With only one episode left to go, the characters of Hannibal have finally started to catch on to the fact that Hannibal is a crazy serial killer. Well… sorta.
So I was wrong, Jack Crawford wasn’t the one to put the pieces together, though to his credit he is suspicious enough of Hannibal to ask Scully about his state of mind. Technically no one other than Abigail uncovered Hannibal’s true nature, and she seemingly won’t live to tell the tale (the episode cut to the credits before anything happened but it’s implied Hannibal killed Abigail), but Will is mere steps away from putting all the pieces together. He’s already determined Garrett Jacob Hobbes’ copycat is the same killer behind the death of Abigail’s friend Marissa, Dr. Sutcliffe, and Georgia at the start of the episode. He hasn’t made the connection that the copycat is also the Chesapeake Ripper, but he does know the killer works in law enforcement or is otherwise close to the case files.
But Hannibal is always a step ahead, and after futilely trying to put Will off the scent, he frames him for the copycat murders, pointing out to Jack that not only has Will been experiencing fugues, but he was also at the murder sites for each of the victims around the times of their deaths. Again, Mads Mikkelsen’s performance really sells the character, particularly the expression on his face when he realizes Will isn’t going to let it go, and that their “friendship” is going to have to come to a close. I wouldn’t so much call it a look of sadness as one of utter frustration.
The best moments of the episode came in the fantastic final scene, which like every other second of film on Hannibal, was absolutely gorgeously shot. When Abigail finds Hannibal inside the kitchen where her father died, she puts two and two together and realizes he’s the one who warned her father. “Why did you call him that morning?” Abigail asks. “I was curious,” Hannibal replies. And there you have it, all of Hannibal’s motivations for all the bizarre machinations and manipulations he’s committed over the course of the season summed up beautifully in three simple words. Hannibal does what he does because he feels totally removed from the rest of humanity. He’s an apex predator, and doesn’t think the way we do, so he finds all our intricacies completely fascinating. He pushes Will and occasionally even murders people just to see what will happen, what decisions the sheep will make if he points them in the right direction. It’s hard to describe, but if the only character to figure out who the titular serial killer is had died on say, Dexter, I would have been pissed, but once again, Bryan Fuller and his team make it work.
And I think that’s why I was expecting Jack to be the one to put it all together because I’ve become attuned to the trope of having one detective figure it all out only to be killed before he can tell the world. Though Abigail uncovered Hannibal’s true self and was subsequently murdered for her discovery, she didn’t put all the puzzle pieces together like Inspector Poirot or something. All she figured out was that Hannibal had called her father and as soon as she comes to that conclusion Hannibal admits everything else.
With Abigail, the only other suspect in the copycat murders other than Will, now dead, Will is surely going to be accosted by the FBI and in the preview for next week’s finale we see him in shackles. That’s a great idea and one that opens up a ton of story possibilities. This episode was super awesome and it’s got my head running wild with how the season will end.
The theory I lean to but am not married to because this show defies expectations, is that Will will oust Hannibal and the killer will go on the run, setting up next season as a manhunt for Hannibal. That would be really cool because you could split the story between Hannibal going around murdering people and Will pursuing him. That would be awesome, but I’m hesitant to really put that to paper, not only because the show is so hard to predict but because that’s not usually how TV shows work, especially network ones. Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy have such great chemistry and TV is such a nice vehicle for actors, that I’m not so sure NBC would be comfortable with splitting their two main actors up for the majority of season two.
On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be that many remaining story possibilities unless season two is Will in jail, trying to prove his innocence. But since the trailer for the finale shows Will and Hannibal squaring off at gunpoint, it makes me more inclined to go with my original theory. I was just talking with a friend who’s a big fan of Thomas Harris’ novels (except for Hannibal Rising) and I was saying that Hannibal should run for four or so seasons and detail the entirety of the Will Graham/Hannibal Lecter backstory as well as the plot of Red Dragon. In the books, Will stops being the main character after that and reverts to a supporting role, with protagonist duties shifting to Clarice Starling, made famous by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs. My friend and I fantasized about Bryan Fuller’s series encompassing the entirety of Lecter’s saga, with Clarice being introduced as the main protagonist halfway through and the series’ plot covering Lambs and Hannibal as well. But this is extremely unlikely, and just a pipe dream. The show was barely renewed as it is; I doubt it will ever last for that many seasons.
In terms of the weekly gross out quota, this episode was actually underwhelming, which was fine as there was so much great story going on and I don’t need gore to be entertained. “Releves” did probably feature the most horrifying kill of the series, with Georgia being immolated in her hyperbaric chamber. There was no gross flesh melting or anything like that, but just the idea of being burned alive and trapped in a tube that’s supposed to help you is pretty disturbing. Wait I take that back- her skinless arm was pretty gross.
Also, can someone please leave a comment to let me know I’m not the only person out there who hates the two male lab techs? Ugggghhhhaaaarrrgghghhhh I hate these guys I hate these guys. They don’t ruin the show for me by any means, but I don’t enjoy the moments where they explain shit to Jack. I’ve grown to like Beverly, so I laughed when Jack yelled “Where is Beverly?!!!” at them. Actually, where is Beverly? She’s not dead too, is she?
Another character I’ve really grown to like is Freddie Lounds. With Abigail gone, she is now the show’s best female creation and I loved the bit where she explained to Abigail how her profession has made her adept at detecting killers. She’s morally ambiguous but not completely reprehensible, and I always enjoy characters like that. The only criticism I have is that I feel like it’s a bit of a leap of logic that none of these other doctors have been able to determine if Will has encephalitis. I mean, he hasn’t had another MRI since Dr. Sutcliffe, so I suppose it’s possible, but it just seems like if they were testing him for all this stuff and he’s having mental problems, someone would figure it out.
So, Fannibals, what did you think? Predictions for next week’s finale? Do you hate those lab tech guys too? Leave a comment and let us know!