Hannibal: “…And the Beast from the Sea” Season 3 Episode 11 Review

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There’s something missing from the Red Dragon arc. Four episodes in and Hannibal is still struggling to make this as fascinating as anything that came before it.

The culprit at the moment is a glass barrier that keeps Hannibal himself at an arm’s length, or longer, no matter what the situation. “…And the Beast from the Sea” succeeded in justifying that this mastermind can still do a lot of damage behind bars. But it still isn’t nearly as interesting as watching him work as a free man.

Hannibal instructs Dolarhyde in the beginning of the episode to kill Will’s family at home. The scene itself was a masterclass of how to build tension. If only just one of the show’s main characters had been involved. Look, I know this whole thing is based off a novel now, but the show had so much more life when it was telling stories that adapted the characters instead of the plot points of a book.

After the episode’s big set piece, the main characters all gather around to talk about how angry they are at Hannibal for encouraging Dolarhyde. So then they dare him to do it again, which he of course does. It was flat out unbelievable that after all this time Jack and Alana thought Hannibal wasn’t playing a game with them. This was one of the most narratively infuriating moments of the series. If it was Will hoping he could trust Hannibal and failing once more to guess his muse’s intentions, that would be one thing. But this was just ridiculous.

Will and Hannibal meet again at episode’s end, with that damn glass barrier putting up the same block it has been for four weeks now. Hannibal asks Will if he craves change and the episode ends.

With just two episodes left, Hannibal needs to redeem itself quick. The brilliant first half of the season is now marred by a sluggish second half. But if the last two episodes are great, that glass barrier might at least metaphorically come down. It’s just too bad that Hannibal will have to work harder than ever to earn its credentials so close to the series ending. Grade: B-

By Matt Dougherty

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