Hannibal’s at once sad and triumphant home stretch begins as we are introduced to Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), and witness his first encounter with William Blake’s painting “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun”. Something snaps within Dolarhyde and he becomes obsessed with the artwork, getting it tattooed on his back and worshipping at the altar of a framed reproduction. Dolarhyde also obtains a set of grotesque false teeth that he uses to bite his victims, earning him the nickname of “The Tooth Fairy” as the media begins to sensationalize his exploits.
While the Dragon spreads his wings the former Chesapeake Ripper has been caged, though Hannibal’s accommodations in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where Alana Bloom now serves as director, are quite luxurious. Both Bloom and Dr. Chilton visit Lecter and he can barely hide his contempt for them. Only does Hannibal perk up when Chilton mentions the Dragon, who he surmises must resent the “Tooth Fairy” moniker. Indeed he does, Lecter and Dolarhyde are shown to be kindred spirits, saving the same “Tooth Fairy” newspaper clipping, though Dolarhyde petulantly crosses out the reductive nickname on his.
Dolarhyde has been stalking and murdering what the press describes as “perfect families” in their own homes, and the FBI are powerless to track the killer, causing Jack Crawford to call upon Will Graham, where he resides in a remote cabin in the wilderness with a new wife (Nina Arianda), adopted son (Gabriel Browning Rodriguez), and the usual pack of stray dogs. Will is understandably hesitant at first but eventually, after viewing pictures of the families, decides to lend his talents to the investigation.
After performing his “this is my design” routine at the home of the second family of victims Will is still at a loss for a motive, even with the help of the Forensic dynamic duo of Price and Zeller (the glorious return of the always entertaining Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams). Despite Jack’s protestations, Will decides to consult with Hannibal, for to enter the mind of Dragon, he has no choice but to return to the Ripper.