Hannibal Season 3 Episode 12 Review: The Number of the Beast is 666

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Folks, we're nearing the end with Hannibal Season 3 Episode 12, the penultimate episode of the series. It seems like this show isn't going to go out with a whisper, as things got absolutely insane in the world of Hannibal Lecter.

Remember that crate of Emmys I was talking about? This week, we needed another full crate for Raúl Esparza, who was beyond incredible as Frederick Chilton found himself in a...well...sticky situation.

The scenes between Raúl Esparza and Richard Armitage were captivating. I found myself feeling Chilton's terror as he faced The Red Dragon, as Francis Dolarhyde towered over him, imposing, intimidating, threatening. The horror in Chilton's face as he realized he was stuck to the chair was palpable. The acting between those two was magnificent.

The visual of the night had to be Dolarhyde biting off Chilton's mouth. I didn't think things could actually get more disturbing in a season that brought us the corpse-stag and Mason Verger's death-by-eel, but here we are. Again, I found myself screaming and swearing as Chilton screamed, as his mouth was torn from from his face in the most vicious possible way.

However, as terrifying as those scenes were, there was enough black humor scattered in there to keep it a bit light. There was the fact that Dolarhyde used what looked like a pantyliner to cover Chilton's eyes. There was the fact that the terrifying Red Dragon was doing all his intimidating in a lovely silk night robe. Then there was Reba's unannounced visit.

I couldn't help laughing as Chilton stared in disbelief at his menacing captor being wooed by a beautiful woman. Who brought him soup. It really was an absurd situation, and I give Chilton credit for staying quiet and protecting Reba's life. We've seen him as a narcissist through most of the show, but he clearly isn't completely full of himself.

He's also not a total idiot, as he realized that Will set him up to be the one captured by The Red Dragon. Will's empathy disorder had clouded his judgment yet again. It had affected how he now sees his family, and how he conducted himself during the investigation.

Hannibal Lecter does have agency in the world. He has you.


I can't get over the fact that Bedelia is Will's new counselor. On one hand, it makes complete sense, and on the other hand, it is the worst possible idea.

On the positive side, there probably isn't a better counselor for Will than someone who has actually has been through the wringer with Hannibal Lecter. She's seen the murderer in action, and she understands his motives and intentions toward Will Graham.

Will: Is Hannibal IN LOVE with me?!?
Bedelia: Could he daily feel a stab of hunger for you, and find nourishment at the very sight of you? Yes. But do you ache for him?

That said, is Bedelia actually helping Will?  It could be argued that Bedelia is just a primer or a proxy for Hannibal. We've already established that Bedelia is probably as heartless as Hannibal, she just has limits and inhibitions.

Is Will better off knowing his own motivations or Hannibal's towards him? Perhaps his new realization of Hannibal's twisted idea of love towards him may give him ammunition. That remains to be seen.

One of the running themes in this installment was the identities of the Lamb and the Dragon. It was debated whether the Dragon in their scenario was Dolarhyde or Hannibal. It certainly seems that Hannibal could be the dragon; he's calling all the shots from a prison cell.

Hannibal implied to Jack that the one they should all fear is Will, and I wonder if Bedelia may be Hannibal's agency in making Will become that person – the Lamb. The righteous wrath of the Lamb is to be feared, and I wonder how Will's righteous wrath will manifest itself.

Speaking of Hannibal, his glee regarding Chilton's death was pretty hilarious. The show crossed new ground as we actually saw Hannibal eat a human body part. He practically slurped Chilton's lips. Uncooked. I miss when this show made the human food look like actual food.

You could have provided anything that Chilton could have. That would have been your lip I was tasting...Again.


There was a notable difference between the events in the Red Dragon novel and in the show. In the novel, the infamous rolling-wheelchair-of-fire was not Frederick Chilton, but Freddy Lounds (in the novels, the reporter is a man).

I remember when they used that visual in Hannibal Season 2 Episode 11 and wondered what Fuller would do if they got the chance to use Red Dragon in the series. I like that they used that scene to tie Hannibal to Francis Dolarhyde more concretely.

It was interesting that they decided to put Chilton at the mercy of Dolarhyde instead of Lounds. However, it made sense with the show; we're much more invested in Chilton as a character than Lounds (or at least I am), so his suffering at the hands of The Dragon carries more weight. Also, given Bryan Fuller's noble stance on violence against women on television, it's not terribly surprising.

So now things have come to a head. Chilton has survived and has seen Dolarhyde's face, he's identified Reba, and it has all hit the fan.

Finally, the quote of the night. While Hannibal's joke about tasting Alana's lips had me doing an "oh no he didn't" finger snap, the collective reaction to Will's insults of The Tooth Fairy had me laughing so hard that Will gets the honor:

Chilton: The Tooth Fairy's actions indicate projective delusion, compensating for intolerable feelings of inadequacy. Smashing mirrors ties these feelings to his appearance.
Will: Not only is the Tooth Fairy insane, he is ugly and impotent.

There's only one more to go, folks! How do you think this will end?  Do you think Will has a shot at getting Hannibal out of his head?  Should everyone really be fearing Will as Hannibal said?

Remember you can always watch Hannibal online.

The Number of the Beast is 666 Review

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Hannibal Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

Will: Is Hannibal IN LOVE with me?!?
Bedelia: Could he daily feel a stab of hunger for you, and find nourishment at the very sight of you? Yes. But do you ache for him?

Hannibal gave you three years to build a family, confident that he'd find a way to take it from you.