This week’s episode opens on the great red tooth dragon fairy himself Francis Dolarhyde, who’s sitting alone at work in a cafeteria staring intently at his hand until something truly disturbing on the table catches his eye–
No, but seriously. Something TRULY DISTURBING on the table catches his eye–
Okay, so we don’t know the significance of this image yet (nor am I entirely sure of the proper usage of the word ‘philistine’), but we do know that it inspires Francis to do some yoga that involves a greater than average amount of sweating and gyrating and hip thrusting and dark-attic-lair-lurking.
After his training montage, he heads to his friendly neighborhood Chinese Fucked Up Denture Dispensary, which appears to be located within a smoke machine, but is probably actually in Hong Kong (as per the book). He buys some fucked up dentures and gets a full back tattoo of the Red Dragon while he’s at it because, oh yeah, they administer tattoos too.
I’m not sure what just happened or how long or where exactly this took place, but I have a feeling I just watched the origin story of a Marvel super villain.
Speaking of super villains and their origin stories, Hannibal is hanging out in his memory palace, which currently looks like the Norman Chapel and contains choir boys and lots of pious-looking people.
This scene is intercut with Hannibal getting arrested and newspaper headlines announcing the arrest and ends with Hannibal standing alone in his cell, which is actually really nice compared to the rat-infested medieval dungeon Will was kept in last season?
Uh-oh. Hold on to your fucked up dentures, guys, because we’re about to suddenly and unexpectedly CUT TO THREE YEARS LATER.
Hannibal is talking to Alana Bloom in his memory palace office over a glass of wine, but is actually talking to Alana Bloom in his cell over a glass of wine.
“Congratulations, Hannibal,” Alana says. “You’re officially insane.” Wooohooo, someone pop the phallic champagne bottles! Hannibal’s officially insa– “I’m not insane,” Hannibal says petulantly. Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side of the fancy prison cot this morning.
Alana agrees that Hannibal “defies categorization.” Once again, I’ll point out that this is only due to a lack of imagination on the psychiatrists’ parts. I already have a running list of categories Hannibal could definitively be placed into, but may I add here: Definitely Not Insane and Petulant Child.
Either way, Hannibal avoided the federal death penalty even though he could have been convicted a dozen times over.
“A baker’s dozen,” says Hannibal, always a stickler for technicalities, reminding her that he took the fall for Mason’s murder and accepting her decidedly absent “thank you” with grace.
Hannibal reminds Alana of his previous promise to kill her. Alana looks a little shaken despite herself. I continue to worry about the constant foreshadowing of Alana’s untimely death.
Over at Mr. Red Dragon’s attic lair, Dolarhyde is looking into a cracked mirror and trying to practice speaking without a lisp. It’s the first time we see the cleft in his lip up close because they did a really good job concealing it before.
When that fails, he resorts to shrieks and grunts that sound less like dragon noises, and more like pterodactyl noises. But don’t be too hard on him. He’s still a young dragon-in-training.
While he’s doing that, he hears a growling noise coming somewhere from the room. He looks around perturbed.
Cut to Dolarhyde standing outside in the light of the moon, covered head to toe in blood. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that he just killed someone. Crazy theory, I know. But I’m pretty good at reading between the lines.
Later, it’s Chilton’s turn to talk to Hannibal in his cell. Hannibal’s madesanguinaccio dolce for them. Okay, who is giving Hannibal cooking implements? Who obtained wine and almond milk and cow’s blood for him? Is this prison or Celebrity Rehab? At least they had the wherewithal to give him plastic utensils smfh.
Chilton tells Hannibal that his next book won’t be about him, but rather the Tooth Fairy because Hannibal the Cannibal was so 2015 (what year are we in anyway?). He wants to know Hannibal the Has-Been’s opinion on the Tooth Fairy.
He goes on to say that Hannibal with his “fancy allusions and fussy aesthetics” will always have “niche appeal,” while the Tooth Fairy is more universal appeal with a wider demographic because he targets whole families.
Right you are, Frederick. Right you are. And isn’t it just wonderful?
Later, Chilton is lounging in what appears to be his office at the BSHCI, but it’s his office no longer because Alana comes in and tells him to get the fuck out of her chair.
We find out that Hannibal is writing an article for the American Journal of Psychiatry that has nothing to do with any of the problems he actually has much to Chilton’s chagrin. I mean, what is Chilton expecting here exactly? An article from Hannibal Lecter entitled “Cannibals: They Feel Feelings Just Like The Rest of Us Who Knew?” Actually that’s probably exactly what he’s expecting.
Chilton says that when he talked to Hannibal about the Tooth Fairy he “detected a trace of competitive vanity.” Really, Frederick? All I detected in Hannibal was a trace of ‘thinking you’re a total dumbass’ but Lord knows I’m no Will Graham.
Chilton warns that “the young Turk may inspire the old Lithuanian to keep himself interesting,” but he seems more excited by the prospect than concerned.
Speaking of young Turks, Mr. Red Dragon is looking at video footage on a projector. He starts hearing the growling and snarling from before and hallucinates that the movie reel tape wraps around his face and light starts pouring from his eyes and mouth.
Later, while Hannibal is cutting out newspaper clippings of the Tooth Fairy murders in his cell, Dolarhyde reveals another of his super villain powers: MURDER SCRAPBOOKING.
Dolarhyde takes out an old tome and pastes in the “Perfect Families” news clipping. We know he’s a serial killer because he makes words out of letters cut from lots of different magazines.
Hannibal starts penning a letter to Will.
Speaking of Will, who is totally 100% over Hannibal and not thinking about him AT ALL Hannibal Lecter who?, Will is making some repairs on the shed of his new house, when a car pulls up and Jack Crawford steps out.
Wow, we got to see Will Graham happy and unburdened for a whole 3 seconds. We are a spoiled fandom, guys.
But Jack isn’t one to be deterred by the cold OR common sense OR Will’s sick camouflage skills.
Will lets Jack sit out on the porch but won’t let him inside because he might track in crime scene tape or spread some murder on the new carpets or something.
Will is (understandably) pissed that Jack came to fetch his help. He doesn’t think he can be of any use to him now.
As Jack is emotionally blackmailing Will into helping him, Molly and Walter, Molly’s son, approach the house. Molly must invite Jack in despite his trail of murder and despair because the next scene they’re all sitting around the dining table eating dinner.
Molly talks about their dogs and Will says that Molly likes collecting strays and they smile adorably at each other.
Walter (henceforth Wally, which is as close to Willy as I can get it) either reads the room incredibly well or has zero tact because he suddenly gets up to “take the dogs out for a pee.” Will accompanies him, leaving Molly and Jack at the table.
Instead of battling to the death for Will’s soul (which I personally would’ve liked to see), Jack promises to make it as easy on Will as he can and slides the photos of the murdered families over to Molly because emotional blackmail always works better when it’s coming from two directions.
Later that night, Will and Molly talk in their bedroom about whether Will should help Jack.
“If you stay and there’s more killing maybe it will sour this place for you,” Molly says. Interestingly, this is almost verbatim what Jack tells Will inCoquilles, except, you know, Molly is not a dick about it (which might be worse actually).
Molly, who unfortunately doesn’t understand what TV show she’s in, says that she’d have the satisfaction of knowing Will did the right thing. Oh, Molly. My idealistic sweet summer child Molly. Forget those other families. I hear they weren’t even that perfect.
Will warns her that he’ll be different when he gets back.
Molly says that she’ll still be the same. Well, in that case.
After Molly’s asleep, Will walks over to the most prominent drawer in his dresser and takes out his porn stash Hannibal’s letter. Seriously, Will? The middle top drawer? It’s like you want your porn secret letters from a serial killer cannibal with whom you had an EXTREMELY tempestuous and unhealthy relationship to be found or something.
Will reads the letter. It’s a master class in reverse psychology.
That must be the extra impetus Will needs because next thing we know he’s at the Leeds family in Buffalo, New York in the middle of the night to do some investigating. Nothing could go wrong. It’s not like the last time Will pulled this shit he was attacked by a zombie girl and touched dead zombie skin or lost time or anything like that.
Some instinct leads Will to open the refrigerator door where he instantly finds the one real piece of physical evidence they gain in this episode: a half eaten Babybel cheese wheel.
Will walks upstairs to the bloodstained master bedroom and flips through the case file and starts to look a little overwhelmed when he closes his eyes and goes into his pendulum trance.
Not gonna go into too much detail here because I doubt anyone wants a play by play recap of the awful murder of an entire family, but I will mention that the killer broke all the mirrors in the house and arranged the dead family members with shards of glass in their eyes and mouths. Welp, that’s enough of that.
Here’s a slowed down gif of the entire 3 seconds of the episode that Will was happy and unburdened:
Ah, those were the good ole days.
Next scene, Jimmy Price arrives to do science and get shit done. I was so excited to see this dork and his reasonably intelligent assistant I literally cheered.
While Zeller checks out the cheese, Price manages to get a fingerprint off of Mrs. Leeds’s eyeball. Back at the BAU, they’re joined by Jack and Will to go over the evidence, which… isn’t much. Just that the killer has fingerprints and teeth that he uses to bite things with like most non-dragon people.
Over at the attic lair of Mr. Red Dragon, Doharhyde is not having a great time dealing with the growling in his head. He looks over at his glass of fucked up dentures on his table and watches as it starts trembling. Uh-oh, I think we all know what that means.
Later, in his motel room, Will, who’s already halfway through a bottle of whiskey poor guy, tries to call Molly, but she doesn’t pick up.
Dammit, Molly! You had one job.
The morning after having a nightmare that involves lots of STRING and PICTURES of “PERFECT FAMILIES” Will heads over to Jack’s office to tell him he needs to do the thing.
Will thinks that there’s a mindset he needs to recover by seeing Hannibal again. Jack reluctantly agrees to this for some reason.
Wow. This is such a bad idea. I can’t stress how much of a bad idea this is. In terms of the history of bad ideas this is like letting a giant wooden horse through the gates of Troy level of bad idea. I fucking love it.
So Will goes off to do the thing.
Is it just me or does it almost feel like no time has passed at all?
Rate ; 8/10