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Review: ‘Hannibal’ Season 3, Episode 11, ‘…And the Beast From the Sea”: Home Invasion

Review: 'Hannibal' Season 3, Episode 11, '...And the Beast From the Sea": Home Invasion

PREVIOUSLY: Review: ‘Hannibal’ Season 3, Episode 10, ‘…And the Woman Clothed In Sun’: Crushing the Vulnerable

Appetizer

Last week, Hannibal was able to procure Will Graham’s
address, which I’m sure won’t come up again. And Francis Dolarhyde got a
girlfriend just when he’s at a very awkward time in his life (i.e. becoming a
murder dragon).

Behold The Great Red Dragon

The big reveal this episode is that Francis has a soul. His
relationship with Reba is continuing to blossom, and he’s become concerned that
the Dragon wants to make her its next meal. There’s a great deal of dragon
transformation business in this episode, and it all skirts the line between
effective and silly. However, in one late sequence, Francis gets into an actual
physical altercation with his alter ego, and the cross cutting between him
fighting a CGI dragon man and beating himself up becomes a tad too literal to
work. Richard Armitage is still giving a fine performance, but some of the
material this episode fails him.

As Francis worries about what he might do to Reba, he pours
out his feelings to Hannibal, who encourages him not to give in to weakness.
Instead, he offers an alternative target: Will Graham. Francis eagerly jumps at
this opportunity, hoping it will sate the monster within him, and it leads to
this episode’s best sequence.

A Departure From the Text

In a remarkably tense scene, Francis breaks into the
Grahams’ home and stalks Molly and Walter. Molly hears him outside, so is able
to wake Walter and escape in time, but only through quick thinking and the
unfortunate death of a random passerby whose only sin was being anywhere near
Will Graham’s crap. Molly is wounded in the escape, but survives. The scene is
executed well, with Molly barely being able to outwit the crazy armed home
invader coming after her and her son, and it also benefits from the element of
surprise. Since there’s no equivalent scene in “Red Dragon,” there’s
a strong sense that anything could happen. It’s well within the realm of possibility
and Bryan Fuller could opt to kill either Molly or Walter, and not knowing what
was coming made the scene all the more effective. If you’re going to deviate
from the novel, this is the way to do it.

Hannibal Behind Bars

For this episode, Hannibal’s much more in his “master
manipulator” role that most audiences will remember from “Silence of
the Lambs.” Admitting to Alana that he would have told her all those calls
weren’t coming from his lawyer is she had only known to ask is a classic Hannibal
dick move. Hannibal even gets a little meta this episode, suggesting alternate
means of communicating with Francis (personal ads, toilet paper notes) which
sound silly, provided you don’t know those were the actual means of
communication used in the novel (which, granted, was written in a much less
digital age). Between that and Hannibal’s suggestion that Francis is finding
his victims through social media (“Can’t be too careful with privacy
settings.”), Hannibal is downright cheeky this episode.

Of course, once it’s discovered that Hannibal has been
talking with Francis, Jack and Alana want to turn it to their advantage so they
can trace Francis’s calls. Hannibal is complicit, up to a point. He allows
Francis is go on about how he’s worried he’ll hurt Reba, but abruptly ends the
conversation with a curt “They’re listening.” Francis clears out and
Jack gets nothing. I’m not sure what else they expected, but I suppose they had
to try, since Hannibal was their only lead. Alana, true to her word, strips
Hannibal’s cell of all its amenities, including the toilet. Alana can play
hardball, too.

Molly Is a Saint Who Will Probably Doesn’t Deserve

Molly, once she recovers from surgery, is remarkably
even-tempered for someone who was attacked in her home by a vicious madman. She
blames Jack Crawford, but Will knows where the blame really lies. “Jack
knew what he was doing. And so do I.” Now that it’s personal, Will’s in
even deeper than when he started. It doesn’t help that even his step-son is
suggesting that the best way to deal with Francis isn’t to capture him, but to
kill him. The audience knows the dark path Will could go down if he takes
another life, so as we move towards the finale, the question will be, who will
ultimately be saved?

Grade: A-

READ MORE: ‘Hannibal’ Canceled by NBC, But Bryan Fuller Hopes to ‘Dine Again’

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