Hannibal Season 3 Episode 10 “And the Woman Clothed in Sun…”
Directed by Guillermo Navarro
Written by Don Mancini, Bryan Fuller
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams, Nina Arianda, Rutina Wesley, Richard Armitage NBC
Air date: Saturday, August 8th, 2015, 10pm
“I want to be recognized by you.”
One of our most natural desires as humans is the desire to connect. It’s a special emotion that allows us to form a bond over shared experiences, interests, desires, wants, needs, etc. And it’s something that Hannibal has had baked into its DNA from the very beginning. The very nature of Will Graham’s (Hugh Dancy) profession is to connect, on some level, with the killers he’s hunting. It’s that level of empathy that allows insight into the ‘design’ of these monsters. This is what drove him to thinking he could understand Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen). Empathy, as Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) tells Will, is what nearly killed him before. And what could very much kill him again.
The return of Bedelia’s patient Neil Frank (Zachary Quinto), helps to shed additional light around Bedelia’s tortured lamb act, that characterized her early interactions on the show. It turns out to be an elegant ruse; she willingly acted on her desire to “crush” the vulnerable bird, by reaching her hand down his throat. It’s a standout scene for Quinto, Anderson, and Dancy alike. Furthermore, it finally contextualizes the doctor’s true mindset and motivation for her Italian vacation with Hannibal. Dr. Lecter had always asked Bedelia if she’d be observing or participating – turns out she’d made her choice long before Hannibal had postulated that particular thesis. Hannibal and Bedelia had empathy for one another; it’s what tied them together in a far more direct way than how Will and Hannibal had been linked. Bedelia and Hannibal are truly equals, while Will’s empty empathy turned out to be just a masquerade.
So where does Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) fall in terms of the empathy equation? Hannibal and Dolarhyde’s chit-chat turns out to be the television equivalent of ‘and a fan’ meme, as Lecter seemingly rejects Dolarhyde as an equal, and places him in a position of doctor/patient (visualized by the appearance of Hannbial’s office in his mind palace). Despite this categorization, Hannibal’s curiosity is piqued enough to ask him more, and helps us further understand where Dolarhyde is in his progression with the Red Dragon. As he gets closer and closer to becoming the dragon, the process is beginning to consume his thoughts more and more. Dolarhyde’s sexual encounter with Reba (Rutina Welsey), posits her as Dolarhyde’s personal “woman clothed in sun.” But even that’s not enough, for as the dragon consumes his thoughts (in what is another episode highlight), Dolarhyde must literally consume the dragon. And Will’s empathizing lands him caught directly in the path of a monster.
The dragon has begun to eat his tail. The process starts anew. But perhaps lingering around monsters long enough, has properly prepared Will Graham this time around.
– I didn’t touch on it much here, but the scene with Reba, Francis, and the Tiger was the most intense and tension filled scene I’ve watched on this show.
– The flashbacks between Bedelia and Frank were a legitimate surprise, and executed in such a literally seamless way. More of this please, other television shows.
Hannibal – Will’s Red Dragon Run-In (Episode Highlight)
Will catches a glimpse of the Red Dragon while visiting his namesake painting.