tv review – NBC’s Hannibal, episode 3.11

“I’ll dance at your wedding,” Hannibal said during the previous episode, to move the person on the other end of the telephone line to hand him Will Graham’s home address. During ‘…And The Beast From The Sea’ Will’s home address got forwarded one more time; to Francis Dolarhyde, a man you’d rather not have find out about the ones you love. “Save yourself, kill them all,” Hannibal blatantly told his new protégé who discussed his troubles with the Dr. Lecter at the start of this entry. Like we witnessed during ‘…And The Woman Clothed In Sun’ Dolarhyde and the Dragon’s wants or no longer in line, which led Dolarhyde to eat Blake’s painting, in an attempt to contain or destroy the Dragon. It didn’t help: “The Dragon’s in your belly now,” Hannibal told Francis, but helpful as he was he suggested Dolarhyde could treat the Dragon to someone else to keep Reba alive; to Will’s family to be exact. This signaled the start of a tense thrill ride of an episode.

Hannibal episode 3.11 - header 2After having observed them and having poisoned their dogs, Dolarhyde went after Molly and her Child. He put in his special dentures, donned a cloth mask over his scalp, eyes and nose, and then broke into the house. It was an incredible sequence that really gave Nina Arianda’s Molly a chance to shine: she saved her son and escaped using common sense, even though she got shot in the process. Having failed, Dolarhyde’s personality began to split even more, which resulted in him giving himself a beating thinking it was the Dragon punishing him for his failure. While Francis Dolarhyde is a scary individual, he’s tragic above all, and Hannibal does a great job conveying this element of the character: despite his terrible acts you feel sorry for him, because he’s a traumatized and mentally sick individual, who really shows his most human side when he’s with Reba, finally someone he loves and who loves him. Which made his decision heartbreaking: he left her to save her, after a beautifully written and acted out scene. Dolarhyde called Lecter after, during which the Dragon manifested itself as a split personality. “You know how easily she would tear,” the Dragon growled through Dolarhyde’s mouth, visibly troubling Alana Bloom and Jack Crawford, who were listening in to trace him, having found out Lecter and the Tooth Fairy had been in contact before. “They’re listening,” Hannibal then said, before hanging up, to let Dolarhyde get away.

Just as thrilling as Dolarhyde’s journey, is Hannibal’s game of chess. From within his cell he’s still able to move everyone around, and manipulate people as he sees fit. “Hannibal’s having his fun,” Jack Crawford declared while he and his team were searching Hannibal’s old office for traces of the Red Dragon, very much in vain of course. It won’t be long until we hear from the Dragon again, though: when Will confronted Hannibal he mentioned how the Red Dragon now dares anything, thanks to Hannibal, who has helped the shy boy grow into something much more dangerous and insidious. It’s be interesting to see how Dolarhyde evolves on this show: his actions and becoming are different from the book, even though in spirit his struggle and evolution is very faithful. Meanwhile Hannibal’s game has cost Hannibal something, though; his dignity, as Alana put it. When Lecter warned Dolarhyde, she removed Lecter’s drawings, books and his toilet, effectively taking away all his niceties. Hannibal seems quite unfazed by it at the moment, but having Alana feed Lecter one of his line’s back was enjoyable: “You’re not the only one who keeps their promises Hannibal,” she said. Caroline Dhavernas has been doing a terrific job this season, selling audiences on her character’s quite radical change of persona; she radiates icy cool and confidence toward Hannibal, but still has her trademark attitude and warmth towards Will when they’re having a conversation.

Hannibal episode 3.11 - header 3Speaking of Will: this was Hugh Dancy’s episode to shine. Will’s been put through the wringer in the past, but an assault on his family was a first. Dancy showed a wide range of emotion throughout the episode and, as always, was utterly convincing. He has a great costar in Nina Arianda, though: while Molly is very new to the show Arianda has really claimed her spot through a very powerful and radiant screen presence, and her chemistry with Dancy is clearly visible. Even though we’ve missed a couple of years, these two make you feel like they’ve been in a relationship for quite a while and there’s a trust and love there that has you very invested in their relationship and well-being. It’s powerful stuff, and it really sells you on the fact will can’t stop chasing the Dragon until he can be sure his family is safe.

‘…And The Beast From The Sea’ was another incredible Hannibal outing. Only two more episodes left. 9/10

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