Once again, to remind everyone, 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...
I'm surprised this is the penultimate episode of Hannibal's third season, which in some ways has felt like an abridged version of what the fourth might've been if the producers had more confidence they'd reach that point. Not that doing the Red Dragon story in six episodes has undercut the idea, because that's still four hours longer than either previous version we've seen on film. I guess I've just been enjoying this storyline so much, it feels like a pity it's coming to an end, and is likely going to put a cap on the series as a whole.
It was a particularly nasty sequence, made all the more sickening because Chilton has, frankly, been something of a heel for the show. He's the intellectually arrogant type who's always being sneered at by the monsters he governs (whose notoriety earns him his status), and having already survived having his stomach cut open by Abel Gideon, and being shot in the face by a traumatised Miriam Lass, there was something truly heartbreaking about seeing this suave and loquacious man reduced to a lipless human-ember who's speech is barely comprehensible. And yet, he's still alive! Is there no killing this guy? I hope he's put out of his misery soon, and his survival here was purely because of the storytelling need to pass on some vital clues about the Dragon's whereabouts.
And huge credit for the moment Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) received a parcel from Dolarhyde, and opened it in front of Alana (Caroline Dhavernas) to reveal Chilton's bitten off lips. Or, specifically, the way the next scene revealed with a blink-and-miss flashback that Lecter quickly sucked down one of Chilton's lips, only leaving one for the FBI to identify. Getting to eat part of Chilton seemed to cheer him up immensely, having recently been on the receiving end of Chilton gloating about Lecter's future as an old inmate being sexually abused by the younger fiends at the hospital, forced to endure eating stewed apricots.
- Chilton's fiery fate was a clever way to stick to the source material, while giving things a twist. In the book, it's Lounds who is glued to a wheelchair and killed that way, which the show already paid homage to in season 2 with the show's female Freddie. Having the story instead utilise Chilton worked very well, and managed to still astonish us with its differences to what book-readers have been expecting.
- It makes sense that Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) is now Will's therapist, sort of. I mean, for the purposes of the show having those two characters pick each other's brains about Lecter makes for great dialogue and intrigue. I loved the moment when Will pondered the idea that Lecter is in love with him, which is how the audience have been treating their relationship for a long time. But, in the real world, I doubt the professionalism of a therapist who's as unbiased as Bedelia psychoanalysing Will.