[Warning: Hannibal Season 1 Finale SPOILERS Ahead!!!]

Season 1 of Hannibal has come and gone, leaving the show’s ravenous fanbase eager for details on what’s to come in season 2, as well as to learn how writer/executive producer Bryan Fuller plans to manage the lofty expectations set by the series’ better-than-expected first season and where the characters will find themselves, following the distressing events of the finale.

Of course, for those who have already tuned in to see the season finale, ‘Savoureux,’ you know that Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) was housed in the place he feared most, the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, after Dr. Hannibal Lecter successfully framed his “friend” for the murders he had committed as the copycat. It was an unconventional turn of events, to say the least, and it sets up a good deal of the second season’s storyline, which will be, at least partially, set in that terrifying hospital.

Naturally, the concern now turns to just how long Fuller plans to keep Will institutionalized, how prominently a reconstructed Dr. Chilton (Raúl Esparza) will figure into this storyline and whether or not anyone in the BAU – i.e., Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) and, especially Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) – believes that, in spite of the insurmountable evidence against him, Will might actually be innocent like he says.

In an interview Fuller did with TV Guide, he managed to touch on several key points of the upcoming season, as well as provide additional insight into how and why season 1 played out the way it did.

For starters, Fuller still seems to be speaking in terms of Hannibal being a very large story, consisting of several season-long arcs that will bring the series to its most logical conclusion – which, in this case, would be the beginning of Silence of the Lambs. That’s certainly ambitious, and it’s good to see that Fuller is still thinking along those lines, as the order for season 2 has given the writer some breathing room in terms of telling his tale. As it stands, season 1 was always intended to go Dr. Lecter’s way:

“When I was breaking the pilot and thinking about where this goes, it occurred to me that Hannibal needs to win this round…I had always pitched in every conversation that … the last shot of the season is that iconic shot from Silence of the Lambs where you’re coming down the corridor toward the last cell on the left and instead of finding Hannibal Lecter there, you find Will Graham. It felt very poetic and it felt powerful and it felt full of promise.”

As such, much of season 2 is set up to explore the ramifications of the first arc, and to see where the characters go, now that so many of them have been dealt a significant blow by Will’s supposed involvement in the copycat murders.

“[Will] will be incarcerated, and we will be dealing with all of the threads of that…Will Graham needs to go on trial for the murders that he may or may not have committed. Jack has to be brought before a review board for his participation in what happened to Will, and Hannibal, as Will’s psychiatrist, is going to continue to try to help Will see the truth that Hannibal wants him to see. The ball is up in the air in so many ways for Jack and Hannibal and Will. The fun of season 2 will be spiking those balls.”

With Will finding himself incarcerated in the hospital run by the splendidly incompetent, glory-seeking Dr. Chilton, it seems as though the character will be facing not only the external pressures of trying to exonerate himself, but also avoid the kind of misconduct by Dr. Chilton that resulted in Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) believing he was the Chesapeake Ripper. And according to Fuller, the show would love to see Chilton in an expanded role that would see him “be a nemesis of sorts for Will in the institution.”

Meanwhile, there’s still the issue of Will coming to the conclusion Hannibal was responsible for the murders, and although he wound up on the losing end, Fuller feels like Will would have mentioned something to Jack Crawford prior to being tossed in a cell. In addition to facing a review board as fallout for the Will Graham fiasco, it seems that investigating Will’s claims will clearly be a part of Jack’s season 2 arc.

“…Jack will be investigating those accusations. I think after Will woke up from getting shot by Jack and before he was put into the institution, he shared his theories about Hannibal. Now it’s up to those characters and Hannibal Lecter to either support or deny those accusations in a properly investigated way.”

But what about the guy who gave his name to the series, what is he going to be doing next season? As Fuller puts it, “Hannibal will always want to be close to Will,” and attraction may play a part in the character’s downfall.

“Hannibal is absolutely on a journey of self-exploration, and he’s fascinated by his fascination with Will. He is curious about this change that’s come over him…Maybe his ultimate downfall is his attraction and affection for Will Graham…Now, Will has nothing to lose, and he will be a very dangerous dance partner for Hannibal Lecter.”

Keep in mind these details are preliminary, but it sounds like season 2 may consist of something different from the killer-of-the-week style season 1 used to great effect. Most interesting will be the role reversal of Will being thought of as a potential murderer, and how that will play into the character’s unique gifts and interaction with the supporting cast.

At any rate, this should give the Fannibals something to tide them over until 2014.

Hannibal season 2 will premiere in 2014 to NBC.

Source: TV Guide