Boy meets boy, boy understands boy in a way no other person ever has and somewhere in the middle lots of people are maimed, changed and killed. Hannibal is what could be described as one hell of a fucked up romantic comedy and before you click over to another review just hear me out as this season has added to humor levels (albeit in twisted and super dark ways) and really upped the whole Will and Hannibal as a couple notion. Murder husbands might be their cheap tabloid name, but even Bedelia a so-called mental health professional – who by the looks of that closing shot is in desperate need of some serious saving – has been playing up the couple euphemisms going so far as to pointing out Hannibal’s love for Will last week.
Hannibal’s well versed in getting what he wants through manipulation tactics or using his influence to draw out a killer. With Will he has done both and as soon as Will was back in his sphere all he had to do was wait for an opportunity. This Will is very different to the one Hannibal met in season 1 and the game is a lot more complicated this time.
The life Will has been living ended as soon as Jack Crawford went to ask for his help and the attack on Molly and Walter at the hands of Dolarhyde via Hannibal is enough to taint it. This is what Will feared would happen and even though the hospital scene revealed a strength in the couple all Will is going to see is himself reflected as her killer. I am so mad at Hannibal for playing the bitter ex and poisoning this relationship as he tells Will to think about him when his relationship with Molly is so “maddeningly polite” sowing the seeds of doubt. Hannibal is playing a good game even if he comes across as the desperate reject; so sad that Will has replaced the family he gave him with another less fucked up one.
Even though Will knows it hasn’t been good for him seeing Hannibal he still goes along and creates the ‘get Hannibal and Dolarhyde’ plan because ultimately he does want to be rid of both men. Dolarhyde’s downfall means something on a primal level even if Will has championed catching him alive in the past; this man tried to kill his family and therefore he needs to die and if they can kill two serial killers in one then Jack Crawford is all for it. Alana makes up the conspiring squad and as with all their other plans this one has terrible written all over it. Drinking whisky at the same time as sorting out the details is not the way to keep a clear head, but booze is not to blame for their awful ideas and you would think after how it went last time this trio would leave the dangerous schemes to someone else. After all there are no advantages, just “degrees of disadvantage.”
This also happens to be where my one major criticism of this finale comes into play because the sequence of events is somewhat muddled and this is where a two-part episode would have served the story better as the Red Dragon arc and the Will/Hannibal stuff ends up interlinking in a way which makes it feel rushed. The speed with which Reba’s participation is wrapped up is a surprise even if it mirrors the source material and Rutina Wesley is particularly impressive in showing both Reba’s fear and strength in this scary situation.
Don’t get me wrong as it is so much fun seeing the sassing off between Will and Hannibal followed by how they come together to slay the dragon, but other aspects of the story fall far too quickly by the side.
It really does look stunning.
As does this pair of winged images.
In a way the Red Dragon arc mirrors the first half of the season in how it doesn’t leave room for too many other characters; yes Hannibal and Will are the central figures but the supporting cast are just as vital in telling a strong story. Jack’s motivations over this half have presented him in a more callous manner and maybe the loss of Bella and what went down in Italy has left him cold, but it would have been beneficial to see more of this just to get a read on his feelings beyond the ones he doesn’t appear to have.
One love prevails and any regular TV Ate My Wardrobe readers will be more than aware of my strong feelings toward Alana Bloom. As with Jack during the latter part of this season, Alana’s relationship with Margot in those first few episodes could have done with some more fleshing out and this is the first time we see Alana’s wife after the three year time jump. They are leaving their home as a result of Hannibal’s actual escape and he isn’t backing down on the promise he made Alana. He coldly tells her that she died in his kitchen when she chose “to be brave” and that he owns everything that has come since mentioning her wife and child. Yes Hannibal is also a dick to his ex-girlfriend and essentially threatened their lives as well as hers.
Alana doesn’t flinch in front of him and also gets one hell of an entrance; one great thing about their interactions is how she doesn’t let him get to her. Well at least not in front of him. She explains why she is here to offer the deal and not Jack – she knows him better and he would just torment Jack – and he in return tests out his threat powers once again.
Now there are no longer five locked doors between Hannibal and Alana she does the smart thing and gathers all her best lady suits, Margot and their son departing on their own chopper. This is one benefit of being crazy rich; you get a speedy and elegant escape route.
Alana’s back to wearing red and bold prints in this episode after several weeks of muted (but still fantastic) outfits. It’s like she can feel the freedom around the corner as red is definitely her power color. It is interesting that she chooses a flash of this for her hospital trip to see Chilton as he points out that this is the first time she is visiting and how culpable she is. Once again guilty feelings mean deflecting onto Hannibal, but she doesn’t exactly protest when Chilton mentions how she is capable of doing these terrible things too.
Self preservation is something she cited to Will earlier this season and even though she wasn’t thinking of herself when she freed Hannibal, she was definitely doing this when she suggested Chilton last week.
Chilton’s chamber is similar to the one used on Georgia Madchen in season 1 and he’s already burned all over. He mentions getting new skin and how he wouldn’t mind wearing some of Hannibal’s; this feels like a nod to Buffalo Bill and Silence of the Lambs. It doesn’t get much easier looking at Chilton even if he looks less crispy this week and his speech is still distorted, but his anger toward Alana is palpable.
Every great (and not so great) rom-com includes a mid story break up that you know will most likely be resolved with a grand romantic gesture. In this version Will rejects Hannibal and Hannibal immediately goes big surrendering himself so he can assert dominance. Hannibal is playing the long game in getting his murder soulmate back and he can’t let Will get away with referencing their breakup and then returning to ask for help. And yes Mads Mikkelsen’s delivery of the mic drop line had me full on cackling. As did his ‘worry’ about Chilton being ugly. Sassy Hannibal forever.
In the end Dolarhyde is the accidental matchmaker as he takes the Hannibal bait in a manner which results in a lot more violence than intended – see you should never make plans over booze – and a brutal fight to the death. This brings Hannibal and Will together by having them fighting for each other as Dolarhyde shoots and stabs them making them weaker opponents. It is a whole big thing and as he does in the book, Dolarhyde delivers a rather horrific stab would to Will’s face. I have a feeling Hannibal digs scars.
This season has gone all in on the Hannigram factor and taken it to even higher heights; they are together in an embrace as Will leads them over the edge of the cliff. Tumblr is already magical gif heaven. Yes I did yell “KISS HIM” several times during this bloody hug which thankfully did not include Will’s belly getting sliced open. This is what it finally feels like to Will Graham to be free.
Bedelia might need her license revoking, but she is right when she tells Will that he can’t live with or without Hannibal Which is maybe why she has set a third place at the table in the end of credits scene. It is ambiguous as to who did this to her; my take is she did it to herself and she awaits the dinner guests who might never come. Meat is definitely back on the menu in her house.
That ending could be the forever end of Hannibal *sob* and while it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the house of horrors bloodbath (not that this doesn’t include gallons of fake blood and Dolarhyde’s wounds are very similar to Jack, Will and Abigail’s from that episode) I am not ready for this show to be over. Not that this is my decision and even though it doesn’t look so good for Hannibal and Will their fate is not so uncertain as Jack, Alana or Abigail’s at the end of last year.
Costume wise Hannibal served up another incredible take on his Italian styling in his mind palace with Will in lighter plaid mirroring the pants of Alana’s escape outfit.
In the same memory palace location later on Hannibal sees Will enter in front of a group of mourners; just who is being mourned here?
This is a really great shot from a really fun scene of the pair trying their best to out sass the other. I really want to know what the orderlies say to their friends/family about the shit they see at work.
We’ve barely been there this season, but I am still going to miss the FBI building and hallway chats like this one.
There was definitely not enough of Brian and Jimmy in this episode or this year.
Alana says goodbye to her old life. Wearing killer red lipstick of course.
Hannibal is just as stylish in casual threads and I would love to look through the rest of his secret hideaway closet as he definitely likes to curate a look for a location.
The stag burns and the one we saw unfurling towards the start of the season was so incredibly fucked up, but during the Red Dragon arc the stag has existed only in the background in offices and on walls. Hannibal’s power over Will no longer extends to this beast and Will is in control. Will is the one who chose to take Hannibal over the cliff and letting go in this situation was his decision. This isn’t typically how romantic comedies end, but it is a very fitting emotional climax to this twisted love story.