The Red Dragon gets up close and personal in Will Graham’s life as the hunt for the Tooth Fairy continues. Relationship woes head up some of our characters’ main issues in this episode, as we move inexorably toward the show’s conclusion. Things are picking up considerably as the pawns are continually shifting on Hannibal Lecter’s chessboard.
WARNING: Spoilers for episode eleven of Hannibal will follow. Scroll down to “final thoughts” for a brief summation.
After the showdown from last week, our hero and our villain are handling the situation much differently. Will goes directly to Hannibal to chastise his old friend, as he believes (rightly so) that he knew that they would both be at the museum at the same time. Will is under the impression that Hannibal is sabotaging the entire investigation, and sacrificing everyone’s lives and safety just to see what would happen. Hannibal has little power from his cell, so he is working his machinations carefully. Why remains to be seen, but one could discern that Hannibal is just plain bored and wants to spread the fire rather than put it out.
Francis doesn’t take what happened well. He’s mad, and even afraid of the Red Dragon inside of him, and the punishment he will potentially endure. He’s constantly dealing with inner turmoil, as he feels like he has truly found a kindred spirit in Reba. She’s very much his last thread holding him to humanity, but he constantly struggles with urges to sacrifice her to his dark lord. To alleviate this, Hannibal politely offers the news that Will Graham actually has a family. This prospect visually excites Dolarhyde, as maybe murdering Will’s closest family may offer him some sort of reprieve from the angry voices gnawing inside his skull.
Molly isn’t a fool, though. I’m not entirely sure if the sign at the veterinary office tipped her off when she took the dogs in for being sick, but she was already restless and awake the night Francis encroaches upon the Graham household. Careful yet swift, Molly makes her way to her son’s bedroom. She warns him of the intruder and provides him with detailed instructions. Almost as if she had a plan for this type of scenario. Things are tense as Dolarhyde narrowly misses catching his prey, but Molly takes him by surprise when activating her car alarm. The Red Dragon takes the bait and opens fire, just long enough for Molly and Walter to make a getaway.
Against all odds, a car just so happens to be driving down the deserted forest road. Thinking only of protecting her family, Molly leaps into the road to stop the oncoming vehicle. It turns out her little ruse only temporarily stalled the would-be killer, as Dolarhyde shows up just in time to bust a cap in the hapless driver. Panic-ridden, Molly leaps into the vehicle and speeds away — but not before taking a bullet through the carseat by a furious Francis. They manage to get away by the skin of their teeth.
Each member of the Graham household takes things a little differently. Molly is frightened for everyone, naturally. Walter reveals that he is aware of Will’s dark past, and is surprisingly okay with the news. He is very angry by the situation and implores Will not to bring the Tooth Fairy to a mental hospital, but to kill him instead. He throws this suggestion out casually, shortly before turning on some baseball. Will, above all things, feels complete and utter guilt. Guilt for letting himself get sucked down the rabbit hole once more. Guilt for endangering the family he’s come to know and love. Maybe even guilt for meeting them in the first place. In Will’s eyes, choosing to start a family was one of the most selfish things he could have done. I’m sure some small part of himself regrets all of it. He can’t take back his actions, though. Instead, he resolves to see the investigation through to ensure his family is safe once and for all.
Dolarhyde is feeling very similar to Will. In a rather unintentionally comical scene, we watch as the Red Dragon kicks the living shit out of himself. He is punishing himself for his failure at the Graham residence, and is left with torturous feelings that the demon inside him needs to be sated. He realizes then, that he was selfish for beginning a relationship with Reba. In a weepy scene, Francis lays the rejection bomb down on her, claiming his reason was that he didn’t want to hurt her. As literal as this statement is, Reba naturally takes this like anyone would and gets terribly upset and feels a little betrayed. He is trying to look out for her, though. So at least there’s an iota of human decency inside himself, though it’s pretty difficult to believe considering all of the happy families he’s murdered. It’s interesting that he can resist the urge to kill solely with this woman. Everyone else, it is no holds barred.
Alana catches word that Hannibal has been communicating with the Tooth Fairy directly, so she brings in her old pal Jack Crawford to try and sort the good doctor out. Lecter agrees to let the FBI put a trace on his next phone call with Francis, in the hopes that it will lead them to the killer’s place of residence. For a while, Hannibal plays along, and when Francis inevitably calls about his ended relationship, he takes time to let the killer vent. Francis mentions that he is afraid that Reba will come back to his home to try and work things out, but Hannibal quickly changes the subject with an abrupt warning that “they’re listening.” Instantly, Dolarhyde is on the run and out of his home. Crawford and Alana are obviously furious, but it isn’t a total loss. The FBI knows about the Red Dragon’s Lair, and he will have to go into hiding if he desires to evade the authorities. He’s clearly being backed into a corner, and only time will tell where and when he lashes out next.
Alana makes good on her promise, and removes all of Lecter’s amenities, including his toilet. This is the first time we get to see this version of Hannibal with the mask, and it’s a pretty cool throwback to the original. That guard is lucky that Hannibal was courteous enough not to munch one of her fingers off, but he let her put him in the mask all the same. It’s doubtful that Hannibal is pleased with his current predicament, but I have a sneaking feeling that he’s still not done playing the game.
Will is the last one to see Lecter before the episode ends. Graham is beginning to lose his composure, as the stakes for the case continue to rise. I think it’s pretty clear Hannibal wants to unleash both demons (Graham and Dolarhyde) upon each other to see who can make it out alive. Maybe they’ll destroy each other, for all Lecter knows. He still is getting joy seeing Will squirm. Some people just like to watch the world burn, I suppose.
And the Beast from the Sea is an exciting episode that puts people in harm’s way. The stakes are being raised, as friend and family alike are being tested. Armitage is impressive as the Red Dragon, a hopelessly tortured soul longing for ascension. Hannibal is better than ever as he freely and quite openly stirs the honey pot. I’m admittedly pretty surprised at how little Chilton has been on the show as of late, but I’m hoping that this will be rectified soon. Other than that, this was a satisfyingly thrilling episode and I’m more excited than ever to see the final two installments of the series.
The Good: Molly and Walter are really new characters, but the show does a great job of making you care about their safety, Dolarhyde’s silly self mutilation was hilarious
The Not-so good: I don’t think the creators intended Francis’ self ass-kicking scene to actually be comedic, unfortunately
How did this episode shape up in your eyes? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!