Would you crush the bird?
Hannibal: Season 3: Episode 10: And the Woman Clothed in the Sun: GRADE: A
Francis Dolarhyde is essentially a vulnerable, wounded bird that has fallen from his nest. Once the metaphor Bedelia presented to Will was brought up, that instantly brought me back to Francis. This episode really shows us the two sides of Francis, the sweet, hurt, innocent man we can sympathize with and want to love and the sick, dark, horrendous monster laying deep within him. Richard Armitage again just fully disappears into the role and fully encapsulates what makes a character like Francis so iconic. It hurts for us to see him as he is, as the bird. Yet we know deep down that Will Graham must crush the bird that is the Tooth Fairy.
Will Graham has been the light of the show in all honesty, even in the gruesome things that have been done by him over the course of these three seasons. He understands in a way of the killing of innocents. Francis and Will in some sick way are kindered spirits in the same sick way that Will and Hannibal are. That was the case in Manhunter and the Red Dragon film, and certain is the case here.
One consistent thing in the episode is the original The Great Red Dragon painting by William Blake.
In the opening where we see Francis make the phone call at the end of last week from Hannibal’s old office and then immediately visualize a therapy session. He sees Hannibal as a kindered spirit, but in a different way. He hates how Hannibal has been twisted by the media proceedings, as much as he has. Hannibal sees this as something akin to John the Baptist, Hannibal being John in this case and Francis from Hannibal’s perspective seeing him as the dragon from the painting as flame come out from underneath him. Francis is a hurt bird but he also knows the monster he is inside. as evident by this scene and it was a great one to have in order to see what great chemistry Mikkelsen and Armitage have. Doubtfully the last exchange between them, I hope. But even later Hannibal sees himself in a way as being a guiding hand to Francis as he also helps Will to try and capture him. He shares the kinship. They are connected.
Speaking of connection, the bond between Francis and Reba deepens. Francis asks for Reba’s help in calming a tiger down while performing dental surgery. Francis further bonds with Reba over their love and sees her caring for the tiger as her caring for him. The perfectly color corrected fur highlights this and gives the scene vibrancy and warmth. They further talk and build at Francis’ house. Armitage and Wesley are again incredible together as they help bring something out of each other that’s been hidden for so long. Now the painting here connects as Francis sees Reba as the titular woman clothed in the sun as they make love and further prove that a sex scene can never be normal on Hannibal. Its as visually striking and engaging as any other type scene on the show.
Finally the man who will crush the bird and the bird confront each other. Francis eats the original William Blake water color and then I researched this was in the book. Its a scene that really caught me of guard when seeing it and it feels deeply important for Francis’ character to do that and truly feel one with his obsession, but as he leaves Will is there to see the same painting and then briefly confronts Francis in the elevator. A connection is made between the foot and the bird. The look on their faces says so much.
Speaking of Will he reconnects with Bedelia. They share a therapy session which is filled to the brim with tension, as much as their scene at the top of the episode. Through this we see the events of Bedelia killing Neal, the patient she murdered in the premiere. We see what led to that. He was a previous patient of Hannibal who went to Bedelia after the events of the season two finale. Zachary Quinto appears again and in such a short time packs in such a great performance of a man paranoid by what his therapist was doing to him in order to help him. This is when she relates the story of the bird as her murder of Neal was crushing the bird that was hurt by Hannibal and thus began Bedelia down her road of empathy. In that moment she was a participant and stayed that way until her role now as simply an observer. Gillian Anderson and Hugh Dancy play back and forth well, but also they tap into the inner thoughts of their characters amazingly.
Also Hannibal discovers Will’s address. Oh the tension.
Hannibal’s latest further deepens so many characters and perfectly sets the stage up further for its conclusion. The character dynamics and look keep in consistent form here that’s entertaining and engaging. Man am I gonna miss this show.