Hannibal is certainly enjoying himself even if no one else is as his “sophisticated intelligence” allows him to forecast many things such as the ‘chance’ encounter between Will Graham and Francis Dolarhyde at the end of last week’s episode. This meddling enters even more dangerous territory as he gives Will’s personal address to his new protege – which he also obtained through nefarious means – imploring him to “Save yourself. Kill them all.” Whispering it in his ear as if it is a sweet nothing.
This is what Hannibal does best; manipulate someone in crisis to kill and Dolarhyde has already crossed the murder threshold and really doesn’t need much convincing. Particularly now Reba is on the scene and he fears his impulses and the Great Red Dragon will turn their rage toward her.
Surrendering to Jack Crawford was Hannibal’s ultimate fuck you to Will; Will wanted Hannibal out of his life for good and this was his way of ensuring his location is known at all times. Jack is who brought Will back into Hannibal’s orbit and because of Will’s special investigative skills, Hannibal had to foresee that their paths would inevitably cross over a tableau of death. All he had to do was bide his time and there has been plenty to occupy Hannibal with papers to write, books to read, sketches to draw and places to hang out in his memory palace. But now is where the real fun is to be had. After all Will isn’t fortune’s fool, he’s Hannibal’s and Hannibal is more than up for wearing this crown.
Despite a change in living arrangements everyone is taking up their old mantles with Hannibal as chief antagonist and mischief maker. Jack is the “fisher of men” borrowing Will’s brain regardless of the consequences as he pushes to get results leaving a trail of misery to be cleaned up later. The Jack we saw in Italy was remorseful, but that was three years ago and he has a serial killer to catch so his priority has shifted. Alana has also resumed her former position of moral compass questioning Jack’s suggestion at pushing Dolarhyde to self-destruct (or rather kill himself). Not that suicide is something Dolarhyde will go for as Will posits that he will be too afraid of unleashing the beast even if he dies as the delusion is this strong.
Hannibal wants Dolarhyde to take an interest in Will and his brief interaction with him has done just this. Dolarhyde is somewhat scathing of his appearance – yes Will looks a little world weary but Hugh Dancy is still undeniably handsome no matter how hard they try – but he finds him interesting in how “purposeful” he looks. Will’s family is the perfect sacrificial lamb for both Hannibal and Dolarhyde as it saves Reba from the beast within while also destroying Will’s happiness. Something Hannibal views as disingenuous and as a temporary facade which Will hides his true self behind. It is why “…And the Beast from the Sea” ends with Hannibal asking Will “Don’t you crave change?” In the same way Dolarhyde is splitting his personality, Hannibal believes Will is doing the same, the difference being that Will is trying to suppress his beast.
This mischief making can only go on for so long before Alana delivers on her promise to remove pretty much everything from his cell. Yes even the toilet. Setting a serial killer on Will’s family doesn’t revoke his privileges, but they still need Hannibal’s help at this point. Alana plays a game with the phone getting his real lawyer on the other line and Hannibal is all ‘well you could have just asked me’ sassing off. Claiming he has always told her the truth in his own way is like saying “oops I thought you realized your beer had people in it” and there is something very Jaye Tyler about the way Caroline Dhavernas delivers some of her lines with Hannibal this week; she has no time for his bullshit. It is amazing and I wish there was more Wonderfalls in the world.
Except now she is wearing killer lady suits of which there are several amazing ones this week. All slightly toned down from previous bold stripe affairs and there is a subtle hint of Hannibal inspired plaid when she strips him of his dignity. Hannibal it would seem is probably even more inclined to keep his promise and even when he is completely incapacitated, face mask and all I still fear for her future. Right now she has all the power, but as we have seen he can get to someone even when he is locked up. And this look he gives her is terrifying.
But Hannibal was never going to give up his special shy boy and he gives them just enough time to find the location Dolarhyde has been ringing from while also letting Dolarhyde know they are onto him. That’s what will get your toilet taken away from you.
The sea and the moon are intrinsically linked and the Blake painting which gives this episode its title shows what could be both Dolarhyde as the Great Red Dragon with Hannibal as the Beast from the Sea. Hannibal is shown reaching for the sky after he has sent Dolarhyde on his new mission as Will enters his chamber suggesting his beastly motives even further.
Here are a couple of other really great shots from Hannibal’s cell location from both sides of the glass:
Two romantic relationships are impacted this week because of the Great Red Dragon’s urges. Last week Dolarhyde felt a living woman for the first time (let’s not dwell too long on the living part) and this has disrupted his relationship with the Dragon. Reba and D have a lovely date night with martinis and snuggling, but Dolarhyde has homework to do and by homework he means watch his stalker movie of Molly, Walter and the dogs.
All is going swell between them until his botched murder night out and after beating himself up (like, actually beating himself up while envisioning the dragon is doing it a la Fight Club) he breaks things off with Reba because he is afraid what might happen if he doesn’t.
Dolarhyde’s night time venture doesn’t quite end the way Hannibal would have preferred, but it does lead to difficult conversations with Will’s wife and the boy who calls him dad. The sequence where Dolarhyde walks around the secluded cabin while Molly and Walter escape is full on slasher horror movie terrifying. His all black attire, special set of teeth and the way he pulls the stocking down over his face is super creepy; this is a version of Dolarhyde we have not previously seen as he switches to stalk and kill mode. And he’s gone all out on the leather badass look to top things off. I wonder if this is what he has worn for his previous excursions or if this is a new ensemble. It’s like a twisted version of Netflix’s Daredevil costume. Hannibal is right that Molly’s survival took “a pinch more than luck” and we see her being incredibly resourceful in their escape.
At first I was annoyed at how Molly is put in a position where she walks past an FBI warning about pet mutilation and decides to keep the information regarding the dogs getting sick from Will, but she is later redeemed by her quick thinking regarding the intruder. Molly later tells Will that thanks to Freddie’s article she instinctively knew it was the Tooth Fairy (Hannibal will be so mad that I’m calling him by his tabloid name) and for once Freddie’s writing has helped Will out of a bind. When she chose to not follow her son out of the window I had a brief moment where I yelled “WHY?” at the screen and then realized she needed the car keys to provide a distraction (or perhaps to getaway was the original plan). Molly gets all the smart points, although I do feel bad for the random passerby who got shot in the process as we
don’t get a report of what happened to them and on second watch he definitely got shot in the head.
Freddie’s article does open a whole can of worms between Will and Walter as Walter now knows he killed someone and ended up in a mental hospital. Walter also has strong feelings regarding Dolarhyde’s fate and he doesn’t agree with Will wanting to catch him rather than kill him. Hannibal might like Will’s son after all. Walter has just experienced a horrific ordeal so it is not surprising his mind has turned to vengeance rather than empathy.
They do not survive their encounter completely unscathed and Molly is shot in the shoulder as they drive away. She is angry at how these circumstances and Will’s job almost resulted in the death of her son and she has a right to feel this fucked off. Molly lays some of the blame at her own feet as she told him to go, while putting the rest on Jack for coming to get Will in the first place. Really Hannibal is the one who is to blame but Jack, Hannibal and Will are all intrinsically linked in the cause and effect of this encounter.
Molly remarks how it is “tough to hold onto anything good. It’s all so slippery” and this pretty much applies to every relationship on Hannibal (and this is why I’m currently worry for the other happy family unit of Alana, Margot and their son). Hopefully Hannibal’s not done any permanent damage here because the Molly/Will dynamic includes a much lighter Will than we have previously seen. They even manage to have a laugh after this tragedy. Hannibal will of course do everything in his power and with his bag of tricks to disrupt and fracture what is good as he pokes and prods until something breaks. If he can’t have his teacup then Will sure as hell can’t play happy families with someone else.