Published on September 1st, 2015 | by Vyctoria Hart


Hannibal Season 3 Episode 13 “The Wrath Of The Lamb” Review

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After three seasons Hannibal is coming to an end and I’m really not sure what to say in this review. I suspect I’ll be in trouble with the rest of the Need to Consume team if I just post a photo of me laid on the floor in a pool of tears though, so here goes. Episode 13 of season 3 begins with what seems to be the end of Francis Dolarhyde and the Great Red Dragon. Having kidnapped Reba McClane at the end of the previous episode, Dolarhyde now forces her to lock them both inside his house using a key that is kept around his neck. He then explains that he can’t let the Dragon have her and begins the process of burning the house down around them. Almost immediately he declares that he can’t stand to watch her burn and shoots himself in the face with a shotgun. Reba is then able to escape by taking the key from the corpse and she’s soon in hospital explaining everything to Will Graham. She’s convinced the Dragon is dead because she put her hand in the bullet wound.HannibalAtTheAltar

Will takes the news of Dolarhyde’s death to Hannibal, who attempts to commiserate with Will on not getting to kill anyone before congratulating him on the fate of Frederick Chilton. Will tries to deny that either of these things were his intent. He is looking forward to going home and everything going back to normal. Hannibal reminds him that this can never happen and tries to persuade him to keep their relationship in mind. Of course Will roundly rejects him and returns to his motel where, what a surprise, Francis Dolarhyde is laying in wait. He wants to meet Hannibal Lecter in person and he wants Will to arrange it. Dolarhyde had used the body of a stranger to trick Reba but the FBI forensics team saw through the deception almost immediately. They also identify the various teeth that Dolarhyde had used in the Tooth Fairy murders as belonging to his late grandmother. All of them were on the body but Jack doesn’t believe this means the Dragon will stop killing. Surprisingly Will Graham is in the room with the rest of the FBI agents throughout these revelations and says nothing about Dolarhyde appearing in his room. It’s clear that the influence of both Hannibal and the Dragon personality have effected his moral compass. He’s far to eager to suggest that they lure Dolarhyde out by using Hannibal as bait in a faked escape from federal custody. As usual Jack decides to go along with this completely ridiculous idea, barely even questioning Will’s reasoning or motive in his haste to catch the Great Red Dragon.BedeliaBedeadia

Once again it falls to Bedelia to be the voice of not-entirely-stable reason as she understandably reacts to the plan with horror. She believes Will is reckless and thoughtless in his almost religious zeal. She begs him to think again because such a situation cannot be manipulated to their advantage. Like the devil, once Hannibal is out, he won’t allow himself to be caught again. Will simply states that there is no advantage, only degrees of disadvantage and he has no intention of letting Hannibal be caught either. He tells her “I’d pack my bags if I were you, Bedelia. Meat’s back on the menu. Ready or not- here he comes!” Will is definitely channelling Hannibal now and poor Bedelia is hitting the bottle hard. Meanwhile Alana Bloom visits with Frederick Chilton as he recovers from his burns in a hyperbaric chamber. She claims that she is visiting to remind herself what Hannibal is capable of, but Chilton reminds her that she and Will are just as responsible as Hannibal. There was enough rope to hang herself, so they hanged him instead. When she admits that Hannibal is Will Graham’s next target Chilton expresses a wish to see him dead. Better yet he’d like some of Hannibal’s skin to aid in his recovery. Alana disagrees, Frederick was never happy in his own skin, how would be be comfortable wearing Hannibal’s. Chilton wonders in turn how happy she is in Hannibal’s skin.

Now it’s time to put the terrible plan to Hannibal. First Alana speaks to him because Jack knows he won’t get a serious answer. Alana promises the return of all his privileges but receives mostly threats and quotes from the original novels in return. Hannibal wants to be sure that she knows her life, family and happiness are only borrowed – if he escapes he still intends to kill her as promised. Beyond that he won’t give a straight answer, Hannibal wants Will to ask him since Will rejected him so vigorously when Dolarhyde was believed dead. He wants him to say please. When Will goes to visit him Hannibal imagines himself standing at the altar of the Cappella Palentina with an actual congregation in the pews practically praying to him. Because Hannibal Lecter is the most melodramatic character to ever grace our television screens. Will manages to convince him through everything the cannibal wants to hear, from “please” to “I need you Hannibal”. The plan is for Hannibal to escape from a prisoner transport and then lure the Dragon to a Secret Service location through a personal ad. Well, they managed the first part of the plan at least. Dolarhyde intercepts the convoy; shoots everyone except Hannibal and Will; opens the door to Hannibal’s cage; and then just drives away. Hannibal casually commandeers a police car and asks Will – “Going my way?”

Whilst Alana wisely evacuates her family via helicopter, Jack surveys the scene of the escape, with exactly the same face that Bedelia wore when the plan was explained to her. Frankly he has no excuse for looking so horrified, what exactly did he expect to happen? In what possible reality was the plan ever going to work?Has he completely forgotten Frederick Chilton in a flaming wheelchair with his face bitten off? I’ve asked it before, but how do any of these people still have jobs?! Anyway, Hannibal has brought Will to a clifftop house where he previously spent time with Abigail Hobbs and Miriam Lass, two of women he has brainwashed and destroyed. He notes that the cliff edge has eroded more with each visit and is beginning to threaten the house. As the two men look down to the waves and rocks below, Hannibal says, “Now you’re here with me, and the bluff is still eroding. You and I are suspended over the roiling Atlantic. Soon all of this will be lost to the sea.” As night falls outside the windows of the house the two men settle in with wine to discuss their situation. Will comments that he isn’t sure he can even save himself any more, but perhaps that is fine. Although Hannibal finds his compassion for Will to be inconvenient he also states that “no greater love hath man than to lay down his life for a friend”. Which is convenient since Dolarhyde is right outside the window and Hannibal takes the gun shot to the side. As Dolarhyde enters and explains his plan to kill Lecter and film the process Will seems rather uninterested at first. Right up to the point where he pulls out his knife from Florence and attempts to stab the Dragon. What follows is a beautifully choreographed fight scene with a perfect soundtrack provided by British punk/goth legend Siouxsie Sioux. It needs to be seen as its impossible to do it justice with only words. Needless to say the Dragon is ultimately defeated. Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter, both horribly wounded, huddle together on the cliff edge. Hannibal finally has what he’s always wanted for the both of them. Will looks around and, agreeing that it’s beautiful, pitches them both off the cliff.

I feel like it’s New Years 2012 and Sherlock Holmes has chucked himself off the roof of St Bart’s all over again. Only this time we don’t have the promise of the massive BBC profits to guarantee another series or anything approaching a happy ending. What are we supposed to do now? After the credits we see Bedelia Du Maurier dressed to the nines, with a table set for three and her own left leg served up as the main course. She says nothing and no one else enters as the camera pans away but it’s clear that she fully expects the others to join her. Is this to be the fate of the viewers? We’ve put our hearts on the table over the last three seasons, now we’re all just going to sit here like Miss Haversham gathering dust? Maybe, but at least we have a good finale for our troubles. Its difficult to know what to do with shows that have been cancelled. Although these days there is more hope for shows being picked up by other studios, there is still a tendency to either just stop the show in its tracks or try to tie up all the plot lines in a hurry. Hannibal at least gets the dignity of a natural stopping point with the end of the Red Dragon storyline. There are some minor characters who don’t have a satisfying ending, Will’s wife and stepson for example. But for the most part we leave the supporting cast in as comfortable a position as is possible on this show. Chilton is recovering, Alana is in exile but not dead, Jack will probably get a medal for getting rid of Dolarhyde (and presumably Lecter) despite the flimsiness of the plan. Hannibal and Will go out in a way that’s totally survivable in the context of their universe, but if it HAS to be their ending then at least they were both happy in their own way. As Frederick Chilton said in season 3 episode 4 “Aperitivo” – “This is your best possible world, Will. [You’re n]ot getting a better one.” I, for one, wouldn’t want it any other way.

Vyctoria Hart
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