Hannibal: Wrath of the Lamb Season Finale (recap and review)

Hannibal Season 3

It is fitting that the season finale of Hannibal is a blood drenched and painful looking spectacle. The shocking end of the Lector/Graham love affair has the two working together to kill The Great Red Dragon. The scene, at the end is almost balletic and is horrifically beautiful. Hannibal and Will make a good team. Too good, apparently, hence Graham’s fatal decision at the end. The finale starts where last week’s episode ended.

Last week in Hannibal we saw Dolarhyde had taken Reba and brought her to his home. This week, in The Wrath of the Lamb, she is in the house. Francis “tests” his former lover by giving her the key to the front door. He tells her to lock the door and when she opts to open it and run, Francis is on the outside. He takes Reba back upstairs and forces her to put the key around his neck and feel his shotgun.

After splashing petrol (gasoline) everywhere, he sets it alight and saying that he cannot bear to watch Reba burn to death “shoots” himself. In essence the shotgun blast blows a huge hole in his head, one that Reba can feel as she takes the key from Francis’ neck. She wraps a blanket around herself and crawls out of the house as the fire spreads.

The beauty of this scene is both overwhelming and surreal. The disjointed and distorted piano notes caressing the set piece along with the fire caressing the ceiling and walls, is fluid and sweeping. As with all of the scenes in Hannibal the crowning glory is  the jarring gore; that piece of Francis’ flesh stuck to Reba’s forehead. The tissue that landed there when she put the key around her neck.

*Sidenote* Rutina Wesley, kills it in the first of this season finale. Her performance as the blind Reba has been memorable from day one and her own “finale” was just perfect.

After the opening credits, Reba speaks with Will Graham as she recovers from her harrowing ordeal. McClane may be scarred “He shot himself in the face, I put my hand in it,” she says, not once but twice, this is clearly something Reba will never forget.  Graham tells her that in the end, Dolarhyde could not kill her, nor could he stand to see her die.

Later, we learn that this is not true. Francis never intended for Reba to die, she was meant to escape and verify his death, leaving him free to exact his revenge on Will Graham and Hannibal Lector.

She points out, to Will,  that she drew a freak.  He corrects her and says she drew a man with a freak on his back.

Will: “There is nothing wrong with you.”

Reba: “I know there’s nothing wrong with me. In making friends, I try to be wary of people who foster dependency and feed on it. I’ve been with a few. The blind attract them.”

Will: (He knows. He has attracted his own.) “Not just the blind.”

Graham goes to see Hannibal and tells him “Ding, dong the dragon’s dead.” Lector asks if congratulations are in order and Will tells him that he did not kill Dolarhyde. “I was rooting for you Will,” says Hannibal. He then taunts Graham over Chilton’s punishment and congratulates him for the job he did on the doctor.

Will tells Hannibal that he will go home now that Dolarhyde is gone and Lector tells him it will never be the same. Graham reveals to Hannibal that he knows why he turned himself in.  “Will,” Hannibal asks, “was it good to see me.” “No,” Will replies.

After their exchange Will returns to his motel. At his  room, Francis Dolarhyde incapacitates Graham, attacking him from behind. The Great Red Dragon is not dead after all. After knocking Will out, Dolarhyde wakes him up and Will says, “You didn’t break my back.” The two talk and Francis reveals that he believes that Lector betrayed him. Graham tells The Dragon  that he needs to change Hannibal Lector.

Later, the Coroner double-act reveal to Jack Crawford that the headless and burnt body was not that of Dolarhyde but the man he kidnapped earlier, Arnold Lang. Afterward, Will sells Jack on letting Lector be the bait for Dolarhyde. “Allow” Hannibal to escape drawing the Dragon to him so he can be destroyed.

Hannibal - Season 3
Jack Crawford, Dr. Bloom and Will talk strategy and Hannibal’s fate.

Will tells Bedelia of the plan and she is furious and terrified. Du Maurier believes that Hannibal will be after her to kill and eat her.  “Who holds the Devil, let him hold him well,” says Bedelia. She warns Will, “He will hardly be caught a second time.” “I don’t intend  Hannibal to be caught a second time,” Will responds.

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him,”  Bedelia taunts Will, “Is that what this is?”

“I guess,” Will replies.

After a little more conversation, Will gets up and tells Bedelia, “I’d pack my bags if I were you. Meat’s back on the menu.” Du Maurier gets her claws out, “You righteous, reckless, twitchy little man. He might as well cut all our throats and be done with it.” Will gets the last word, “Ready or not,” Will says, “Here he comes.”

Alana visits the burnt and scarred Frederick. Chilton reveals that he blames Bloom as well for his disfigurement. He tells Alana that he would like to have Hannibal’s skin. “You were never comfortable in your own skin,” she tells Frederick, “you would not be comfortable in Hannibal’s.”

“Are you,” asks Chilton.

Dr. Bloom tells Hannibal of the deal, he gets all privileges restored for playing along. Lector requests that Will ask him personally, and he wants Graham to say “Please.” Hannibal also threaten’s Bloom. (Later, after the “escape” Alana, Margo and their baby flee their mansion in case Hannibal comes calling.)

The plan is to release Lector into police custody and “let him escape” allowing Francis an opportunity to contact Hannibal.  The real plan is to kill Dolarhyde and Lector, according to Crawford. Will goes to see Lector and after a short “reprimand” from Hannibal “Now you have to pick the mic back up,” Graham does indeed say “Please.”

After delivering Hannibal to the federal authorities, he and Will are transported via a small motorcade. A police car comes up and, lights flashing, pulls up to the lead car. Dolarhyde is driving and he shoots the cop driving the lead vehicle causing it to crash. The domino effect of the first car crash takes out the entire convoy of vehicles. The van crashes and Will smacks his head into a window, he is semi-conscious when Dolarhyde arrives.

Dolarhyde releases Hannibal from his cage in the back of the van and drives away.

Hannibal - Season 3
The Dragon goes to the police van and releases Hannibal.

Hannibal climbs out of the van and takes off his straightjacket. Going to the closest police car, he drags the dead cop out of the driver’s seat while Will gets out of the van. Driving the car around, Lector pushes the other dead policeman out of the passenger seat, “Going my way,” he asks Will. Afterward, Jack Crawford surveys the carnage and we see Alana leave Mansion Verger with her little family.

Will and Hannibal are at the cliff-top house and Lector points out that the bluff is still eroding. He tells Will, “You and I are suspended over the roiling Atlantic. Soon all of this will be lost to the sea.”

Back in the house, Hannibal has wine and two glasses, he pours Will a glass and tells him  “My passion for you is inconvenient.” Will responds, “If you’re partial to beef products, it is inconvenient to be compassionate toward a cow.” After a little more conversation Graham tells Hannibal, “He is watching us now.”

Hannibal - Season 3
Dolarhyde moves in for the kill.

“I know,” Hannibal replies just before  a silenced bullet passes through his torso and smashes the wine bottle. Thus begins the long, protracted battle between the two men and the Great Red Dragon. It is brutal, dark, bloody and akin to a slow motion ballet. Blood spurts in fountains of black as the battle goes outside the house and into the moonlight and the two men, who are two sides of the same coin, orchestrate Dolarhyde’s death.

Disturbingly, yet not surprisingly, the men work as an effective team. Both suffer dearly from the wounds dealt by Francis as the Dragon. (One shot has Will seeing the Dragon approach Hannibal, wings extended, as it reaches for his intended victim.)

At the end of the battle, the Great Red Dragon is bloodily and violently banished. Will looks at his claret covered hands:

Will: “It really does look black in the moonlight.”

Hannibal: “See. This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us.”

Will: (laughing softly) “It’s beautiful.”

The two survivors embrace on the edge of the Atlantic clifftop and Will leans out over the edge, toppling the two out into space and down to the ocean below. After the end credits, we see Bedelia Du Maurier sitting at a large table groaning with food. In the middle is a rolled “long pig” (slang for human meat) and she is clearly waiting for Hannibal to arrive.

This episode, while a bit final (surely no one can survive that long drop to the rocks and ocean below) was a satisfactory ending to the series. NBC may have opted to end the story of Hannibal Lector and Will Graham but they have, at least, left us with a  brilliant legacy of dark beauty and horrible visions.

Surreal and sublime, the show offered feast as orgasmic delight, all the more so if the meal was of “long pig” dressed with sauces and side dishes to “die for.”

Kudos to both Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen for their double act  and the fitting finale. Director Michael Rymer never let us forget that these two actors made their character’s so alike that they became the mirror image of one another.

Hannibal - Season 3
Hannibal, in the reflection is clearly the reflection of Will and vice versa.

Despite the disappointment of having both main characters apparently expire, this was clearly the right ending for the series. Graham was never going to be comfortable with his transformation (his Becoming) to Hannibal, even if it was necessary in order to kill Dolarhyde.

This show will be sorely missed. Its dark beauty and horrible specters will have to haunt via reruns now. RIP Lector and Graham.

Hannibal: And the Beast from the Sea (recap and review)

Will Graham, Hugh Dancy
Hannibal last week gave us a look at the continued duality of characters in this world. That show touched on Bedelia’s ability to separate herself from her own crimes as well as those of Lector. The two parter also looked at the women in Hannibal’s life, including Alana Bloom; who threatened Lector with the loss of his dignity if he did not protect Will Graham. These threads were on top of the duality of Francis Dolarhyde.

This week sees Dr. Bloom making good on her previous threat. Before the end credits roll, Dolarhyde breaks up with Reba, The Great Red Dragon attempts to kill Molly and Wally (and later “beats” Francis severely for messing that assassination up), Hannibal warns The Great Red Dragon, Alana does take away all of Hannibal’s luxuries, Will confronts Lector and Jack Crawford is furious with his pet serial killer.

On the periphery; a reluctant good samaritan is killed, Will’s dogs are poisoned, and Wally learns of Will’s past. Graham himself is angry that he had to “justify” himself to his step son.

The dreamlike sequences of this episode continue to draw us into this somnambulistic netherworld full of human monsters. Director Michael Rhymer (Queen of the Damned, Battlestar Galactica) does a brilliant job matching the slow-motion surreal world of Hannibal as it appears in this final season. This should come as no surprise since he has directed a total of 9 episodes. His deft touch this week resulted in a particularly disturbing opening sequence where Francis is talking to (Being treated by?) Lector.

Following the theme of duality, as Francis and Hannibal discuss The Great Red Dragon, Dolarhyde brings up the topic of Will Graham. After dismissing Will’s looks, the subject of beauty or at least above average looks is a major part of Dolarhyde’s psyche, Hannibal reveals to his patient that Will, “has a family.” As he says this, Hannibal turns to look at the camera, thereby looking at himself as doctor treating patient, two places at once. While this conversation is taking place on the phone, the projections of Dolarhyde and Lector are all in Francis’ mind…and perhaps also in Hannibal’s.

It follows that Dolarhyde will suffer from a duality of self. He is, after all, being possessed by The Great Red Dragon and that entity wants him to destroy Reba because she dilutes his (the dragon’s) purpose. However, this imagery is not just in Dolarhyde’s head, but in Hannibal’s as well and he too is suffering a split purpose, a duality. He loves Will but also wants to destroy his family and ultimately Graham himself. So he has much in common with Francis and this opening pre-credit scene shows this.

More importantly, in the introductory sequence, Hannibal tells Dolarhyde, “Save yourself.” (Long pause for effect.) “Kill them all.” While this is taken to mean Will and his family, it could also include Reba. Keeping in mind that Lector specializes in cultivating his fellow monsters, it makes sense that he would advise Francis to kill the one true distraction that is keeping him from “becoming.” Hannibal senses that Dolarhyde cannot and will not contemplate abandoning The Great Red Dragon. It is also during this exchange that Lector tells Francis he can pass the dragon on to someone else, Dolarhyde’s expression reveals that this idea is repugnant to him.

The episode moves forward to Dolarhyde studying Will’s home and “becoming” the dragon. Later as he watches his Graham home movie, Reba is told that he is doing “homework,” and the film is of Molly, Walter and the dogs at the Graham residence. Reba asks if these are his “nocturnal animals” and he replies in the affirmative. She then raises the question of whether they know that he is filming them. “No,” Dolarhyde says.

*Sidenote* While Francis watches his movie of the Graham family, the silent film footage is accompanied by the sounds of a piano, reminiscent of the old silent movie days where a pianist played tunes to the footage displayed on the screen.

The dogs are drugged/poisoned and removed from the premises by Graham’s wife. Molly believes she has inadvertently made the dogs ill by substituting Will’s homemake dog food with canned Chinese dog food. The dogs are kept at the vets for an overnight observation. Will approaches Hannibal and asks him to reveal who The Tooth Fairy is, Lector lies and says he does not know who he is. He then goes on to mention Will’s family. “Who do you see when you close your eyes, Will? Is it your family you see?” Lector is giving Graham a hint as to who the killer’s next target is. He will not, however, tell Graham which family is meant to die.

“They are not my family, Will,” Lector says, “And I am not letting them die, you are.”

Francis puts in his “teeth” and sneaks into the house. He is masked and armed with a silenced automatic pistol. Cue some tense, and pretty white knuckle, hide and seek where Molly gets Walter out of the house and she sets off the family car alarm. Dolarhyde shoots the car and the Grahams run down the snowy street. Molly flags down (stands in front of) a car and after it stops, the driver exits and is shot mid-complaint. Molly and Walter leave in the vehicle and she is shot by Francis as she drives away.

At the hospital later, Molly is recovering and Will is angry. His conversation with Jack Crawford is full of irritated references to his family almost dying and not being able to go home. Alana reveals to Hannibal that she knows Dolarhyde has been talking to the him posing as his lawyer. After reminding Lector of her threat, Alana allows Crawford to tell Lector to help trap the killer. The next time Dolarhyde calls, Hannibal is to keep him on the line so they can track him.

Dolarhyde literally beats himself up for missing his opportunity to kill Graham’s family. Although in his mind it is the Great Red Dragon who is meting out the punishment. He then breaks up with Reba, who reacts badly to his expressed fears of hurting her. She tells him to get his hat and go. A distraught Francis calls Hannibal. After telling Lector that he could not hear Reba’s heart, Hannibal tells Dolarhyde, “They’re listening,” and hangs up the phone.

Crawford is furious, Francis collects his things and leaves Dr. Lector’s old office. The FBI search the place as Alana removes everything from Hannibal’s cell. “You’re not the only one who keeps their promises Hannibal,” she tells the bound and muzzled Lector. “Take the toilet too.” As she warned the doctor earlier, she has removed his dignity.

Will visits Molly and he explains to her that the Tooth Fairy went after them because Hannibal told him to. She reveals a duality of her own. This brave and normally easy going woman gets angry at the whole thing. She admits that it may take a while for them to recover from this.

Graham then confronts Hannibal is his “empty” cell. “I’m just about worn out with you crazy sons of b*tches.” Lector replies, “The essence of the worst in the human spirit is not found in the crazy sons of b*tches.” “Ugliness,” he continues, “is found in the faces of the crowd.” Will asks Hannibal what he said to Francis. “Save yourself. Kill them all,” Lector replies, “Then I gave him your home address.”

Hannibal stares blankly at Will, “How’s the wife?” “How’s my wife?” Will is furious. They talk further and Lector quotes Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust: First Part, “Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother.” It shows the duality of Dolarhyde and his internal struggle. The dragon is freedom Lector tells Will and it is change.

Graham realizes that Dolarhyde is not killing the families, he is “changing” them. Hannibal asks Will if he craves change.

As this season rushes to its finale, one cannot help but wonder if Freddie Lounds will be punished, or changed, by Dolarhyde. Her name was brought up again in this episode, by Molly, and it is surely about time that the ghoulish reporter get her just deserts.

Hannibal having his items taken away by Alana ties in nicely with the verse created by Thomas Harris. In The Silence of the Lambs, Lector bargains with Clarice Starling for items to be returned. There are two episodes left in the last season of Hannibal. The show airs Saturdays on NBC.

Hannibal: And the Woman Clothed with the Sun Part II Review

Francis Dolarhyde and Reba as the zoo
Last week in Hannibal we returned to Thomas Harris territory; the Tooth Fairy, The Great Red Dragon, Francis Dolarhyde, et al. Despite this move back to its literary roots, part two of And the Woman Clothed with the Sun should be treated as a separate entity.

While the series follows the book, Dolarhyde’s romance with Reba McClane, Hannibal’s set up of Will Graham, the eating of the Blake watercolor, and so on, the second half of this two-part episode looks at lot of things, that may have already been examined in the book, but for the purposes of this review will be treated as a stand alone version of Lector’s, and Will’s adventures.

After all, things have been changed from the literary tale of Graham, Dolarhyde and Lector. Lounds is a redheaded woman instead of the male newshound for the National Tattler in Harris’ book, Alana Bloom is a man and there is no Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier in the books. Regardless of the changes of some characters and the inclusion of others the series looks at the psychiatry of the serial killer as monster; peeling away layers to reveal the horror beneath.

Looking at the end of the second half of And the Woman Clothed with the Sun first, the reveal that Francis’ scar, on his upper lip, is barely discernible comes as no real surprise. Hannibal “named that tune in one,” early on when he pointed out to Will that he was disfigured mainly in his mind. Leaving behind the elaborate backstory in Harris’ book, it was apparent that the scar itself was minimal and that the cleft palate surgery left internal scarring. In the television show the only clue we have to Dolarhyde’s history is his nervous recitation of the enunciation exercises before his call to Lector, “Reh, Meh, Keh.”

This little scene tells us more than enough about the Tooth Fairy and his journey to become The Great Red Dragon.

This second half also gives us the female orgasm and death connection again. Part One had a young Abigail reacting sexually to her “murder” by Hannibal (as father) and this week we see Bedelia reacting so savagely to her murder of Zachary Quinto’s character that she passes out, such is the strength of her orgasm, after she penetrates Neal Frank with her arm and fist. Neither of these two scenes are too surprising as the show is, after all, about sex and death and how the two are interwoven and both sides of the same coin. (Although it could be argued that sex and death are two sides of a triangle with the apex being the sensuality of preparing and eating human flesh.)

There are other things that the episode shows perfectly. Dr. Du Maurier’s total denial of any complicity in Hannibal’s crimes while she was an intimate part of his life. Will’s reaction goes from humorous condemnation, “spending time in Hannibal’s bowels, the bride of Frankenstein, and crawling so far up his a** that you didn’t care.” All reactions to her public recitation at the beginning of the episode. Later he changes to amused acceptance “you lie Bedelia. You lie a lot. Why do you lie a lot?”

Perhaps most telling of all, is the framing of the tiger scene. (One does wonder if Francis makes his decision to take Reba to “see” the tiger based upon Hannibal’s William Blake The Tyger quote during their conversation.) That psychopaths are capable of such romantic gestures, and really, taking your blind girlfriend down to “look” at an unconscious tiger is the height of romanticism, is frightening. How can someone who murders entire families do something so touching, so kind or, as Reba herself says, so eloquent?

How can the monster, or the insanity, be hidden so well? While this question is not answered by director Guillermo Navarro, he does show us the beauty of the scene. The dark beauty of Reba’s hand moving softly through the orange and black fur of the sleeping tiger. The lighting is so bright it is almost surreal as seen through Francis’ eyes and therefore through ours. The beauty is overwhelming and this, combined with the couple’s lovemaking later on, is what prompts Dolarhyde to eat the watercolor and try to defeat the dragon.

For those who have read the books there will be little in the way of surprise as the show moves toward completion. What remains is the question of what will make it to the small screen version. Will Lounds lose her lips? Quite possibly after all, Mason Verger ate an incredible amount of his face. It is already apparent that Lector is setting up Will Graham, just as he does in the book. (Why else is he getting Will’s address?)

All that remains is to see just how much Bedelia, who really does feel as deadly as any serial killer in this verse, is involved. Again, regardless of the book, it will be fascinating to see where this all leads. The writing, and show creator Bryan Fuller have opened up a lot of possibilities as well as new characters. The Du Maurier victim, Neal Frank, is a good example of another character created just for the series.

Frank, played with brilliant paranoia by Zachary Quinto, gets himself so worked up that he begins to fit. Bedelia helps Neal to swallow his tongue, by apparently shoving the appendage right down into his stomach, and as horrible as this scene is, the entire incident, from insertion to removal and her orgasm, is preceded by Quinto’s character spouting a very funny line. Amusing for its very odd wording.

“No. No,” he says to Bedelia’s request to sit down. “This is culty and weird…” and arguably the funniest line in the episode is spoken by the guy who begins to choke and is then murdered by the reptilian Du Maurier. Neither character exists in the book and certainly this scene has come from the minds of the show’s makers. Such brilliance goes to show that anything can happen in this final season while they continue to follow the Harris verse.

This last season pulls out all the stops. While retaining the massive talent of Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Gillian Anderson and, occasionally Laurence Fishburne, they have added Richard Armitage and True Blood alumni Rutina Wesley. This cast must be one of the most impressive on television at the very least, in terms of cast awards and nominations not to mention performances on the show. Hannibal looks to finish impressively and continues to air Saturdays on NBC.

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.

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