It sure was nice of the writers to show active and future serial killers how you can successfully call your favorite incarcerated serial killer and have a lovers chat. Francis was as excited to speak with Dr. Lecter as I would be to speak with Simon LeBon. Stupid Excited. As always, Hannibal knew exactly what to say to Francis in order to stroke his ego and keep him talking. Once again, the use of the memory palace has proven to be exceptionally useful. Who cares that Hannibal is in a mental hospital? We still get to see him wearing his bespoke suits in his perfectly designed and decorated office. Even more awesome than that, though, is the fact that this is the first time that Hannibal the Cannibal and the Tooth Fairy have ever come face to face. In neither movie, nor the book, do the two ever get to meet in person. The memory palace may be the most clever and useful construct on a television show, um…. ever. None of that holds a candle to the sight of Mr. Dolarhyde as The Great Red Dragon, though. Once again, Fuller and his team have outdone themselves with creating images that take your breath away.
Bedelia is now giving talks as a victim of Dr. Lecter. As she allows herself to be viewed as a sideshow piece by her peers, she has the audacity to believe that she is as cunning and clever as Dr. Lecter when she places her hand on Will’s shoulder while saying, “Everything we see, everything we remember is nothing more than a construct of the mind.” Guuuuurrrllllll…….I know Hannibal did the exact same thing to you during his presentation in Italy, but you are no match for his particular brand of mental and emotional manipulation.
In fact, watching the Dowager Countess and Robert Crawley, I mean Bedelia and Will, trade barbs was quite the interesting verbal tennis match in throwing shade. Bedelia and her obfuscating is wearing thin. Claiming to be operating under covert therapy, she seems to really believe the bullshit that she is shoveling. Apparently, her primal rejection of weakness is just as natural as the nurturing instinct and that makes her reactions acceptable. It really does feel as though Ms. Du Maurier is taking it upon herself to take the place of Dr. Lecter while he is detained. As she perches on her chair and proclaims to be at ease with herself and tries to simultaneously dress down and applaud Will for his empathy, I’m not buying her newfound role of a manipulating killer. Bryan Fuller has acknowledged that this conversation stems directly from a quote from Ms. Jodie Foster herself. I realize that this is supposed to make it even more effective and meaningful, but it just makes me despise it even more.
After being teased for three seasons, we finally get to see what transpired between Bedelia and the patient that died in her care. It appears that Neal Frank was intended to be the first Will Graham. Subjected to photo therapy by Hannibal and then sent to Bedelia after he refused to become his puppet, Neal is no dummy. Realizing that he will find no help from either of these damaged psychiatrists, he proclaims, “Whatever this is, this is why Scientologists hate psychiatry!”
No matter your opinion of Manhunter or Red Dragon, I think we can all agree that the scene where Reba gets to pet the tiger is always equal parts beautiful and suspenseful. As Francis explains, “The orange is so bright it’s almost bleeding into the air around him, it’s radiant.” that is exactly the visual that we are treated to as she runs her hands through the tiger’s fur. When her hand reaches his teeth, Francis is so overcome with emotion that he physically reacts. The dance between darkness and light in this scene is always so emotionally and visually powerful. For this TV Baby, the scene allowed me to forgive Rutina Wesley for her years as Tara on True Blood.
Who would have guessed that the scene of Dolarhyde ingesting The Great Red Dragon could get more tense? Thank you Bryan Fuller for that perfect cat and mouse scene in the elevator. The moment that Will and Francis lock eyes, it is electric and is full of great promise in the episodes to follow. Fannibals, we only have three episodes left. How do you think Fuller and his team will put their own stamp on the ending of this story?
“Press notices. Actually, I think of them as unfair reviews.” Unfair reviews, indeed.
Props to Reba for making a proper martini. With gin.
Um, is it wrong that I would like Mr. Dolarhyde to sweep me off of my feet like that?
I miss Barney, but Denise will do.
I’d like to be that envelope that Hannibal is licking.
2020 Rewatch Notes:
After watching the Hannibal reunion and hearing Gillian Anderson admit that she didn’t understand what her character was saying half of the time, that makes her scenes in this episode particularly amusing.
Tiger scene is still gorgeous.