Thoughts on tonight's “Hannibal” coming up just as soon as I have to justify myself to an 11-year-old…
Bouncing around this week's developments as I recover from press tour…
* “Hannibal” is one of the darkest shows in television, and occasionally that becomes literal, as in a scene like the Red Dragon's attempt to kill Will's wife and stepson. For the most part, I was able to follow what was happening as Molly and Wally were able to barely escape the Dragon's wrath, but it was more effort than was perhaps intended by the storytellers. Earlier this season, Fienberg interviewed the show's director of photography and asked about where the show draws the line at filming in darkness; that sequence was perhaps too far over the line.
* That said, this was another winner overall, with Richard Armitage continuing to bring both Dolarhyde and the Dragon to life with his intense physicality. Because we have such a history with Hannibal, it would be easy for Dolarhyde to feel like a distraction, or a plot device to force Will and Hannibal to resume their interactions. But Armitage and the way Fuller, Lightfoot and company have chosen to represent Dolarhyde's madness make him every bit as compelling as our two main characters.
* Some great work, for that matter, by another late addition in Nina Arianda as Molly. As she acknowledges to Will in the hospital, she was the one who encouraged him to go with Jack, for very sound reasons, and thus it's not entirely fair of her to blame Will for what happened to her and Wally. At the same time, she's a human being and a mother who was shot and nearly had her son butchered by a serial killer, and it's impossible for her to not feel furious at and mistrustful of her husband after what his scorned ex-lover put her through.
* Molly's not the only bitter player in this game. Alana is understandably furious with Hannibal for not playing along with Jack, Will hates Jack for pulling him back into this and Hannibal for pointing a weapon at his family, and Dolarhyde has come to hate the Dragon for the danger it poses to Reba and the unexpected happiness he found with her. This is never a particularly happy show, but things are especially bleak between everyone at the moment.
* Hannibal's jokes about communicating with the Dragon using personal ads or notes on toilet paper were references to how they communicated in the novel. The joke about Dolarhyde finding his subjects through social media, meanwhile, has me wondering how he's actually doing it, since the method from the original tellings of this story doesn't really apply anymore. But we'll see.
What did everybody else think?