It’ll be interesting to see how the show adapts them. No longer is Hannibal merely pulling Francis Dolarhyde’s strings from the shadows and subtly influencing his thought – gone is the Dr. Lecter who knows the right things to say without saying them at all. Like this week, when Hannibal #2 kept poking his head in to help convince Dolarhyde that he should ascend to Red Dragon-hood and that he should kill them all to save himself. Hannibal is the devil. This practically screams “from the original source material, in which Will is not played by Hugh Dancy”. But a lethal connivance between the Great Red Dragon and Hannibal Lecter will put Will in grave jeopardy, Movie Pilot hinted. Any combination of these circumstances would change Will and Hannibal’s motivations.
As Will’s empathy for Dolarhyde begins to affect his fragile psyche, Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) warns that the killer Will should be most concerned about at the moment is himself.
The sequence itself, in which Dolarhyde shows up at the Graham homestead looking like Daredevil, is tense, but perhaps not peak Hannibal tense. That could still happen (though I find it pretty unlikely), but like the initial decision to have Miriam young lady (Anna Chlumsky) discover Hannibal through the Wound Man diagram (the way Will does in the novel), it removes a predictable ending and opens up a whole new space of adaptation, increasing the tension building for the last two episodes. “We just decided it was time to move on.” he said.
The romantic relationship metaphor has extended into the Red Dragon arc, with Will Graham treating Hannibal like discarded refuse, and the latter acting the part of the jilted and angry ex-lover.
None of that is Armitage’s fault. But to Hannibal, it is a scorned ex-lover’s act of revenge, the act of taking away everything Will loves not only as emotional retribution, but to leave Will so completely alone that he might come crawling back to the only twisted comfort he knows. Invoking such feelings is not an easy task considering Armitage’s character shot Molly and gunned down an innocent bystander a few scenes beforehand.
Before Dolarhyde’s assault, Molly and Walter take the apparently poisoned dogs to the vet, and decide not to tell Will. Hannibal appeals to Will with morbidly poetic overtures, goading him into a reaction – any reaction, to prove he still cares. Instead, he’s off acting the reluctant puppet-master with Alana, attempting to entrap Dolarhyde over the phone and failing in a last-ditch effort to no longer need Will’s services. In only a handful of scenes thus far, Arianda has given a full sense of what Will was attracted to in Molly, the simple care, forgiveness, and understanding that is the basis of her iron-clad persona, which has never tipped over into sentimentalism.