I think I speak for everyone when I say that Hannibal Season 3 has proven to be yet another wild and crazy ride. From Dr. Lecter's imprisonment to the rise of the great Red Dragon, this series has brought Thomas Harris' novels to life in exciting, new ways and whet our appetite for more. (A sentiment which, unfortunately, NBC does not share.) But if you think things have gotten interesting thus far, that's nothing compared to what Saturday night's episode "… and the Woman Clothed in the Sun" has in store. Zachary Quinto will return to Hannibal as Neal Frank, Bedelia's former patient, who we only saw briefly (a bit too briefly, in fact) during the Season 3 premiere. But now that he's back (and with an actual speaking part!), fans should be able to gain further insight into his complicated past with both of his former therapists.
For those of you who are having a hard time remembering, let me give you a little crash course on what we know about the character thus far. Neal used to be a patient of Hannibal Lecter, who eventually passed him off into Bedelia's care. And while details regarding his inevitable demise seem to remain a tad fuzzy, from what I understand, Bedelia killed Neal by making him swallow his own tongue. (This explains why we saw her hand down his throat in that unforgettable flashback sequence.)
Of course, we're to assume that all of this was done due to Hannibal's influence, since he had purposefully orchestrated the relationship with this bloody conclusion in mind. But I don't care how clever or powerful Hannibal's mind games may be, if you're able to be persuaded into killing your own patient, then there's an untapped darkness inside of you, whether you're willing to admit it or not. Bedelia is no mere victim of Hannibal's. She always seems to be very much in control of her actions in a precise and almost calculated way, which makes her character all the more thrilling to watch. So while she may have been one of Hannibal's experiments at the time, he too has been one of hers.
Neal's presence should help us to figure our Bedelia's complex nature and what exactly transpired between the two of them before it all dissolved into a bloody, tongue-tied mess. Until then, though, it's pretty much all one big guessing game. Since neither Bedelia nor Neal exist within Harris' novels, their characters serve as wild cards, which makes their roles in all of this extremely fascinating.
Sure, we may already know Neal's grisly fate, however, Bedelia's, on the other hand, is still a bit of a question mark. But it's like the saying goes: you can't know where you're going until you know where you've been. And if where you've been is shoving your hand down some guy's throat, then I'd say your future may be looking pretty bleak as well. Just some food for thought…
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