Hannibal 3×10 “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun” – Review

[SPOILERS for those of you who are watching Hannibal on UK TV]

Ok, I am done with all the extolling of Richard Armitage’s craft. It is established – he portrays Dolly magnificently, the body acting is fantastic, and American accent and terrible voice or not, the whole package is just 100 percent on. So let’s get down to the fangirl review because boy, 3×10 is something for the fangirl heart. And possibly the bits a bit lower.

Screenshot 2015-08-08 07.21.59

Dolarhyde practicing speech in the mirror, Hannibal 3×10

Possibly? No, definitely. Romantic gestures, initiation, sex, intimacy. I could leave it at this, and you would all know what I mean. This episode delivered on everything that those of us who are familiar with the book and with Armitage as a dreamboat were hoping for. The episode consisted mainly of Dolarhyde, starting off  with a really long intro. It seemed longer to me than usual, but no doubt that was only due to the fact that it was all about Dolly. If an intro is meant to set the mood, well, then this one did. Dolarhyde practicing his speech in front of the mirror in his attic. In underpants. Yes, always a welcome sight. The half-light in the attic scenes suits the Armitage face so well – and hides the hare’s lip nicely. On that note: The makers of the show really have been very kind to Dolarhyde. Is that because Armitage’s handsomeness is virtually impossible to tone down, or is it because they really do want us to fall for him, for the killer? In any case, I went a bit mad on the old screen caps there, and seeing that I have them, I might as well include them in a slide show at the bottom of the post.

The Telephone Conversation

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Lashings of lashes

The episode proper picks up where 3×09 left off – the telephone call between Dolarhyde and Lecter. It took me a moment to make sense of what I was seeing: Dolarhyde changing number plates on his van, driving through the night, breaking into an office. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Now, that’s how they get around the issue of contacting Lecter via phone. Alright, I take back what I wrote in my 3×09 review, namely that it is improbable that Dolarhyde will just ring the reception of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane (or whatever the asylum is called) and happily ask to be put through to Lecter. I suppose, it is all technically possible to break into the lawyer’s office in order to hook up to his phone line and circumvent caller ID issues. However, I am still not really convinced about Dolly turning out to be a computer whiz – and to take such a big risk. Honestly, I still think the letter scenario would have been better, down to the fact that it gets intercepted. But ok, the disbelief has to be suspended in order to serve the story arc that connects Will and Lecter as the collaborators on the hunt for the Red Dragon. I’ll cease and desist from now on.

And that also applies to my other criticism of the final scene in the previous episode – where I found Dolarhyde’s overemphasized pronunciation of “The — great — red — DRAGON” rather comical. It only occurred to me in 3×10 that what we had been given at the end of 3×09 was a shorter cut  of a longer scene. Just a teaser, not even in the correct sequence. Note to self: Exclude next episode teasers from future reviews! Because the extended phone call scene made much more sense than the teaser cut, and I only noticed now that there was a progression of emphasis in the sentence – in the sense that Dolarhyde becomes the Red Dragon as he is voicing the three words, the transformation finishing on the last word. The transfer from Dolarhyde sitting in the lawyer’s office to the imagined scenario of Dolarhyde and Lecter chatting in a more intimate setting was cleverly done, cinematographically. And the appearance of the Red Dragon, spreading his wings and being all fire and magnificence, was a nice culmination. I think the whole OTT fantasy element has finally ground me down, and I accepted it as a figment of Dolarhyde’s imagination. Maybe it also helped that I saw Armitage’s face on the Dragon creature…

The Tiger Scene

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Taking Reba to the zoo – “an elegant gesture”

The tiger scene had been eagerly awaited – although I have to say once again that in hindsight it is a huge pity that we already knew the set-up of the scene from stills that had been released as teasers. Nonetheless, the scene was nicely transitioned into – with a slow build-up via Dolarhyde and Reba arriving in the van, and Reba wondering what a winter trip to the zoo is all about. Dolarhyde’s pleading face was already quite heart-breaking  – , but no preparation for the intensity he showed once they were in the operating theatre with the tiger. I loved the double-meaning that was constructed with words and with images in this scene. All the things he says, sounded as if they meant something else than the context they were said in – it was as if two different people were speaking through Dolarhyde. The same words, but different meanings. “If you want, you can touch him. Do you want to do it?” That was Dolly asking to be touched. He describes the tiger “It’s radiant”, but he looks at her, noticing *her* radiance.

Screenshot 2015-08-08 07.25.55

Hello Lucas?

As Reba touches the tiger, it is Dolarhyde who feels the touch. Dolarhyde is almost human, for the first time. The way he stares at Reba is freaky, of course, an intensity that was brought across amazingly well by Armitage (his hand on his mouth a very Armitagean gesture). The whole scene was beautifully done – not entirely un-scary, but very romantic, not least because of the music with the romantic piano tinkling (which incidentally reminded me of the Jane Campion film The Piano, which has a slightly similar “beauty and the beast” theme…).

At Home with the Dolarhydes

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Um, not particularly evocative – but… butt?

The tinkling piano music led on to the next scene set in Dolarhyde’s house, and it’s nice, quiet, hopeful, sweet and classy vibe contrasted interestingly with the old-fashioned, dark, slightly sinister interior of the old house. The light and dark in the house was used to great effect, shadows on Dolarhyde’s face veering between hiding his deformity and emphasising his distrust, as well as giving him shelter and hiding him. I loved how he literally retreated into the shadow when Reba started telling him how his co-workers see him. Moreover, this provided a nice transition to the much-anticipated sofa scene. The show puts a slightly different spin on it by omitting Dolarhyde switching on the projector to watch his footage of the Sherman murders for stimulation – or distraction?

Let me remind you how this scene works in the book:

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Francis Dolarhyde, NOT being stimulated orally. Yeah, right

Reba McClane stirs on the couch. She sets her glass on the floor. Dolarhyde feels a weight and warmth. She has rested her head on his thigh. The nape of her neck is pale and the movie light plays on it. He sits very still, moves only his thumb to stop the film, back it up. On the screen, Mrs. Sherman poses before the mirror in the hat. She turns to the camera and smiles.
You see me now, yes
That’s how you feel to see me, yes
Do you feel me now? yes
Dolarhyde is trembling. His trousers are mashing him so hard. He feels heat. He feels warm breath through the cloth. Reba has made a discovery. Convulsively his thumb works the switch.
You see me now, yes
That’s how you feel to see me, yes
Do you feel this? yes
Reba has unzipped his trousers.
A stab of fear in him; he has never been erect before in the presence of a living woman. He is the Dragon, he doesn’t have to be afraid.
Busy fingers spring him free.
OH.
Do you feel me now? yes
Do you feel this yes
You do I know it yes
Your heart is loud yes
He must keep his hands off Reba’s neck. Keep them off. The women saw them in the van. His hand is squeezing the arm of the couch. His fingers pop through the upholstery.
Your heart is loud yes
And fluttering now
It’s fluttering now
It’s trying to get out yes
And now it’s quick and light and quicker and light and…
Gone.
Oh, gone.
Reba rests her head on his thigh and turns her gleaming cheek to him. She runs her hand inside his shirt and rests it warm on his chest.
“I hope I didn’t shock you,” she said.

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Are there *glass*-shattering climaxes?

Ehm, so, that was not oral sex, according to Bryan Fuller. Right. And I guess this (right) is not representative of a climax, either. And yes, the action moves on – it was only the book that made clear to me what it meant when Dolly put his hand on Reba’s chest – a sign that he isn’t finished yet. And thus he promptly lifts her into his arms and carries her upstairs to a bed.

In Bed with a Kitten

The sex scene was very network television friendly, focussing on the tattoo (which I wasn’t too sure of – I felt this was Dolarhyde having sex, not the Red Dragon, but well, one doesn’t come without the other, in both senses of the words). Reitzell’s music didn’t quite do it for me here – the switch to some sort of generic electro pop grated with me, especially after the romantic classiness of Debussy (btw – lifted straight from the book!). But essentially, the mechanics of the sex were not really important *coughs* yeah, right, again, but the symbolism inserted in the scene was beautiful – Dolarhyde seeing Reba as the Woman Clothed With the Sun, with Rutina Wesley literally acting the painting; snapshot visions of pearls floating, a gun pointing, the moon… “Images. Baroque pearls flying through the friendly dark. A Very pistol he had fired at the moon. A great firework he saw in Hong Kong called The Dragon Sows His Pearls.”

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Sinister-sweet…

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*arrrgh* the moment Guylty’s heart shatters into pieces

But the real tear-jerker scene came after the climax when Dolarhyde wakes to look at the woman next to him, who has wreaked a profound change in him. Man, that is where I cried, not during the tiger scene, but here. Punches straight into the guts, verbatim, straight from my notes: “Oh god, the way he puts his head on her chest, the caress, damn, that is heart breaking – but always also slightly scary. Is he listening to her heart to make sure she’s alive or is he listening because he loves?” He is little Francis, cuddling up to the mother he never had, looking for the human touch, the connection, the warmth, and the security that is a side-effect of love – whether to a mother or a lover. These particular cuddles, without kisses, just feeling with the face, the hands, and listening to her heart-beat, reminded me strongly of my children as toddlers, searching for the reassurance the close-ness to a parent brings. Although extremely intimate, this was not sexual, but simply full of love, hope. In Dolly’s case possibly also with a soupcon of intense creepiness. The script did very well in including this scene in the story, and in allowing a lot of time on this quiet, calm moment because besides the superficial post-coital intimacy, for me it also alluded to Dolarhyde’s back story. And yeah, ok, it also fits really nicely with fan girl fantasies, let’s admit that.

Ok, let’s interrupt here for one moment for a scene that was not necessary but that I screencapped just for the reflection of light on skin:

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Dolly gets his knickers in a twist when he wakes to find Reba gone from his bed

Phew, I am slightly out of breath here. I am adding a new kink to my list of freakish fetishes. 1. armpits, 2. Adonis belt, 3. flanks.

Screenshot 2015-08-08 07.34.29But the feast continued with Dolly looking for Reba in the attic, fearing the Red Dragon had taken her, and then jogging through the house to find her ready to go home. So well done, this scene. The stiffness (no double-entendre intended here) of Dolarhyde when Reba touches him, is so well-played. His fear that the Red Dragon will become jealous, and demand Reba as a sacrifice, so clearly written on Dolarhyde’s face, his eyes, his posture. It’s absolutely tangible that the man has been touched (double-entendre now intended *ahem*) by Reba and that his symbiosis with the Red Dragon has been compromised by this. Side-note: Is it just me who had to laugh at the set styling and how the wooden carvings on the ceiling in Dolly’s living room are back-lit in a way that makes them look like a gaping mouth (see right)? The beast, ready to swallow Dolarhyde and Reba? If so, total kudos! (I should ask Fuller or DLC if that was intended.)

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Entirely gratuitous full-length of Dolarhyde in his tighty briefs. Not sorry

Swallowed Whole

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Porter, surreptitiously scanning the scene

I kind of thought that this was it for Dolly in episode 3×10, but boy, no, the makers really played ball with our now established sympathy for Dolly. Cos next we went to the Brooklyn Museum with him. I had certain recollections of Lucas North or Porter going on a secret mission, Dolarhyde being on undercover agent business, under an assumed identity. And yes, I laughed out loud when I saw that he signed in as “John Crane”. Nice touch, I hope that name came from you, Richard! Once again a completely different body language for Dolarhyde in this scene – very assured, much more fluid.

Acting-wise, the high-point of the episode came when Dolarhyde is finally alone with the watercolour. This was amazing to watch. I loved his reaction to seeing the original painting, the drawing in of breath, almost inhaling the painting, the leaning back of the head, the step back in reverence. And yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees – he pulled off the glove with his teeth. OMG, I literally screamed and I had butterflies in my stomach! Guy and Lucas, right there. I could hardly contain my excitement over this when I watched the scene for the first time. Go back into your box, fan girl, this is serious business!

Screenshot 2015-08-08 07.38.04

I thought it was very well-played that Dolarhyde is so tactile. He loves to use his hands, he feels with and through his hands, touching paper, touching this painting, absorbing something through his finger tips, treating it with care, showing how precious it is. There was reverence in his careful touching, but even more so when he is feeling the painting with his face. That was genius – so completely outside of what we would do with an object. We do this with children and animals, feeling the soft fluff of hair on a baby’s head with our face, but he does it to an inanimate object – because it is not inanimate for him, it is the dragon, alive and precious, to be adored. This made it so clear, and it was a goosepimple moment against better judgment.

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You are what you eat

And then *whambam* the surprising eating of it. The frenzied, climactic, moaning imbibing of the painting. This is craziness personified, intense, scary, unreachable. I was right there with Dolarhyde, I could feel the excitement, the climactic ecstasy of the moment.

And boy, was that a coitus interruptus when Will appeared on the scene. Dammit, Graham, I would have flung you against a wall myself, if you had walked in on some sexy time with my favourite beast! The scary moment when Will notices Dolarhyde in the lift and he turns around to stare at him – now that was a subliminal connection, established in the gaze.

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Conclusio

Holy macaroni! This was definitely the best of all three Red Dragon episodes yet. Sure, the amount of screen time Dolly received here, makes sure that there is plenty of opportunity for getting into Dolarhyde’s mind. Even though I understand the tricks the makers of the show are using to get me to soften up to the villain – the slow camera movements that add a feeling of calm and soothing, the surprising gentleness and emotionality of Dolarhyde with Reba, the beautiful music in those scenes, the warmer tones of the scenes where Dolly is going all romantic – I can hardly resist the pull of that tragic character. It is becoming easier to distinguish between Dolarhyde and the Red Dragon – and to feel for the man while condemning the beast. And hoping against hope that there is a way out for him, and that “the love of a good woman” will veer him off the path to destruction.

In the wider context of the show, I am further warming to Will. He is the only “normal” main character in this. Although I really enjoyed Gillian Anderson’s turn as Bedelia du Maurier in this, I am slightly lost as to what exactly is up with her. She appears detached, patronizing, unblinking, somnambulistic, more or less dead to me. How come she is not implicated in Lecter’s Italian crimes, and runs free? The scene with Zachary Quinto (Neil?) was another look away-moment. Was she crushing the weakness? – In terms of cinematography I really liked the conversation scene between Will and Lecter. When Lecter describes the Blake painting to Will –  it exudes “a unique and nightmarish charge of demonish sexuality” – he is exactly describing what Dolarhyde is or is aspiring to. And the lighting in this scene was so clever: Yes, Lecter is standing over  the lit-up drawer through which his visitors can pass him things, but it translates to that classic hell-fire, lighting from below, that makes him look even more sinister than he is. Nicely done.

All in all, a gripping episode that ends on a fantastic cliffhanger. Where is Dolly? Will Will catch him? And what is the Red Dragon’s next move? I eagerly await the next episode. In the meantime, I will watch the “fangirl cut” aka my slide show on endless loop.

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134 thoughts on “Hannibal 3×10 “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun” – Review

  1. Ein Fest der Sinne! Ich habe mir heute Morgen quasi zum Frühstück nochmal alle Höhepunkte gegeben.
    Ich mochte übrigens die Jogging-Szene auch sehr gerne. Ich glaube fast, wir sind in puncto Körperlichkeit und RA alle ein kleines bißchen unterversorgt 😁

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    • Naja, nach drei Jahren Verbuddelung unter Thorins Pelz und Kettenhemd kein Wunder!!! Mir wird jetzt auch klar, warum ich seit Januar so einen Heißhunger auf Porter habe. Das ist ja mal der einzige, der richtig Hüllen fallen lässt… Insofern ist Dolly schon eine Prachtnummer. Nur noch ein kleines bisschen intensiv, der Süße…

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  2. Nicely written..He is a magnificent actor, but we all knew that yes? His “take” on Francis is spot on to the book, but with that Armitage twist…..So awesome to watch, so blessed to be able to…Bravo Mr.Armitage

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  3. I asked the same question and felt the same charge when Francis wrote “John Crane” in the visitor book at the museum. Micra tells me that the original name in the book was actually Paul Crane, not John – So I can’t help feeling an intentional shout out here to his John characters – especially Bateman. And wow, when he bit off his glove – I had possible delusion that this was another Easter egg.
    I don’t think it’s possible to over interpret Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal episodes, because he and his cohorts put so much thought into everything – though I don’t always see it the way he (insists on) giving us explanations and deciphering what’s happening. Sometimes I see more, sometimes something completely different.
    I’m grateful that you gave us the written scene between Reba and Francis in his living room – but I watched the scene many times, and, maybe I need to watch it once more, but I thought the Martini glass dropped when she first touched him, the shock and awe of it, and that it wasn’t until a few minutes later that we saw – anyway, I saw – him act as though he were climaxing. It brought back to me the scene in Between the Sheets ( the only hot scene, for me in that show) when Alana ( was that her name?) gives him oral sex in her office.
    Another great review. We see all see some of the same Armtagean things, and we all see something a little different. Like the blind men and the elephant.

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    • Yes, it is Paul Crane, I double-checked in the book, too. And I just don’t think it is a coincidence. I am usually not one of the conspiracy theorists, and I very rarely believe that Armitage is communicating covertly with his fans, but this one is just so inexplicable, I can’t see another reason for it than a little nod and a challenge to the fans. Well, that’s if there is a reason at all. Who knows.
      Same with the glove scene – well, I suppose it makes sense that he pulls of the glove with his teeth. He’s got his hands full. But then again… It really depends on whether Armitage is actually aware of the whole “leather-glove pulled off with teeth” kink that his army of fans has… We’ll never know…
      As for the glass shattering – I think you are right, Perry. In the show, Dolarhyde’s hands start shaking the closer Reba gets to his package. (Un)Fortunately the camera cuts away from it so we can’t be sure what happens simultaneously. Is the glass simply dropped because she’s sneaking around the crown jewels, or does he actually climax? The source text is slightly inconclusive, as well – I read it as a climax, but the book goes like this: ““I hope I didn’t shock you,” she said. It was the sound of her living voice that shocked him, and he felt to see if her heart was going and it was. She held his hand there gently. “My goodness, you’re not through yet, are you?” A living woman. How bizarre. Filled with power, the Dragon’s or his own, he lifted her from the couch easily. She weighed nothing, so much easier to carry because she wasn’t limp.” (- Oral sex courtesy of Alona? Ooops, I must have missed that…)
      Yes, I love the way that we all focus on different things. I haven’t read any other reviews yet because I wanted to be uninfluenced with my own impressions. Off to see what others feel to see him 😉

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      • Well, ” you’re not through yet,” doesn’t mean he didn’t mean he didn’t climax once already. In the book, it doesn’ seem to be oral sex, but either way, she would know. The “my goodness” could be because , ahem, he wasn’t a worm, but rather still or again erect.

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        • (Hehehe, look at how we are trying to discuss this seriously, and how words escape us…) Essentially that’s what I thought, that he may have found some sort of release, but that he is not sated yet.

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              • I think we are more scared for her than she is. I don’t think she’s had any sense of the monster in him so far. She thinks he is mostly apprehensive about his looks and shy in a way. I’m guessing given the circumstances more startled than anything else, it is just not a gesture she would expected and because she can’t see it is weird that the first thing he would do is touch her heart. When he then swipes her up, even though quite swiftly i think that is something she can recognise or understand, at least there she things she knows what is happening. She doesn’t see his wild looks so she probably just interprets it as passion at the time.

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  4. Ah, your fangirling so completely jives with my own. Love the screencap of him leaning over the record player. Dayum, was my thought at that moment. I’m personally glad they didn’t alter my seriously aroused mood in the sofa scene by including the disturbing home video footage. That would have been a buzz kill, and I was plenty satisfied to just brush all that murder and mayhem under the carpet and focus on the sexy stuff. Like Armita- er, Dolarhyde approaching a climax. The after-sex scene was incredible, and brought me to tears as well. I loved how vulnerable he was- as you said- almost like a child, yet so big and sexy at the same time. They nailed it. He nailed it. I love how he’s so amazing at his craft- not a word of dialogue on his part for long minutes during both the sofa scene and the bedroom scene, yet so much occurs through his facial transformations, his body language… just… wow. And the museum scene- oh, how I loved it! Did you notice the incredible profile porn as he crosses in front of windows on his way to the elevator!? I forgot to mention that in my review. I feel fairly certain in light of Perry’s comment above, that the name signed in the book was “Paul Crane”, that the substitution of “John” was an inside joke! It makes me love the scene all the more, now. Unlike everyone else, I wasn’t as taken with the glove/teeth moment, because he’d put in those damn ugly dentures again so it couldn’t be as sexy as it would have been otherwise. And tbh, the painting scene actually filled me with hilarity… just the absurdity of gobbling down a modern masterpiece… I was seriously on cloud nine at that moment, though. So many heavy emotions and such intense arousal had preceded it that I just loved having those laughs at the end. =) Great review, and thanks for all the lovely screencaps!!

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    • Hehe, for fangirling purposes I agree with you that it was a good thing they omitted the murder footage. Buzzkill. I suppose they made it easier for us to understand how conflicted Dolarhyde is becoming – feeling excited by a woman, independent of the Red Dragon. It’s actually slightly more logical in terms of what happens next – Dolarhyde feeling compelled to have sex with Reba, despite the Red Dragon.
      If John Crane is an inside joke, then I’d like to kiss Armitage and say thanks 🙂 That would be a funny and sweet way of
      acknowledging his fans. Alas, I am too cynical to allow myself to believe that… Maybe someone should ask…
      Hehe, the dentures were definitely a dampener there. I must admit I only saw the gloves and successfully blanked out any ugly teeth. And the absurdity of eating the painting – absurd, crazy, yes, but maybe this is another true Heinz Krüger moment. If we really really really love someone, we say in German “Ich hab dich zum Fressen gern” – roughly “I love you so much, I’d like to eat you”. (And no, not *that* kind of “eat”.) It kind of reminds me again of cuddling with my kids and making eating noises, pretending you want to eat their little hands, or their nose, or bite their chubby little cheeks. Not sure whether Germans all have a propensity to be cannibals… it just kind of looked completely understandable to me, as OTT and absurd as it was…

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    • yes the profile stuff in that scene was compensation for all the emphasis in eps before on his slight facial imperfection 🙂 He really scared me those teeth and i got completely giddy when Wills showed up at the door of the museum. I actually went yes!! when he got thrown about.. poor Will!

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  5. Hm, hier ist fast alles gesagt, oder? 😉
    Danke für deine Meinung plus Fangirling plus … ach ja, so ein paar vööööllig unwichtige Screenshots waren da ja auch noch. Nicht dass ich die genießen würde … Nie. 😛

    Der Maul-Effekt des Geländers ist mir auch aufgefallen. Ich weiß aber nicht mehr sicher, was meine erste Reaktion war. Ich glaube, ich war nur irritiert und habe mich gefragt, ob es Absicht war.

    Und da ich es jetzt aufklären darf, ohne zu spoilern: Gekichert hatte ich – shame on me – über die Handschuh-Szene.

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    • Habe ich mich erschöpfend zum Thema geäußert :-D? Die Screenshots sind nur reine Beigabe, lockern lediglich den Text auf. Lohnen das Angucken eigentlich gar nicht.
      Soso, die Handschuhszene hat dich zum Kichern gebracht? Wenn du da mal jetzt nicht aus der Army ausgeschlossen wirst. Da daaaaf man nicht kichern, das sind bierernste Querverbindungen, die der Meister sich extra und nur für die *echten* Fans ausgedacht hat!!! Was für eine Blasphemie!!!

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      • Möchtest du mich dazu bringen, in den Krümeln zu suchen, damit ich dich angreifen kann? OH!!! Du hast einen Tippfehler drin – it’s, wo es its sein muss.
        Guylty, you are guilty of using a Deppenapostroph, darum muss ich dich leider aus meinen Lesezeichen löschen. – Zufrieden? 😀

        Hmpf, ja, ich weiß. Ich bin ein ganz schlechter Fan.
        Ich schäme mich auch ganz doll. *schnief*

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      • Jawollja, unbotmäßiges Kichern wird mit standrechltichem Erschießen beim MorgengRAuen geahndet 🙂 Wird Zeit, dass hier mal wieder der gebotene Ernst Einzug hält. Irgendwie verlottert diese Seite gerade ein wenig……

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  6. An excellent review. I need to rewatch it… might tonight while doing laundry…. Someday I’m actually going to have to sit down and write lesson plans. Tomorrow. Tomorrow…

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      • No I didn’t get to rewatch. When I finally got to the room, I had to do laundry and I was falling over exhausted. Sometime in the next 2 days, I have got to work up 2 to 3 weeks of usable lesson plans for all of my grade levels, as well as find alternative temp housing. Where I’m at is a longish drive, no free wifi, no frig, no microwave. Eating out is killing me.

        Getting up at 6 AM is killing me. This full time working is for the birds! LOL!

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        • Hahaha, you tell me. I get up at 6am every morning. Mind you, my first article usually doesn’t appear until after 7am… need time to wake up.
          Lesson plans – ouch. But well, look at it this way: If you get it done now, you’re covered for a bit. It’ll free you up for doing other things, watching, rewatching, house-hunting.

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          • writing. I’m in a world of hurt tonight. My feet are just… done. As it stands, I still don’t have a computer so I can’t POST lesson plans so until that happens, nope.

            I’m trying to find the number for Dominoes and have a pizza delivered and write or rewatch and knit. My body hasn’t hurt like this in ages.

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            • It’s tough going back into a full-time teaching position. And then with accomodation not sorted it’s even worse. No way through it except to sit it out for the moment. Are there no self-catering apartments or something that you could temporarily move to? Wouldn’t that be a cheaper alternative to a motel while you wait for your first salary to come through?

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  7. Another enjoyable review! So much of what you say resonates with me. What an amazing episode. I’ve just about given up reaching for superlatives to describe Richard’s performance as Dolarhyde. I have such conflicting emotions which is exactly where I’m supposed to be as a viewer I guess. Francis seems to have found his own little corner in my affections. How long that will continue is anybody’s guess, given that he is gradually losing himself to Dolarhyde the Red Dragon, who utterly repels me. I like to think that it’s Francis making love to Reba, but the overhead camera perspective of the muscles moving under the tattoo makes me think it’s possibly the more confident Dragon, especially after the way he picks her up from the couch and clomps off. Definitely Francis post coital – heartbreaking. You describe his actions so well as being child like, yet it’s still creepy around the edges.
    I haven’t been able to decipher the look on Reba’s face when he places his hand so firmly over her heart after she asks if she’s shocked him – it’s almost pained. Aroused?
    Two gripes: the lighting, or rather the lack thereof, may be atmospheric but I can’t see RA clearly enough and that frustrates me no end. Secondly, and it’s such a shallow gripe but I can’t help being irritated by it each time I see it – the way Reba is positioned in the bed. It doesn’t look like a normal relaxed sleeping position to me. IMHO it would’ve worked better with a sheet to cover her breasts and her hand lying relaxed on top across her sternum. It’s weird why, with everything else that is going on in that scene, that sticks out for me lol. 🙂

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    • Yeah, I have been wondering whether there is any point in writing further reviews. Armitage has nailed this character. Full stop. Mind you, it still amazes me every time how convincing he is, how he draws me in one minute and then effortlessly switches to an utterly repulsive beast and makes me shudder. It’s not easy viewing, because there is the constant conflict between two impulses – to feel for Francis, and to despise the Red Dragon. It very slightly reminds me of Guy, and of Lucas/John. But as you said – we know where this is headed, and unfortunately this was probably the last of the redeemable Francis we have seen. I am very curious to find out what happens next, especially as they won’t be able to follow the narrative from the book.
      Re. Reba’s look when he puts his hand on her breast bone – initially I read that as alarm, because it looked like a gesture of threat to me – as if he was going to grab and strangle her. It was the book that cleared it up for me. She realizes he is “not through”, and I guess she is aroused?
      The lighting – oh, I am with you there. All of Hannibal seems to take place in half-shadow. It’s wonderfully atmospheric, and it adds a very specific aesthetic to the whole show. It particularly occurred to me in the scene between Bedelia and Neil – curtains almost drawn. Since there is no logical need for that, it must be deliberate by the makers. And it applies to almost all the scenes. Not great for purposes of intense viewing, I agree. I am also getting slightly tired of it – I’d like to see things clearly for a change…
      Hehe, Mezz, I had the same thought re. Reba’s posture in bed. She almost looked like an Egyptian mummy, rigid, stiff. And I found it hard to believe that she didn’t wake when FD takes her hand and touches his face with it. Suspense of disbelief…

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      • Nice to know it’s not just me being picky about Reba’s posture! I even tried it myself a few times, but as soon as I relaxed my right arm it slid down until my elbow hit the bedding, so there’s no way I could sleep like that.
        Please keep writing your reviews (no pressure of course!) It’s always interesting to read what others think about the show, and I enjoy rewatching (5 or 6 times now) with a new perspective or three. 🙂

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        • Now, that’s what I call dedication – re-enacting a Hannibal scene 😀
          And no worries – I was talking speculatively. I doubt I can hold my tongue once the next episode comes out. Already making space in my schedule for tomorrow morning to watch and review in peace 😉

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      • ack i forgot to say that, i kept thinking women, wake up, wake up, you’ll want to feel this/remember this! maybe she did but it’s all been soo intense and sudden she didn’t want to acknowledge it and deal with it or spoil it 🙂

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          • i am still wondering though if she really didn’t realise or just didn’t want to deal with more emotional upheaval at the time…. I think at that point she senses it’s not all that normal with him and there is something emotionally deeper going on with him. At least this is also how i interpret her wanting to go home as well in the morning without lingering more about. She must be wondering why he was so strange about the whole experience.. or rather why he had no experience?

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            • Not necessarily – she does understand that he is deeply traumatized by his deformity, and probably thinks that it has made him a reserved, shy, scared man with little experience. But yes, she probably does sense that there is some deeper psychological conflict going on there.

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              • hm, you’ve got a point… i’ve always somehow had a sense that it was the first sign or step that something was off that they didn’t stay and cuddle 🙂 I mean ok we know this is not that kind of story. But i thought it was in a way telling she seemed to want some distance as well… and he is trying to fight the dragon.
                That is the other thing i am unsure about in the series, in the book he eats the painting in an attempt to destroy the dragon, thinking he will disappear once the painting is gone.. . but it is not what came across in the episode, or what do you think?

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                • In the episode I had the impression he eats the painting in an attempt to become one with him. So, not to destroy but to “meld” as he called re. Hannibal. Tbh, that’s how I remember it from the book, too, but I could be wrong. (No time to look it up now.)

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    • Creepy around the edges… yes! All through, no matter the scene, you’re never fully sure of him. It’s brilliant! And re: lighting… that may have been part of why I so loved the final scenes in the museum… halfway decent lighting for once. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      • The museum lighting – yes! Much better to screencap and gif. Until those teeth go in. The sight of him opening his mouth to take a bite of the painting makes me shudder every time, he looks so demonic.

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  10. Thanks for the enjoyable read! I think Reba’s stiff/awkward sleeping posture was intended to make us wonder if she was dead. Rutina Wesley has been doing such a good job imo that I would bet that that position was due to direction and/or script, vs the actor’s choice.

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  11. Great, really great. I just love reading other people’s perception of it and it is actually a lot more fun with them being so different 🙂
    I sort of didn’t feel my buttons being pushed particularly, not in a too obvious way. The show is all about pushing buttons 😀 Unlike in other cases i didn’t feel it was gratuitous in any way because they had already set up certain behaviours in previous episodes. I have to say the build up was very well done. And i think you are spot on in saying that this episode in particular established the distinction between D and the dragon. A has acted them well enough so that we separate them or instantly recognise from a look which one we are dealing with at a particular moment even if he goes back and forth between man and beast in the blink of an eye.
    I had forgotten that in the book he had been re-watching the murder scenes again. I have enough of the book in mind to sort of recognise the path but thankfully no longer all the details. I debates whether to revisit but decided against it because i specifically want to see how Fuller and the directors tell the story. It is why i have been wondering about certain choices, sequences etc. And have tried to feel with the show rather than the book.
    Of course the show showing a bit less of the beast and more of the human side plays to fangirl and also general sensibilities. But i also didn’t allow for any advance sympathy before it was triggered by the actual scenes. Which is why it almost felt surprising, as for the character, to discover some level of vulnerability and connection. That moment when he touches his scar with her hand is incredibly beautiful indeed 🙂
    Yes the jumping out of bed scene is probably gratuitous 🙂 Just another excuse to show us D has indeed a beautiful body and that his skin is equally beautiful in that dim light 😉
    I confess i was too distracted during only 2 watchings by the continuation of the tattoo on his thigh to notice anything on the walls 😉

    I didn’t feel i was spoiled for the tiger scene, but then all i had seen before were 2 behind the scenes shots? I was surprised by the glowing thing and i really liked it. I guess his intense stare didn’t surprise me as much as it seems to be D default or ‘natural’ state , intense and dangerous staring 😉 they like to keep us in a state of confusion with that gaze, don’t they? Because they’ve used it both in menacing and in emotional circumstances and you sort of never know which way he will tip.

    I also liked the physicality he had with the painting and it sort of amazes me how together he can be at times in front of other only to descend into inexplicable utter madness in relation to the dragon. But i enjoyed Will coming into the picture, it was classic thriller stuff and i just lapped it up. They also played it quite intuitively as well as you could also see on Will’s face he had a sense of who he might meet as soon as he was told he was the second visitor.
    I know Hannibal pointed out the aggressive sexuality of the painting, however i don’t think that is how D is, i think the way the played it in the ep was geared towards showing that the dragon may be aggressive, though not necessarily sexual ( don’t think what he does to those women qualifies as that eek!) whereas D is not aggressive that way in his human form 🙂 Basically what i want to say is i think Hannibal in his fascination with another potential monster underestimated D’s human side which thankfully has had a boost through Reba even if only temporarily.

    Oh, the images of Will and Hannibal in the asylum! Spot on, i also like the contrast very much. Because they always backlight Hannibal and thus light Will we always get a sense of light and clarity in his eyes while H is distorted with dark holes almost instead of light and creepy features. I loved that idea.

    As to the Maritni, LOL it’s all a game to Fuller and the visuals. He knows exactly what we saw and it is exactly what they wanted us to see and what they wanted us to think. He’s just having a laugh at having tricked ‘standards and practices’ ones more. Sometimes they get one over and they have to darken our nipples and sometimes the show wins 🙂 He’s just gloating a bit ironically 🙂 I couldn’t stop myself from giggling along ‘ggg’.

    And yes all those fan triggers! I would so like to think they were Richard’s ideas… i don’t think Fuller knows this fandom well enough for him to come up with them. Of course there were the involuntary ones too… that leaning pose, the neck exposed, the lashes and the hands, especially the latter featuring prominently everywhere. The fan in me is gloating and i’m enjoying it before they wipe off that smile with another stomach churning image sure to come!

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    • Yes, as far as all the involuntary triggers for fangirling… whoever is doing the shooting has definitely caught on to the fact that RA is almost unbearably beautiful from soooo many angles. I know I’m reveling in it, and from the first moment I started watching Hannibal and its incredible attention to aesthetics, I’ve been excited about this very thing. I knew they’d take his beauty and run with it. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well i am not sure about beauty, at first i was surprised by how stark and harsh almost he looked; the dark lighting seems to increase the angularity of his face. But i guess it was the expression, in this last one he went back to being handsome. In terms of body yes they are certainly making the best of it 😉 And he has certainly put the hard work into it 🙂

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    • Oh, I didn’t really think the jumping out of bed scene was gratuitous at all. Maybe the nudity was, though 😉 Although it is entirely reasonable that Dolly has to pull on the pants after a night of sex… The scene was needed to understand his reaction – running to search for Reba, who has already gotten up. He’s scared that the dragon may have taken her, and so he runs up into the attic to check. In the book, he then spots her from the window in the garden and runs out. Initially I did not think it was clear enough that he was actually already in conflict with the dragon when he runs up to the attic. I thought he went up there to worship. The conflict only becomes clear when he encounters Reba downstairs. But well, it’s all details…
      You are right – I doubt Fuller knows the whole “multiple John chaRActer” scenario in Armitage’s oeuvre. It must have been RA’s own little in-joke. Typically cheeky-inspired. Aw, that really makes me happy! As would the glove thing, but that seems to be fairly obvious to do in that situation. In any case, it enhances the scenes for the fangirls, so thank you to RA 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. oh on Bedelia, she escaped in Florence by drugging herself silly and pretending it was Hannibal so she wasn’t responsible for anything as supposedly she was out of it during everything 😉 she’s revealing herself to be nearly as sick as he is, minus the eating

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  13. Dolly hat einen schlechten Einfluss auf mich:

    Ich habe vom roten Drachen geträumt.

    Nicht Guyltys kleines Plüschtierchen, sondern ein GROSSER roter Drache.
    Ungefähr kniehoch und super-kuschelig. Awwwwwwww! ❤ ❤ ❤

    😀

    Liked by 1 person

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