hannibal season 3 episode 10 analysis

…And the Woman Clothed in Sun: Analyzing Hannibal’s tenth serving of season 3

Check out our analysis of the previous episode here.

Don’t be confused! Last week’s episode had a very similar title to this one. Rest assured, you are in the right place for our analysis of Episode 10. The titles are named after well known William Blake paintings from the early 1800s, which depict the Great Red Dragon from the book of Revelations. Two of the paintings — “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun,” and “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed In Sun” — are often confused for each other on account of their similar names. Thomas Harris — the author of Red Dragon — was even one of those people. This episode follows the title of the painting Dolarhyde himself obsesses over, and helps to visually represent what he feels he is becoming.

WARNING: This analysis contains some spoilers for episode ten of Hannibal. Scroll down to “final thoughts” for a brief summation.

The painting itself plays a pretty big role this time around, but a lot of this episode deals with Will catching up with a long absent character. Bedelia Du Maurier seems to be no worse for wear, regarding her previous circumstances. Will chances upon her while she is giving a lecture regarding her time spent drugged up by Hannibal Lecter. The audience eats up her story, but Will Graham knows better.

The two spend some time catching up in Bedelia’s office. It’s there we learn how messed up she actually is. I have to say, Baltimore should really screen their psychiatrists better, because all of them seem pretty non-helpful to the general population. When implored to explain herself, Bedelia goes on a long tangent about her own philosophical views. She claims that to kill someone or do them harm requires a large amount of empathy, and an instinct is tried and true as nurturing. It was survival of the fittest for a long time with humanity, and Bedelia holds firm to that notion. Using an injured bird as an example, she claims that unlike Will, her first inclination is to crush it. In a way, I can kind of see her point. We’re over-populated as it is, and humans naturally have an innate hunter instinct thanks to evolution. She definitely takes her ideals too far when she murders one of her former patients that was referred to her by Hannibal Lecter, though. If there was any confusion before about the type of person Bedelia is, I think that confusion is gone now.

Interestingly, Bedelia points out that she doesn’t think Will is a killer. He had just been brainwashed over time by Hannibal Lecter enough to personally believe it. If anything, Will’s compassion is what makes him vulnerable, and able to so fully empathize with serial killers. This scene was really cool, because it seamlessly transitioned between the past and present as we see the monster come out of Bedelia herself.

Francis Dolarhyde makes his best attempt on putting the mack down on his new friend Reba, who he’s managed to take quite a liking to in spite of his being totally batshit crazy. He woos her by bringing her to the ultimate petting zoo, where she is allowed to touch a tiger that is currently sedated. It was an emotional scene, as Reba had never seen a tiger in her life, so she literally got to experience it first hand.

They go back to Dolarhyde’s place and Reba explains that some of her co-workers explained his appearance to her. Wary at first, Francis retreats back to the safety of his couch to hide from his shame. Reba goes on to explain that people believed that he was ashamed of his face, but his shame was unnecessary. Reba validates this further by laying her mitts all over Francis’ face. Eventually, they do the down and dirty. This is when Dolarhyde sees a vision of his new paramour as the literal woman clothed in sun from the Blake painting. I don’t know what to tell you. Dude’s nuts.

Contrary to my opinion, Hannibal claims that he doesn’t think the “Red Dragon” is insane at all, and mentions that he rather likes this serial killer. Will laments that he is yet unable to make a connection between the two murdered families. This is when Hannibal graciously points Will in the direction of the paintings, which prompts him to seek out one of the paintings for research.

It turns out, old Francis was also interested in the original painting on that particular day. He gets to the scene first, assaults the curator and begins to feast on the original work, using the teeth of some of his victims to assist in his munching. Will shows up right as Dolarhyde is about to leave. That’s when the two come face-to-face. There’s almost an immediate familiarity between the two. Francis obviously recognizes Will from the media, and Will is quick to notice the cleft lip on the killer’s face. Francis a little faster on the draw though, and manages to slam him into the wall of the elevator and hurl him violently back into the art room. Will is taken by surprise by Dolarhyde’s strength as he crashes to the floor. Quickly, he recovers and races to catch up with the man he assumes to be the Tooth Fairy. Unfortunately, but the time Will makes it to the main lobby, Francis is nowhere to be seen.

Final Thoughts…
…And the Woman Clothed in Sun serves to propel the story forward. Will is getting increasingly close to bringing the Red Dragon to justice, and Hannibal gets closer to setting off his plan. It was kind of nice seeing a softer side of a serial killer as he continues to connect with his new friend, but the grim reality of the monster inside that lurks just beneath the surface is hard to ignore. Things are likely to pick up considerably in the final three episodes of this series. Ultimately, I’ll be sad to see it go, but it’s been a thrilling adventure all the same.

What’s Good: Tigers are cool, catching up with Bedelia, shoutout to Zachary Quinto
What’s Not-so-good: Francis and Reba’s relationship feels just a tad bit rushed

What did you think of episode ten? Do you have any opinions regarding works of art as culinary options? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Check out our analysis of episode eleven here…

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