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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Is it because I disliked the first half of this season that I am loving the hell out of the second half? It’s only been two episodes and I’m more invested in the show than I have for a long time. I’m a big fan of character progression, and I feel that while the characters still have traits from season one, they’ve all believably changed too due to their various traumas. The show still has not been picked up anywhere for more episodes, so this is most likely its last arc. So far, so good. Previously on Hannibal, we jumped forward three years. Hannibal’s in an insane asylum that Alana now runs. Will moved on and married a woman named Molly who has a young son, and he likes his peaceful life. He’s been dragged back into the violent world by Jack because there’s a serial killer named the Tooth Fairy who murders families brutally and leaves mirrors in their eyes. We also got a glimpse of the killer himself, Francis, and we’ll get more about his background as the arc unravels. Also awhile back Hannibal made everyone think Abigail was dead, but kept her alive, until he killed her in front of Will’s eyes to hurt him.

Hannibal talks a bit about family in this one. He tells Will he’s still family, and references how Abigail felt like his daughter. We see flashbacks of Hannibal teaching Abigail how to create blood splatter and how to fake her death. It’s so she can be reborn, although I’m not sure if this means she was always living in Hannibal’s house and hanging out, or she went out into the world with her new identity. But the end result is the same, that she helped Hannibal and pushed Alana out the window, and then Hannibal murdered her. Hannibal claims that killing her, in her father’s eyes, was a type of love. Alana and Hannibal might say he’s not insane, but I think that way of seeing things is pretty delusional. He’s pleased to see Will and deduces quickly that he has a new family. He reads the file on Francis and helps break a few possibilities down, including that Francis likes to look at the moon naked and why he might put mirrors in their eyes. Will walks through the killing again, and the woman on the bed in particular, since she’s part of the painting Francis is obsessed with. As usual the glimpses of Will seeing himself as Francis reminds me of season one in a good way. But they’re not close to finding out how Francis does it, even if we the audience get more clues.

hannibal-season-3-episode-9Francis is obsessed with film and seems to have a lot of it of the murdered families. He meets up with a nice blind woman named Reba (Rutina Wesley) who works as a film developing tech. The two of them bond and he opens up to her a little, and we see a glimpse into his past and sitting with his grandmother. I’m not going to say more about that because I think we’ll get into more detail soon. Their scenes are fraught with tension since we don’t know where he’s going with Reba or if he’s a threat, but he seems to want to connect with her. Meanwhile Alana warns Hannibal not to mess with Will. She reveals she has a family now. She’s with Margot and they are raising the baby together, and she carried the baby – a son – so he is hers too. I really love Alana this season; I love her sense of power and calm. I still worry about her fate, but I think her arc so far has been my favorite. Freddie also shows up and warns Will she’ll just say whatever she wants about him in the tabloids if he doesn’t read her in. He’s like noooope, and she puts in the paper that he’s going to Hannibal for help about the killer. Francis is intrigued and calls Lecter, telling him he’s turning into a dragon. It’s weird that they just let the phone call go through. That seems very unusual and I wonder if it’ll come up later. But contact between the two of them is made.

Since they couldn’t get the rights to Clarice Starling, I’m not sure what their five year plan would’ve ended up being. Red Dragon was always going to be this season, from what I can tell, but I thought that might be why Hannibal (the book) was made a story earlier on. In any case, I am loving this storyline so far. It’s tense, very well acted, entertaining, visually stunning as always, and the characters feel more compelling than they have been since last season. I look forward to learning more about Molly, because that brief glimpse into the joking between her and Will was nice. I am curious about how they met and how much she knows about everything. I like the theme of family, and that Hannibal in his warped way thinks of everyone as his. Will, even Alana and Jack, are important to him. Their roles in his life have changed, but he still feels strongly whenever they enter into his cell space. I love that the show keeps indicating that Hannibal sees his cell as his old study so when people are talking, he imagines it as if they’re at his house instead. This is a great artistic decision on their part. If the show has to end, I like where they’re taking it.

 

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