Preparing the last meal.
Hannibal: Season 3: Episode 12: The Number of the Beast is 666: GRADE: A
Hannibal and Chilton once again have a conversation that gets oddly meta in how Hannibal brings up that fate sometimes doesn’t let us choose our ending. How timely for that to come up in the PENULTIMATE(!) episode of the series itself. Its smart on Fuller’s part to have done Red Dragon now instead of the fourth season since it seems there might not be a fourth season, though one can’t help but think how this would have played out in a full 13 episode season. Life huh?
Speaking of Chilton he is the answer to what they would do about Freddie Lounds and the infamous, “Do you see?” scene. Will, Jack, Chilton, and Freddie come together in the most unlikely team possible to further bring out Francis with Chilton offering up his honest opinion as Will gives blatant lies about it to fuel his rage as he knows he’ll read this. The four of them plotting this together and playing it out was charmingly delightful as they work so well together and we got more of Freddie here, who kindly offers Will a Tooth Fairy shirt, pondering if he’s a small or a medium. It was also kinda funny as well it keep up some of their nicely placed humor this season. Really this has kinda been the funniest season.
Not so funny was Francis capturing Chilton. The scene is tense and filled with uneasiness that it just makes you squirm in your seat as you watch, or at least it made me do. This is one of the few scenes in the entire series that made me uneasy to watch, I couldn’t stand to since I know what was to come, but yet I couldn’t look away. I think Armitage managed to really out crazy Ralph Finnes with his portrayal in this scene and really command this episode, it was his hour without a doubt. He seemed so much more visceral, more animal like, especially how he crawls to Chilton before biting his lips off which also rarely made my audibly yell out several sentences that mostly began with “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-“. It doesn’t hold back on that, its nastily brutal and just amazing how well its filmed, really the whole hostage sequence itself is a crowning achievement of the show. Such an incredibly well done sequence that even makes things more tense with a brief appearance of Reba midway through it. Reba trying to connect more to Francis and Chilton sat there in silence. Oh the tension.
Now back to Chilton, not only does he have his lips bitten off, that is gonna be ingrained in my brain for goddamn weeks, he is set on fire a la Freddie from the books in a deliberate slap to Will for setting up that bait from last season. Oh and Chilton is alive. Yes, Fredrick Chilton on this show now has survived holding his own organs, a bullet to the face, bitten off lips, and being set on fire. Chilton is the Wile E. Coyote of this show and I think this was also in place to somehow bring him back should there be an honest future for the show beyond next week’s finale. Well I will say Chilton replacing Freddie in the situation given how incredible and high up on his ego he is, even after Hannibal refutes Chilton’s book in a psychology magazine and his plans for a book on the Tooth Fairy. Raúl Esparza once again just brigns what’s needed to the role of Chilton and makes him an instantly memorable character, he even shines in his scene when he’s mostly BBQ and rightly blames Will for touching him as if he were his pet, as Francis does the pets first. Making Will a participant.
Hannibal himself is really who set the sequence of events of this episode in motion because of what he did last week and really this episode feels like a straight continuation of the previous episode. Its fascinating to see how much damage this man can still do from his now bare cell. Mads Mikkelsen is relishing his role from behind the glass as much as he did when he was outside of it. His most delightfully dark moment maybe ever in the show coming from eating one of Chilton’s lips when its delivered to him. It also gives us more Alana goodness and I’ll be curious now as to her role in next week’s events.
Will and Bedilia are linked together in this episode once again by a therapy session that gets really deep and personal in addressing something the show seems to also in this PENULTIMATE(!) chapter address for fans about Hannibal being in love with Will. Tumblr, calm down, pretty sure in a purely psychological level of mind game fuckery, yet it could be deeply personal considering how much they might still even be friends right now. They are connected to one another in a very sick and unhealthy way. They are one as it were.
Hannibal allowed Will to build a family. Why? so he can bring it down around him, wanting Will even more, proving their connection to one another yet again. Its nicely played out again between Hugh Dancy and Gillian Anderson as they do a verbal tango with one another inside each other’s heads. I do have to wonder if Fuller went to outright define the bond between those two with the end looming, but yet I think he was just going to do that regardless of the show’s future. Lecter is engaged in a sick love story with Will Graham as his true equal that would have seen Abigail Hobbs as their surrogate daughter.
Also Francis now has taken Reba for what will be their confrontation next week and that should be just as tense.
Hannibal faces a final fate next week with a series finale and I feel confident in that term seeing as there is still no news as to anyone else picking up the show and Mikkelsen and Dancy already on to new projects. Let us not be sad though, this week next to last installment gave us an incredible hour full of creepy tension, uneasy, yet striking visuals, amazing acting, incredible direction, and another reminder as to why its the best show on television right now. Hannibal, what will you serve us next week?