Already seen Episode 12? Read on at the bottom for spoilers.
Things continue to get more grim for our heroes, as they pit themselves directly against the Dragon and his arsenal of delusions. Before the Dragon gets another opportunity to put Will’s family in the intensive care unit, they decide to take the fight to the Beast themselves. But naturally, when trying to take the fight to a monster,it’s worth bearing in mind the one you have locked up in your basement.
Controlling the machinations of the Dragon with a smile as charming as Alana’s cold calculations are steely, Mads Mikkelsen continues to dance nimbly around his guards while managing to stay totally still. Aside from one brilliantly dark moment, which can’t help but draw a guffaw, we’re unsure if Hannibal moves anything other than his face this entire episode. Watching Mads play off perfectly against the physicality of the Dragon is a delight – his unnerving stillness at total ease in contrast with the controlled, almost military-like rigidity of Alana and Jack. Will next week’s season finale bring the physical eruption of Hannibal’s rage, or will it translate through one of his vessels?
On one hand, we have the Dragon, who gets to come into his own this week in a way we’ve not enjoyed before. A truly terrifying slow-burner of a scene with one of Alana’s misfortunate band of star players gives him all the opportunity to ooze menace from every pore, while spitting ominous proclamations from between his tombstone teeth. We feel sorry for anyone stuck in a room alone with Richard Armitage after this, even if he does just say he wants you to admire his tattoo…
On the other hand, we have Will. A strange entity throughout this series and, like Hannibal, serving more as a magnet around which the other players move, the showdown that is inevitable next week is likely to be a two-fold showdown between the aspects of Hannibal’s personality and the aspects of Will’s. As much a still and silent enigma as Lecter, elevated above conventional remorse at the traumatic events his family were subjected to, Will’s humanity continues to be suppressed as he closes in on the Dragon. But the inevitable desire for revenge is surely bubbling underneath the surface search for justice for the Dragon’s victims. And with the sly Bedelia turning her hand to counseling Will (we all know her talent for talking serial killers off, or towards, a ledge), what will the final confrontation reveal about the third monster in this menagerie? See you next week… for the last time.
Hannibal Season 3 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
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Spoilers and further consideration
– Poor, poor Chilton. Getting between Hannibal and his prey is never wise, especially if Will’s particular brand of cruelty is added to the mix. Vile profiteer that he is, we’re unsure if even he deserved that nastiness. Although… what is his prosthetic cheekbone made of that it survived that much heat?
– We haven’t given proper credit to Rutina Wesley’s Reba in these reviews – an important role to offer earlier attempts in humanising the Dragon (and comparable with Alana’s earlier attempts to humanize both Will and Hannibal). Holding her own in a cast this strong is no mean feat and we’re sure that Rutina’s final scenes will give her something solid to chew on, so to speak. And, just before we see them take their bow one final time, let’s give a hand to how strong this cast has been.
– We need the address of Alana’s tailor, like, yesterday.
– We also want to laugh for days at that tiny split-second shot of Hannibal swallowing one of the Dragon’s grisly presents. Comedic in its lizard-likeness but entirely gruesome; a perfect summation for what the show is about. Again, we’ll miss moments like that on our television. Humour has been lacking in this half of the season. It’s nice to at least glimpse the old, humorous Hannibal lurking behind his placid smile.