‘Hannibal’ season 3, episode 7 review: Hugh Dancy gives best performance yet as Will Graham lets go

Will -Hannibal” may now be on Saturday night, but we really hope that American viewers took the time tonight to admire the beauty (oddly) of “Digestivo.” To us, this may just be one of the most powerful episodes of the entire series; it was emotional, visual striking, and it represents the end of a chapter. Were it not for the fact that we know Red Dragon is coming, this could have worked as a series finale in so many ways.

Let’s start from the jump here by talking about Hugh Dancy, whose performance in the closing minutes of tonight was Emmy-caliber. He won’t be eligible until next summer, but we could watch that scene between him and Mads Mikkelsen a hundred times over. It was almost the microcosm of the entire Will Graham / Hannibal Lecter relationship on the show. Will recognized the allure of Hannibal, and that in many ways their memory palaces were attached at the hip. He knew that he could not completely let go of him. Yet, he also knew that to a certain extent, he had to say goodbye to have any hope at salvation. He said his farewells in the closing minutes, painfully but succinctly.

So what do we make of Hannibal staying nearby until Jack Crawford and the FBI arrived to arrest him? It was mostly a testament to the notion that without Will Graham, there was no reason to run. The thrill of the chase was over, and he lost the motivation to continue it and prolong the inevitable.

This scene between Will and Hannibal would not be possible were it not for Alana Bloom, who took her future firmly into her own hands this week. Her and her new lover Margot Verger worked together to ensure the destruction of their tormentors, but when Alana realized that Will was also in trouble of being destroyed, she had to weaponize Hannibal to corrupt Mason’s plan to steal Will’s face and use it to effective eat Dr. Lecter. (Sickening, but well-played by Joe Anderson.) Using Hannibal, they were able to at least ensure that Margot had everything she wanted: The farm, and a hope of an heir after we saw her capture her brother’s sperm after the “surrogate” plan went terribly awry.

Also, Mason is now dead, gone in a bloody by dramatic sequence in which he learned a thing or two more about being fish food. We’re not entirely sure that this was the grossest “Hannibal” sequence ever (it’s hard to top the horse), but this was definitely up there.

This episode is also up there with the season 2 finale as one of our favorites of the entire series. Dancy’s understated performance leads the charge, and the visual style and the significant story movement supplements that well. We were a little unsure how to interpret Chiyoh, but we have since explained it further by her being somewhat of a Will Graham figure in her own right, always hunting but never pulling the final trigger. A transformative episode for the series. Grade: A.

To see other “Hannibal” news, including a preview for the beginning of the Red Dragon story, head over to the link here. Also, you can sign up to get some other updates on all we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)

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