‘Hannibal’ Season 2 Finale Review

Published 6 months ago by , Updated May 25th, 2014 at 11:55 am,

Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal Season 2 Episode 13 Hannibal Season 2 Finale Review

[This is a review of Hannibal season 2, episode 13. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Aside from the incredible visual and auditory aesthetic – and the fantastic performances by Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, and the rest of the cast – in season 2, Hannibal has become rather remarkable for the way it has stepped out of its own reliance on the use of convention within the larger Hannibal Lecter universe.

That is, under the guidance of Bryan Fuller, the series has practically reignited a legitimate interest in Thomas Harris’ characters by presenting them in a way that marries popular culture’s macabre fascination with serial killers with the idea of presenting a representation of the psyche and, to some degree, even the unconscious mind, in a viscerally engaging, boundary-testing (at least for network television) fashion.

This season saw the series focus far more on the interpersonal conflicts between its characters, specifically the conflict between Will and Hannibal and, perhaps even more pointedly, the conflict between Will and himself – or, if the events of the latter half of season 2, including the finale, ‘Mizumono’ might suggest, his true nature.

And considering where the season began – with Will incarcerated and under the omnipresent eye of Dr. Chilton, while Hannibal had ostensibly assumed his role in the BAU – to have the narrative climax with Will torn between the pursuit of justice and his relationship with the man who essentially obliterated his life out of curiosity is, if nothing else, a demonstration of just how well constructed the series and its story arcs actually are.

Moreover, that shift toward a deeper investigation of the Will Graham/Hannibal Lecter dynamic also helped the series gradually move further away from its initial reliance on the serial-killer-of-the-week formula (that it admittedly did very well), and push into more compelling, character-driven examinations. This also freed the series up to experiment with things like form, structure, and its own aesthetic.

In season 1, it became clear that Hannibal was dealing with a very particular form of heightened reality, and as that developed into the accepted standard of the series, the show was free to engage in gradually more extreme expressions such as the reality/fantasy-bending sex scene that made ‘Naka-Choko‘ as memorable as it was uncomfortable.

Caroline Dhavernas in Hannibal Season 2 Episode 13 Hannibal Season 2 Finale Review

And so, by blending the levels of intimacy, the blurred lines of connection (and considering the hazy, dreamlike editing that dominated the episode) between characters would go on to pay off tremendously during ‘Mizumono.’

Here, director David Slade seamlessly interweaves incredibly close shots of Will Graham’s conversation between Hannibal and Jack in such a way that, when the two opposing discussions are fused into a single distorted image of Jack and Hannibal, and then of Will himself, the question, “When the moment comes, will you do what needs to be done?” brings about an enticing level of uncertainty. But the ambiguity only heightens the tension as Hannibal plays with crime fiction convention by having the supposed protagonist be as seemingly unsure of his intentions as the audience is.

“Hannibal thinks you are his man. I think you are mine,” Jack says to Will, meaning loyalty as it pertains to either the apprehension of the Chesapeake Ripper, or the death of Jack Crawford. But the layers of that line are myriad, as it also points once more to the particular closeness between Hannibal and Will that is reflected over and over again, as the events of the episode rapidly escalate to their blood-drenched conclusion.

In that sense, what makes ‘Mizumono’ memorable is the pervasive notion that, no matter what, the show has reached a turning point. That feeling of inevitability, the idea that all of these characters are past the point of no return becomes the narrative’s unifying thread, one that persists long after Cynthia Nixon’s Kade Prurnell pulls the plug on Jack and Will’s grand scheme.

But that idea also brings other characters like Bella Crawford and, more specifically Dr. Alana Bloom, back into the fold. Because of their interaction with Hannibal, they are each on the verge of irrevocable change. For her part, Bella has been the symbol of mortality over the course of the season, and the fact that she makes an appearance in the finale, lying in what will almost certainly be her deathbed, imbues the showdown at Hannibal’s house with an even greater sense of inevitability.

Laurence Fishburne in Hannibal Season 2 Episode 13 Hannibal Season 2 Finale Review

Will, Hannibal, Jack, and Alana have all crossed the Rubicon in one way or another, and their involvement in the carnage at Hannibal’s is therefore assured. In fact, the only outlier in that group is Freddie Lounds, who is supposed to be dead, but is preparing for “resurrection,” her figurative return to the land of the living.

That, of course, mirrors the brief, violent return of Abigail Hobbs, which, much like Freddie was one of the few things Will and Hannibal kept from one another. Knowing how important Abigail is to his protégé, then, Hannibal’s decision to slit her throat in front of Will ultimately made the bloody climax even more harrowing in its intimation of Hannibal’s all-powerfulness.

The culmination of ‘Mizumono,’ and the build-up of mortally wounded individuals, whom Hannibal simply walks away from, is a testament to the way the series sees its titular character and his relationship to them all. Their first mistake was going after Hannibal at all. Their second mistake was in believing Dr. Lecter didn’t still hold all the cards, let alone considerable sway over Will Graham.

More so than before, Hannibal demonstrates the seductive power and indomitable influence of the character, and in doing so, makes him all the more frightening a presence. He leaves those who would challenge him with the chance to continue clinging to life, when he could have just as easily ensured their deaths before disappearing and eventually winding up on a plane with Dr. Du Maurier.

The season successfully managed to deliver a compelling take on the merging of Hannibal and Will’s psyches, and as such, the deeply intimate valediction suggests a literal and figurative severing of that bond. And while it will obviously prove to be temporary, the separation, like everything else that transpired, leaves everyone with his or her own physical and psychological scars they must endure. Those wounds will hopefully lead to an even more compelling story as the series continues.

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Hannibal will return for season 3 in 2015 on NBC.

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  1. Loved every second of it. My only problem: This season FLEW by! NBC needs to produce like fifty per Season so this doesn’t happen. The wait between Seasons 1 and 2 was extremely long and incredibly hard to sit through…

  2. i am absolutely shocked at how beautil and shockig that finale was wow. if nbc had not renewed hannibal i would have been satisfied with that ending.

    • Yes, completely agree with you.Remarkable ending, The combination of aural and visual beauty and brutality (also quite aesthetically treated) were fantastic. I said the same thing: it would be a fulfilling ending…Fortunately, it’s not! :)

  3. Simply one of the best shows on television. Period. Cable OR network. Tragically still one of the best kept secrets on tv though =/ Hopefully season 3 will get the huge ratings this show so rightly deserves.

  4. Now that’s the way to do a season finale. It was as heartbreaking as it was tense. Loved the theme of how another’s concept of someone, whether completely inaccurate or partially so, can set the stage to change that person into the perceived concept. Oh, and the music was pretty awesome, too.

  5. Well one good thing came from that God awful series Crisis.
    Because that’s been cancelled we can see more of Gillian Anderson next season.
    The final scene with her and Hannibal leaves open so many opportunities and I’m already looking forward until next March.

    As for this season in general I saw many episodes equal to season 1 and a few that surpassed it.
    Week to week I was hooked and as the story unfolded I was often blown away by the fact that even though I knew certain beats were coming I was still on the edge of my seat.
    After 2 full seasons it’s safe to say that Hannibal has joined the short list as one of the best dramas on TV today.

    • Thought the same when I saw her on the plane. I hope we get all 7 of BF’S planned series. We still have Red Dragon and two other full features to adapt to full 13 episode seasons.

  6. Flawless television. Period. My God, when Abigail died AGAIN?? I was literally screaming at my televison, “OhpleaseGoddearJesusnoohno!!”, lol…not many shows can do that to me!! What baffles me though, is that I cannot find a single person in my immediate social sphere to talk about it with, even the avid movie/tv people!! I mean, how does that even HAPPEN?? How does a show THIS good not have everybody raging about it?? I simply can’t understand that…

    • It’s the type of show that is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. It’s also one of the most graphic and disturbing shows on mainstream television – way more graphic than CSI or Law & Order or any other crime show. The only other shows that I have seen that are in that same vein would be Southland (no longer on) and Sons of Anarchy. Initially I did not want to watch the show – it just seemed to macabre for me. I did watch a couple of episodes last season but found it too dark and disturbing. But something drew me back to it so I started watching again and I’m glad I did. It is well-written, great acting, and the videography is mesmerizing. I began to think NBC would cancel it. After all, are we going to watch graphic serial killers every week? Other shows like the ones I mentioned are more mystery shows that have a beginning and an end each episode. There’s a crime and it’s solved. I just wondered how long this show could go on. Kind of like The Fugitive – always running, hiding, trying to solve the mystery – how long will it be before they finally catch this guy and put him away. But then the show began to develop the characters more and get into the deeper psychological intrigue as to what made them tick. Cat and mouse. Much more interesting. Who will win? What will Will end up doing? Will he embrace the darker side of himself or stay true to the good? Most people do not want to think that much when they watch TV. That’s why more people aren’t watching this show. Kudos to NBC for keeping it on, despite it’s lower ratings. Of course, it is on Friday night when typically all they usually have is Dateline. But I’m sure it’s costing them something to make and promote.

    • It’s too refined (hehehehe). But, seriously, I’ve seem many comments where people find it slow-paced or pointless (meaning they entirely missed the point. :)). Also, die-hard fans of the The Silence of the Lambs seem to dislike the series and some even said that Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is much inferior to Anthony Hopkins’s because he is too composed and does not display Hannibal’s almost superhuman intelligence (shocked gasp at the total lack of understanding of Mikkelsen’s performance and the series undertones!). It’s true that Hoppkin’s makes for a more feral Hannibal, but not being “true to cannon” should never be a yardstick to measure the quality of a work!

  7. I’m going to psychologically manipulate someone into liking this show with me. Then I’ll hug them uncomfortably close and say things like, “I allowed you to see this show. I gave you a rare gift.”

    • Epic comment is epic.

    • Where’s a ‘like’ button when you need it?

  8. I have a feeling that this season ended the way that it did because the they didn’t know if it was going to get picked up for next season or not.This felt very much like an ending to the show,but it left a tiny crack open,by Will calling the paramedics while he was outside with Alana.

    I’m pretty sure that Will and Alana will be back next season.

    While this was an awesome episode and an awesome season,I have to admit,two things bothered me a little bit.

    First,Hannibal sniffing Will and presumably figuring out that Freddie was still alive just didn’t work for me.It was fine the first time when he could smell gunpowder on Alana’s hands,but to get a sniff from a foot away,just seemed too much like the movie Perfume:The Story Of A Murderer.

    My second problem is Hannibal calling Abigail over,and she just willingly walks over to get her throat slashed.I know that she was scared of him,but something about it just didn’t ring true to me.Maybe it’s just the way that they played it out,but I just didn’t like it.

    Other than those two gripes,this has been hands down,the best series on all of TV,and that includes the good,but overrated True Detective(although,seeing Alexandra Daddario naked gave that show some major points).

    One question I did have though is that are we supposed to now think that when Beverly Katz went into Hannibal’s basement,what she saw was Abigail?

    • I’m almost sure it’s been picked up for a third season.

      • what is death count from that carnage?
        Abigail? dead
        Alana? alive?
        Will? alive
        Jack? dead?

        • I think that Abigail is most certainly dead. Alana – pretty good chance that she’s dead, too. One does not survive that kind of injury. I’m surprised she didn’t die immediately. Didn’t she land on the sidewalk? Will should survive I would think. Jack is iffy. I understand he is signed on to do a sit/com or something.

          • wow so Chilton & Crawford would be dead before Hannibal goes to prison? that’s a huge departure from the the story we all know!

            • Fuller has confirmed Chilton is alive.

              • ok then… because as much as we like reiventing the whole thing, killing characters which are important part of hannibal trajectory would be really strange. I understand they do not have the right on certain chracaters like Clarisse or Barney, but other than that every character that played a role in Hannibal trajectory has to be there at key moments. How he gets to the those keys moments is for the show to reinvent!

          • Remind me if I’m wrong because it’s been a while but does t Jack survive until Will retires or something like that only to be called upon again?

            • Will goes into a mental hospital after recovering physically from the gutting, Jack was never ever injured. But with all the changes, especially Hannibal escaping, that’s out the window now(and possibly twitching away on the pavement).

        • Abigail is dead, I reckon. They won’t kill both Jack *and* Alana. Though I say that with more confidence than I feel. Somebody has to be alive to talk some kind of sense to Will, though both Jack and Alana would be a bit of a mess after this. I’d be genuinely stunned if they kill Will, at least this early on.

      • It has been picked up !
        We are save for another year !

    • alexandra dadario, that ki d from “percy jackson”? naked? that’s not right!

      • That “kid” is a grown woman and was 24 years old when she was in the first Percy Jackson movie.What’s not “right” about that.

        • i was just jokin, i know she played younger than she really is in “percy jackson” movies…

    • I was wondering the same thing about Beverly. What did she see? Which is interesting when you think that if they did have a warrant to search Hannibal’s house wouldn’t they have found Abigail? Yeah, the part about Hannibal knowing that Will did not kill Freddie seemed too unreal. I thought he found a hair on him that was hers. But even if he did that wouldn’t mean anything.I also agree about Abigail. Why didn’t Will say something to her, like get the hell out of here? Also, I was trying to see if she was missing her ears but I couldn’t tell because of the way she was wearing her hair. Didn’t Hannibal feed one of her ears to Will and then send the other in a package?
      Maybe you could answer a question I have – Why is Gillian Anderson’s character with Hannibal? Wasn’t he going to kill her and isn’t that why she left?
      It was a good season finale. it leaves you hanging, wondering about the characters but also gives closure to the whole season. They could have ended the series this way as well. Although that wouldn’t have been a perfect ending. It also leaves us speculating about next season. Which characters will live and which will die? Will all of the characters die and new ones be introduced to track down Hannibal? That scenario is certainly possible with the way things were left and wouldn’t be too absurd. It seems to me that Alana and Abigail are most certainly dead. I don’t know how anyone could survive either of those two traumas. Hopefully Will survives. Jack is rather iffy. He is starring in a new show so there is speculation that he won’t be able to do both.

      • My guess is that Dr. Du Maurier is with Hannibal in order to demonstrate the hold he has over those he’s manipulated. Perhaps Will will be more conflicted about his relationship with Hannibal than one would assume?

    • 1) Hannibal wasn’t a foot away from Will when he smelled Freddie. Hannibal was standing right behind Will, right over his shoulder.

      2) You got to remember that Abigail has had Hannibal inside her head for what? At least a year? That is a long time to have Hannibal in your head. Just look at what happened with Miriam.

      • 1)12 inches,six inches,either way,he was far away enough for it to be totally unbelievable.I get it with Alana because his nose was literally touching her hand,but sniffing will from at least half a foot away,without will never touching Freddie mind you,is just too unreal.

        2)I’ll give you that about Abigail,but something still just seemed too convenient about it.Be that as it may,it’s still better than the whole smelling Freddie on Will’s clothing thing.

        One thing I’m wondering about people’s comments here.Why does everyone think that someone can’t survive the fall that Alana had?People have survived falling from heights much higher than the second floor window of a residence.Hell,people have survived falling from the Golden Gate Bridge,which is the number one place in the entire world that people commit suicide.

        It’s not the height of the fall that kills you,but how you land.It’s obvious that with her still conscious and breathing that while the fall should have her pretty f’d up in the future,and for a long time too.She could survive.

        Now Abigail and Jack,if either of them survive,then it’s just BS.Jack lost way too much blood and for way too long for him to be alive.Same goes for Abigail.Her father cut her neck,probably missing the jugular before he was killed,but she had immediate help with Will and Hannibal standing right there.This time,with the type of knife that Hannibal used,and the fact that it was Hannibal doing it,plus how much blood was literally spraying from her neck,there is absolutely,positively NO WAY that she could survive,and if she does,it’s complete and utter BS.

        • Well… Hannibal has always had a great sense of smell. He smelled Bella, Jack’s wife, cancer back in season 1 and he can identify a person just by the shampoo or colon or whatever they have on. (It has a ship on the bottle doesn’t it?) Its not that farfetched… goes with the books.

          As for who’s alive… Alana I really don’t know. 50/50 for me. Yes, It would be easy for her to survive the fall, I guess it just depends on how much is damaged internally. I’ll bet Jack is alive if only because he is very important to the overall Hannibal series. Blood loss be damned. I feel Abigail is dead. I think her story is done plus, keeping her alive would cheapen the emotional weight on Will.

        • Based on that Fuller has seven seasons planned for the Hannibal series, with season 4 being about Red Dragon and Season five SOTL, I don’t see him screwing with the main characters. We have heard the Fuller confirmed Chilton was not dead and I tend to believe Will and Jack will survive. Alana and Abigail were not characters of the Hannibal movies, so killing them off at the end of this season was no big deal for the overall . As for the series, it is truly the best miniseries that has Been on TV in years! end of your seat suspense.

    • Re: the gripes – my views:
      a. Sniffing to figure out it was Freddie wasn’t that much of a stretch. Hannibal does have a strong sense of smell (cue: “I really must introduce you to a finer aftershave. That smells like something with a ship on the bottle.”, season 1 – also a nod to the novels, IIRC) , and presumably a specific deodorant or something that Freddie wears. Far from definitive, but enough to join the dots.

      b. Hannibal has shown how powerful his manipulation tactics are. Besides the girl is someone who used to be a bait for her father (i.e. already broken), someone who used to be under Hannibal’s captivity for a long time. She probably sees Hannibal as a “father figure”, and she’s merely obeying like she had all the time with her dad. This is not hard to believe at all.

      • IMHO, when you consider what Will was capable of under Hannibal’s influence, it’s not much of a stretch to consider what Abigail might and would do.

    • That’s a good hypothesis! Hadn’t thought of that. Makes sense: I don’t think seeing human parts in his basement would have shocked Beverly so much.
      As for the sniffing: perhaps he found it strange that he didn’t smell Will’s familiar “unfortunate aftershave”, and his sense of smell has already been shown to be above average (superhumanly so). However, other serial killers in the story have displayed superhuman abilities: the Angel Maker could lift the body in the barn with the arms outstretched about 2 floors high, supposedly using only his hands; and Lance Henriksen, an old man in his 70s can build a totem pole that looks 4 meters high composed of several human bodies assembled in the most weird positions, including the final one, doubled over. I think these things go with what our reviewer calls dreamlike quality of the series: it’s not only part of the suspense of disbelief, it the fact that the series does not aim at “true police story” realism, but the exploration of the characters’ minds and its aesthetics.

      • Oh, and I loved the humor, especially when Alana enters Hannibal’s house and whispers terrified “Where’s Jack?” and Hannibal whispers with the face for all the world of an adult making a joke to a child: “In the pantry”, which, will all the blood, might have, of course, a double meaning.

    • Ah- but you are forgetting the episode in tje first season when Hannibal smelled that Will had encephalitis. His sense of smell has well and long been established on the series

  9. what is death count from that carnage?
    Abigail? dead
    Alana? alive?
    Will? alive
    Jack? dead?

  10. Wow… I almost have no words.

  11. I’m calling nonsense on everyone for liking this season. The FBI during season one were portrayed as competent criminal catchers who were outsmarted by a mastermind. Season two relies on the FBI being as smart as the bricks on the wall being bested by a drama queen. The cinematography has been successful in distracting the critics from noticing how rancid the story has become.

    • The FBI suffers a lot in shows, have you seen the Following? They are ridiculously incompetent. However I must ask what you are referring to in Hannibal? Was it them convicting Will with the overwhelming evidence and the lack of on Hannibal? Or convicting Chilton based on the same? I will admit that Jack being oblivious about Randell was frustrating but that turned out to be an act. Kade coming in in the last episode seemed reasonable too, what Will and Jack were doing wasn’t legal. As for Hannibal’s drama, I won’t argue on that, he is one hell of a narcissist.

      • Hannibal’s flare for the dramatic is part of his character up until the point where he starts making it blatantly obvious that he is the killer. In the first season and first half of the second season, anyone who ever came close to discovering he was the Chesapeake Ripper was swiftly taken out in a brutal and swift fashion. Will being pinned for the murders surrounding the Minnesota Shrike was a brilliant climax and conclusion for the first part of the story.

        Chilton being pinned as the Chesapeake Ripper? The man was missing a kidney, the idea he “fit the criminal profile” was hogwash, and also in the episode where Gideon assaulted him the real ripper tipped the FBI off as to Gideon’s whereabouts. Further, the bodies strewn all over Chilton’s house would prove to the FBI not that Chilton committed the murders, but that he was set up. The Chesapeake Ripper has been shown to the FBI to be extremely elusive and not nearly as sloppy as to leave corpses and blood in his personal abode.

        Hannibal’s mystique has been ruined by his recklessness. Before he was dramatic but always careful to not reveal his identity, not leave trails of evidence, and not get caught. Helping Will get out of jail (giving credibility to his allegations against Hannibal), leaving victims alive (sidenote, this is also now a show in which any character not seen dead must be still alive somehow), and leaving corpses all over his house makes him a very reckless and cookie-cutter villain. Any moments of coolness Hannibal has is due to plot contrivance instead of genuine testament to the character.

        • I hope you’re not a TV critic or writer of any kind because the nitpicks you have with this show are virtually non-existent.

  12. You need to better link to your other articles. There is very little point in referencing a single point when you a referring to something specific. Use hyperlinking or something.

    Good article though.

  13. So, is Scully being taken overseas by Hannibal against her will or has she been with him the whole time. If its the latter…why run from him and tell Will she believed him and help him. I missed that. Regardless my confusion, this show is a show that I was down on to begin with, but have really grown to love now. I still think Mads, despite giving a great performance, isn’t right for Hannibal…I pictured a Michael Sheen type who doesn’t wear “evil” all over his face. But the show is probably my most improved show of the year. And it is easily the most beautifully shot and violent shows on all of tv.

    • Have you had a chance to see Mads in The Hunt?

      It’s a brilliantly sad and brave performance that will show you a different side and might influence how you see his portrayal of Hannibal.

      I, personally, like Mads’ take better than Hopkins. Hopkins is sometimes overly dramatic, which plays well for the average movie-goer, while Mads plays him as an evil genius, which is closer to the kind of psychopath he is.

      He isn’t a brut, he’s elegant & cultured.

      • Hopkins plays a far more whimsical Hannibal than Mads. Hopkins’ Hannibal like the books isn’t an evil genius hell bent on murdering and eating everyone he can, rather a genius who isn’t above murder. Mads’ Hannibal seems driven to kill, like any serial killer, it’s the trait that defines him. Hopkins plays a Hannibal who is so smart he thinks he exists above normal social constraint, hence he knows killing is wrong but beyond that it doesn’t matter much to him. Mads to me portrays Hannibal with a hint of anger, there is a maliciousness similar to the character from Hannibal rising, rather than a genius socialite who in his mind kills to make the world a better place. Hopkins’ Hannibal also doesn’t seek out people to kill, rather lets them come to him, along with meeting his criteria of being rude or useless. So if you’re a horrible flutist you’re going to end up having your sweet breads served at a dinner party, or a greedy self-serving cop you’ll end up hanging from the Capone Library balcony. Meaning if you don’t offend him your as safe a houses, because he’s not fulfilling a need but rather performing a service. Whereas Mads’ Hannibal actively seeks out people to kill and manipulate just to see what happens. This in my mind diminishes the character from a troubled and complex genius, to a child pulling the wings off flies for his own amusement. He also has to rely more heavily on plot contrivance to keep him ahead of the FBI, simply because he seems to be involved with or a mentor to every serial killer in Baltimore. I know it sounds like I don’t like the show, or Mads’ portrayal for that matter, but this is not the case. I just don’t feel his character is as multifaceted as the book or the movies. Maybe he’s just a little too evil. This is why I prefer Hopkins’ more dramatic approach, it gives the impression that the character himself is acting. That he’s playing the role of a normal person, that it’s his critique of how other lesser people act, being almost satirical. That’s why it’s so terrifying when he drops the persona and you see the monster underneath. Mads wears his monster on the surface, so it’s not as much of a surprise when he does something bad. Even though I have to say they make him way more of a monster than Hopkins’ take, so much so that if the two were pitted against each other my money would have to be on Mads. I do love the show though, I just like Hopkins a little more.

        • Nah I disagree and that’s way too simplistic of an analysis. I don’t think Hopkin’s version was “above” anger, clearly. However, in general I do think Mads’ Hannibal is indifferent, there are explicit dialogues that hints in that direction – how he sees himself as “natural force” (like storm etc.) – for whom ethical judgements just doesn’t apply.

          Where it is different though, is how Hannibal is more multidimensional here. I actually prefer this by far, because that adds so much complex dimensions to the character, you’re left baffled what you have to think about him. Totally unpredictable as for what he would do. He doesn’t seek out and manipulate everyone. And looking for “reason” to kill (i.e. getting offended) isn’t very much like “not bound by social constraint”. That would be stabbing the very own guy who remains to be the closest “friend” you have (whom you care deeply about) and slitting the throat of girl who you consider to be a daughter and walk out without any care in the world off that house.

          I am oversimplifying a LOT here, but to sum up, disagree SO MUCH, needless to say.

          • I agree. There are soo many layers in Mads portrayal of Hannibal it’s rather breathtaking. His portrayal is rather frightening because as knowing some phycologist I can see that type of manipulation being possible especially if well educated as Hannibal is supposed to be. Mads plays that type that isn’t “over the top” and stays true to that realistic trait in a phycologist IMO

          • Of course it’s simplistic this is a message board not an essay. I’m sure Hopkins could do wonders if he had twenty hours to flesh out the character as well, but unfortunately he was only in Silence for twenty-three minutes. So that might explain the more over the top approach, considering he had to make an impression with very little screen time. And he made enough of one to get the Oscar.
            This makes a comparison difficult. I’m not saying saying I dislike Mads performance but we’re talking about the wrong thing. It’s my fault because I started discussing the character and not the performance, which is the one thing I disagree with you on. Mads portrayal of Hannibal is contingent on the writers, so saying Hopkins is worse because his character wasn’t as deep is unfair. But to each his own I guess, you feel he’s over the top and that’s fine, because I’ve felt since the beginning that Mads portrayal is more like a subdued Le Chiffre, any multidimensional aspect to the character comes from the writing. I do like the show, and Mads, and Hopkins. I prefer the books to all of them actually, because the true voice of Hannibal Lecter is Thomas Harris.
            Also one last thing on the subject of character, if you know the books Hannibal is not indifferent, he enjoys everything far too much to be indifferent. When Hannibal walked out the the house at the end it wasn’t indifference it was survival. I know he refers to himself as a force of nature but his thinking is flawed, a hurricane doesn’t hide what it is nor does a fire, this makes him a hypocrite. If he really was in his mind a force of nature he wouldn’t fear reprisal, but when faced with incarceration he guts his best and only true friend and runs. Will was left alive as Hannibal’s final act as his friend, where he mortally wounded everyone else, this is not indifference it’s just the absence of guilt. This leaves a bevy of other emotions for him to feel. I guess that’s my only beef with the series, he says one thing and does another, which isn’t always the sign of a multidimensional character, but sometimes inconsistent writing. Sorry I’m discussing the character again, though it is nice to hear other peoples interpretations of a truly interesting character in all his different forms.

            • As for the “force of nature” argument, not only is it hypocritical, its also false, because the logical conclusion of is argument is that, if these things kill and destroy, they are evil, and if God creates them, He is evil. But what he’s trying to say is that as God and His workings are above that and He is not evil, neither his Hannibal.
              But, being a total materialist, I see the notions of good and evil as survival mechanisms evolved through natural selection. So, from the point of view of human survival, hurricanes, floods, etc. ARE evil because they harm us. So are killers. We don’t feel something is evil because God implanted some moral code in us: we are the descendants of those who had such feelings and were better able to survive because of them.
              But even if you do put God in the picture: yes, the only logical way I can see of reconciling all religions (remember: you only need two monotheistic ones to have EVERYONE go to Hell) is that God is an evil child that likes to torture us.
              And, PLEASE, I’m not trying to attack anyone’s religion or beliefs. I’m just expressing what are some conclusions I came to through what, for me, is logical thinking. What I believe in is science and facts, but I don’t spend my time trying to convince people in believing as I do, and that’s not what I’m trying to do here. No hate message.

            • I think you have it completely wrong here and maybe need to rewatch the show again.

              He’s a force of nature as he describes. Does he hide it? Let me ask you, does a hurricane hide before it devastates or does it appear only when the conditions are right for it to exist?

              That’s what Hannibal Lecter is. He devastates as a force of nature when the right circumstances allow. He doesn’t fear reprisal, he fears being taken out of wider society because he enjoys the finer things that life provides. He’d never get to see a beautiful sunset or an interesting patient if he was trapped in a prison cell for the rest of his life so he fled. Who knows how many times he’s changed location over the years to evade capture for that reason?

  14. Shocked at the ending. I think they are all dead and we’ll see new characters next season. At least, I’d be ok with new characters that Hannibal plays with. Love this series! I realize its disgusting, but if Hannibal could cater a dinner for me (using animal meat,not human), I’d love to try his cuisine.

    sick, sick and sick. But, the food looks good.

    • Wouldn’t matter either way. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Still would be delicious though.

  15. A fall from a second floor I imagine most commonly results in a few broken bones. But going by how they showed Alana’s state it could go either way for her, same for Will. Jack’s blood loss looked pretty fatal and his calling Bella seemed very much a farewell but I would still be surprised if they kill him off, he’s too important to the story. Same with Will.
    Abigail must have died, though, we saw Will try to stop her blood loss but couldn’t manage to keep it up.

    Excellent and very tense episode. I enjoyed seeing Hannibal being fully evil and having to abandon his cool calm control if only slightly.

    Season 2 I thought was much better than season 1 (I did not enjoy so much the “killer of the week” type of episodes from season 1, I always kept disbelieving just how many super creative and successful serial killers operate in Baltimore)
    Things I didn’t like: Alana’s out-of-the-blue affair with Hannibal. No one makes any valuable phone calls when they’re in danger. I liked Michael Pitt but sometimes he went a little bit too cartoony.
    Things I liked: Jeremy Davies was great. The clever shots of parallel situations. This finale and where the show seems to be heading.

    • Bryan Fuller has already stated that Will survives. So that’s already a done deal. He is keeping quiet about what happens to everyone else

  16. I do not understand all this love for the finale: its forced, hannibal transformed in a kind of moriarty who must necesseraly have a Huge organization to not get captured, will and jack total stupids because they could have simply put a control on his phones and movements to catch him and he walking away covered in blood like nothing happen. Nice visuals, eccessive in artifacts and totally snaturated the character. Disappointing to say the least and stupid. I wish americans will end more series instead of perpetuating them at cost of a good script. Learn from true detective.

    • You must not have watched the episode. Will and Jack tried to be official and set it up as a FBI sanctioned “grab”, but they denied them and even were going to arrest them instead. So them going after Hannibal was a last ditch, non-FBI sanctioned attempt at apprehending him, completely under the radar.

    • Further to what Joe said, I disagree with Hannibal being tossed in with other terrible American shows that need to be cancelled. This show is brilliant and deserves to keep going for the sake of having something interesting to watch in between The Following and Game Of Thrones.

  17. Abigail definitely gone, Will definitely to return. I agree with Giorgio, I love a good beginning, middle and end. Hope the finale was the end of Act II. Hannibal is a predator, of course his sense of smell is superhuman, isn’t he the super villian after all? I loved that bit where Hannibal smells Freddie on Will– it raises the question, did Hannibal KNOW all along, or did he only suspect…and Will really was transforming despite his deception. Also, did anyone else find the scenes with Hannibal and Will more erotic than those with Hannibal and Alana, which seemed nothing more than a taunt really. The affair, as with all the affairs between the characters, seemed to all be roads that lead to the end, like a Greek tragedy– AND THEN, THEN to end the finale with the reveal of another broken taboo. Hannibal must indeed suffer from an Oedipal complex.

  18. I might turn it on next season just to see what happens next, but otherwise I’ve abput had it with all that mind numbing slow psychological back and forth set up between Will and basically everyone else. I was at the point of wishing Hannibal would kill him just to put him out of his misery and get some life and light even back into the show. The show goes extremely slow and reallydull, but then….We get a few minutes of wild violence. Season one was far more interesting with Will trying to figure out the mind sets of these killers. This season was more like a violent version of something from PBS. By the reviews here many of you enjoy that, but I like to have a pace set in most stories that moves things along. Hannibal this season was like driving into construction zones…..For a while you’re going along fairly well, but then you slow to a crawl, and stay that way for a while until suddenly the whole line is back up to road speed…..Onoly to suddenly hit that crawl once again…..I’ll only go back if they make it more interesting again…..Or maybe not…I Like the Hannibal character, but a couple minutes around will is like a sedative…A walking, talking sleeping pill

    • Do you watch the same Hannibal the rest of us do?

      Yes, the show can be slow at times but that’s a good thing. I wish more TV would slow things down instead of throwing everything into the first few episodes and then having filler until the season finale.

  19. My favorite part? Will in the kitchen with Hannibal after being practically gutted and these words –

    Hannibal: Do you believe you could change me, the way I’ve changed you?
    Will: I already did.

    Up until that point, I don’t believe Hannibal was even aware of Will’s influence over him; only his influence over Will. Poignant to say the least.

  20. That episode was about as good as television gets, in execution and cinematography. Excellent and excellent review.

  21. I must have been one of the few to find that episode disappointing. I thought the build-up masterful, the characterization was great and the addition of Jack going on compassionate leave was a nice twist too. I also loved the way that Hannibal realized the trap just before it hatched and Jack and Will were to be arrested. That was very well done.
    Two things bothered me:
    1- Alana Bloom. It seemed to take a very long time for police to arrive she called. I thought I saw blue flashing as Hannibal was walking away. She is FBI. She should be able to get a prompt police presence when she makes a phone call. However, even putting that aside…
    2- Will Graham’s gutting. Didn’t he just have a gun? What happened to that? I triple checked and Will had one just before he was gutted. Was it kicked away? Did he drop it? If so, why didn’t Will pick it up when he fell? Surely Will could have shot Hannibal during their sadistic bromance embrace. Or maybe before Abigail was killed.
    I have not read the books, so I don’t know if the books have an explanation for this. For me, I was waiting for a solid explanation of these 2 things, which never came. That left me thinking that the final scene was stupid and poorly thought through.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the series up until that moment, however.

    • Really? I mean, even though I think this is visually and musically the most beautiful episode of the entire series so far, and that it would have been a the best series finale I have ever seen, if it were a series finale, I believe you’re entirely entitled to feel disappointed. But are those the only two bones you have to pick with the episode? I mean, we’re talking about a series that has people performing a series of superhuman feats, like an elderly gentleman (if that’s the right word for the bastard) building a 20-foot-tall totem out of human bodies with no help, Hannibal planting a human cherry tree in full blossom in an empty parking lot with no help, and so forth, not counting Will’s superhuman profiling capabilities and Hannibal’s more than superhuman intelligence and sense of smell (his olfactory sense seems not only to rival Superman’s but he seems to know every smell on Earth). So, I think the series threw realism out of the window right from the start. Like when not an FBI squad but Jack and… Alana?!? go to rescue Hannibal from a murderer. These issues you mentioned are very small compared to other of the series blatant absurdities. However, I agree with Kevin entirely: the series plays more like an exploration of the human psyche in a dreamlike way than as a police thriller (which it definitely is not, not in the actual sense of the term, like CSI or others of the kind).

  22. I guess I’ll be the only one to be slightly annoyed at the season finale. Perhaps it is a reflection of my lack of taste or whatever….but I feel cheated. I spent the past 6-7 days watching seasons 1 and 2 expecting at least some form of satisfaction. I sat through the most boring dialogue ever, and through episodes that seemed senseless and pointless only to get to a finale like this one. It was great in its aesthetic and artistry, but I don’t think that was what I was looking for in this series. I supposed I wanted SOME form of resolution, I was sick of watching dark episode after dark episode to end with…another really dark episode. If I was in a different mood or had different expectations I would possibly enjoy this season finale, but I really didn’t. It annoyed me. Having said that, I do enjoy the series. I enjoy watching the actors interact with each other and I’m definitely looking forward to what happens next. I love the development of Will’s character, I love his connection with Abigail and I love the psychology of it all. However, I hate how macabre Hannibal is, I am deeply disgusted and disturbed by the character and have absolutely no empathy or sympathy for the character which is possibly the source of my anger at the fact that he got away and outsmarted all of them. Before I receive flack for my reaction to the episode, I think its great that fans get to have all sorts of reactions to this show and its characters, I happen to be disgusted by Hannibal others seem to like him. Either way, I am looking forward to season 3 and seeing what takes place and seeing how the characters evolve for sure.

  23. Hopkins: A THOUSAND CLAPS
    Mads: A THOUSAND TEARS

    srsly any actor that compels me to weep for their character
    as they gut will graham
    and hold him close

    after they’ve gutted will graham

    left him bleeding on the kitchen tiles

    is a really really good actor

    it is a shame about that end scene, though. i’m just going to pretend it was a blooper in my mind palace.