TV Review: Hannibal 3.9: “And The Woman Clothed with the Sun…”

Season 3 Episode 9 “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…”
Directed by John Dahl
Written by Jeff Vlaming, Helen Shang, Bryan Fuller, Steve Lightfoot
Created by Bryan Fuller
Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams, Nina Arianda, Rutina Wesley, Richard Armitage
Air date: Saturday, July 30th, 2015, 10pm

Often, most of us look into a mirror without thinking twice. We check our hair or our outfit, and then move along with our day. But for some, mirrors often carry a darker and more menacing tone – reflecting back our insecurities. We see the best of us, followed by the worst of us. For Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham’s (Hugh Dancy) first meeting in several years, they find themselves balancing the reflection of those two exact aspects: the best and worst of them. They can’t hide from their reflections. All that’s left in the mirror is honesty.

Hannibal hasn’t played shy with the idea of mirrors of reflections as a theme, especially as the personalities of Will and Hannibal circled the drain closer to one another, but “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun”¦” seems to spotlight a different mirror as well: children.

Dr. Lecter specifically drilled the point home, tearing into Will for deciding to marry into raising a son, instead of having one himself (despite getting Margot pregnant towards the end of Season 2, a point that Hannibal is quick to remind both Will and the audience of). But Hannibal had been doing some child-rearing of his own, as we’re privy to flashbacks between him and Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl). Our dear doctor looks to raise Abigail as his own. The wonderful Kacey Rohl is always welcome (I thought we’d see more of her than we have this season), and her interactions with Hannibal seem to give Mads Mikkelsen something to do outside of being trapped in cage (even though his vast memory palace allows for some of the series more familiar locations to reoccur). While this is tied loosely to the theme of children and families, Abigail’s sudden reappearance was one of the many presented knives inserted into Will Graham, during last year’s finale, and a larger context for what the two were doing leading up to that point is welcome information, even if narratively it feels a bit out of place.

Hannibal is also quick to categorize Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) as a boy, frightened and unaware, but that’s quickly changing as is clearly becoming something else entirely. Our Red Dragon has a less murderous week, as he finds a new friend in the form of Rutina Wesley, freed from the chains of a thankless role onTrue Blood to give us a more nuanced performance, as Dolarhyde approaches her with the tepidness of a teenage boy on a first date. Considering how drawn to viewing himself Dolarhyde is, pairing him with Wesley’s blond Reba McClane, makes for an interesting combination. I’m curious to see how the dynamic will unfold. And while he might seem innocent in his chats with Reba, the return of Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) provokes the Dragon, climaxing in the episode’s finest moment.

“And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…” ultimately moves a bit slower than I’d like, but that issue might not be one for much longer. With only four episodes left, we’re in a position for things to really begin to take flight. Hannibal and Dolarhyde’s conversation is the start of that flight. Hang on tight everyone, I’ve got a feeling we’re in for one hell of a ride.

Quick Thoughts:

– The other family moment comes from Will and Alana’s (Caroline Dhavernas) conversation, as we discover that Dr. Bloom actually carried the Verger baby for Margot. Furthermore, Alana treats Hannibal like a child, when she realizes what he’s playing at with Will Graham. And while Hannibal might not directly do anything to Will, that doesn’t mean he can’t enlist someone else to do his work for him.

– I really loved the visual manner in which Will and Molly’s (Nina Arianda) phone conversation played out. It’s a really lovely touch.

– This season in Hannibal Sex Jokes: Alana Bloom and finger-wagging!

– Jack, Jack, Jack. Your hubris would almost give Walter White a run for his money. And it’s going to doom so many.


Hannibal – Next: Francis Makes a Friend (Preview)

Francis Dolarhyde forms a connection with a blind co-worker, Reba McClane, on a brand new Hannibal, Saturdays at 10/9c on NBC.

Hannibal – Alana Warns Will (Preview)

Alana cautions Will against getting too close to Hannibal on a Saturday’s new episode, 10/9c on NBC.

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