‘And the Woman Clothed in Sun’ Plot Summary:
Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) confronts Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) about her time ‘behind the veil’ with Hannibal. During their conversation, it’s revealed that she may not be as innocent as we once thought. Meanwhile, Hannibal (Madds Mikelesen) engages with Francis Dollarhyde aka The Tooth Fairy (Richard Ermitage). Dollarhyde fights his urges as the Red Dragon as his relationship with Reba (Rutina Wesley) begins to blossom.
It was bound to happen.
The third season of Hannibal has been an absolutely phenomenal one. The news that this would be its last season on NBC seemed to embolden the series as it’s ramped up the violence, sexuality, and the hallucinatory imagery. Each week blows the previous one away. Every episode has been great.
So, you had to expect there would be one episode that was just, fine. It’d be solid. It’d be just alright. It wouldn’t be terrible because this series has never produced a bad episode.
This week’s episode, ‘And the Woman Clothed in Sun’ was filled with the to-be-expected excellent performances, but there were a little too many detours, and it just lacked that intrinsic it factor that propels each episode of Hannibal to the stratosphere of excellence.
Will’s encounter with Bedelia was probably the weakest link of the episode. Gillian Anderson has been fabulous as Hannibal’s shrink, and the show has used her wisely. Tonight, however, her appearance felt forced, and uncalled for it. It felt like the writers had about a 15 minute hole in the episode, and were scrambling to find something to fill it. It’s a shame really because not only was this a waste of both Anderson and Dancy, but of Zachary Quinto as well. Quinto, if you recall, appeared early and briefly in the beginning of this season as the ‘dangerous patient’ of Bededlia’s that Hannibal killed (to protect Bedelia). Turns out that was all a sham, and she actually kinda, sorta aided in his death. Also, she admits to have a cruel, murderous side to her. Quinto is barely in the sequence, which is a real disappoint because he’s always proven to be a strong supporting player.
The point of this sequence? No idea.
The episode also took a bit too long with the Reba and Dollarhyde. The tiger sequence was a bit too long, and seemed to build up this air of suspense that the tiger would awaken and attack Reba (when obviously this wasn’t going to, nor was it supposed to) happen. The sexual encounter between Reba and Dollarhyde was executed much better than in Red Dragon or Manhunter. Richard Armitage is able to evoke sympathy from the viewer for Dollarhyde. If you go back to the previous Dollarhyde incarnations, these encounters were awkward, school boy-esque and/or utterly painful sequences.
Yet, Armitage does so much more with this character. He has done wonders as The Great Red Dragon. He’s utterly horrifying, yet there’s this spirit of vulnerability that humanizes him. Ralph Fiennes’ depiction lacked that. You did have some sympathy for him, but you never felt he was quite human enough. Armitage is able to make you care about Dollarhyde. He’s able to generate massive sympathy — which makes every time he turns back towards the way of the Red Dragon even that much more heartbreaking.
The final sequence of the episode — Dollarhyde finally encountering Will, was an awesome, bad ass scene. Dollarhyde manhandling Will was a shocking explosion and was not a scene from Red Dragon (despite the episode sticking close to so many parts of the film in this episode). That fact made it even more shocking.
All and all, ‘And the Woman Clothed in Sun’ was a solid episode of Hannibal that advanced the plot along without really delivering anything mind-blowingly brilliant like we’ve seen in every episode this season.
Rating: 7 out of 10