Episode 9, “And the Woman Clothed With the Sun…”
We open right where we left off. Will visiting Hannibal in the BSHCI. “I’m more comfortable the less personal we are,” Will states. The words only make explicit what we can already see and feel, though. Anyone old enough to watch this episode understands exactly what this is – the discomfort between two people who have broken up.
This episode moves around a great deal, in terms of both time and space, as its characters search for connections. Some of these are new – Francis manages to make some friends – and some of them are not.
Despite Will’s best efforts to remain professional, Hannibal insists on getting personal. There’s a comment about Will’s atrocious aftershave. Remarks on Will’s personal life, too, about a child and the smell of several dogs. Three years away hasn’t changed Will that much.
Hannibal is changing, though. Captivity does not agree with him, and he is beginning to act out. Silence of the Lambs may still be a few years off for these characters, but this Hannibal is moving closer to the menacing, petty version made famous by Anthony Hopkins. Even without listening to the commentary, I have no doubt this is intentional.
We see this in his interactions with Alana, too. Alana has very much become an elegant Lucifer, lord of the hell that is the BSHCI. Having Hannibal behind glass for three years has done little to dull her ire. Even if this was my first time through these episodes, I would have little doubt about Alana’s willingness to follow through on her threats.
Hannibal talks of a child, too – specifically, the child in Will’s life. Will’s desire to be a parent is well-known, and this remains a source of contention between the two men. Will never really had a chance to be a father to Abigail, but Hannibal very much did, in his own way. There’s a definite connection between Abigail and Hannibal, as we flash back to the events of her faked death prior to her real one.
It’s a credit to the actors that the Hannibal/Abigail relationship doesn’t become any more uncomfortable than it has to be. This is saying a lot, considering Hannibal made an extra stop on a murder run and brought back Garret Jacob Hobbs’s corpse. Abigail mostly enjoys their time together, probably due to having a father figure only pretend to kill her. I suppose it could be weirder, but don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty goddamned weird.
Things are getting strange outside the BSHCI, too, as Francis seeks his own connections. He manages to spend some time with a coworker, Reba, who we soon find out is blind. It’s difficult to watch this interaction at first, but it’s almost sweet, seeing Reba reach out to Francis like this. There is danger all about Francis, but not for Reba. There’s still some space between them, though. Francis is not ready for a connection just yet.
“May I touch your face? I just wanna know if you’re smiling or frowning. I wanna know whether to just shut up or not.”
“Trust me… I’m smiling.”
Reba is not the only one seeking a connection with Francis. Will and the FBI are still trying to understand him. There’s a little progress here, but mostly foreshadowing. Francis is connected to the moon, but we don’t really know why, just yet. But it feels like we’re moving towards something, that a meeting is not far off.
And Freddie is back! She’d love to connect with anyone who can give her a good quote. Here’s a good one: You called us ‘murder husbands’.
The episode ends as there is finally some direct interaction between Francis and Hannibal. Their connection is clear – one of them has already become, and the other, now becoming. The Chesapeake Ripper and the Tooth Fairy. Hannibal the Cannibal and the Great Red Dragon.
- I’m just going to leave this here:
- I’m glad we spend a little time in the past, and in Hannibal’s memory palace. What would this show be without those great suits? I think it would still be great, but give me the suits.
- Alana continues to dress circles around everyone on the show – her ivory pantsuit and chalk-striped jacket leave little doubt about her position. This is a woman in charge, and she will wear whatever she damn well pleases.
- More dogs! Also, we find out that Jimmy loves animals more than children. Jimmy Price, never change.
- Margot update! She and Alana have a boy now.
- I give this episode three Husserls out of five. There isn’t a ton of gore, though Abigail’s “reunion” with her father is, well, messed up. Mostly there is discomfort from seeing Abigail with Hannibal, and Reba with Francis. I don’t say this often, but thank goodness nobody is brutally murdered in this episode.
- Tattlecrime is in print! Hopefully it does well enough that it doesn’t have to sell out to Univision.
Next: “And the Woman Clothed in Sun” (not a repeat)