal to use the doctor’s christian name causes Hannibal to query their relationship and Will’s answer reveals that, in his mind, they do not have one. The two men dance slowly, dipping and turning, giving and taking, all the while nipping at each other’s throats before Hannibal acquiesces and asks to see the file on Buffalo and Chicago.

As Lector looks over the file, there is an interlude where he re-lives his “dance” with Abigail Hobbs. The memory shows Hannibal at the height of his capabilities. Subjugating the serial killer’s daughter and substituting himself as the father-figure who takes her life symbolically as she also, just as symbolically, gives her “virginity” (there can be no doubt that young Abigail had an orgasm after participating in her own death, ejecting her life’s blood across the crime scene while being held tightly in Hannibal’s arms). “Can I push the button,” Abigail asks before she and Lector stage her “murder” and he replies, “Yes.” The psycho-sexual relationship, that Lector amplified and took advantage of, made Abigail his family member and put her firmly under his control.

This particular flashback appears to be prompted by the discussion of children. When Will visits Hannibal, he picks at the aftershave that Graham is wearing, “something a child would choose,” Lector points out. He then discusses Will’s preference of having step-child instead of fathering his own. As usual, Lector hits the metaphorical nail on the head and the Abigail remembrance shows that in all things familial he and Will are more than simpatico.

Will and Alana talk Margo, the Verger baby; “He’s my son,” Bloom declares proudly, Hannibal and Jack Crawford. It turns out that Bloom’s visit is not just about her concern with Will’s well being, she is trying to contain any “collateral” damage.

Later, Hannibal and Will talk about the killer and Lector points out that the man is most likely disfigured. The broken mirrors point to that likelihood and Hannibal points out that the families are picked to die because of how they lived. He also reveals that the outside of the houses are significant. Since the theory is that the killer follows a lunar cycle, he will want to bask in it after the murders.

“Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight Will,” Hannibal asks, “it appears to be quite black.” Will immediately finds him self outside, naked and covered in black blood under the moon. Bloom goes to visit Hannibal, “you’ve come to wag your finger,” he asks. “I love a good finger wagging,” she replies. “Yes you do,” says Hannibal, “How is Margot.” Incarceration has not dulled Lector’s wit or perception, but Alana is not there to banter with Hannibal. She is there to warn him. As at Muskrat Farm, her concern is Will’s safety and she is there to tell Lector that she knows he means Will harm.

Dr. Bloom makes it plain that if Hannibal does not behave, she will take away his dignity, it is, she points out, his big fear. Before she leaves his see-through cell, Alana tells him he will have nothing but indignity and “the company of the dead,” if he harms Will. One look at Hannibal’s face during this speech leads one to believe that he will gladly remove Alana at the first possible opportunity.

*Sidenote* It is interesting to remember that in the book, there is no Alana Bloom. There is Alan Bloom and this “small round man with sad eyes,” is nothing like Alana even without the gender change. The literary version of Bloom also has much less to do with Lector, not interacting until Graham brings him in.

After Alana leaves his cell, Hannibal goes back to his memory of Abigail and his conditioning of the girl. Dolarhyde watches another home-movie and Will places himself at the crime scene. As he watches the movies made of his victims, Francis morphs again, becoming a dragon, the great red one, and not a projector.

It is discovered that the killer kills the family’s pets before he strikes. Will finds that Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) is back and there is clearly no love lost there. “you took a picture of my temporary colostomy bag,” he says, “I covered your junk with a big black box…You’re welcome.” she replies.

The crime writer guesses that Will has been to see Hannibal and she tries to persuade Graham to work with her. He refuses and she trots out her “news piece” which says that authorities have turned to Lector for help, “It takes one to catch one,” she finishes and Will asks if she is referring to Lector or him.

After their conversation, Dolarhyde reads Lounds’ article and zeroes in on Will. He then goes to see Reba McClane, (Rutina Wesley) who will become an integral part of the plot and fans of the book, and the film Manhunter will recognize the character. The two take the first hesitant steps toward their eventual relationship.

Will and Molly talk over the phone, “I’m feeling Randy,” she says and Will says, “Me too,” and she laughingly explains that she is literally feeling a new dog named Randy. During their conversation, Will projects himself onto her bed while they talk. This action, more than anything else shows how Graham uses his mind to put himself in the killer’s place. At the crime scenes and in his mind. Touches like this can be confusing to those not familiar with the show but it is a masterful reveal that says so much about Will and his abilities and character.

In his mind he is really there with Molly, it is this gift that he shares with Hannibal and this ability to be someplace else, to walk in another’s shoes, is what makes Graham so powerful as an investigator and Hannibal so deadly as a serial killer. It is also how Lector was able to connect so well with Will and allowed the two to merge so completely.

This small scene is powerful in another way, it shows that Will is sensitive to the idea that he may have a criminal mind and that he cannot turn away an animal in need. After his ability to displace is used to facilitate the call with Molly, Will finds himself in the skin of Dolarhyde once again. Hannibal has another visit, this time from Jack Crawford.

The two also dance, verbally, and Lector reveals that The Tooth Fairy already knows who Will is. Lector sinks a few barbs into the widower and then hints that Crawford has thrown Graham to the wolves in his rush to catch the new serial killer. Hannibal re-lives those last moments, with Abigail, before the fateful dinner party with Will and Crawford. Francis Dolarhyde calls Lector to tell him that he is “delighted” that the doctor has taken an interest in him.

While the series has turned back to the Harris books, Francis gets to tell Hannibal that he is the “great red dragon,” it should lose none of its power to entertain. It is, perhaps, this return to the source material that concerned NBC even more than the poor viewing figures. Sadly, it seems that no one else is rushing to see where this can lead. Mads Mikkelsen, who has made Lector his own, just as surely as Anthony Hopkins, may have to wait for a big screen adaptation to continue playing the serial killer. Until then, Hannibal airs Saturdays on NBC.

Hannibal: The Great Red Dragon (review)

Richard Armitage as Tooth Fairy in Hannibal
Last week saw the finish of the overly extended preamble to bring the series up to Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon and this week in Hannibal, episode 8; The Great Red Dragon, three years have passed. Lector has been declared insane and is incarcerated. As with most episodes of Hannibal, the pre-credit sequence is slow but it builds upon the killer and his identity. Like the rest of the series, each segment is slow and discordant as well as dark and concise amid the shambolic imagery of the music and the set pieces. Similar to a somnambulist on quaaludes or molasses dripping down a table leg on a cool day.

The episode begins with an introduction to the new villain; Francis Dolarhyde (played by Brit actor Richard Armitage [The Hobbit, Captain America: The First Avenger]) who is savagely silent as he transformed into the Red Dragon, although he does growl and roar at one point, his appearance is introspective and visceral.

Hannibal and Dr. Bloom talk about wine and truffles, the two items that lead Alana to Lector’s door in Florence when Verger was acting on his personal vendetta. They take a short walk down memory lane during their conversation, “Do you still prefer beer to wine,” Hannibal asks. “I stopped drinking beer when I found out what you were putting in mine,” Alana responds. “Who,” says Hannibal and Bloom echoes, “Who.”

In between the Bloom and Chilton interludes, Dolarhyde continues to transform; to become. Mirrors and animalistic sounds accompany his change. At the end of the process Francis is outside, naked except for the liberal splashes of blood on his body.

After the Red Dragon transformation, Hannibal shares a delicacy with Dr. Chilton (played with delightful hubris by Raúl Esparza) and their conversation also turns to past events. Speaking of the desert, which traditionally requires the blood of a pig, Hannibal says he substituted cow’s blood. Frederick asks about “before” when Lector served him the dish and Hannibal replies “The blood was from a cow only in the derogatory sense.”

Each conversation is a sparring match of sorts. Bloom and Chilton both lose their respective wordplay with Lector. Alana is left with the impending threat (promise) that Hannibal will kill her, “I always keep my promises,” he says; just as he did last week when he promised to save Graham. In his discussion with Chilton about the “Tooth Fairy” the first this Hannibal says is that the serial killer does not like to be called that. In one sentence, he deflates Frederick’s ego, it was Chilton who coined the title, and Lector assumes superiority as a result.

Later in the episode, we see that Hannibal is right about the killer not liking the moniker. While adding his latest kill to his scrapbook, Dolarhyde grabs a black marker and covers up the part of the headline that refers to him as the Tooth Fairy.

Chilton and Bloom verbally spar and she informs her colleague that Dr. Lector will get the better of him. Chilton gloatingly paints an imaginary picture of Hannibal watching “diaper carts” go by in captivity. Alana responds with the news that Lector will gloat about his victory over Chiton, indicating that he will have plenty of time, as he watches the diaper carts go by. Frederick tells Alana that Hannibal is showing some competitive vanity with the appearance of the Tooth Fairy.

FBI agent Jack Crawford goes to see Will Graham who lives in the country with Mollie and Walter along with a slew of dogs. Molly reveals to Jack Crawford that they are dumped by previous owners. She says that getting rid of the cute ones are easy and the rest stay on. Before the meal, Will tells Jack that he does not want to return. It is obvious that Graham knows he will end up seeing Hannibal if he gets involved with the Tooth Fairy.

As usual Hannibal is a visual feast. The imagery is powerful and in one instance, incredibly creepy. Dolarhyde listens to music, the singer sounds like Roy Orbison, while watching a home movie of the family he has just murdered. With a screeching noise (in his head) Dolarhyde reacts and as the film stock from the reels wrap around his face, he becomes the movie projector with light shooting out from his eyes and mouth.

A truly disturbing sight.

Other images are used as a construct. A short montage of newspaper clipping done by Hannibal and Dolarhyde, each using their own tools, in Lector’s case nothing sharp, and building their own collection of the “Tooth Fairy” murders. At the end of it, Lector uses his clipping to “bait” Will and Francis adds his to the large scrapbook he has obviously had for a very long time.

Molly talks Graham into becoming a part of the investigation and Will explains that if he goes, he will be different when he comes back. Molly reassures him by saying that she won’t. After their little talk, Will goes to look at the news clipping and letter that Hannibal has sent him. He reads the note, and in it Lector urges Graham to turn Crawford down if he comes “knocking.” Will throws the items in the burning fire, Hannibal has set the bait for Graham.

Will visits the latest crime scene and his skill at putting himself in the killer’s shoes and recreating what occurred has not diminished after his time spent with Lector. At one point, he realizes that the killer took off rubber gloves, he speculates about talcum powder found at the scene in a house that has none. This leads to forensics checking and finding that part of the Tooth Fairy’s killing ritual included flesh touching flesh, and they find a partial smudged thumbprint as a result. Unfortunately they also have the false lead of those false teeth, or plates, that Dolarhyde collected at the beginning of the episode.

By the end of the program Will is back at the bureau and interpreting the killer. Graham also recognizes that despite his overwhelming reluctance, he must consult with Hannibal.

Hannibal is darkly beautiful and spellbinding. The storylines are complex and tantalizing but it appears that fans of the show will be left wanting. Certainly the languid pace of the series is not popular with everyone and now that the show has reached an intersection with Harris’ book, perhaps NBC feels the show has reached a conclusion of sorts. Hannibal airs Saturdays on NBC for a little longer at least. Fans can only hope that the network does not move the show again.

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 Moves: NBC Still Struggles with Shows Outside the Box

Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal
If ever there was proof that NBC cannot handle television that falls outside the box Hannibal being moved by the network shows that they struggle with “abnormal” plots and storyline. That they even decided to run with a series about an iconic serial killer is pretty amazing and, had they kept the strength of their initial convictions, would have continued to be impressive.

The network also dropped the ball with Constantine, the supernatural thriller based upon the graphic novel Hellblazer, when they announced that the show would not be coming back for a second season before the fist season was even a few episodes old.

This same lack of imagination is what has prompted them to move Hannibal from its previous Thursday night slot to Saturday. A night normally referred to as a “rating’s wasteland.” The only real competition for audience members will be from the AMC Hell on Wheels western, with Colm Meaney and Anson Mount, their last season actually premieres on July 18. This final insult to the Mads Mikkelsen crime/horror series also appears to be the final nail in the show’s network coffin.

At SDCC the news for Hannibal fans was that neither Hulu nor Netflix are interested into taking the series into another season and the show’s creator is holding out hope for a feature length film for some fan closure. Ironically, despite a pretty loyal fanbase, the viewing figures for Hannibal are not high enough to elicit much excitement from any other networks.

More puzzling is the news that the David Duchovny vehicle Aquarius, which has been airing weekly even though the entire season could be viewed in one go over at Hulu at the start of its run, has also been moved by NBC. This “search for Manson” has been shoved over to Saturday as well.

Unlike Hannibal, however, Aquarius has been approved for another season making this shuffle even more questionable. Since viewer numbers are obviously more promising for this quasi “based upon real events” tale the move to a veritable desert is inexplicable and confusing. Again showing just how little NBC are able to deal with shows that are less “mainstream.”

While Hannibal seems to be left out in the cold in terms of TV land, Constantine is still casting about for another network. In May there was talk of the character showing up on one of the CW shows, Green Arrow and/or The Flash since all three are part of the DC comic verse.

This would be exciting news for fans of Hellblazer and Constantine but it does raise questions as to why CW are not rushing to put the NBC cancelled program on their line up. Brit star Matt Ryan, who fills his part as perfectly as Mikkelsen fills the shoes of Hannibal Lector, must be grinding his teeth in frustration at the delay in finding a new home.

In the meantime, fans of Mads Mikkelsen can see his continued portrayal of Lector on NBC but on Saturday vs its old time slot.

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.