Hannibal – The Great Red Dragon Review


By Carolyn Deas (@carolyndeas)

Remember when I told you to be prepared for a time hop? Yeah, that happened this week. We get to look 3 years into the future and meet a brand new character, too.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

This episode starts off with an unfamiliar character. A man, name not yet mentioned (but we can assume is Francis Dolarhyde), is looking through Time Magazine. The cover shows “The Great Red Dragon.” We see flashes of this man working at a factory (maybe, no details were given) and working out in an attic.

His net moves show him getting a tattoo and acquiring fake teeth. Again, no explanation. There’s a lot of ominous music but no dialogue so at this point, I was clueless as to what was happening. They cut back to this man bowing in front of a picture of the Great Red Dragon in his attic, his back now covered with a tattoo of the beast.
Is he the Great Red Dragon?

We get a flashback of Hannibal, sitting in a church listening to a young boy sing beautifully. His voice echoes throughout the hall. It is actually quite captivating and I remember thinking about trying to find that kind of music for my iPod.

This is when we go to the three-year jump. Alana congratulates Hannibal on being officially insane. He was spared the federal death sentence by pleading insanity. Hannibal claims that he’s not insane. This conversation is happening in Hannibal’s imagination in his dining room. In reality he’s in his glass case of a jail cell while Alana is safe on the other side.

The story moves back to the man from the beginning (again, it’s Francis Dolarhyde but they haven’t confirmed that yet.) He’s standing at a mirror and you can tell that he’s trying to sing. He can’t. He barely makes a sound. Another flash and we see blood falling into snow. Blood is pouring out of Francis’ mouth. He’s trying to scream but he can’t. Someone has ripped his tongue out (again, speculation). He can’t make a noise. Is this the doing of Hannibal Lecter?

Back to Hannibal in the now, he’s with Dr. Chilton. They’re talking about Chilton’s book. He is already working on his next project. The novelty of Hannibal has waned. His new book will be about “The Tooth Fairy.” This is no tooth fairy that I know, though. This one is actually a killer that murders seemingly perfect families in their own homes. He strikes at the American Dream.

If you haven’t guessed already, Francis is the Tooth Fairy. Back in his lair that is an attic, he pulls out a large book with newspaper clippings. All of the articles are about the Chesapeake Ripper. Now, as if emulating the crazy man, he adds his own articles to the mix. He is adding on to Hannibal’s madness. He wants to be Hannibal. But he doesn’t want to be the Tooth Fairy so he crosses that out of the headline.

I bet you’re wondering where Will is now. He’s living out in the country with his many dogs, his wife, and his stepson. Amidst the perfect winter day, Jack Crawford makes an appearance. Will is less than thrilled. Jack has pictures to show Will. He’s working on the Tooth Fairy case.

Will tells Jack that he never thought about calling him. He didn’t want to call him. In fact, he thinks he can’t be of any use anymore. Will doesn’t think he can still use his talent for good. Molly, Will’s wife, begs to differ. She has obviously become aware of everything that Will used to do and she urges Will to help. She knows he feels bad about not being involved, not saving lives. Mostly he’s worried about being different when he comes back. The most recent Will that we know is not a good version of himself.

Before deciding to leave for the investigation, Will pulls out a letter written by Hannibal. In the letter, Hannibal encourages Will not to follow in Jack’s lead. Apparently Will doesn’t take that warning seriously because he burns the letter in the fireplace.

Not taking Hannibal’s advice, Will shows up at the crime scene in Buffalo. After doing his brain blast (which I’m so glad is back – I missed mystery-solving Will Graham), he finds that the killer slits throats. He puts glass over the victim’s eyes and mouth. He gathers all of the victims in one room but then places them back where they were killed. The other strange thing is that the mirror pieces are polished after he did it so he could see his face.
Is Francis that vain that he wants to see what his victims would see if they weren’t dead?

The episode ends with Will visiting Hannibal at his cell. Jack suggests against it, but Will says he can do it now while it’s still helpful or wait until it’s too late.

Rating: 4/5

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