Since the beginning of “Hannibal,” the show has used the name of foreign recipes as its episode’s title. However, in season 3 episode 8 we’re graced with the title “The Great Dragon.” It feels appropriate as the show feels like the start of an entire new season. This episode picks up 3 years after Hannibal’s capture. The lives of our favorite characters have been completely shaken up and there’s a new monster in out midst: The Tooth Fairy.
This episode lets you know up front where all of our main players in the show are at. Jack is once again in charge of the old FBI division and he seems to be even more cold-hearted than before. Hannibal is caught and placed in a rather nice psychiatric hospital which is now run by his ex-lover Alana rather than Dr. Chilton. Dr. Chilton and his slimy self is doing just fine as always. In fact, he’s now a world famous author who has written his own book on “Hannibal The Cannibal.” Oh, but Alana has a little surprise for him. Hannibal is now writing his own book and it’s sure to tear Chilton’s book of lies to shreds. This episode picks up where the book The Red Dragon does, but unlike the book we have an entirely new history and context to understand the characters in. Will and Hannibal are by far closer in the show then they are in the book or movie moving way past a simple working relationship.
In the very beginning of the episode we’re introduced to Francis Dolarhyde or The Tooth Fairy. In the beginning of the episode he is apparently working on staying fit and other important skills he needs to be successful serial killer. We then see Dolarhyde get the Red Dragon inked across his back. I’ve never seen a tattoo administered in such an up close and personal style before. Seeing the blood pool up from his back was truly chilling. What’s so interesting about this character already is that even though there is a scene where he tries to speak. He doesn’t actually utter a single line throughout the entire show. His deeply disturbed personality is shown completely through bizarre body language and facial expression. Before we even see what crimes he’s committed we know something is terribly wrong. Actor Richard Armitage did a hell of a job bringing this unsettling character to life with no dialogue at all.
Will doesn’t show up until half way through the episode. Jack knows he should leave Will well enough alone. Will is married now to a beautiful woman and has a step-son that he helps raise dogs with. They live in a rustic and beautiful cabin together far out in what looks like the middle of no where. Am I the only one who thinks his house looks like it’s made out of the antlers that he used to see pouring out of Hannibal’s head? Ok, maybe it is just me.
Anyway, Jack plays a really evil card by showing the photos of the two families The Tooth Fairy have slaughtered. Now that Will has a family of his own, how can he resist helping another family? His own wife tells him that it be OK if he went and helped catch this vicious killer in order to save another family’s life. Will surprisingly pulls out a letter he’s been keeping for a long time begging him not to take this case that will throw him back in to the game. I doubt Hannibal was earnest with his plea. It feels like he’s trying a bit of reverse psychology on Will that’s just not fair.
When Will does go to the house of the latest family slaughter it is clear that Will is shaken by the crime scene. At this point he had officially recovered from the nightmares and murders haunting his ever waking moments. Now, he must go back to his old ways of seeing things like the killer in order to work on catching him. He struggles so much to get in to that mind set because what he ends up seeing is truly disturbing. An entire family is slaughtered and then badly mutilated by having glass shoved in to their orifices. Yes, it’s as horrible as it sounds. The show, as usual, did not slack off on the blood and gore. We later see Will downing a big bottle of some large liquid to forget about the things he had to visualize and he’s sad when he calls his wife and she doesn’t pick up. Presumably, she doesn’t pick up because she’s busy as she loves Will very much and wanted him to take this mission. Will had such a difficult time dealing with seeing inside of the mind of a killer again that he goes to Jack and asks for something unimaginable. He says in order to do his job like he used to, he must think like he used to. In order to do that, he must see Hannibal.
As they say hello to each other through very modern Plexiglas (the very last scene of the episode) I can’t help but say “I knew it!” I knew that Will could never stay away from Hannibal too long and of course Hannibal would do whatever mind trickery possible in order to draw him back in to his sick mind games. It was a great opener for the second half of the season. The Tooth Fairy is going to be an amazing addition to the show with plenty of shocks and surprises to boot. Sadly, the show will be on break until August 8th so it will be a long wait to see what this 1st class show has set up for Fannibals next.