Hannibal 3.11 Review, ““…And the Beast from the Sea”

“Kill them all.”

That is what Hannibal says to Francis when he calls, pushing him towards going after Will’s wife and son. It was a cruel reminder of how evil Hannibal truly is, a role that had been diminished once he was behind bars. Yet we know he wants Will’s family dead out of some strange affection for Will, possibly to push him down the path Hannibal believes he should walk. Luckily, though, Molly is a quick thinker. In quite the intense scene she manages to get herself and her son out of the house and to safety with only a minor gunshot wound. (And I do say minor, because despite the fact that she is hospitalized and had to have surgery the gunshot pales in comparison to what would have happened had she not escaped.) As far as we know this is the only time that the “Great Red Dragon” has ever failed, and it is none too pleased about that.

There is the interesting dynamic in that Francis is both the “Great Red Dragon” and that the entity exists outside of himself. It is approached that the dragon chose Francis to be its host, but can rip itself from his body when he is displeased. During this episode Francis has dragon wings in several scenes, but upon failing to murder the allotted family the dragon is seen separate from his body. Furious at its host’s failures, the dragon begins to violently attack Francis. But, of course, this is all happening in the man’s head. The camera cuts to show the dragon hitting Francis, only for the image to alter and show Francis hitting himself.

And in that moment you really do pity him. Because it is clear, oh so clear, how sick this man is. He is not just a danger to others, notably Reba who he believes the dragon wants to hurt, but to himself. He needs professional help, but the only help he is receiving comes from the worst possible source: Hannibal.

When Francis contacts Hannibal once more, trying to seek some help with the dragon desiring to kill Reba, Hannibal keys him in that the FBI are listening. This is both expected an unexpected, because of the position it places Hannibal. By betraying the FBI’s trust he loses the comforts that allowed him to continue with intellectual pursuits, but still manages to remain in control of Francis. It reemphasizes how key control is to Hannibal, and so long as he can have direct influence in the lives of others he does not care if he has to live without a toilet.

But what of Will? I do not think the audience has ever seen Will as upset as he was in this episode. He was furious at Hannibal for targeting his family, furious at the “Great Red Dragon” for altering any sympathy he felt towards him, and furious at himself for allowing this all to happen. All he wants is for his past as a profiler to be set aside, but it keeps coming back. His son found a Freddie Lounds article detailing his stay in the mental hospital, and the murder that sent him there. Now his son is urging him to kill the “Great Red Dragon” because he knows it is within him to do, and he wants revenge for his mother being hurt.

At this rate Will Graham will never have a normal life.

There is the thought that crosses Will’s mind that Francis may have been one of Hannibal’s former patients. The relationship between the two has not been fully explored, and it seems that Hannibal knows far more than he is letting on. With two episodes left in the season, and possibly the series, I feel those secrets may finally come to light.

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