UK TV review: Hannibal Season 3, Episode 11
Jo Bromilow | On 25, Aug 2015
Already seen Episode 11? Read on at the bottom for spoilers.
As the light dims on this series (we’ve only got till lucky number 13), every episode begins to grow dimmer, shot through with darkness. Episode 11 is both physically and emotionally darker in many ways than those before it – far from being lit by the woman clothed in sun, our monsters now skulk in the dim shadows of rooms, attics and artificially-lit hospital rooms that offer a perfect backdrop to the recesses of their minds.
The darkness of the episode allows for some good old-fashioned cinematic horror touches, as Dolarhyde stalks his next victim in the dead of night. Dolarhyde is primed like a weapon and it seems that Hannibal is the one holding the pin on the grenade. Where he allows his latest creation to detonate is anyone’s guess, but if we took a highly educated one, we’d say it’s set to land on familiar ground.
Hell hath no fury like a Lecter scorned and it seems his former protégé, Will, has been replaced by one with considerably worse teeth and a considerably bigger appetite for destruction. Is it Will’s freedom Hannibal resents? His loving family? His life outside Lecter’s physical prison or his old office, the ground for the hallucinated exchanges between Hannibal and his Great Red Dragon? Likely all three. What vengeance will this most lethal lover take on Will?
It’s becoming a real joy to watch the physical contortions of Richard Armitage – really getting his character’s horrid teeth into the role of a lifetime, he throws his whole body into bringing Francis and his fantastic tattoo to life, using his body to express the emotional twists, turns and anguish that the tormented Dolarhyde cannot express through conventional means. From chewing down large chunks of canvas to roaring, beast-like, at the moon, all of his gestures are huge, while his words are choice and few. Unless, of course, his therapist is on the line.
Inside the mock-Georgian walls of his plush prison cell, Hannibal’s mind is churning underneath the calm exterior – the direct opposite of Dolarhyde. While Francis leads Jack, Will and Alana in a merry dance outside the prison walls, Hannibal does his best work enclosed between four, his passive face a smooth and taunting mirror before the smooth, clear pane that separates him – and keeps him safe – from a vengeful Will. It seems that perhaps the safest way to trap the Great Red Dragon is to pit him directly against the Wendigo. If only Will doesn’t get between them first.
Hannibal: Season 1 to 3 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.
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Photo ©2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Spoilers and further consideration
– Didn’t we all feel a little thrill when we finally saw Hannibal in that mask? A suitably clinical homage to the more barbaric version sported by Anthony Hopkins, much more fitting for our clinical cannibal.
– We applaud the decision of the special effects team for so sparingly and teasingly using the Red Dragon – well capitalised upon in this dim episode, especially with the fight in the attic. Teasing glances of the beast (aside from the one fleeting full shot we saw last week) let the sweeping silky wings convey the effect, contrasting with the hard physicality of Richard Armitage’s physique, both of which combine to capture the menace of the creature perfectly.