As RA follower I am new to the Hannibal series and being no fan of the horror genre, this is the second episode of the Red Dragon story I was so lucky to watch early on. Trust me, I am smiling.
It is no fastfood-formulaic show like Crimescene. It is not about solving a crime within the episode. Team Hannibal serves this show as if it was an exquisite dish for insiders.
I feel like I am on the plate, undergoing the rite of passage of being eaten as an Ortolan, refrase Hannibal Hermitage garden bird. As one of the tiny birds - captured alive, force-fed, then drowned in Armagnac, refrase Armitage - I felt roasted whole and eaten that way, bones and all, while the diners - Team Hannibal - draped their sardonic smiling heads with a linen napkin to preserve the precious aromas and, some believe, to hide from God. (Paraphrasing quote from The Wine Spectator).
The tableaus morte - definately not vivant - I do not intend to be a part of. Dishing Hannibal's character with some girl who he talks into committing a murderous act left a bad taste in my mouth. The female newsreporter had peppered moralities for Will Graham on the murder site which brought much needed balance back into this episode. Cat-and-mouse play in dialogues can come across as clever, but also tiresome. The third and following storylines were not always helpful getting to know the show, so for me it was hard to follow the who's and what's.
Then the main story for the episodes that I am following is the Red Dragon storyline. So happy to conclude with my narrow focus on RA's scenes, that those scenes were the most dramatic. What a great subtle expressions and verbal nuances were given in the Francis Dolarhyde and Reba McClane scenes!
This episode was about getting closer to Francis Dolarhyde. To get to know him more. Does he accept a touch? No, but a blind woman softens him to accept a prum, coffee and pie. Dolarhyde does not want you to know. Do not ask too many questions. Do not mention speach impairment. And why did he have to interact with people? News bites on him in the Tattle Crime, are they telling the truth on the mass-murderer or are they shallow assumptions from profilers? Hannibal speaks of the Tooth Fairy like he is a naïve, incompetent pupil.
Similar to watching this show I read the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, which was the basis for this show. This book, the Red Dragon episodes and the spoiler vids of upcoming episodes spark more personal thoughts on the background of Dolarhyde than this frame of review allows me to. While I was writing this post I found it mentally hard to write these personal thoughts in. To compare every Dolarhyde scene with the scenes in the episodes would feel like hard work too. It is more like I kinda know Dolarhyde. I compare him to the lonesome, eccentric characters I witnessed in my life. But does that mean they automatically are psychopaths? No not in the least. The animal killings in Dolarhyde's youth in the book and other minor valued, yet disturbing offences, do definetely point to psychopath. 'Revenge is a dish best served cold' is written on Dolarhyde's toothbrush.
Eyeful: kinda hard, because it was Dolarhyde in dark environments, yet tense and s-speaking
Prop: newspaper Tattle Crime, red plume, red pie, knifes left and center
Don't get: why it is not the Red Dragon show
Disturbing: this episode asked less vomiting of its viewers
Flashbacks: Will Graham on the phone with his wife as if he sits on the bed with her
Clever: Reba McClane waiting at a busstop while Dolarhyde picks her up with a van and we see the poster in the busstop, implying she is up to no good destiny.
Best scene: the ink-licking scene plus the whole sequence of scenes with Dolarhyde and Reba McClane, but best one is the kitchen table talk scene with the physical hesitations of Dolarhyde.
Hope: Dolarhyde likes Reba
Verdict: fingerlicking hesitating