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.

FAVORITE MOMENT

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.

CHARACTER MVP

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.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

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.

OVERALL SCORE

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.

No more words

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