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.