Another quick reminder that this review is scheduled alongside Thursday's broadcast in Canada. This episode airs tonight in the U.S on NBC, and Wednesday in the UK on Sky Living, so proceed at your own risk of spoilers...
It's been a treat watching Hannibal tackle one killer's storyline for such a long period of time, as the show's first two seasons concerned more episodic cases—with the possible exception of Garrett Jacob Hobbs, whose death in the pilot nevertheless reverberated around the first two seasons via his orphaned daughter Abigail. But I'm loving seeing the show get under the skin of Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), in ways the previous two film versions of this story just didn't have time for. The beauty of longform television, when it comes to fleshing out stories focused on character. "... and the Beast From the Sea" was another strong instalment from this half of season 3, as everything got very personal and tensions rose...
Putting Molly and her son in danger didn't come as a surprise to me, or anyone else who knows the Red Dragon plot's twists and turns, but it worked very well and puts Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) into a much more engaging role on the show. The Tooth Fairy case just got uncomfortable close and, for once, he risked losing people he's genuinely close to—who feels more real to me, compared to the slightly weird situation of Abigail coming to feel like 'the daughter he never had'.
As for Dolarhyde, this episode continued to make us feel a very real sympathy for him: a man clearly going through a frightening mental delusion who needs professional help. He spent this hour conflicted about his romantic feelings for Reba (Rutina Wesley), which have awoken his caring human side that's laid dormant for so long, but is ultimately powerless to stop his Great Red Dragon personality from dominating his actions—best demonstrated in the scene where he beats himself black-and-blue, imagining the Dragon punching and kicking him around the room.
- It had to happen sooner or later, and here we finally got to see Mads Mikkelsen in the iconic Hannibal Lecter look made famous by Silence of the Lambs: strapped to a sack-trolley wearing a muzzle. And now that his luxuries are being taken away by Alana (including—gasp!—his toilet), maybe we'll begin to see Lecter in a more depressing abode... asking for the return of his home comforts in exchange for vital information and assistance.