Hannibal: “The Number of the Beast is 666…” Season 3 Episode 12 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.ew.com/recap/hannibal-season-3-episode-12

As Dolarhyde’s transformation takes its final steps, Hannibal comes rushing back on track. After three episodes of vague connections after the initial time jump, the “Red Dragon” arc has finally gotten to a level of quality we’re used to with this show. Which is to say, fantastic.

Just in time too. With all possibilities for Hannibal to continue elsewhere seemingly at an end, next week is most likely the series finale. This penultimate episode did everything it needed to that I’m going into the finale more excited than I’ve been in a few weeks.

Will, Jack, Alana, Freddie and Chilton all decide the best way to draw the Red Dragon out is to go to the press and insult him, using the “Tooth Fairy,” a name he surely despises. The last three episodes did effectively get us to believe that Hannibal is pulling all the strings here. It’s starting to pay off, with Hannibal even being shown to be giddy throughout the episode.

Well, the attempt obviously goes too well, and Chilton finds himself facing off against the Red Dragon face-to-face. This was the first scene I was effectively terrified by Richard Armitage’s performance. All the great physical work he’s been doing the last four episodes got put into good use here as he finally got a big dramatic centerpiece to howl and roar throughout. The look on Chilton’s face says it all. Even after Dolarhyde bites off his lips.

Still, the Red Dragon now has his target set on Will. This face-off and whatever Hannibal’s role in it might be now have serious dramatic heft to them. The show did exactly what it needed to do and connected the different threads in a convincing way. This still isn’t the way I would necessarily want Hannibal to end, but at least there’s the feel that a bang is coming. Get the wine ready for the blood bath. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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