Hannibal is a show that is all about the details. Every last episode since the beginning of the season I have watched and re-watched, making note of even the smallest clue of where the season may be heading. But, no matter how many times I re-watched, paused, re-wound, paused and re-wound again, nothing, absolutely nothing, could have prepared me for last night’s finale. And with the screaming that is still happening on Twitter, Facebook and every other corner of the internet, I think I speak for the rest of the fans. Make no mistake, “Mizumono” will go down as one of the best season finales of all time.
We’ve known since the beginning of the season that Jack (Laurence Fishburne) would finally see Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) for who he truly was, confront him and then, square off with his former friend in what proves to be one of the most memorable fight scenes in television. We just didn’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle. One of the biggest missing pieces was why in the hell would Jack go to Hannibal’s house, possibly accusing him of being the Chesapeake Ripper and not have any back-up who would step in after Hannibal stabbed him in the neck. We all know Jack’s not that stupid. Well, the reason was Jack’s little game of cat and mouse with Will and Dr. Lecter was about to come crashing down after Kade Prurnell (Cynthia Nixon) steps back in the picture and puts a stop to it. Jack hands in his shield after being put on administrative leave and ends up at Dr. Lecter’s home not as a FBI Agent about to make an arrest, but simply as a citizen who was going to do what needed to be done, even if it meant killing Hannibal.
And ironically, the plan might have worked if there hadn’t been for a couple of very small mistakes. As Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) pointed out in the last episode, Hannibal is the smartest person in the room, so if you’re going to corner this man, you had better be damned sure not to make a single error. None. But Will just had to break out of the role he was playing with Hannibal and visit Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki). Why did you have to do that, Will?! We all know how perceptive Hannibal is, and of course,Â Dr. Lecter picked up Freddie’s scent on Will during one of their little bromance moments. And if Hannibal could smell Freddie on Will, that means she was alive. Which means Will did not kill her. Which means Will lied. Which means Will is likely playing both sides and is in cahoots with Jack. Which means, Will — you’re f**ked.
That was Hannibal’s moment of clarity, the exact moment when he realized that absolutely everyone had turned against him, even his protege who, in as much as he was capable of, I believe he actually loved. Yes, Hannibal loved Will Graham. Not in some homoerotic way, but as someone who loves his soulmate. The proof of Hannibal’s love was in the special gift he had planned to give Will after they left together and fled the country. At this point, the writers dropped the mother of all bombshells in our laps and with virtually no warning — Abigail Hobbs was still very much alive and Dr. Lecter’s grand plan was for the three of them to start a new life together, live happily ever after, etc. etc. WTF!! Holy hell!
Â Â Â You were supposed to leave — Will to Hannibal
Â Â Â WeÂ couldn’tÂ leave without you. Time did reverse. The teacup that I shattered did come together. A place was made for Abigail in your world. You understand? A place wasÂ made for all of us, together. I wanted to surprise you. And you wanted to surprise me. — Hannibal to Will
Â Â Â I let you know me, see me. Â I gave you a rare gift, but you didn’t want it –Â Hannibal to Will
Ouch. Â At this moment in time, we know this is going to end very badly. Hannibal plunges a blade into Will’s gut, but that wasn’t enough to exact revenge on this blatant betrayal. He did the only thing that could possibly hurt Will and that was to slit Abigail’s throat right before Will’s eyes and force him to watch her bleed out. Basically the same scene of Abigail being stabbed by her father from Season 1 all over again, except this time it’s unlikely Abigail will pull through.
So, Jack is bleeding to death in Hannibal’s wine closet. Alana Bloom is dying in front of Dr. Lecter’s house after being pushed out of a window by our beloved Abby. And Will is bleeding out while cradling Abigail’s lifeless (we presume) body. But the writers weren’t done with us. With Hannibal walking away in the pouring rain, I personally thought the episode was over — until the final scene shows Hannibal on a plane to France, and Bedelia (holy crap!) in tow, likely as his new lover. Shit!!
So, there’s the recap and now, for the big question — setting aside the brutal bloodbath and shocker after shocker, how did the finale do in my very strict critic guidelines? This episode was a strong “A,” no doubt about it, as has been every episode in season two. It stunned us beyond belief and it tied back brilliantly to the Abigail Hobbs storyline that had been rearing its ugly head throughout the entire season. Only a small handful of things that kind of rubbed me the wrong way (but just a little bit):
- Bedelia just riding off into the sunset with the man whom she was clearly terrified of?! If this turns out to be true, it’s the craziest case of Stockhom syndrome I have ever seen. We should recall Hannibal waiting for her in his kill suit earlier in the season and her leaving a bottle of perfume for Hannibal, presumably to indicate that she knew he would come for her. So why run back to a man who had been hell-bent on killing her? I think the key may be in what she said in the last episode — that Hannibal tends to lose himself in “self-congratulation,” and that this is the weakness you need to play if you want to catch him. And boy, I bet Hannibal is congratulating himself right now — he took out every last one of his enemies (or so he thinks) and he still was able to walk away. That said, my guess is she’s playing along with Dr. Lecter as part of an elaborate trap, much like Will had tried (and failed).
- Abigail Hobbs being alive, I think, was the last thing most of us expected and it was pure genius. My hat’s off to you, Bryan Fuller. But the Lazarus card has already been played once with Miriam Lass — actually twice if you count Freddie Lounds! When Abigail came out of the shadows, I almost felt like I was in an episode of Dallas when we find out that J.R., no wait I mean Sue Ellen, no wait I mean Bobby, is still alive. And before the episode ended, I actually was waiting for Dr. Chilton to jump out and shout, “Booo!!!!!” (I swear if you end up resurrecting Frederick too, I will personally come and kill you, Mr. Fuller!). Bottom line — great twists with Miriam, Freddie and Abigail, but going forward, I think the dead needs to stay dead.
So, now what? Who’s going to be left standing going into season 3? I would be shocked beyond belief if Abigail lives. And I would be almost equally stunned if Alana Bloom survived that fall. I had said before that of all of the main characters left, I felt Dr. Bloom was the most expendable one. Jack? Probably will make it. Will Graham? Definitely will make it. If you think back to Red Dragon, Dr. Lecter stabbed Will in virtually the same manner and he survived that attack in the film. And I think he’ll survive this one.
The only bad thing now is we have almost 8 months to ponder on everything that has happened. Sigh. What did everyone else think? Did you love the finale as much as I did? And who do you think will live to see season 3?
Hannibal returns for season 3 in Summer 2015.
Most memorable quotes and random thoughts
- He’ll try to kill you in the kitchen, out of convenience. Â Easier to prepare the tar-tar –Â Will to Jack
- Here’s to the truth, then. Â And all its consequences –Â Hannibal to Will
- They knowÂ — Will to Hannibal (talking about Deja Vu back to the Season 1 episode when Hannibal called Garret Jacob Hobbs to warn him in the exact same way).
- Please be blind — don’t be braveÂ — Hannibal to Alana
- Fate and circumstance have returned us to this moment, when the teacup shatters. I forgive you, Will. Will you forgive me? —Â Hannibal to Will
- When the fox hears the rabbit scream he comes running â€“ but not to help. –Â Hannibal to Will (very nice reference toÂ The Silence of the Lambs)
- At the end of the episode, we see what appears to be a dying Wendigo, which has often represented Hannibal. Â Is this some kind of omen that Hannibal may be facing death? Â Or, does it simply represent the fact that Hannibal’s former life (and his life with Will) is now dead?
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