time, the “Red Dragon” adaptation started and all was right with
Hannibal Behind Bars
We kick off with Will visiting Hannibal: Hannibal quickly
parses that Will has a new family and immediately shifts into catty ex mode. In
the book, this scene shows Hannibal’s mocking superiority, but for show
Hannibal it also conveys his emotional wounding at Will’s betrayal. It’s a nice
twist on familiar source material, something this episode offers more than
It seems we’re also sticking with Hannibal’s conversations
taking place in his memory palace, so the two of them appear in several
different locations throughout the scene. It makes sense for a show as visually
sumptuous as “Hannibal” to want to spice things up for scenes that
could wind up just being talking heads. It’s not like they were ever going to
do the Jonathan
Demme head-on close-up approach.
Hannibal’s critique of Will’s family leads him to tell Will,
“I gave you a child, if you recall.” This leads to a series of
flashbacks of Hannibal taking Abigail Hobbs under his wing, back when the audience
thought she was dead. There’s nothing wrong with these scenes per se, and a bit
where Hannibal and Abigail create a convincing blood spatter is pretty sweet by
“Hannibal” standards, but Abigail has more than served her purpose as
a character. These scenes really just hit the same thematic point about family
over and over, and mostly seem there to pad out the running time.
Might as well also use this section to talk about Alana,
who’s dressing sharp as hell this episode. She seems to have largely
taken over Chilton’s role from the books as Hannibal’s primary jailer, although
she’s much less sleazy. She’s still with Margot, and apparently successfully
brought a Verger baby to term, so she and Margot are now super rich. Way to get
yours, Alana! She threatens to take away Hannibal’s niceties (his books, his
drawings, his toilet) — not in the name of petty cruelty or naked ambition
like Chilton, but in an effort to save Will. She knows what Hannibal is capable
of and is willing to take more extreme steps to prevent it.
Oh, so many! To convey Will’s declining mental state, he
pictures himself as Dolarhyde a bunch, naked and covered in blood, which should
be quite exciting for those of you who want a look inside Dancy’s pantsies.
Then he looks in the mirror and imagines his face breaking off piece by piece,
reminiscent of both mirror shards and the old “Will as a cup” motif.
He and Molly get a nice scene on the phone together, which gets across their easy
chemistry. Will imagines himself not in his hotel room, but by Molly’s side in
bed. He’s picked up a few tricks from Hannibal.
Behold the Great Red Dragon
Turns out the show will be handling Dolarhyde’s
transformation into the Great Red Dragon quite literally, as he manages to
sprout a swell tail this episode. The other big moment for Dolarhyde is the
introduction of Reba McClane (Rutina Wesley, whose
work I’m familiar with), a blind woman who works at his film development
lab. There’s an immediate chemistry, since he doesn’t feel judged by his
appearance and she doesn’t feel judged for her lack of sight. Their scenes are
well-played and taken straight from the book, because if something ain’t broke,
why fix it? I will say the “Open wide and say ‘Aaaaah'” poster at
Reba’s bus stop is a nice bit of set dressing.
The episode concludes with Dolarhyde successfully contacting
Hannibal by phone, by pretending to be his lawyer. One might think it would be
a little tougher to get Hannibal on the phone like that when one has a notably
speech impediment and growls and hisses like a dragon man, but then I don’t run
a psychiatric hospital, so what do I know?
Freddie Lounds Is Onto Something
Freddie’s back, having apparently burned her bridges with
Will by snapping a shot of his colostomy bag while he was unconscious. Freddie
wins my admiration forever by apparently having referred to Will and Hannibal
as “Murder Husbands” in print. It’s great when this show has a sense
of humor about itself. I’m extremely curious how Freddie’s character will play
out this season, since the show has already played the infamous “flaming
wheelchair of death” scene. There’s a tension there that the show could
Jack visits Hannibal and it’s revealed that Jack
deliberately manipulated Will into meeting with Hannibal again. “Will has
never been more effective than with you inside his head,” Jack tells
Hannibal. He’s willing to sacrifice Will’s sanity if it means more lives aren’t
lost. Like Alana, contact with Hannibal has hardened Jack.
A Quick Appreciation of Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams
Thompson’s character is more upset about Dolarhyde murdering
a cat than the children he killed. Abrams is aghast. Even a little bit of these
guys is gold.