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TV Review: Hannibal 3.8 “The Great Red Dragon”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal 308 Header

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 8 “The Great Red Dragon”
Directed by Neil Marshall
Written by Steve Lightfoot, Nick Antosca
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams, Nina Arianda and Richard Armitage
NBC
Air date: Saturday, July 25th, 2015, 10pm

Hannibal has been so steeped in building out its epic mythology that it’s sometimes hard for me to remember that the show began as a twisted take on the typical crime procedural, enhanced by Bryan Fuller and company’s impressive dialogue and the show’s inventive visuals. However, with the hunt for Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) now complete, the show can return to its roots – which proves surprisingly effective as we begin to dig into the mystery of the Tooth Fairy.

Brought to life through an already mesmerizing performance by Richard Armitage, Francis Dolarhyde makes his grand entrance into the stage created by Fuller and company. Armitage’s physicality is such that he can express volumes without having to say a single line and this week’s script gives him plenty of material for him to dig his teeth into, but already the former Hobbit actor has proved himself a worthy addition to the Hannibal universe and a threat that’s a worthy successor to Hannibal’s abdicated throne.

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TV Review: Hannibal 3.7 “Digestivo”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal 307 Header

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 7 “Digestivo”
Directed by Adam Kane
Written by Steve Lightfoot
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Joe Anderson, Tao Okamoto and Katharine Isabelle
NBC
Air date: Saturday, July 18th, 2015, 10pm

Hannibal has smartly avoided the trap some shows fall into by separating its season into two distinctive halves. One main story typically comes to a close, with another main story emerging in its wake. It’s a smart pacing decision, as we’re often treated to a pseudo-season finale halfway through the season, bringing with it all the chaos and incredible plot decisions that would come with a typical finale. “Digestivo” rises to that occasion, while setting up a very interesting dynamic for the rest of the season.

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TV Review: Hannibal 3.6 “Dolce”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal 306 Promo

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 6 “Dolce”
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Written by Don Mancini
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Joe Anderson, Fortunato Cerlino, and Tao Okamoto
NBC
Air date: Thursday, July 9th, 2015, 10pm

I should have known better that Hannibal wouldn’t be so easily caught. History repeats itself and all. “Dolce” is an episode that I’m hoping will play better in retrospect, but for me was just too much place setting for what will be the end of Hannibal season three’s first major arc. as we see Will (Hugh Dancy) and Jack (Laurence Fishburne) come close to achieving their goals, only to have them stripped away at the last moment.

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TV Review: Hannibal 3.5 “Contorno”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal 305 Contorno Header

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 5 “Contorno”
Directed by Guillermo Navaro
Written by Bryan fuller
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Joe Anderson, Fortunato Cerlino, and Tao Okamoto
NBC
Air date: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015, 10pm

When I was in high school, I used to go white water rafting down the Nantahala River in western North Carolina during the summer. There was this jumping rock towards the middle of the route that I always terrified to jump off of – it’s fairly high up, and you had to make sure you jumped out into the middle of the river or else you could hurt yourself. It was always a daunting process, until I actually leapt. It’s in that moment where you feel a variety of emotions – adrenaline, fear, excitement – it was always a mix of those things. There’s a boundlessness to a jump like that. It’s an area in which nothing, yet everything, is happening.

They don’t call it a leap of faith for nothing.

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TV Review: Hannibal 3.4 “Aperitivo”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal 304 Header

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 4 “Aperitivo”
Directed by Marc Jobst
Written by Nick Antosca
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Raúl Esparza, Joe Anderson and Gina Torres
NBC
Air date: Thursday, June 25th, 2015, 10pm

Hannibal’s trend of using other language to describe the events that are about to transpire has, more often than not, been a good rosetta stone for interpreting the episode in the larger context of the season. Aperitivo is described as the ritual of going out for a pre-drinner drink. It stems from the the Latin phrase “to open” and fully means to “open your stomach.” A taste to get you excited for your upcoming meal.

If this pre-dinner drink is an indication of the meal we’re prepared to receive, it’s going to be a brutal one, as Hannibal Lecter is about to learn the true meaning of the phrase: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

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TV Review: Hannibal 3.3 “Secondo”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal 303 Header

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 3 “Secondo”
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Written by Angelina Burnett and Bryan Fuller & Steve Lightfoot
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Fortunato Cerlino, Tao Okamoto and Laurence Fishburne
NBC
Air date: Thursday, June 18th, 2015, 10pm

Who is Hannibal Lector?

The secret origin of Will Graham’s (Hugh Dancy) devil is something that hasn’t been explored deeply in the show’s past, rather, the intricate details have been left to the linger in the shadows our dear doctor loves so deeply. But as Will Graham looks to gain traction over the man who left him and others for dead, it seems that no stone will go unturned in the hunt to gain any upper hand against Hannibal – even if that means that Will resorts to less than noble tactics to obtain that advantage.

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TV Review: Hannibal 3.2 “Primavera”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal 302 Header

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 2 “Primavera”
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Written by Bryan Fuller & Jeff Vlaming
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Fortunato Cerlino, Kacey Rohl
NBC
Air date: Thursday, June 11th, 2015, 10pm

“You’re already dead, aren’t you?” – Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi

Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is dead. Long live Will Graham.

After diving into the whys and wherefores of Hannibal’s (Mads Mikkelsen) European departure, Hannibal 3.2 “Primavera” focuses on some of the ones left behind the wake of his brutality. The show spends a time recapping the surgical provisional in which Will and Abigail were dispatched in the Season 2 finale – a sequence that was already particularly nasty – and then throws Carrie-levels of blood at it. Never has the term blood bath been more applicable than it is here. Memory plays a key role in “Primavera,” as it’s presence lingers over this episode like the high ceilings of the Florentine chapel where Hannibal places his ‘heart.’

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TV Review: Hannibal 3.1 “Antipasto”
Goodman   |  

Hannibal Season 3 Antipasto Review

Hannibal
Season 3 Episode 1 “Antipasto”
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Written by Bryan Fuller, Steve Lightfoot
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Eddie Izzard, Tom Wisdom, Zachary Quinto
NBC
Air date: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 10pm

Long ago, Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelson) was a supporting character in the visionary drama that bore his own name. But as the series has progressed, Dr. Lecter staked and hunted his way to the forefront, ripping through the show’s scenery and, in last year’s season finale, all of our major characters. It’s fitting then that the season three premiere begins with Dr. Lector taking control of the show in a very direct way: He stalks, he preys, he hunts, and he kills – all before the opening credits.

Bonsoir. Good evening.

Welcome back to Hannibal.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.13 “March 8, 1983”
Goodman   |  

The Americans 3.13 "March 8, 1983"

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 13 – “March 8, 1983”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 10pm

“. . . I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely . . . declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an ‘evil empire,’ to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.”

It turns out that after a season full of intensity and great surprises that The Americans has saved the best for last in the Season 3 finale, titled “March 8, 1983.” Our spoiler-filled review, after the jump.

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TV Review: The Americans 3.12 “I Am Abassin Zadran”
Goodman   |  

The Americans FX

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 12 – “I Am Abassin Zadran”
Directed by Christopher Misiano
Written by Peter Ackerman & Stuart Zicherman
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella
FX
Air date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 10pm

Secrets and lies are two intrinsically linked elements, as it’s impossible to have one without the other. The Americans is a show that’s lived in the area between those places and this season has really focused on the emotional weight of what it means to have secrets, to keep secrets, and what it is to tell lies to keep those secrets.

I Am Abassin Zadran” refers to the titular mujahideen commander Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) speak to in the episode, but for Martha (Alison Wright) this could have easily been the name behind the man she’s known as Clark. Identity is at the heart of this episode, as we continue to see Paige (Holly Taylor) struggle with her changed circumstances and question who she’s been all her life. These are weighty questions to posit as the show heads into its season finale, but they’re questions this show is capable of not only asking, but providing the answers to as well.

Spoilers for the latest episode of The Americans will be discussed below.

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