NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ season 3, episode 4 review: A window into Jack Crawford’s heart

Tonight’s “Hannibal” episode was the best of the season so far. Not only that, but it may be one of the greatest performances we’ve seen from Laurence Fishburne throughout his entire career. We’ve always found him gripping and magnetic on this show (the season 2 finale was some next-level fighting for him), but peering into the once-opaque window of his life was something gripping, heartbreaking, and above all important to understanding why the man is so desperate to find Will Graham and preserve something at this point: It may be all he has.

Tonight’s episode brought us the end of Bella’s journey. Gina Torres was equally fantastic in her appearances, and while Jack himself knew that it was inevitable, it doesn’t change the cavalcade of tears. Jack loved Bella, and as complicated as the man and this show may be, there was something pure and simple about that. There’s not a real equal on the show to it, even though we know that there is a love between Hannibal and Will Graham that is something of its own.

We could probably spend another twenty minutes talking about Fishburne, but let’s spend a minute talking about how we were trying to eat dinner while Chilton and Mason Verger were showing each other their faces. Pretty nasty stuff. Mason is making it clear how intent he is on destroying Dr. Lecter at all costs, and is recruiting some help in the process. Alana Bloom is in the picture, and we’ve also caught a glimpse his terribly-treated sister Margot in the process.

While Jack seemingly has little interest in Hannibal at this point other than just trying to bring Will some measure of salvation, Mason wants something different: Answers and actions. He wants something spectacular out of Hannibal’s death, and Alana finds common ground through her own thirst for revenge.

The remarkable thing about this installment as a whole is that by and large, it was a foundation more so than a resolution. Hannibal has not been found, and yet we feel so much closer emotionally to this discovery than we have been almost all season long. Bringing about this sort of sensibility, especially on a show trying to wear so many hats at present, is a remarkable feat. We’re sad for Jack, still concerned-but-trying-to-stay-optimistic for the future, and above all thoroughly impressed with what the show achieved tonight. Grade: A.

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