…And the Woman Clothed in Sun
Dolarhyde continues to pursue his relationship with Reba by taking her to the zoo to feel up a sedated tiger. Reba is overwhelmed by emotion at the majesty of the tiger and Dolarhyde seems equally as moved, but in that creepy Red Dragon way. He takes her home and spends the night with her, envisioning her as the woman clothed in sun. Meanwhile, Will reconnects with Bedelia, who is giving lectures on her experience being brainwashed by Hannibal. Will seems particularly hostile and contemptuous of Bedelia, which is more motivated by his jealousy of her relationship with Hannibal than by her deception. They talk about their respective relationships with Hannibal as Bedelia remembers her old patient Neal Frank. She suggests to Will that it might be better for all involved that the next time he has an impulse to help someone that he crush them instead. Hannibal receives a call from Dolarhyde and later discovers Will’s home address. Hannibal puts Will on the track of Blake’s Red Dragon. Will goes to see the painting at the museum, but arrives moments after Dolarhyde has knocked the curator unconscious and eaten the painting. Dolarhyde tries to sneak out when Will arrives, but Will sees him. He tries to apprehend him, immediately recognizing that he’s the killer, but Dolarhyde throws him against the wall and escapes.
It seems that everyone involved with Hannibal stands to make a hefty profit from their experience with him. Bedelia speaks to a full audience about how she became Lydia Fell, but of course not the real version. Will’s hostility towards her seems strange and unwarranted until we realize that he’s really just jealous of her close relationship with Hannibal. After all, he ran away with her and left Will behind. Once they sit down together, however, and she explains not only herself but Will to himself, he seems nearly contrite. Bedelia understands herself intimately and has no problem justifying her actions. We also finally get to see what happened with Bedelia’s dead patient, Neal Frank (Zachary Quinto). Neal started therapy with Hannibal mildly depressed with trouble sleeping and ended his therapy paranoid and not sleeping at all. Neal describes his treatment under Hannibal to Bedelia, hoping for some help in exposing Hannibal’s harmful methods. Bedelia is unmoved and Neal feels overwhelmed and betrayed. He says calls Hannibal and Bedelia’s treatments “weird and culty”. He then swallows his own tongue. While Bedelia is desperate to help, Neal is hysterical and afraid of Bedelia. He dies choking, with Bedelia’s hand down his throat trying to clear his airway.
If there’s one thing you can say about Hannibal, its that he has amazing patience. Not only did he wait three years for Will to come visit him, he has the patience to feign cooperation as he plots for a way to open Will back up to him. Hannibal took the time to charm a secretary into giving him Will’s address. As we know from the book and movies, his next move is to give that address to Dolarhyde with instructions to kill Will’s family. If this remains true, Hannibal’s strategy is to take away Will’s support system, opening him up to Hannibal’s influence. And while Dolarhyde sees Hannibal as a source of inspiration, Hannibal largely sees Dolarhyde as a tool.
One can only wonder just how badly Reba’s relationship with Dolarhyde will end. In previous adaptations of Red Dragon, Dolarhyde had to battle his darker side to protect Reba. He actually falls in love and wants desperately to be with her, but in his mind the Red Dragon is commanding him to kill her. In this episode she appears to him as the manifestation of the Woman Clothed in Sun, which suggests his relationship with her might just be another piece of the puzzle to bring about his becoming into the Red Dragon. This coupled with his bizarre mental and sexual reactions to some of her simple actions place her pretty firmly in his psychosis. In my mind, this relationship is slightly less sympathetic than the other adaptations, but then again, Armitage’s Dolarhyde is more alienating than the other Dolarhydes (Tom Noone and Ralph Fiennes). It is difficult to judge without having the full story.