In the twelfth and penultimate episode of the third season ofÂ Hannibal, I am almost glad that thereâ€™s only one episode left because I donâ€™t think my spirit can handle anymore. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ Hannibal.
Trigger Warning: For gore/body horror, fire/immolation, torture, and manipulation.
That was An Experience.
It was fascinating to see the show loop back around to its own canon, twisting the events so that Freddie Loundsâ€™ fate was given to Chilton, despite that the showÂ alsoÂ once â€œkilled offâ€ Lounds, and now everything is a giant, fleshy mess, and my heart is still racing after that episode, and SOMEHOW THEREâ€™S STILL ANOTHER ONE. There has to be, though, because the hubris of the team has come back to haunt them, immediately and viciously. Of course, Alana, Jack, and Will are not the recipients of Dolarhydeâ€™s brand of revenge. Itâ€™s Chilton, who always sought out his own end, who always desired a front row seat to the circus, who got what he wanted in the most perverse way imaginable.
Jesus, I can barely think about that scene.
Build and destroy. Thatâ€™s been Hannibalâ€™s technique over and over again on this show, hasnâ€™t it? He built up Abigail, only to destroy her once she served no purpose for him. He built up Alana and destroyed her, too. (Which he cruelly reminds her of in this episode.) The same for Jack, the same for Bedelia, and most assuredly the same for Will Graham. That process gets him off more than anything else. So, I found the therapy sessions throughout this episode to be a necessary chance for the writers to give us insight into this phenomenon.
No one escapes unscathed, either. Season three ofÂ HannibalÂ is no longer a procedural. Itâ€™s no longer a show where the killer walks upright and out in the open. Itâ€™s not a story of people unknowingly walking through Hell. No, as Bedelia puts it, theyâ€™re all aware of the Inferno, they all know theyâ€™re walking through it, and â€œThe Number of the Beast Is 666â€ is evidence that theyâ€™ll all do whatever they can in order to escape it. All of these people are morally compromised, and Bedelia is a perfect example of that. She is somehow still practicing, despite that she was complicit inâ€¦ how do you even quantify that anymore? She is not innocent. But neither is Will Graham, who calculated a way to keep himself safe for the moment while offering the Red Dragon their next victim.
Who knew that the placement of one hand was enough? It seems such a tiny thing, and I certainly didnâ€™t notice it when Will put his hand on Dr. Chiltonâ€™s shoulder. But in hindsight, the calculation is there. Will realizes he can offer someone else to the Red DragonÂ first. What kind of person does that make him? Again, the show calls back to the first episode. Are these people observing or participating? Has Hannibal manipulated everyone â€“ and indeed, his entire world â€“ so that theyâ€™re forced into these kind of situations? I think thatâ€™s important to ask, especially since this is also the first time the script brings up the issue of agency. Who has it anymore? If these characters are manipulated or strong-armed into these scenarios, are they just agents of Hannibalâ€™s destructive chaos?
I donâ€™t think the show has answered these questions quite yet, but itâ€™s obvious that what Jack, Alana, and Will did in this episode directly resulted in Chiltonâ€™s capture and torment. God, is â€œtormentâ€ even a good enough word to describe what happens here? Seriously, WHAT HASNâ€™T HAPPENED TO DR. CHILTON YET? The show even reminds us this in the final scenes of Chiltonâ€™s torture: we can see the scars from Dr. Gideonâ€™s attack on his torso, just before Dolarhyde does THE WORST THING I EVER SAW IN THE WORLD. Sweet god, I thought â€œTome-wanâ€ was bad, but WHAT THE FUCKÂ HANNIBAL. WHAT ARE YOU DOING, PLEASE STOP.
Itâ€™s such a long scene, yâ€™all. It went on way longer than I expected, and I got to a point where Richard Armitage was completely unrecognizable. How was that him??? How does a person become someone else soÂ completely?
In a tragic irony, Dolarhyde comes to realize how much he cares for Reba, so he opens himself up to her and reveals who he really is. BY KIDNAPPING HER AND TELLING HER HEâ€™S THE RED DRAGON KILLER. Great. GREAT. But itâ€™s such a thematic moment because within this same episode, Bedelia fosters a conversation about honesty and love, too. She postulates that Dr. LecterÂ lovesÂ Will Graham. (In his own perverted way, of course.) I was struck by how plainly this was stated in the script; the â€œmurder husbandsâ€ line earlier felt more like a fandom joke, butÂ this? You canâ€™t just write it off as a joke.
So does Will GrahamÂ loveÂ Hannibal Lecter? JESUS, I DONâ€™T KNOW. I COULDNâ€™T EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT AFTER THE â€œLIPSâ€ THING. Lord, how am I going to make it through this finale??? Maybe I should start praying again.
The video for â€œThe Number of the Beast is 666â€ can be downloadedÂ here for $0.99.
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