We are now officially two-thirds of the way into the Red Dragon arc on “Hannibal,” and we are still having a hard time knowing precisely what we are to make of it. When it comes to describing the story’s positive attributes, one of the obvious ones comes courtesy of the performances. Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are as brilliant as ever, while Richard Armitage almost effortlessly brings some of the magnetism to the Francis Dolarhyde role. He is terrifying, but in a different way than Dr. Lecter. He has gone done a different rabbit hole of insanity, one where his personalities are severing and he feels as though he can bring about great change for others in the same way as himself.
Almost this entire episode revolved around one very simple act: The Red Dragon’s attack on Will Graham’s wife and stepson, who somehow were able to escape a gruesome fate. Everything came back to Hannibal opening the door for this attack to happen, almost as a way to get his own revenge on Will for the sense of aloneness and betrayal that he now feels. He sees Francis in some ways as the kindred spirit he always wanted, and Will could never go there completely.
This attack obviously devastates Will and forces him to rethink his operations moving forward. In the immediate course of events, it also allows Alana Bloom to consider sweeping changes for how Hannibal is holed up from the world.
The romance with Francis and Reba is both captivating and also strange. Francis’ dissociation with who he is hinders him from knowing what side to present to Reba. We think that this episode was her starting to fully realize that, and therefore we saw the most tension between the pair that we have to date.
We’re still enjoying this batch of “Hannibal” episodes very much, but we do find ourselves wondering at this point how much will be backed into the final two episodes of possibly the series, and whether or not this could have been spaced out a little better. For a full hour, this episode felt a little light on action. Grade: B.
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