A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 1×13 (Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 6 was faking it!)

Dark Matter 1x13

Answers may have been given, but reasons are far from visible in the tumultuous season finale of Dark Matter. Rather than go epic, explosive, and death defying, we return to the root that started the show off with its categorical mistrust that settles on one question: Who is the real betrayer among the crew? That answer is seemingly given but again, we know so little about why and what that we’ll be left speculating for the coming months. The good news, season 2 has been green lit, so there will be a reckoning with our resident Raza team.

Elements worked very well in this finale while a few stuck out like sore thumbs. The guessing game can be both uplifting and frustrating at the same time because suspicion breeds all kinds of crazy scenarios with misdirection and red herrings. I can’t say I’m satisfied with the ending because I don’t understand the root of the problem as it was introduced many episodes prior. Do things make sense? Certainly not, but we’ll dive and see what we can see.

After the crew discover the android has been incapacitated, the crew search the ship for who they think is a corporate unit that never left. Their sweep yields nothing and they conclude the party responsible is one of them. Distrust is sown between all members as one by one, members begin to fall to an agent passed on by both injection and water. Four is the first to fall, followed by Six. Three and One constantly accuse the other and Five is left worrying that it’s truly Two who turned on them. While being locked away in the bridge, Five encounters the hologram who reveals her function and that the android is in fact defective. Five has the hologram delete itself and then escapes the bridge. The remaining are caught in the hallway with Three and Two training their guns on One. Five arrives and accuses Two of being the traitor until a pair of gas canisters knock them all out. An authority ship arrives and commandeers the ship, taking each of the crew away with Six revealed as the culprit who set them up. He’s seen the last leaving with the authority team.

Well, there we have it. In Five’s recording, Four and Two were referencing Six being the one who had to die and Five is essentially responsible for mind-wiping the crew but not necessarily with that intention in mind in order to stop them from murdering someone. It…sounds cut and dry, but that does leave plenty to speculate. For example, was Six working with the authority the entire time as a spy and infiltrated the General’s group? Was his revenge really genuine against him? Probably so. Does he still care about the crew? Or is he playing for a third party that has yet to be named?

My first and only real issue with this episode was the first 15 minutes. We all knew, and I do mean we ALL knew that there wasn’t a stowaway on board and I don’t think we needed 15 minutes for the crew to realize that. It just took too long to do those sweeps and even longer for the vent scenes that felt very “Alien” in retrospect. Aside from that I was pleasantly fine with how events unfolded. The right amount of distrust came about, characters playing for and against others. Natural tendencies came out and obvious retaliation came at the expense of tying up loose ends from previous threads. The plot held pretty tight until that the end and though it can be argued that Six should or shouldn’t have been able to wake up from his own injection, it’s a minor point. Why never gets answered and that’s fine too because this show is all about cliffhangers and that’s easily the biggest one to date. Will Six ever be trusted again? Surely he owes Five if nothing else and who knows, maybe this opens the door for the crew to unofficially work for the authority. Just because they wear dark Jason masks doesn’t mean they’re the bad guys, right?

One possible continuity flaw is how Five is so easily convinced that Two is the culprit. True there’s undeniable evidence that she conspired with Four to kill “someone” on the ship, but it was never proven that anyone might have retained their memories from the mind-wipe. She jumped at that conclusion first then tried to piece everything else together and it’s unfortunate that all of Two’s trust and friendship really didn’t count for anything after the fact. Maybe it’s a flaw of the human spirit and not so much the logistics of the technology involved. People can turn at the drop of a hat and Five is no different considering the circumstances.


The ending. Cluster moments laced in W.T.F when dealing with “who dunnit?” plots are always mind-numbingly awesome because one can spend so much time rewinding facts and scenes in your head making you second guess yourself until the truth is revealed. It’s psychologically exhausting but can have really sweet results if written right. Dark Matter sold most of the delivery on this and Six did stand out as a character who ideally shouldn’t be a traitor. What kind of a traitor has yet to be seen. I’m not writing him off as a villain yet because we just don’t know enough about why. After all, he was on a ship full of cutthroats before the mind-wipe occurred. Who were the actual villains in this case?


Well let’s just go with Six because he did dupe the crew and probably a great many of the watchers. As soon as the gas cans hit, my brain activated and cornered on Six, I’m just annoyed I didn’t guess it earlier. I like to be fooled so I usually turn my brain off during episodes or movies like these but those intrusive guesses still make their way. In any case, kudos for Six on fooling the lot.


Like a few, there was that moment when the hologram showed up that we could have easily believed the whole thing was orchestrated by her. She did say she was running on default parameters which suggested some old programming could be making her manipulate events. But it wasn’t the case. She really was just something the android conjured and now only Five knows the truth about her “defective” nature. I don’t think she fulfilled anything since Five made her delete herself, but who knows, maybe there’s something more the android will need to find out that will make her reinitialize the program later.

If Six was truly responsible why pretend to hold his gun like he’s looking for someone once he was outside of Five’s field of vision? Maybe he just took advantage of the situation before injecting himself which is fine. Minor nitpick here.

I would have liked to have seen Four and Six duke it out. Have a moment where they both wake up and then realize they both know and then they tear the place up before Six gets the upper hand. Aw well.

I loved that ending theme when the crew were being dragged out and Six struts outward past the camera. Good reveal and well placed music. I applaud.

Did Six really need a shock-stick to take out Two? On second thought, yeah probably.

If you’re going to stealthily look for someone who might have stowed away on your ship, it might be best to not bring up earlier plot points to your paired teammate if you’re going to get the drop on that stowaway.

Looking back, remembering Six’s conversation with Five makes a little more since considering he basically tried to convince her to leave the ship because she really wasn’t a part of the crew. In a way if he was duping them all from that point, what he was doing was trying to save her the hassle of being caught by the galactic authority. Or maybe I’m reading too far into it.


8 out of 10. Again, very impressed with the plot and twists, but the first quarter of the episode had my eyes rolling because it was more about the characters taking their time deducing the situation when we knew from the start what was essentially happening. I’m very glad the show is greenlit for a second season, otherwise I’d be scratching my head forever trying to understand Six’s role in all this. As a whole, this first season is keeping me inserted and I look forward to the next season when it airs. The cast is doing good work and I’m sure they have their work cut out for them in future installments. Whether Six remains a part of that structure remains to be seen. Great season and thanks for reading. Until next time.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 1×12 (The great great great great great grandson of Dr. Isaac Parrish lives on)

Dark Matter 1x12

With the planet’s destruction a seemingly negligible concern, all plots push forward to reveal Two’s sordid past within the company known as Dwarf Star, led by Science-Fiction alumni, Wil Wheaton. The crew perform a daring rescue operation with Two’s life in the balance. Five discovers a shocking secret regarding the crew before they were mind-wiped and someone on the shop finally makes their move in secret.

Two’s questions to her status as truly human or not is the main theme of this episode and it came during the penultimate episode. It fits in at the opportune time and deals with an interesting concept about the human condition and what having a flawed brain really means. This is somewhat paired with the android’s quest to rationalize her own behavior as a machine with friends. Both duality compliment the rescue plot and this stands as one of the better balanced episodes of the season. Wil’s performance as the cocky but subtle Alex Rook helped inject some sci-fi star power into this brand as well.

After the planet was destroyed The crew discover the device was used as a means to further white hole technology which acts in opposite of natural black holes. Calchek then communicates them about a job to rescue a scientist who is working for Ferris Corp. They take the job but it’s a trap set by Alex Rook who leads the company, Dwarf Star on the planet they landed on. Two is apprehended and shut down due to a dampening field that affects her nanites. Alex explains to the crew what Two (Rebecca) is and promptly sends them on their way. The crew plan a rescue attempt using the android to infiltrate the facility while Alex performs a diagnosis on Two. After Two attempts to escape, Alex concludes she’ll need a new brain to reformat and they proceed with the surgery. Meanwhile, Five discovers a listening device she planted under the dining table before she was mind-wiped and collects it. At the facility, the android successfully shuts the field down and Two kills the surgical team before blowing the facility up. Alex, however escapes and is later seen visiting an old man in a solitary room connected to a machine. He declares Two and her crew will need to be dealt with because they know what she is. Alex also refers to a prototype that will replace Two. Back on the ship, the crew settle in as Five discovers on the tape she found that Two and Four agreed to kill one of the male members on the ship before they went into stasis. Later, someone is seen taking the shock stick and using it on the android, shutting her down.

The human condition as it relates to superior forms of life including androids is a staple of science-fiction storytelling. It deconstructs and analyzes thoughts and emotions that conflict with logical beings as well as beings that are inherently flawed when they’re supposed to be in effect, perfect. Two asks a barrel of these questions before finding out where she came from, and further still, long after she escapes. What I think the scientists on Dwarf Star fail to realize is that a flawed brain is exactly what a human brain is. When you create a human mortal, there is no such thing as a flawless brain. They were looking for issues like psychopathic problems of a sort and weren’t finding anything because the human brain is meant to be unstable in unique ways. What I think they were truly looking for was what it took to create a subservient soul that physically had no flaws and had the mind perform specific functions like a robot. Emotions flair this up all the time and it goes to show that just because Two murdered a lot of people doesn’t mean she preferred it or would always fall to it. Alex warned the crew that eventually Rebecca would turn on them, but I think it’s easy to disagree with that assessment because the power of friendship tends to overcome all, usually. In any case, it was a good start to a new path that Two is now facing. Let’s hope she can own her own actions and not feel compelled to lose herself to the rampage that she’s accused of being drawn toward.

The android’s holographic devil’s advocate returns and offers more candid thoughts on her position and status as the ship’s relevant synthetic life-form. In her passive way, she’s attempting to prove to a stronger more logical program that friendship is necessary, yet the hologram makes a point. The android looks human and humans are drawn to other human-like things. This isn’t always the case, because a voice in the machine works just as well in other storylines to build connections, but it can be argued a voice is just a human as any physical construct that appears the same. What’s significant is her drive to want to be accepted. It’s not that she doesn’t understand it, it’s that she’s persevering in spite of opposing information. Her act with shutting down the dampening field is a good analogy in that her struggles to shut down what keeps Two docile is the same as what’s keeping the android from breaking her own shackles on becoming more human-like. It’s good development, although I still question the use of a hologram duplicate. The same could be accomplished for any one of the crew members. Even Three could be ideal, mainly because he doesn’t care.

Five’s discovery sheds a little light on the crew’s prior personalities, and it goes to show that everyone aside from Six was basically in jerk-face mode before going into stasis. Four seemed to be somewhat in charge and was the deciding factor on Five staying on the ship. Afterward, he converses with Two about one of the male members needing to be killed. So the question remains, are they referring to One, Three, or Six? As far as theories go, they all have equal reasons though One stands as the likely suspect because he’s not the real Jace Corso and finding that out could easily earn him a trip through the space doors. More importantly, someone took out the android and though one might easily suggest it was five, the height of where the shock stick struck the android suggests it was someone else. But was it the same person that Two and Four conspired to kill? Or does one even have to do with the other? Maybe it was the hologram! No one ever suspects the hologram.


The android’s entire infiltration from start to finish. I like it. They found a perfect use for her and she played an integral part in Two’s escape. She’s proving to be more than just an asset and is trying to grow on her own. Plus she can still kick a lot of ass and that’s always a plus.


This was Two’s centric episode and it stands that she should get the MVP this time. She couldn’t fight against her own programming and killed the scientists when the dampening field was released so in a way she was proving to Alex everything he suspected. But in that I think from an acting point of view she showed a lot of vulnerability and tried to defy her captors in spite of her nature to hit first and ask questions later. True she resumed being stone-cold later, but at the time it was interesting to see how she reacted when her mechanism to combat her problems was taken away.


Evil scientist mocks the victim by slowly carving into her head. It’s classic but a little futile. I don’t think we needed a moment try and feel sorry for that particular guy because he lost a bunch of friends who Two killed. He’s a scientist on the villain team, he’s evil, nothing more needs to be described.

The white hole concept was pretty fascinating and I was hoping that’d play a bigger role in this episode, but hopefully it’ll come back in future ones.

If I were Alex, I would have killed the crew and not invite them for dinner and explain everything that Two is. I get the pleasantries and finding out what the crew knew, but he’s the kind of character that would have made that call instead of waiting for an old man to tell him what he basically already knew.

And speaking of the old man, is the prototype meant for him? What is the connection between Rebecca and him and what’s the endgame here?

Is one of the crew actually playing possum and remembers everything before the stasis? Seems arbitrary, but whatever the case may be, it’ll be interesting to see if someone actually genuinely betrays the crew or if this is all just a simple misunderstanding.


8 out of 10. Pretty solid episode all around. Questioning one’s own human condition is necessary sometimes and with Two and the android they share something in common that I think supports the overall plot. Wil did fine for his bit part, hopefully he can make more appearances and be an enjoyable villain. No real nitpicks this time around. Not a perfect episode but it did leave us hanging as usual, which can be frustrating when you want things to wrap up smoothly. In any case, only one more episode left. We’ll see what secrets are unveiled and where the crew goes from here. Thanks for reading.

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 1×11 (Never create something technological with the word “hole” in it!)

Dark Matter 1x11

Continuing straight from the last episode, the crew of the Raza deal with their loss of Two as Wexler and his team attempt to rendezvous with another corporation to sell off the device. An unexpected problem with the ship’s FTL causes problems that result Five stepping up her game and the return of Two, who finally begins to understand what she is.

This was a vast improvement over the last episode in several ways, most notably the actions of an almost Terminator-like quality of Two, and Five getting her hands dirty but saving Two in the process. Shots felt tighter and flowed better from scene to scene along with some innocuous speech giving moment by One in an effort to rile of the men of the Raza. The action was pretty solid all around as well, making this a very well-rounded episode leading into a cliffhanger segment that’s sure to put the crew in dire straits from here on out.

After Two is jettisoned in space, Wexler apprehends One and attempts to gain information on loot that Jace Corso revealed to have stashed somewhere far away. One doesn’t know and Five is brought in with the threat that she’ll be tortured or worse if he doesn’t tell them. Wexler’s crew, however discover that the FTL drive is non-operational and Vons leaves in a space suit at Five’s suggestion to find and fix the problem. Vons is then somehow subdued and killed as Two makes her way back in the ship, unharmed. Meanwhile, One tries to convince Three, Four, and Six that they need to continue fighting if they are to survive. Another corporation arrives and boards the ship as Two and Tash engage in a brutal fight with Two killing her. She then begins systematically taking out the corporation team and is eventually caught by Cain, but Five kills him with a gun she had hidden away. After the corporate ship departs, Two forces Wexler to give her the code to open the vault and then spaces him not knowing what she really is. Later, the android informs her that she is some kind of bio engineered construct and will likely be hunted down if her true nature is discovered. All but One are shocked at her secret but later the device is handed over to the planet that needed it and after activating the device, it pulsates but something goes terribly wrong resulting in the planet’s entire destruction. The Raza crew barely escape but now are forced to content with this new development.

Two’s surgical strike was for me the highlight of this episode. Knowing she’d return because “main character” didn’t really detract from what she did after she was spaced. Knowing now that she’s an engineered being of course still raises questions but at least she doesn’t have to wear that bandage anymore. I do believe she’s at the crux of her character’s growth in that now she can question everything about her existence and will have to make some kind of call on how she’ll act form here on out. I think her connections with most of the characters will probably wane except with Five who she’s always looked after like an older sister. She can always choose to ignore her abilities and try to remain as human as possible, but that’s the point is we won’t know until she does it. It’s good that we finally got some information on her after all this time.

The men weren’t really given a lot to do in this episode but deal with being locked away. Although One did convince them to work together even in the face of futility, it was unfortunate that they didn’t fashion their own means of escaping or even finding more secrets in the vault. As much as I appreciate One’s attempt at sounding like a leader, I can never get past him always sounding like he’s whining. It’s hard to know if this is just a character flaw or if the actor just doesn’t have the range to change his style. Even the real Corso seemed like a silly attempt to show the actor’s ability to be gruff and serious. In any case, it was Three’s obvious denial that he cared that much for Two that helped put things in perspective. Wise moves that will hopefully continue to pay off in the future.

I’d like to think that this will be the last time anyone tells Five to hide in the vents. She’s holding her own and even under certain threats, she still manages to utilize what she knows or has access to to help her fellow crew members. Now that’s she actually killed someone I doubt she’ll suffer too much for it, but it’ll be interesting to see if maybe that changes her demeanor slightly. Her quest to belong is finally realized, but whether there’s a downside to it remains to be seen.

The ending scene suggests there’s some drastic repercussions to be had. Was that planet fully populated and what was the device designed to do? Was there instability within the planet and the device corrected it or was it designed to augment existing properties on the planet and then malfunctioned? Either way it appears the Raza will likely take the blame for this tragic event because you don’t just walk away from a planet exploding and not look like the culprits who caused it. It’s possible this ties into the last two episodes of the season, but then again, they could very well just move the Raza crew right along like nothing happened.


The fight between Two and Tash. It was just really well done. They didn’t pull any punches and it looked like both characters knew what they were doing. This kind of choreography should be a standard for all future one-on-one fights, plus I like how Two just threw Tash to the side after breaking her neck.


Between Two and Five I think Two gets the edge. Five did a lot of good things, but development wise, Two is undergoing an overhaul and is finally coming to terms with what she is. By choosing to space Wexler, she’s ignoring some of her more human aspects because right now it’s pointless to feel guilt or compassion toward villainous characters when she herself doesn’t understand what she truly is. Moving forward, I’d expect she’ll become more distant for the sake of not connecting emotionally, but it’s entirely possible the opposite could occur.


That android hologram wasn’t re-addressed in this episode so I imagine they’ll do something with it before the finale. It seemed like a great idea, but if it’s just tossed to the side as a meaningless plot point, I’d be surprised.

Whenever you need to accentuate a villain’s irritating personality, just stick a toothpick in his mouth, works every time.

Watching Four meditate within the vault while the carbon-dioxide built up reminded me of a Gundam Wing episode where Wufei did the same thing in a similar situation. Both popped up when the door opened too.

I’m actually really glad the corporate team’s armor actually absorbed/deflected Two’s bullets. It’s so rare to see an enemy’s armor do that these days, you know, function like it’s supposed to.

In bringing up Three’s feelings for Two, does this mean we’ll be seeing that love triangle they’ve been off-and-on teasing since this show began? Two may not be interested in either though at this point.


8 out of 10. Everyone was on point in this episode and it was shot with precision and care. I didn’t feel there were any significant moments that didn’t fit or should have been dialed down. Two and Five continue to impress themselves and each other while the guys attempt to build on their camaraderie. The ending was literally explosive but I don’t know enough about this universe to understand if planets exploding is a thing or if it’s pretty unheard of. One way or another we’ll find out. Thanks for reading.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 1×10 (Why can’t we all be frenemies?)

Dark Matter 1x10

Just when you thought the Raza would be boarded and its crew interrogated and tortured, they swerve and give us a thieving plot. The tenth episode of Dark Matter pairs our notable crew with another team, charged with stealing an unknown but important device from a station. After both teams encounter an unhealthy amount of drama, the plan is set in motion while the android begins a new assessment on her program by creating a holographic version of herself designed to track her every movement and decision. It’s a smash and grab with plenty of both to seal within this mostly standalone episode.

For the past few episodes we’ve been given ample backstory and intriguing plot to push our knowledge of the crew into expanding territory. Every now and again we’re given an episode that’s outside of that scope but keeps intact enough character development to move personalities along and maybe keep some things lighthearted along the way. Two’s attitude remains the same when confronted by overzealous masculine types while Five is given a chance to assert her worth on the crew. Technically the episode can be skipped based purely on over-arcing plot development, but with all episodes ending it snafu cliffhangers, it’s best to enjoy the episode for what it is: hijinks and mayhem.

The Raza avoid a nuclear strike against a pursuing vessel and are aided by the corporation that backed their play during the mining colony plot. They are given an assignment to remain sponsored and are told to steal a device with the help of another team. Both crews travel in the Raza and their leader mistakenly tries to pursue Two and ends up physically injured. This allows Five to take his place with her knowledge of electronic engineering. Once inside the station, both crews perform as intended and after a few hiccups along the way leave with the device in hand. Later on the ship, the other crew double-cross the Raza team and steal the ship and the device for themselves. In the final scene, Two is jettisoned into space.

The first few things to stand out are the resourcefulness of Two and Five with how Two handled the nuke missile and with how Five adapted through the issue with powering the door. Collectively they are showing their capabilities and proving why they are where they need to be on the crew. Most everyone else really didn’t come through with any particular “save the day” moments, but for the sake of hilarity, Four was best being put outside the group overtaking the door. He would have decimated the android easily had he been there, but no one knew. I thought Wexler might have touched on something about Two’s method for choosing mates, but ever since she started fraternizing with One, her attitude has been more monogamous as of late. Either way, his attitude earned him a beaten body proving even in space, some men are complete douche-bags.

There’s also a bit of relationship woes dividing One and Two up ever since he confronted her about speaking to the crew before her about the job. He gets some not-so soundly advice with how to treat their captain and she reacts by dismissing any future acts together for the time being. There are always some irrational behaviors in the drama that are relationships and as such One is realizing he can’t just cop an attitude with Two and not expect there to be some kind of retaliation. Every male that attempts to assert their dominance over her tends to be quickly squashed in one form or another.

The act of the job itself had its moments, mainly with the android problem which I thought was handled a bit poorly between everyone, but that was the point. When it was stated there’d be no weapons on the job, I thought something like this would occur, but the crew can’t always rely on weapons, good lesson to learn. Not knowing what the device really is is disappointing mainly because it doesn’t wrap up all the plot points in the same episode. It’s a typical formula to maintain watching episode to episode, but I would have liked to know something more than that a corporation desired to have it.

The android’s unique idea to create a holographic version of herself to assess her functions was a cool approach. One the good side, she’s learning to diagnose herself and is also proving to be resourceful just on her own, but the bad side is that it keeps her isolated and away from any plot that takes the crew outside of the ship. This gives her something to do and to stay relevant, but I’d like her to be more useful when its possible. The hologram’s quick vanishing act when Five came in does raise a question or two.


The android attack. This is the second time (that I remember) when they’ve used a fight sequence to trade banter between characters. It deflates the seriousness of the situation, but allows the crew to deal with the problem without being too eccentric or serious about it. I like that dynamic because it’s not often the jokes seem very spot on except in these kinds of skirmishes.


I think Two gets it for this episode. In dealing with the nuke attack, the new crew and of course the overlapping relationships between her friends, she’s been playing a constant balancing act while keeping her secret still at bay. It can’t always be easy for her, and the strain will eventually cause her to slip up on that secret, unless she comes clean before that happens. Still, she’s fighting the good fight, playing it safe when she needs to and conforming to the crew’s vote as well. Her renaissance nature showed in this episode.


It’s a shot in the dark, but did the android imagine her holographic twin? If so, could that be a side effect of her programming, or is the hologram just not supposed to be seen by anyone? Could be simple, but I still wonder.

That hipster Lannister pair were an odd bunch. Just when you thought they started to show some character, they didn’t. Shame.

I honestly don’t mind seeing Two spaced. I know something creative will happen that will allow her to survive, probably involving her genetic make-up, but if this show does have any moxy, they might afford to put away a cast member by season’s end. It doesn’t have to be Two, but it could show there’s no safety net on the show.

I don’t know why but I liked that Three was the one who gave up the code. I would have expected either One or Six to have done it, but that’s how you give jerk-like characters more substance by having them do unexpected things, usually compassionate in nature.

Five gets pass on her goggles this time, because she actually used them in a way that made sense.


This felt very average to me. The backstories and main plot were essentially put on hold to make way for a standard crew vs. crew tale which saw the double-cross a mile away. When shows can’t afford to put aside main arc plots, it’s compelling television, but when writers have to throw in these kinds of stories, I’m not as intrigued. Still, it allowed for some light-hearted moments and helped give Five something to do. The end showed promise for the next episode, but that’s what cliffhangers are designed to do. I know we won’t be spending an entire episode trying to search for a spaced Two, but it should move forward her ability which is something I’ve been clamoring for the last few episodes. 6 out of 10. Again, I’m not knocking the episode for doing what it did, it was just overtly dull to me. Thanks for reading.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Hannibal – Season 3×13 (Compassion is always inconvenient in the eyes of decadence)

Hanni 3x13

Their bodies taste the metal and with it comes the blood-soaked conclusion that closes the book between one profiler and one surrealistic killer. Hannibal takes the known and casts it aside to tell it’s own version of endings that fits the parameters of all episodes that preceded them. When characters plummet, there’s always a chance to rise again, but there’s a healthy assurance that whether their lives continue or not, one thing is for certain, they accepted each other’s strength and weakness for but a fleeting moment, then let go.

The symmetry was for the most part intact. I’m left feeling generally satisfied with how events played out, however the hang-ups I do have don’t detract too much from my overall assessment that we were given a grand finale that made the most sense and was the most deserved. There were no plans to leave thing open for season 4 to handle the “Silence” treatment yet if it snows in hell, then never say never. Some questions do linger most notably the depiction of Bedelia and her insatiable urge to settle as Hannibal’s meal, but I’ll get into that leg of it a bit later.

Francis sets up his death by presumably shooting himself after setting his house on fire with the intention for both he and Reba to die in. Reba escapes believing Francis is dead and converses with Will on the matter. Will says his goodbyes to Hannibal but is later found by Francis who forces Will to help him meet Hannibal face to face. Will returns to Jack and with Dr. Bloom they plan a scenario that sees Hannibal escape from his confines with the intention of dispatching both him and the dragon. While traveling, Will and Hannibal’s car is attacked by Francis, who kills all the cops and drives away. Hannibal takes a cop car and drives to his old home with Will accompanying him. At night, Hannibal treats Will to a glass of wine but is shot through the stomach by Francis. He arrives and intends to film his murder of Hannibal but Will attempts to shoot Francis from behind. Francis stabs Will in the side of the face and shoulder as the three struggle toward the outside of the house. Will and Hannibal work together and kill Francis taking in several wounds. In the final scene, Will and Hannibal embrace by the cliff’s edge with Hannibal saying this was all he ever wanted for the both of them. Will whispers that it’s beautiful and then pulls himself and Hannibal off the cliff toward the ocean hundreds of feet below. In the post-credit scene, Bedelia is seen sitting at a table for three with her left leg dressed as the entree on the table. She patiently waits for Hannibal to arrive and eat her.

Rather than conclude the tale with Francis once more attacking Will with his family, the tale is turned inward and he now wishes to kill Hannibal on his path to changing into the red dragon. While I completely agree this idea was the appropriate way to go, I can’t help but wonder logistically why Will went along with it without tipping anyone’s hand. He never informed Jack or Bloom that Francis was “making” him find a way to join him to Hannibal which I thought was strange. Even their plan collectively to have Hannibal and Francis killed wasn’t spelled out in any discernible way. Jack and Bloom weren’t at the house, and for that matter neither was Chiyo so none of them could have any hand in the plan they were making with Will. Not to mention all the cops who were murdered but I don’t think they intended on Francis to attack while they were on route, which begs the question, where were they actually going? Were they going to pretend stop somewhere and then get attacked? It’s not a huge issue but my main concern was that Jack and Bloom really didn’t have any last scene to wrap up any lingering issues they had. Jack kind of did earlier in the previous episode when he declared Hannibal was the devil. And I suppose Bloom and Chilton’s final scene together was meant to address any mental concerns she had. Something felt underwhelming about getting Francis to make Will pretend to get Hannibal released, but in the end it was to get the three of them alone in that house which happened and that’s what we needed. Logistics aside, the ends justified the means.

The bloody act itself was likened to fighting necessary evil. Will and Hannibal worked together which I think is something fans wanted to see since the beginning. Opposite forces destroy the common enemy and for the time given it was a savage piece of art. I really didn’t expect Will to keep fighting after that first stab wound in the face. I looked at it again and I still think he should have bled out, but he fought on and even sustained more wounds that surely would done him in had he not tossed himself and Hannibal over the edge. I believe Hannibal would have survived his gunshot and other wounds as well. But the nature of these cuts and flesh tears that permeate this show is that the human body is tough and resilient and can survive a lot of pain. Which brings us to the next topic.

Did they actually die from falling into the ocean? Poetry and a flair for the dramatic demands the answer be yes. Will accepted the beauty in Hannibal’s over-arcing vision but still had to put an end to the violence he had done and likely would continue doing. As far as the fall goes. In real life, smacking the ocean at a height like that is just the same as hitting pavement and if you have enough speed to hit terminal velocity, the act is that much more gruesome. Having said that, people have survived falls like that and sustained only broken limbs for the effort. So if the story demanded it, yes, they could both survive. Hannibal could be recaptured and season 4 could continue with the Silence plot, but we all know that’s a non-issue and this ending was the feather in that cap because they knew it too. I choose to believe they met their end mainly because Hannibal accepted Will’s choice to leave that cliff. If Hannibal wanted to live, he would have and this show was always about his driving force. If he gives up, then his body won’t survive. He can always make the best out of a bad situation, but this time, he felt it was okay, because Will finally understood what Hannibal was all about.


That epic final fight. It all built to that moment and seeing Will and Hannibal tear into Francis as a pair was brutal and fierce. It tops out their embrace and suicide at the end because the finale prepared us for that the second they began talking about the cliff and erosion earlier in the day. It was easy to pinpoint what the ending would be, but not necessarily how they reached it. The fight was the payoff and I for one enjoyed the hell out of it.


Will and Hannibal are the dual winners in this clash and rightfully so. The ending needed to focus on them specifically and together they shared enough true moments that capitalized on their brilliant acting ability. In a way one could argue that Hannibal knew how everything was going to play out when he mentioned the cliff with Will, supplanting the idea in his head that they were meant to topple over after they took out Francis. If only they were able to share their last drink where could the conversation go, but forever in reflection on their lives and what got them there.


In the post-credit scene, Bedelia sits alone with a hopeful look that Hannibal will be in attendance. Then there’s a close-up of a right hand picking up a fork on a plate, but then the next shot shows Bedelia moving her left hand down to her side. The camera focused on the fork suggests that its opposing against Bedelia’s sitting position and the hand picking up the fork looked very male. In essence, either Hannibal is in fact there or she’s imagining him there partaking in the meal that is her left leg. However the chair on the opposite end remains pushed in also suggesting that she is in fact alone.

Something else that makes me wonder is why the leg? I kept thinking that there’s some erotic nature with Bedelia wanting to be devoured, but if her leg is already detached, then the devouring aspect is really just the eating act itself and she just wants to watch and experience it as a spectator rather than be the physical meal. She wants Hannibal to enjoy her more than any meal he’s ever had because she’s above the “pet” or the annoying client or anyone else that Hannibal normally considers to be live-stock. Her devotion to being worthy demonstrates that there’s a mountain of wrong in her mind, yet there she was, ready and willing to be the decadent meal he always intended.

I go back to logistics, but according to the scene, Francis held the body up to shoot it with the shotgun and it somehow stayed standing long enough to drop like a normal living body would when it’s shot point blank with the shotgun. I’m curious how fast Francis had to act to put the key around his neck and stand him up after he leaves Reba’s side.

I’m surprised there were no more scenes with Will’s family. I suppose any sentimental moments would have given away some aspect of the ending and they didn’t want to distract Will with believing he had to make a choice between them and Hannibal. It also doesn’t have to clarify if Will intended to make it out of Hannibal’s house alive originally, but he did carry a gun so there’s that.


9 out of 10. Some of the logistical nitpicks held this from being a perfect score, but otherwise it was the proper finale with the right characters an the right setting to be had. Hannibal and Will shared more than just a bond of opposing ideals, but the fascination of Hannibal’s killing spirit and Will’s reluctance to tap into that spirit made their relationship super conductive. They could sit down and have layered philosophical discussions from dawn to dusk and as long as there were things to discover within each other, they’d play at those roles with Hannibal the ever guiding hand. I believe they had a strong finish, with Bedelia being left at the table. In hindsight, she represents our own unresolved state that the show was cut before its time and we won’t have our final meal to enjoy. It will just grow cold. I’m satisfied with the ending and with the show in general. Brilliant images cascading through the imaginative and cultivating fine pieces of storytelling that will resonate for some time. I always thought Hannibal Lecter was the definitive villain in all of literature, but now I can see that when translated gracefully, he can be that same unique and elegant villain in all forms of media. Thanks for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Hannibal – Season 3×12 (For the record, Bluebeard had 7 wives…or was it five?)

Hanni 3x12

There’s never a shortage of gross misconduct on a show that details the finer points of secular and succulent torture. The penultimate episode of Hannibal takes a chance at rewriting history and settles for a unique perspective on how to possibly end the story of Hannibal, Will, and the Great Red Dragon. With a new trap set in motion, Will attempts to lure out the dragon but Francis has other plans and exacts a bit of revenge on an unsuspecting victim. Hannibal receives a small reward for his efforts and events are put in motion for the final act to begin.

I appreciate that this episode changed up a few elements that naturally occur in the original storyline. Most of the time I tend to keep waiting for the scene to play out how I envisioned and most often I’m surprised by the changes they make. In this case it’s Chilton instead of Freddie being the victim, though death is not necessarily the result, which is also surprising. As long as someone named Fred(ie) was under the threat of Francis then truly the course wasn’t altered that much.

After Will speaks to Bedelia discussing Hannibal and potentially their endgame mindsets, Jack visits Hannibal and proclaims that he’s still the one masterminding the entire act. Jack and Will use Freddie Lounds to post a bogus article detailing a subjective summary on the Toothfairy while using Chilton to accentuate it in a hope to lure the dragon out of hiding. Instead, Francis kidnaps Chilton and tortures him by biting his lips off and setting him on fire. Hannibal receives Chilton’s lips in the mail and devours one of them. Later, Francis kidnaps Reba and reveals that he’s the dragon.

The deviation with the dragon’s main victim was a smart move. By placing Chilton in that role it centered the plot around the right characters and gave Hannibal a chance to savor Chilton’s torture after being ridiculed by Hannibal’s refute of Chilton’s documented events of the past. If this had been Freddie, it wouldn’t have resonated as well and to be fair she’s barely made any impact on this third season. She keeps to playing a minor role and doesn’t suffer for it. As for Chilton. I am a bit shocked they’re keeping him alive in his condition. I can’t imagine he’ll ever be the future character that Silence of the Lambs needs him to be, and in a way, Hannibal got a taste of “having an old friend for dinner” a bit early. I’d like to think that was a nice homage to that old sentiment.

The gory depictions of Chilton’s demise were absolutely well done. Even I had to grab my own lips to make sure they were still there. The close-up of Chilton’s burning face was somewhat comical because it looked so outlandish and abhorrent. I really wasn’t expecting him to pull through that much mutilation. Hannibal’s quick shot with slurping the lip in his mouth made me laugh and I do believe that was the point. Though, with the checking on the envelope, I would have thought they would have confiscated the contents and never let it anywhere near Hannibal, but then we wouldn’t have gotten that scene so I’ll leave that nitpick alone.

After this episode, I’ve made up my mind that Bedelia truly wants to be eaten by Hannibal. She all but said it and it’s eerily creepy that she revels in the thought. Her philosophical duel with Will is equally fascinating because she opposes him and his relationship with Hannibal. True, they accept that under the right circumstances, Hannibal would eat them both, but somehow I get the impression that Bedelia would be annoyed if he ate Will first. In this instance, Will is still seeking to understand his feelings toward Hannibal and it’s great that Bedelia is trying to reel them out of him.

I also believe that while Chilton and Bedelia both believe that Will subconsciously wanted Chilton to be the victim based on his hand placement in the photo used to lure out the dragon, that this is as close as we’re going to get to Will’s descent into murderous madness. It was a prime focus in the books and movies that Will suffers from that stability in becoming a killer himself after all his mind-dippings. Here, they treat it as though Will orchestrated the event to happen just as it did. I don’t mind that Will tries to understand the situation, but I also think we’re a bit past Will’s descent. He’s not going to join the darkside because it’s what he’s meant for, he’ll always pull for doing the right thing, but here it’s at the expense of a man who isn’t a very descent character aside from wanting publicity and fame. Will is set to enact the creature’s downfall and he’ll never stray from that primal focus.


The scene with the letter and subsequent lip devouring. It’s lighthearted in it’s own distasteful way but provided us with a candid reason on why we like the show so much. Hannibal revels in irony and situational opportunity. He’s already living in an empty cell and he still has to get his kicks somewhere. I just wonder if this keeps up he’ll be all about one-liners and that could get strange.


Francis and Chilton really sold their scenes together so I’ll give it to them as a tie. Chilton remained a sniveling scared construct of his own fear while saying anything to save his own life, pretending to understand but never saying the words that could have helped. Although it was always Francis’s intention to do what he did and his creepy crawl over the couch with the dragon’s fangs (as they basically were) and just bit into Chilton with raw power. It was the bliss of torture and they both played their parts well.


The moment could have been set even further in hilarity if Hannibal mentioned what kind of recipe called for the lip of Chilton. Maybe pair it with a fine red wine.

Even though I know where the scene is going, I didn’t feel the ending of this episode had enough gusto on it to truly launch us into the final episode. Him revealing to Reba who he is has monumental structure but it wouldn’t have been my first choice as the final scene.

I somewhat struggle to understand the significance of Will seeing Bloom as a victim with mirror shards in her eyes. Is it pertaining to him believing she’s a victim herself or that he’s still seeing through the eyes of the dragon leading to a possibility that he’ll in fact harm her? Or is it just that he’s stressed out and is still losing focus like when he sees Hannibal as the antler creature and that effect never really goes away?


8 out of 10. Pacing, structure, dialogue, and gore factor were well done. Plans never go off without a hitch and in this case everything went wrong on the surface until people started identifying that Will subconsciously wanted Chilton to be the real bait in this scenario. Bedelia added her own flair for what I want to call a “reverse eating disorder” but it’s good to see her show relevance especially with deconstructing Will while Hannibal is left making the most out of his situation. How will it all end? If the story holds true, Hannibal will have little to play in the grand finale, but this show is and always has been about him. He’ll play a deeper role and since this is in fact the end of the show, I don’t think they’re going to set up a Silence continuation. It’ll have some kind of end and Will and Hannibal’s relationship will be the crux of it. Thanks for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Hannibal – Season 3×11 (Stop hitting yourself. No, really stop, it’s painful to watch!)

Hanni 3x11

The effects of absorbing true art take their toll on the man who would become a mythical creature within modern society. In lieu of Hannibal’s dubious words and helpful hints, Francis wages a critical strike against Will and his family for interfering with his ascension. The FBI continue to plot the dragon’s capture while Hannibal toys with assisting in that endeavor all the while Will suffers more at the hands of both Hannibal and the dragon.

As the tale of one of literature’s most prolific and charismatic serial cannibals draws near its end, I find this episode played it very safe within the confines of its book counterpart. Francis continues to use his voice for allure, an act I feel he is doing better than others portraying the dragon in the past. The dichotomy of his evil is very simple and easy to understand though at times I wonder if even Francis thought ahead with how he’ll continue to exist once he’s fully “transformed”. I doubt he’ll perch on-top of a building and sniff out his meals for the rest of his days. As always, Will and Hannibal make the most out of their time together with Will holding onto intense frustration over Hannibal’s transparent explanations on what Will is truly facing.

After Hannibal gives Francis the address of Will’s family, he goes to murder them, but the family escapes. Francis continues to wrestle with his change and imagines being attacked by the dragon entity for continuing to resist. Dr. Bloom discovers Hannibal has been speaking to the dragon and with the FBI they coerce Hannibal into setting up the dragon with another call. Hannibal agrees but at the last second informs the dragon that they’re listening. Dr. Bloom then removes all of Hannibal’s prison belongings including his toilet. After Will sees his wife and son he goes to Hannibal to lament his anger while Hannibal continues to react in psychological rhetoric regarding both the dragon’s ascension and Will being similar to him.

I like how a lot of the focus is still on Francis and his struggles although at this point in the storyline, I wouldn’t think he’ll do much to stand in the way of his own change. Leaving Reba after beating himself up was the right move because it’s his last bit of sympathy over caring about anything on the mortal plane. His attack on Will’s family was very cut and dry yet it showed he can still be outsmarted. I’d expect he’ll take his time to manage his next moves from here on out because he’ll consider what he did sloppy work.

A lot of Hannibal’s fine acting comes with his reactions within reactions, particularly around the snide remarks and retorts Dr. Bloom gives him as well as Will’s unstable moments letting Hannibal know how affected he is. Hannibal is amused and remains amused even at the cost of his own dignity, something Dr. Bloom thinks will actually affect Hannibal, but the truth is, it doesn’t. Nowhere do we see Hannibal suffering any indignities because his mind is too powerful to let physical issues trump his razor focus. The best things anyone can do are having the last words while walking through the door to freedom. Even then, Hannibal knows they’ll be back, they always come back.


The final scene with Will and Hannibal. Will has a way with enunciating certain words to inflect his immense displeasure because he can’t just hit Hannibal in the face or even strike the glass in anger. Even at this point, Hannibal continues to play the neutral villain, instructing and criticizing Will over recent events instead of actually helping. But to Hannibal, he needs to see his pawns perform whether he believes on one side or the other. He’ll adapt and survive as he always does.


Hannibal gets the prize in this episode. He doesn’t falter and is shown to be extremely cunning and resourceful even while locked up with nothing to call his own. As hard as Dr. Bloom tried, she couldn’t get him to crack or even raise a methodical eyebrow. There’s no antagonizing the alpha mind and there’s certainly no good to be had when you give the devil a phone.


If Francis imagines the dragon as a separate entity that can attack him, is he really dealing with a split personality where one destroys the other, or does he genuinely believe he’ll retain his own sense of self when he becomes the dragon personified?

Francis’s half mask reminds me of early Daredevil. Nothing there, just an observation.

I almost want to believe that when Hannibal mentions to Bloom and Jack that the Toothfairy should go by the Great Red Dragon, that he was in fact mocking Francis. It had a layer of both respect yet laced with very subtle sarcasm. Or maybe I’m reading too far into it and Hannibal really does hold him in high esteem.


7 out of 10. It was decent follow up to the previous episode which had a pretty great ending. The attack on Will’s family was very telegraphed, but only in the mindset of knowing how things would play out. Hannibal remains stalwart and resolute with his performance and Will’s descent is nearly equal with the dragon’s ascent. With two episodes left, I expect a few major moments to play out in typical artistic fashion with the gore to balance out intense dialogue sessions that are central to the core of our characters. Will is good with showing he’s having trouble stabilizing his emotions, but I doubt whether he is truly falling into chaos or whether he’ll become something that Hannibal always intended, an insane partner. We’ll see.

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