“Fate and circumstance have returned us to this moment, Will.” Hannibal Lecter. (Major Spoilers)

by Ed Blackadder

After having just witnessed the blood-soaked finale of what I can only describe as a truly amazing second season of Hannibal, I’m reminded of the song by AC/DC, ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).’ The show has never shied away from blood and carnage, and the finale appears to be trying to outdo all that has gone before, with more than a little success. In a brilliant move by Bryan Fuller and Steve Lightfoot, rather than rigidly adhering to the arc Thomas Harris created, they’ve wisely taken us on a new journey with Hannibal Lecter. I did expect the show to end a certain way but my preconceptions have been blown out of the water.

In a show where every nuanced delivery and line spoken has great meaning, these last three episodes were easily the best. As I mentioned in the recap for episode 11, the scene where Hannibal and Will are talking to each other but see their own face looking back at them, was one of the most powerful of the show, and we get to see more duality in this episode. This time Jack is included as he and Hannibal don’t know if Will can be trusted anymore. And based on Will’s recent actions, who can blame them?

Created by
Bryan Fuller
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas
Episode Release Date
23 May 2014
Ed’s Grade: A+

We begin with Hannibal sending out a handwritten dinner invitation to Jack, as he plans to have a farewell get-together with the FBI chief. We were already given a glimpse of what to expect when Jack and Hannibal get it on, but the writers were just toying with us because it developed into so much more, with an unexpected turn of events that left things better than I’d hoped. I’m pretty sure Hannibal believed he had Will siding with him, hence he agreed with Will to murder–and assuredly eat–Jack. However, Hannibal demonstrated his ever-reliable powers of observation, or in this instance, sense of smell. As with Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, who famously managed to tell Agent Starling the brand of her hand-cream, this Lecter picked up the scent of the supposedly dead Freddie Lounds from Will’s clothing. From that point on, Hannibal can see through Will’s plan, making what follows far from certain.

In the only clue I’m going to give on any of the huge surprises this episode has in store, Will Graham imagines he’s on the porch with the zombie-like figure of Garret Jacob Hobbs, where Will aims his hunting rifle at his stag. We don’t get to see if he fires, leaving the fate of the beast open. Then we move to Hannibal visiting the close-to-death Bella Crawford, who is still unhappy at Hannibal for saving her life. I’m not sure why Hannibal initially went to see Bella but it could be that he feels a connection because he prevented her from killing herself, or it could simply be he likes being near death.

The next scene with Will and Hannibal has the pair destroying Lecter’s files that contain details of his psychiatric sessions, Will’s included. These files may hold clues to his unorthodox technique and his method of subtle mind control, which I’m sure would interest the folk at the FBI’s forensic psychology lab. Hannibal tells Will if he’s ever apprehended, he plans to live in his “memory palace,” and as this is being discussed Hannibal picks up Freddie’s scent.

In another great scene we see Alana Bloom tell Will about the dreams she’s been having since learning the truth about Hannibal, and of what had been happening in the background without her knowledge. In her dream sequence Alana is seen lying naked on a bed with water rising over her unflinching form, and finally covering her. She’s annoyed with herself for not seeing Hannibal for what he is, and the fact she started sleeping with him plays no small part in what she’s now feeling. “You’ve set some sort of trap and you’re goading him into it” Alana enquires. “How can you be sure he’s not goading you?” “I can’t” Will replies with a bitter smile. At this answer Alana sheds a single tear that we get to see close up in slow motion, but when it hits the table it’s mottled with blood.

Now that Hannibal has picked up the smell of treachery from Will, he’s obviously got to make certain he didn’t get it wrong. He asks Will to pack up early and leave everything behind as it would be “almost polite,” but based on Will’s reply, Hannibal now knows he’s on his lonesome. Hannibal toasts, “To the truth then, and all its consequences.” This could have prevented the big showdown we’ve been expecting, as could the agent sent to stop Jack entrapping Hannibal. But nothing stops the inevitable from happening. There are large pools of blood left by what follows in a breathtaking finale that won’t be quickly forgotten. Make sure you watch after the titles end for one final surprise.

I have a feeling next year will have more viewers because Hannibal has developed into a show that leaves you thinking and talking about everything after each episode. The writing is masterful as is the cinematography. In fact, the entire production is of the highest standard. I can’t wait to find out who’s left standing and to continue following the exploits of everyone’s favorite cannibal.