Three years later and here we are again.
Hannibal: Season 3: Episode 8: The Great Red Dragon: GRADE: B+
It seems the show itself understood that last week’s episode could function as its own series finale as this feels like a new sequel series itself rather than the latest episode of the show itself, yet it is.
We begin with Hannibal’s surrender as he goes to a happy place from his time in Florence at a young boy singing a lovely piece of music. Its his last happy memory before as we see Francis Dolarhyde discover the Great Red Dragon which awakens the voice in his head.
Then we go ahead three years later. Yes, the show time jumps to three years later and its intriguing. Now we do get the debut of Francis, but not necessarily, the Red Dragon. Richard Armitage isn’t in the episode much and doesn’t even have dialogue outside of the screaming his does in the episode and fuck he is already creepy. The opening montage of his routine and silently seeing the birth of the Red Dragon is a beautifully filmed, nicely scored, and incredibly shot sequence. His presence is very much felt and I feel like might come into full force next week. Although thanks to a reluctant Will Graham we see his might as a killer.
Speaking of Will, he’s of course walked away in the three years since last week and is settled down with a child and married to Molly (Nina Arianda), but Jack needs his help when the Tooth Fairy is popping up, he feels compelled by Jack to help seeing as how he can get into the mindset and that is exactly what we get. That and the photos of the happy families that the Tooth Fairy has killed. Will Graham’s pendulum is swinging again in an expert sequence that really showed off what a talent in directing Neil Marshall is. The nicest touch being how he uses his flashlight and how he sees the victims as Francis saw them when the light was shined on them. I love things like that, even as he realizes so many of the familiar things, like discovering how he took his gloves off to touch the victim’s eyes before placing them with glass. It was excellent.
Hugh Dancy really shines here. He’s been amazing from the start, but this might be his finest performance as Will Graham yet. Perfectly playing his hesitancy about returning since he has the perfect life right now, or really as perfect as he can get given his life. Dancy taps into this and makes it work.
Also this means that Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams’ Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller who, while not having any logical place in the first seven episodes, are back and are most certainly welcomed.
Now on to Hannibal is seems to have his loveliest cell yet from anything we’ve seen as he’s in Chilton’s hospital, where Alana has taken a job. Thankfully Alana has a great exchange with Hannibal, and looking fly as fuck, abaout evading the death penalty before an even better exchange between Hannibal and Chilton over a lovely desert treat. Chilton is in control now and he relishes in that greatly by getting under Hannibal’s skin with the fact that the Tooth Fairy has seemed to overshadow Hannibal in the public eye. Even saying in a weird meta like sense of the show, “You’ll always have niche appeal.” Yet even admit how the Tooth Fairy might push Hannibal to be Hannibal again.
Of course with Bryan Fuller now getting his hands on the story of the Read Dragon comes to enviable comparison to the adaptations of Manhunter, Red Dragon, and the novel itself. I’m only familiar with the films, but this show has inspired me to check out the books, mainly Dragon and Silence of the Lambs. Its already hit some memorable beats, even a reference to this shows Freddie Lounds, who I hope we see again, although one does wonder how they gonna do the flaming wheelchair again, but I believe Fuller can take this make it his own monster as Michael Mann and Brett Ratner with their versions. Though the Hannibal from the cell scenes might have their own thing to live up to. Mads Mikkelsen I believe will be more than capable of owning up to Anthony Hopkins more than he already has. Also I gotta admire, the “Hello, Dr. Lecter” / “Hello, Will” exchange made me a little giddy for what’s coming.
A much slower pace season premiere like episode helps set the stage for the last meal of Hannibal’s. Here’s hoping the chef prepared his best for last.