The moment draws nearer and nearer – the final episode of Hannibal, season 3. Last week we were three to the countdown and after ‘The Number of the Beast is 666…” we have but one left. So far, we have Will and Dolarhyde playing a deadly game, with Will’s family becoming one of The Great Red Dragon’s targets. This was all thanks to Hannibal, of course, as he’s been feeding Dolarhyde information and steering him toward the goal of leaving Will alone and broken. The good doctor’s actions did not, however, come without repercussions. Alana Bloom is damned and determined to make his life a living hell and she’s one step closer to doing so. So where will the confrontation between Hannibal, Will, Dolarhyde, Alana and everyone else at the FBI lead this week? Scroll on to discover what twists and turns Hannibal has in store for us this time around.
We begin with Will obsessing, once again, over The Red Dragon. And who else should he be pouring his heart out to other than Bedelia? She’s become his new psychiatrist, apparently due to their shared experiences with Hannibal. Speaking of Hannibal, he is their major topic of discussion. What’s more, that long-standing question that’s been precious to Fannibals everywhere is finally addressed – Is Hannibal in love with Will? Bedelia says yes and probes Will to discover whether or not he happens to love Hannibal back.
In the meanwhile, Hannibal has a couple of visitors. Jack shows up and they discuss Will for a bit, particularly the question of whether Will is becoming something more in the wake of his mental confrontations with The Red Dragon, possibly something very dangerous to everyone. Later, Chilton shows up and yells at Hannibal for a while. He makes some threats that he can’t possibly follow up on, and those words come back to haunt him later in the episode.
As their latest ploy, Will and the FBI attempt to bait Dolarhyde out into the open so they can catch him. They use Freddie Lounds to plant a story that features Will insulting The Dragon. Chilton comes along to help, adding his credibility to the mix. Between the official-sounding diagnosis and Will’s straight insults, The Dragon is indeed coaxed out of hiding.
Dolarhyde reads Freddie’s story and goes on the hunt. Rather than coming for Will, however, he abducts poor Chilton. Once again, the doctor finds himself in the care of a serial killer. This one is even less hospitable than Hannibal, however. After forcing Chilton to watch a slide show of his works, Dolarhyde gives a dramatic presentation, explaining to the doctor exactly who and what he is. He is The Great Red Dragon and he has greatness of purpose and power and deserves reverence and respect. Chilton gets the unique pleasure of knowing all about the madness of Dolarhyde, though he loses his lips and gets set on fire for his troubles.
Back in Hannibal’s cell, our favorite cannibal gets a present in the mail – a set of lips! Only one of these makes it to the FBI for examination, however, as the doctor decides to have himself a little snack. Along with the lips comes a recording of Chilton refuting his opinions of Dolarhyde, praising The Dragon and letting Will Graham know, in no uncertain terms, that The Dragon is coming for him.
Will returns to Bedelia to discuss his latest stressful day only to have her accuse him of having a part in Chilton’s kidnapping. She insists that Will is a tool for Hannibal to use as he wishes – a pair of hands for the doctor to manipulate when he needs something done. Will is forced to admit that perhaps he has been acting in Hannibal’s best interests, pointing out Chilton to The Dragon as the one who needed to be punished.
In the end, we find that Dolarhyde has lost his final traces of humanity. He snatches Reba and takes her away to his mansion. There, he lets loose a full dose of crazy on her and finally reveals his identity as The Great Red Dragon – that famous serial killer who’s being mentioned on the news as of late. What happens to Reba after that? We have to wait until next week to find out.
This week was another brilliantly written episode all-around. The writers did an excellent job of creating tension, bloody confrontation and character development while still setting the season up for the final episode. Questions have been raised, but not such complicated ones that the series would need another 5 or 6 episodes to answer them in full. All we need to do now is sit back and wait… Is Will truly nothing more than a tool of Hannibal’s? Will Reba make it out alive? What will Hannibal’s fate be and will he take anyone else down? Alana, perhaps? And how will Will finally defeat Dolarhyde?
This week also did yet another great job with Dolarhyde. We had the chance to see him interacting with someone in his Dragon persona. He was not longer the shy man who could barely speak. He was a creature of madness, a beast unleashed. No longer a force of nature, The Great Red Dragon presented itself as a thinking, plotting creature of dark cleverness. Dolarhyde’s ego was in full effect as he expressed his desire for power and recognition. And poor Chilton became the unwilling prohpet of a demonic overlord.
Just one more episode to go! And perhaps, if the gods are kind, someone will see fit to bring Hannibal back for a fourth season. It might not be likely, but we can always hope. Until next week, try not to have your brain washed by any unseemly serial killers. And return for my recap/review of ‘The Wrath of the Lamb’.