In the tenth episode of the third season ofÂ Hannibal, EVERYTHING HAPPENED ALL OVER AGAIN. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watchÂ Hannibal.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of abuse and manipulation, gaslighting, body horror.Â
I’m just gonna start at the beginning and try to cover as much as I can, but lord, this was a dense and emotionally draining episode. IT’S SO GOOD. So, let’s talk about Dolarhyde’s first conversation with Hannibal. I like that we get to see the logistics of it because HOW DID HE GET THROUGH SO EASILY? I wonder, then, how much of what we saw in the opening was reality and how much of it was an active hallucination. “â€¦And the Woman Clothed in Sun” isn’t always clear about when Dolarhyde starts to hallucinate, but sometimes, the show does it in really meaningful ways. I love that there’s still a way for us to see scenes inside of Hannibal’s office, even if it’s just Dolarhyde imagining a session with Dr. Lecter. But why imagine that? What’s the point?
Dolarhyde wants validation for what he is. For what he’s becoming. And until he spends time with Reba, he has no outlet like this. I noticed that once he had that positive experience with her, he didn’t reach out to LecterÂ once.
Actually, we need to talk about Reba. BADLY.
I think this show does a far better job of building her character than the book or the movieÂ everÂ did. I know I mentioned this in the last reviewÂ andÂ in the video for this episode, but in an alternate universe, this is all a romantic drama. It’s painful to watch because both of these people are learning to be comfortable with one another. Dolarhyde offers Reba the experience of a lifetime: the chance to touch a tiger while it is unconscious for a medical procedure. The show films this entire sequence not as an attempt to exploit anything; it’s not a joke; it’s not a scene of mounting tension and horror. Yet it doesn’t feel atypical forÂ Hannibal. In a show that deliberately chooses a distinct visual flare, I think it made a lot of sense to give that scene the same artistic dedication.
It’s beautiful, point blank. Reba is allowed this moment in its purity, and I love that. God, there’s even that brief reference to Dolarhyde’s fear of having his face touched when Reba nears the tiger’s mouth, and I can’t. I CAN’T.
She is just so pure herself, and that’s why I can’t help but be upset. Sure, Dolarhyde ignores the temptation to do something to her, but the reality is that he’s hiding this entire side of himself from her. It’s only a matter of time, you know? And while the focus of most of this half of the season is on Dolarhyde’s suffering, I think it’s easy to imagine that Reba hasn’t exactly had it easy in her romantic life. Now, she’s found someone who she finds to be sweet, caring, and unique. AND HE’S A SERIAL KILLER.
If earlier parts of this season blurred the moral lines for Bedelia du Maurier, then this episode SHOVES HER FAR OVER THAT LINE AND INTO THE REALM OFÂ 100% NOPE. Hannibal had asked Bedelia if she was observing or participating, and now we know that she can’t claim to be an observer. I had just accepted that Lecter had manipulated both Neal Frank and Bedelia, much like what he’d done to many patients and colleagues of his. He had done something to Frank so that he could entrap Bedelia. But she offers the true narrative in this episode. (Which is a funny way to talk about itÂ anyway, given that the whole point she’s trying to make is that it is very easy to mix the truth and a lie. It is alchemical)
That truth is so much more frightening than I expected. She killed Neal Frank becauseÂ she wanted to crush his weakness.Â The whole incident is reframed, and now we see how she doubted that Frank was telling the truth about the horrible things Lecter was doing to him. She participated in gaslighting him, and even if she did so unknowingly, sheÂ doesÂ kill him knowingly. She wasn’t tricked; she did not wake up with her arm down his throat. She did that willingly and WITH COMPLETE ELATION. To borrow her metaphor: When faced with an injured bird, she crushed it, and she urges Will to do the same thing BECAUSE IT’S THE EASIER OPTION. Granted, I get that she’s trying to refer to Dolarhyde, and I get that Will’s flaw is that he tried so hard to save Hannibal and TOTALLY FAILED AT IT. But in this philosophy, Bedelia reveals a scary truth about herself: she is willing to destroy others to make herself feel better.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS SHOW.
If I remember correctly,Â Red DragonÂ had a nearly identical twist, where Dolarhyde knocked out a museum employee and then ate the original Blake painting as an attempt to stop his own transformation. I still think that’s what is happening here. It certainly makes sense, given that he travels thereÂ afterÂ his night with Reba. That consumption, though, is interrupted by Will, and now I don’t know where this story is going. THEY’VE SEEN EACH OTHER. Will looked directly into his face!!! While he doesn’t have a name, he’s got a lot more information than he did in the novel.
SO WHAT NOW? Will he put together the thing that connects the victims with Dolarhyde? What of Reba? IS THAT OTHER THING GONNA HAPPEN.Â Or what of all the other Things? Oh, this is too much, y’all. TOO MUCH.
The video for “â€¦And the Woman Clothed in Sun” can be downloadedÂ here for $0.99.
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