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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

There are a lot of little (and some big) deviations between the show and the original material. I wasn’t terribly fond of them doing the Hannibal storyline before Red Dragon, because the execution ended up being kind of boring to me. But I very much enjoyed the change they did in this episode for Will’s family. In the original text, Chilton only barely figured out that Hannibal and Francis were in contact and they managed to get Will’s family to safety before Francis attacked. In this episode, no one is aware until after the attack, so it’s up to Will’s awesome wife to save the day instead. This almost makes up for the fact they’ve given her practically no development or things to do. Almost. Previously on Hannibal, it’s years later and Will’s been called in to help them on a new serial killer case. Francis the Tooth Fairy kills families because he thinks he’s turning into The Great Red Dragon. He’s been in touch with Hannibal, who subtly likes to mess with him and point him in directions. Gaslighting him, basically, which is Hannibal’s favorite thing to do. Last week Will and Francis came face to face after Francis devoured the actual painting. It was surprising to me that so many people have seen his face now. But they only have two more episodes to go, so they need to speed things up. Francis is also falling in love with a blind woman named Reba.

Reba’s gotten in the way of the Dragon taking over Francis, to the point where Francis keeps hearing the Dragon’s “voice” in his head telling him to devour her. Since he’s in love with her now, he doesn’t want her to be hurt. He speaks with Hannibal again and Hannibal directs him to kill Will’s family, make them his new victims, and somehow that will spare Reba the Dragon’s wrath. No one is able to warn Molly about what is coming, although she notes that the dogs are poisoned which is normal of the Tooth Fairy. She is very smart and manages to save both herself and her son from the attack, although she is non-lethally injured in the process. Will’s furious of course, and aware that his actions have put them in direct danger. He was so worried about how going back to this work might change him and make him back into the person he was before. Now there’s more of the reality that going back made him a threat and a player in this dangerous game. I do think it’s unfortunate they only passed by three years for the time jump. It doesn’t seem like enough time for Will to have recovered, fallen in love, and gotten married, to the point where her son sees him as a father figure. I thought the original time jump was supposed to be longer. I wish we had an entire season to cover this, honestly. The fact it’s only the back few episodes still bothers me. In any case, go Molly! I was pleased to see her be an active player in this situation and not just someone who needed to be saved. I’m so interested in her and wish we had more time with her as a character, because she seems great.

HANNIBAL -- "...and the Beast from the Sea" Episode 311 -- Pictured: Nina Arianda as Molly Graham -- (Photo by: Sophie Giraud/NBC)

HANNIBAL — “…and the Beast from the Sea” Episode 311 — Pictured: Nina Arianda as Molly Graham — (Photo by: Sophie Giraud/NBC)

Since they are now aware that Hannibal’s in contact with Francis, Alana and Jack tell him to help them trap the man when he next calls. It’s surprising to me that they think this would work, considering we know for a fact that he’s warned serial killers before about being caught. They have him in custody so they can control what happens to him more, definitely, but Hannibal has probably been very bored all these years. This is his new entertainment. He wouldn’t make it that easy on them. While Francis tells him he split up with Reba to protect him, and breaks down on the phone, Hannibal warns him the police are listening. Because of this, he loses all his amenities that Alana gave him in the past, which she warned him about. He’s also put finally into the creepy white mask and jumpsuit. Personally I would love someone to just cut out his tongue one of these days. He’s far more dangerous because of his mind and mouth than anything else. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to feel sorry for him, losing all his dignity? I don’t think so. He deserves all that and more.

It’s difficult to watch Will continue on in this abusive pattern with the man, and honestly, I’m pretty sick of it. Maybe that’s part of why I’m fine with the show ending. This might also give Will some closure in the end. Hannibal tried to murder his family, and destroy his current peaceful life, and maybe once this is over he really will be able to shut the door on their pattern. With that in mind it’s another good reason that this show is at an end. If they had Clarice Starling coming in, season three ending with Red Dragon would have made sense, since it was Will Graham’s last big story in the series. Clarice took over for the next two books as the protagonist. But since they didn’t win her rights, I’m not even sure where they would have gone with this show after Red Dragon was over. Let him escape again? I hope not, although I suspect that could happen, after he murders Alana, who doesn’t deserve it in the least. It would make sense that they’d want to end this season the same way The Silence of the Lambs did, with him getting loose and making an ominous call to Will before it closes. Personally, I’d prefer him to stay there, and maybe now they know it’s over, end it with someone saying there’s a young FBI agent there to see him. They can’t say Clarice, but they could imply enough that ending it would implicate the next part of the story. And everyone could get closure and move on. In any case, I hope it ends in a way we can all tolerate and accept while the cast moves on to other things.

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