Mark Watches ‘Hannibal’: S03E09 – …And the Woman Clothed with the Sun

In the ninth episode of the third season of Hannibal, Will faces Hannibal to get help with a case. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal. 

I feel like “…And the Woman Clothed with the Sun” is a transitional episode more than anything else, which is perfectly fine. I think my soul needed a break after the three episodes that came before it. The show seems to be sticking fairly close to the Red Dragon story in certain plots, while keeping me on my toes in other ways. But some of the things introduced here – like the Abigail flashbacks and Reba McClane – are necessary to what is probably going to come next.

Which is weird to talk about! I know I mentioned this in other Hannibal reviews, but this is one of those rare projects where I actually have a general knowledge of the overarching plot. Thus, I can see why puzzle pieces are being set as long as the show maintains a similar course. In Dolarhyde and Reba, we see a glimpse of normalcy for both characters, though of course, this is anything but normal. Neither of them knows who the other person is. In another context? It might be the start of a beautiful romantic relationship. Hell, I love the idea of two people who are both disabled in different ways coming to love one another. But that’s not really the story we’re seeing here, despite that from Reba’s perspective, it might be.

And that’s what makes the scenes with her so unbearable. From her side of the table, she’s meeting someone who doesn’t pity her for being blind. Francis even expresses his interest in Reba as pleasure, and I imagine that Reba’s never really had anyone say something like that to her. She’s direct, sweet, understanding and kind in this episode, a literal ray of light in the unending bleakness that is Hannibal. SO OF COURSE I DESPERATELY WANT TO PROTECT HER FROM ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING WITHIN THIS UNIVERSE. I can’t. Instead, I have to watch her unknowingly court a serial killer. Is this going to look like Red Dragon, too? I don’t want to say what her ending is there, but at this point, it’s still very likely that it will happen. It’s a complicated story regardless of where it ends.

You know, I can say that about EVERYTHING HERE. Let’s say that this is going to end with Dolarhyde doing THE THINGS. There’s still a great deal of depth within this episode even if that’s the case. When Will first sees Hannibal Lecter after three years with no contact, the show pushes the heavy Silence of the Lambs imagery and psychology on us. There’s meaning in that act alone. But instead of featuring a power dynamic between an untrained field agent and Lecter, we’ve got Lecter and one of his longstanding victims. Will’s fear is completely different, and I think that’s one of the reasons I still find Hannibal compelling, even if it’s technically “retelling” a familiar story.

I’ll give you another example, and it’s one I mentioned on video. I’m so glad that Alana Bloom has been given this new role within the season. In one sense, she fulfills the dynamic between Chilton and Lecter in Red Dragon, and yet, the context gives us something entirely new. She’s also one of Lecter’s victim, so her arrogance is empowerment, not exploitation. That’s left to Freddie Lounds and Chilton. “…And the Woman Clothed with the Sun” creates a new narrative for her: she’s the woman with the keys to the five doors that prevent Lecter from escaping. She’s the one who will protect Will Graham at practically any cost. And she’s the one in control here, and she isn’t too shy to tell Lecter this to his face. The same goes for her warning to Will! God, it’s such a bold scene because she reminds him that last time, EVERYONE got wrapped up in Lecter’s nightmare once Will did.

And by gods, she’s not going to let that happen again.

I was perplexed, however, by one aspect of this episode, at least until the end credits rolled. I thought the inclusion of the Abigail flashbacks were bizarre. It was nice to have those gaps filled, but why put them in this episode? It wasn’t until I saw Dolarhyde’s transformation – first, the hallucination of the tail, then his call to Lecter – that I realized the show was reminding us that Lecter once facilitated the transformation of someone else. He molded Abigail as he saw fit, getting her to believe that her father slit her throat out of love for her. He even compels her to do the same to her father’s RECENTLY BURIED BODY, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS SHOW. Given what I know of the ending to Red Dragon, I wonder if this is the show’s way of giving Lecter a chance to encourage another transformation. AH, THERE IS A SPOILER FOR EXISTING CANON THAT I CAN’T TALK ABOUT SO I WILL PUT IT IN ROT13, BUT: Fvapr Yrpgre fcrnxf bs Jvyy’f snzvyl va n qrevfvir angher, V guvax gung uvf pbagnpg jvgu Qbyneulqr jvyy nyybj uvz gb fraq gur xvyyre GB Jvyy va beqre gb qrfgebl uvf snzvyl arkg.

Right? RIGHT???

This show is so unsettling ALL OF THE TIME. I think if I didn’t know any of the existing canon, it would be… shit. Not worse, actually? The fact that I know where this might be headed is complicated because THIS SHOW ROUTINELY DOES FUCKED UP THINGS WITH CANON. Mostly, I’m pleased that Rutina Wesey, who is a stunning actress, is one this show. BRAVO. DON’T FUCK IT UP, HANNIBAL.

The video for “…And the Woman Clothed with the Sun” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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