Hannibal: “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…” Season 3 Episode 9 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.hypable.com/hannibal-season-3-rebecca-mcclane-red-dragon/

As the three-year time jump settles in, the characters obviously all find themselves in a new status quo. Most have gotten time to to move on from the events of the last two and half seasons, except for Hannibal that is.

The opening conversation proved that Hannibal still thinks of his family fondly, them being himself, Will, and Abigail. In a time where Will has inserted himself into another family, Hannibal puts pressure on him to reconsider their relationship. It’s perhaps one of Hannibal’s most evil acts toward Will, like an ex-lover teasing you with the possibility of a better future.

But as Will fights for their relationship to return to their professional roots, we also enter an era of Hannibal that will be most familiar to casual fans of the Lecter mythos. That is to say, this is the closest the show has ever come to being Silence of the Lambs (the film), still unquestionably the most popular adaptation of the story. But of course, these episodes are an adaptation of Red Dragon, and perhaps eventually the definitive adaptation. We’ll know in a few weeks. Still, it’s interesting to have the show still playing with its most complex relationships in new ways as it becomes more familiar.

Unfortunately, this newfound familiarity hasn’t quite caught fire yet. There are great scenes in “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…,” but as a whole, the series seems to be treading water a bit here, ultimately waiting for the ending kicker that looks to make things more interesting.

Will’s personal journey that started in “The Great Red Dragon” is certainly interesting, but so far he’s too far removed from Hannibal, Jack, Alana, and others. Though this episode did bring about the return of Freddie Lounds. Her usual journalistic antics harken back to season one. But having her label Will and Hannibal as “husbands” in one of her stories shows just how far we’ve come. Still, her return doesn’t amount to much yet, but the seeds are planted for more.

Then there’s Francis Dolarhyde, the Red Dragon himself. Richard Armitage is certainly committed to the performance, as the character’s physical movements are captivating. But there’s very little to understand or even feel about him so far. It was obvious he was never going to kill Reba, removing some of the unsettling nature of their scene in her house.

But the episode ends with Dolarhyde contacting Hannibal in his cell. This is where things could get more interesting. Having the two very different killers toying with each other could make for some very fun material as the season, and probably the series, draw to a close. Still, this episode wasn’t quite as effective at place-setting as last week’s was. It’s Hannibal so the good moments from the episode were completely sold, but this was one of the only episodes of the season that had weak elements. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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