Mark Watches ‘Hannibal’: S03E06 – Dolce

In the sixth episode of the third season of Hannibal, EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING ALL OF THE TIME. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal.

Trigger Warning: For blood/gore, incest, nonconsensual drugging, and general drug use.

What an experience, Fannibals. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE.


I’m now completely unsure how the remainder of this show will unfold because Fuller and company have now accelerated the timeline to the point where the show is basically at the end of the plot for the film Hannibal. AND THERE ARE STILL SEVEN EPISODES LEFT. I don’t imagine that the scene at Mason’s farm will last that entire time, so… WHAT IS HAPPENING, Y’ALL.

My god, there are so many visual callbacks to that film, but they’re repurposed here and it’s terrifying and I WILL DISCUSS MUCH OF THIS WHEN I TALK ABOUT WILL.


I want to put forth the theory that “Dolce” concerns itself with the blurring of lines. From the ethical complications of the Florence police department, to Will’s reluctance to understand his life before and after Hannibal, and right up to Bedelias characterization, there’s a lot of grayness within this script. Bedelia fascinates me because she plays a role that’s entirely new in the Hannibal canon… sort of. I can see how the show’s writers borrowed some elements from both Will Graham and Clarice Starling, but within this specific context, she’s still very different. (Which also makes my brain hurt because Jodie Foster’s portrayal of Starling had an influence on Gillian Anderson getting the gig for The X-Files. IT’S ALL CONNECTED. ALL THINGS ARE HANNIBAL LECTER.) But this episode deliberately calls back to “Antipasto” and season 2 by constructing Bedelia’s moral dilemma. Is she participating or observing?

There’s no way to argue that it’s only one of these things anymore. She designs an escape for herself once Lecter must abandon her that protects her from legal complicity. It doesn’t necessarily work, though, since Will and Jack are the first to find her and absolutely know who she is. But her attempt to end up like Miriam Lass makes it seem like she was a victim of Lecter and had no say in what happened. Which… she didn’t? Sort of? Gah, that is what makes this so hard to quantify. It’s easy to see Bedelia as complicit in what Hannibal did out of fear for her own life. She was entirely aware of the fact that this man was keeping her alive just to eat her later. At no point did she ever think she was “safe” from him, and that kind of fear can completely control a person. Yet Bedelia is just as aware of how much she’s been tangled into the thread of Hannibal’s life, and I saw her heroin usage as a way to protect herself from being charged as an accomplice.

So what does it mean that she gave up Lecter??? Does she just disappear without him? Is she free now? I DON’T KNOW.

The Vergers

I expected that Mason would eventually capture Hannibal; the show had set up Muskrat Farm, Cordell, and the revenge narrative too much to just abandon it. Yet there’s still enough here that I wondered what Fuller would change. The frightening incest subplot is still being explored somewhat, but with the reveal of Alana and Margot’s relationship (!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK, IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, IT WASN’T A DREAM, OH MY GOD), there’s now another revenge plot. What if Margot is going to STEAL MASON’S SPERM like in the novel? Does that mean Alana has taken Judy’s place in the book? MAYBE MARGOT WILL KILL MASON AND I WOULD BE FINE WITH THIS BECAUSE MASON IS AWFUL AND MARGOT DESERVES TO BE THE ONE WHO GETS TO DO THIS.

Jack & Will

THERE ARE SO MANY AMAZING REFERENCES TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL AND PAST EPISODES IN THIS ONE SCRIPT. I loved that Jack asked Will point blank if he would run off with Hannibal once they found him. It’s a fair question, given what Will revealed to him in his garage back in Baltimore. How far is Will going to go? How much of himself is still obsessed with Hannibal Lecter? Jack uses a very specific phrase during this conversation, invoking Hannibal’s penchant for violence when he tells Will to “cut out” the part of him that might run away with Lecter.

Thus, there’s still the blurring of lines here. Does Will want to catch Lecter? Kill him? Or join him? One of the reasons I loved “Dolce” so much is because we see each of these phases in turn. When Will finds Lecter in front of the Boticelli painting, we get the sense that he wants to run away with him, to indulge the side of him that finds Lecter interesting. But then, as he walks Lecter out of the museum, I wondered if he was delivering him to Jack. The flash of his knife, however, confirmed to me that he wanted revenge for what Lecter had done to him.

AND HE DIDN’T GET IT. There’s a stunning conversation early in this episode between Chiyoh and Bedelia, who I never thought would meet, let alone have THE BEST SCENE IN AN EPISODE. But they speak of being “caged” by Lecter. (It’s another moment where the lines are blurred, too. Are they freed from their cages? Do they want to cage Lecter or save him?) Will is caged, too, isn’t he? So many of the people touched by Lecter’s power have been fundamentally changed as a result of him, and it’s why Chiyoh’s first instinct is shoot Hannibal. Sort of. See, I can see her act as an instinctual need to protect Hannibal, even if she wants to “cage” him. Hannibal wired this into her brain. It’s why she never left Lithuania. Yet it’s also possible that she shot Will because she wanted to kill him, and she took that possibility away from Will.

I am very interested to see what she’ll do in the next episode.

The Last Supper

As soon as Hannibal strapped Will into his chair, my heart nearly exploded. If you’ve seen the Hannibal film, you know there’s an absolutely terrifying sequence at the end of the film that takes place at a dinner table. At the same time, this didn’t make sense to me. How could this be happening to Will now? There were so many episodes left!!!! THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.

Jack Crawford. That’s who was missing. Oh god, it made so much sense, y’all. He was supposed to be there at the dinner last season. HANNIBAL LECTER WAS RECREATING THE DINNER HE NEVER GOT TO HAVE. Ironically, it looks likes he might not get to have it anyway, given that Bedelia’s tip led the Italian police to Hannibal and NOW THEY ARE AT MUSKRAT FARMS and I am done. DONE. How are there seven episodes left in this show???

The video for “Dolce” 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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