Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) is on the run with Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) as his victims Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), and Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) recover from his attack. A mistake from Hannibal’s past has come back to hunt Hannibal, and Mason Verger (Joe Anderson) is used to getting what he wants. In order to capture Hannibal, Will Graham might have to return to hunt the man he once trusted…but an even greater threat lurks in the future in the form of a killer known as the Tooth Fairy (Richard Armitage).
Hannibal—Season 3 aired from June 4, 2015 to August 29, 2015 on NBC. The final seven episodes aired in Canada before they aired in the United States. The series continued to receive strong reviews and had a rabid fan base but continued to suffer small viewership. The season was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.
Hannibal is dark…dark…dark, and it also one of the artsiest shows on television. The series goes from complete arthouse style to crime thriller deftly without missing a beat. I can totally see why it failed.
I have to admit myself that I found the first half of this season difficult to watch. The story loosely adapts Harris’ 1999 novel Hannibal (which was also turned into a movie in 2001) and that was always the weakest of Harris’ novels (excluding Hannibal Rising which is barely touched upon here). The story was so over-the-top and absurd that it wasn’t a good movie or book. The series legitimizes it somewhat, but the storytelling style and non-linear story is a challenge to follow.
The second half of the story has also been adapted before. The story follows the Tooth Fairy storyline of 1981’s Red Dragon which was first shot as Manhunter in 1986 and then remade in 2002 as Red Dragon. It is a more compelling story but the story is told in a straightforward manner that is easy to follow than the first half of the season.
The cast is also excellent. Though it is called Hannibal, Mads Mikkelsen’s role is severely cut back in the second half of the season. Fortunately Mikkelsen isn’t the only talent in the cast and Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham is also compelling. The season develops some smaller characters better than some of the movies and it helps make the events even more shocking since the series pulls little punches.
Hannibal was a great series and one of the scariest shows out there. There has been talk of a revival and continuation (and allegedly the cast is also interested in continuing the series). With the promise of Silence of the Lambs and more potential stories to tell, Hannibal would be a perfect fit for something like Netflix or Amazon which isn’t limited by ratings or audiences. While the final episode ends in a cliffhanger (somewhat literally), the series has demonstrated it deals in illusion. I would love to see Hannibal return…Clarice Starling and Buffalo Bill await!
Hannibal—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:
3.1 Antipasto Airdate: 06/04/15
Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) is on the run in Europe with Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) and Lecter has assumed the identity of Dante expert Dr. Roman Fell (Jeremy Crutchley). When Lecter’s secret identity is uncovered by Anthony Dimmond (Tom Wisdom) Lecter must decide his next move…and decide what must become of Dimmond.
3.2 Primavera Airdate: 06/11/15
Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has survived Hannibal’s attack…either by fate or Hannibal’s grand design. Teamed with Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl), Will begins to crawl back from the wreckage left by Lecter and sets to seek out Hannibal. Will learns that he is not alone in his quest and that Rinaldo Pazzi (Fortunato Cerlino) is also on Lecter’s trail for a bounty placed on Lecter’s head. With the discovery of the body of Dimmond, Will has a lead…but the secret of his partnership with Abigail will be revealed.
3.3 Secando Airdate: 06/18/15
Will is trying to understand what made Hannibal by travelling to Hannibal’s home in Lithuania. Du Maurier looks at Hannibal’s past and his sister Mischa…and the events that led to her demise. As Will meets Hannibal’s aunt’s servant Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto), Chiyoh reveals secrets of Hannibal’s past including a strange prisoner (Julian Richings). Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) has set out to find Will and meets with Pazzi about the case. Lecter questions his relationship with Will and comes to a decision on where it must lead.
3.4 Aperitivo Airdate: 06/25/15
Frederick Chilton (Raul Esparza) has found an ally in Mason Verger (Joe Anderson), and Chilton seeks to hunt down the man that disfigured them both by bringing together the people that Hannibal affected. With Jack Crawford dealing with his wife’s disease and Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) trying to come back from her injuries, the real key to capturing Lecter could be Will Graham…and Will’s friends could be the only hope.
3.5 Contorno Airdate: 07/02/15
Crawford is on the heels of Lecter and trying to convince Pazzi that his attempt to capture Lecter is a mistake. Graham and Chiyoh head to Florence and question their relationship with Lecter. Pazzi attempts to get the evidence he needs for Mason Verger, but Lecter has other plans for Pazzi…leading to a confrontation between Lecter and Crawford.
3.6 Dolce Airdate: 07/09/15
Crawford has beaten Hannibal, but Hannibal has escaped. As Hannibal prepares to go on the run, Dr. Du Maurier must decide her future with Hannibal. Mason tries to deal with his sister Margot (Katharine Isabelle) and suggests that raising a heir might help…even if it means incest. Crawford finds himself reteamed with Will, but Will’s attempts to stop Hannibal once and for all go against Chiyoh’s plans for the doctor. Margot and Alana have their own plans for Verger and Lecter. While Du Maurier faces the police, Crawford and Will find they might be the guests of honor at Hannibal’s meal.
3.7 Digestivo Airdate: 07/16/15 (Canada)/07/18/15 (US)
After nearly having his skull cut open by Hannibal, Will and Hannibal find themselves prisoners of Mason Verger at his farm. Crawford escapes death with the help of Chiyoh who plans her own recovery mission for Will and Hannibal. Mason and his doctor Cordell Doemling (Glenn Fleshler) outline their plans for Will and Hannibal. Alana decides to take matters into her own hands to help Will.
3.8 The Great Red Dragon Airdate: 07/23/15 (Canada)/07/25/15 (US)
Mason Verger is dead and Hannibal has surrendered himself to police custody. Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) finds himself obsessed with the painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun and begins to give into the Dragon’s power. After three years of institutionalization under Alana’s care, Lecter finds himself pulled into the investigation into the Tooth Fairy by Chilton. Crawford finds Will has started a new life but that the search for Tooth Fairy might mean Will must come out of retirement…and invite Hannibal back into his life.
3.9 …And the Woman Clothed with the Sun Airdate: 07/30/15 (Canada)/08/01/15 (US)
Will has gone to Hannibal for help with finding the Tooth Fairy but worries Lecter will bring out the old horror in him. Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) is on the case and tries to get Will to work with her. Francis meets Reba McClane (Rutina Wesley) would could be a changing force in his life. Hannibal recalls teaching Abigail Hobbs.
3.10 …And the Woman Clothed in Sun Airdate: 08/06/15/ (Canada)/08/08/15 (US)
The Tooth Fairy has reached out to Dr. Lecter and reveals his transformation to him. Will pays a visit to Dr. Du Maurier for a visit. Francis finds that his relationship with Reba is forcing the Dragon to come out. Du Maurier recalls her encounter with Neil Frank (Zachary Quinto) which led to her murderous ties to Lecter. Francis sets out to destroy the thing he thinks is destroying him.
3.11 …And the Beast from the Sea Airdate: 08/13/15 (Canada)/08/15/15 (US)
Francis has consumed the Red Dragon but now he has set his sights on Will. Under Lecter’s tutelage, Francis is targeting Will’s family.
3.12 The Number of the Beast is 666 Airdate: 08/20/15 (Canada)/08/22/15 (US)
With the assassin attempt on Will’s family failed and Francis alerted by Hannibal, Will must find a way to lure out the Dragon. Using Freddie as his pawn, Will teams with Chilton to set-up the Dragon in a trap…but the Dragon has other plans for his revenge.
3.13 The Wrath of the Lamb Airdate: 08/27/15 (Canada)/08/29/15 (US)
Francis has taken care of Chilton but reaching Will might be harder. When faced with killing his lover Reba, Francis makes a decision…and Will is headed to a deadly confrontation and with Hannibal as the key!