Last week on Hannibal, we finally witnessed the arrival of The Great Red Dragon – a new serial killer for Will Graham and his crew to hunt down. Unfortunately for Will, he didn’t really want to get involved in the FBI’s antics anymore, but a visit from Jack Crawford convinced him that he could do some good. And while all this was taking place in the outside world, Hannibal, safely (?) locked away, was mentally sparring with his captors and awaiting the arrival of his old friend. This week, Will finally pays a visit to Doctor Lecter. Will the old bromance reunite with a fury? Or is Will still as cold as ever to his “friend”? ‘And the Woman Clothed with Sun…’ answers a few questions and raises a few more.
Cut straight to the chase – Will paying a visit to Hannibal in his cell. He needs help understanding The Tooth Fairy and the good doctor is a mental resource that should never be underestimated. From the get-go, Hannibal is trying to renew his friendship with Will, but Will is determined to stay distant. Lecter even goes so far as to call Will family, and as we see in the next scene, a family is indeed what Hannibal was trying to form, all those years ago.
Flashback to Hannibal’s time with Abigail. Although Hannibal and Will’s surrogate “daughter” is long-dead, there was much more going on beneath the surface than we, as viewers, were given privy to. We see Hannibal setting up the false death of Abigail, hoping to set her free from the rest of the world so that they, as a family, can journey off into the sunset. This interaction really shows Hannibal’s connection to the young girl and the fact that he does, in his own twisted way, care for her. He’s a father figure to her, just as Will is, though this particular father wants to train his daughter to accept her psychopathic and murderous nature. He wants her to admit who she really is on the inside, just as he did so many years ago.
Meanwhile, Will continues his hunt for The Tooth Fairy. Hannibal helps to walk his old friend into the brain of The Dragon, seeking out his motives, the reasons behind his choice of victims and his strange connection to the moon. Will uses the information to make a few new deductions, though The Tooth Fairy remains elusive. But all the profiling is a strain on Will’s mind. He remains intimately connected to the person he hunts, so much so that the old problems resurface and Will’s identity becomes skewed. It appears as if Hannibal was right in sending Will a warning about getting involved with the FBI again.
And back with The Tooth Fairy/Red Dragon, we get a small glimpse into his twisted past. He’s remembering his childhood, remembering his murders and hallucinating the emergence of the dragon within him. In an effort to further understand what’s happening, he visits Reba McClane, a blind photo tech, in search of some special film that he thinks will capture the image of The Dragon as it seeks to transform his body. But poor Reba seems to have a crush on The Tooth Fairy (or at least the Francis Dolarhyde version of him). And when he gives her a ride home, she even invites him in for drinks and pie. Unfortunately for her, she knows nothing of the man she’s entertaining…
In the background, we see more interaction with Alana and Will, Alana and Hannibal and Jack and Hannibal. Alana seems to have Will’s best interests at heart, trying to get Hannibal to back off and even going so far as threatening to take away the few luxuries he has if he fails to follow her lead.
Jack has a very different conversation with the doctor, stating quite plainly that he doesn’t care whether or not Will spirals into madness, as long as he helps with the Tooth Fairy case. He even expresses his belief that Will is better at his job when Hannibal is lurking in his head. Which leads to the question – Does Jack really consider Will an expendable asset? Or has he learned from his past experiences with Hannibal that he should say nothing truthful in the doctor’s presence?
Finally, Freddie Lounds is back and once again following Will around in an effort to get the big scoop on the Tooth Fairy case. She offers her connections to help flush Will’s enemy out of hiding and even threatens to make Will’s life a pain in the ass if he doesn’t agree.
And last but not least, Doctor Lecter receives a very important phone call – from The Great Red Dragon himself. It appears as if these two serial killers are going to be forming a nice little friendship. Or as much as a friendship as Hannibal is capable of having.
This week’s episode had a lot of great moments, but nothing shined as bright as the attention paid to the details of whom and what Hannibal is. We get to see a more “human” side of him. He was forming a family with Will and Abigail, the only kind of family that he can conceive of. Doctor Lecter may truly be a monster, but there is some human element within him that craves companionship. We’ve seen it with Will since the first season, but only now are we allowed to witness the full extent of it. Hannibal is the one who cares for Will now, as the rest of the characters push their own agendas, even at the risk of their associate’s sanity.
All this leads to a sort of revelation – that Hannibal may be a killer, but none of the other personalities involved in his world are any better than he is. He may eat people, but the others devour Will in their own ways. Which is the crueler path? At least Hannibal is honest in the way he lives his life. He knows who he is and makes no excuses for it. Although now that they’ve spent a significant portion of their lives in Hannibal’s shadow, even Alana and Jack seem influenced to say exactly what’s on their mind, do exactly what they want to do and make no apologies.
The character development is deepening and I’m eager to see how much further we’ll be allowed to delve into Hannibal’s mind. And whether or not Will is going to fall prey to his own tinge of madness. It’s quite possible that Hannibal’s influence will be the only thing that keeps Will from slipping off the deep end.
Next week, the similarly titled “And the Woman Clothed in Sun” promises to continue the story of The Red Dragon as well as Will and Hannibal’s revisiting of their relationship. Unfortunately, there appears to be no trailer out there, so you’ll have to settle for this video of some promo photos: