Hannibal tightens his grip on Will as Alana tightens the screws on Hannibal this week, the meeting of The Profiler and The Doctor nearly bearing no fruit whatsoever in the hunt for the Tooth Fairy until Lecter stops trying to pry into Will’s personal life (correctly surmising Graham’s newfound domestication) and assess the task at hand. Alana and Will then discuss the matter, her disapproving of Will’s return to the FBI in general and his dalliance with Hannibal in particular, and he judgmental of the cause she’s taken up as Hannibal’s de-facto jailer, despite her newfound riches with Margot and their “Verger Baby”.
Hannibal discovers from reviewing Will’s files that the killer must be disfigured, but Will has already guessed this. They discuss more of the killer’s motives, targeting families with big yards so he can first pay tribute to the moon in a naked, bloodsoaked ritual, before Will departs and Alana enters, reminding Lecter to play nice lest she deprive him of his books, art and even toilet. Throughout the episode we are treated to flashbacks detailing Hannibal’s relationship with Abigail Hobbs, first helping her fake her death and then face her father’s corpse in a gruesome act of revenge, and finally their reaction to Will’s warning that Jack was closing in from last season’s finale.
Will is stalked by Freddie Lounds on his way out of the Hospital and later confronted after a visit to the Jacobis, a family of Dolarhyde’s victims. Will discovers at their home several strange symbols carved into a tree, and the Dragon’s predilection for killing the families’ pets so they don’t alert them to his presence. Lounds encourages Will to use the media as a way to attract the Tooth Fairy but he refuses, she is then proven right as we witness Francis Dolarhyde poring over an issue of one of her tabloids dedicated to Hannibal and Will’s unconventional team-up to catch him. Francis visits the photo lab at his company to obtain some rare film and encounters Reba (True Blood’s Rutina Wesley, surprisingly great in the role), and they quickly develop an awkward kinship, bonding over his lack of pity for her blindness and her sensitivity to his speech impediment. When she discusses her work in speech therapy he becomes silent, and she attempts to touch his face to make sure he’s smiling. He stops her just before she gets to his hair lip, but assures her that he is.
Jack visits Hannibal to taunt him, revealing that he read Lecter’s letter to Will before it was delivered to Graham himself. Hannibal taunts back, claiming that the Tooth Fairy knows who Will is and what he looks like, and accuses Jack of bringing Will out of retirement just to goad the killer. Later, Hannibal takes a phone call from someone claiming to be his Lawyer, but is actually Dolarhyde, reveling in the mutual admiration the killers share for one another, and introducing himself as The Great Red Dragon.