Hannibal Series Finale Review: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Hannibal S03E13: "The Wrath of the Lamb"

Prior to watching "The Wrath of the Lamb," I was fully prepared to pay only lip service to the finale. My reasoning behind this was twofold. First, I was planning to focus a bit on Season 3 as a whole since I hadn’t been reviewing the show all season, and now that it was at an end, it was time to take stock of the season’s experimental nature and consider how well that experiment ultimately worked. Second, I felt like the main thrust of this review—after considering Season 3—should be to address Hannibal as a series, as a unique, weird, odd-defying, and awe-inspiring piece of broadcast television and what a loss it is for the TV landscape that it’s gone for if not for a while, than for good.

After watching "The Wrath of the Lamb," it's pretty clear I can't completely gloss over the episode. Certainly I intended to address the episode when discussing Season 3 as a whole since, by and large, the episode suffered from the same issues that circulated through much of this season—underdeveloped in spots, rushed in others, and yet somehow stuffed—and so there's those parts of the episode to consider. Then there's the episode's various cliffhangers (oh, they fell over a cliff; I SEE YOU, HANNIBAL), like Bedelia's little dinner party for three and Alana absconding to who knows where to keep herself, Margot, and the Verger Heir safe from Hannibal, that now amount to little more than thought exercises or prompts for the fan fiction, at least until/if the show makes a miraculous return. (I would read the Bedelia one.)

Truly, though, it was really only everything after Dolarhyde effortlessly demolished the prisoner transport that caused me to e-mail my editors and say, "Well, I have no idea what the fuck to do with this." I told Cory a similar thing, and then said that, like with my review of "Primavera," maybe I would find what the fuck to do with the end of the this episode and, sadly, the series, in the writing process.

But should I?

Some part of me thinks that a confused, slack-jawed, somewhat politely less-than-enthused reaction to this finale may be the best possible reaction. Some part of me is amused at how the show took the end of the novel Red Dragon and totally made it its own, substituting Hannibal for Molly in a final confrontation with the Dragon, a final remix of its source material.

Some part of me relished the show fully embracing its increasingly overt queerness in the end, complete with Will and Hannibal finally consummating their relationship by murdering someone together and hugging afterwards. Some other part of me appreciated the show’s commitment to its gothic and camp impulses with these two lovers embracing one another as they plunged to a watery grave as a song that would befit the end of a 1980s psychosexual thriller played (a song written specifically for the episode no less).

And, yet, here I am, still not convinced—admittedly by my own self—that I liked "The Wrath of the Lamb." Okay, I actually thought it was a mess. Having conflicting thoughts/feelings/impulses/responses about art is good, I think, but it’s hard to also be comfortable with that when the art under question is something that you know you already love. In a lot of ways, maybe the best comparison for this is Will, watching Francis set up his camera to watch Hannibal's becoming. Will was likely pulled between love and hate, not quite sure what to do, weighing options in a detached state—I love how calm he is, holding his wine—and then Francis forced a response by stabbing Will in the face.

The show, likewise, forced a response from me, albeit nothing as serious as a knife to the face. The biggest is simply that the story of the Red Dragon should not have been a 6-episode arc. But because it was, its conclusion felt too rushed, leading to the sense that I felt like it was a mess. I have no doubt that this was the intended end point for Season 3, and that's fine! I love the idea of this as the conclusion for Season 3, and even as the conclusion to the show itself! Oddly, it stayed in line with the filmic adaptations of Red Dragon in giving Will Graham a (stretching the meaning of the phrase) happy ending.

However, for a show that has been rightly heralded for its steady and often times harrowing psychological build-up—be it was Will’s deteriorating mental state in the face of violence in Season 1 or the question of Will's loyalties in Season 2—Season 3 simply didn't have the room to fully explore why Will would put himself back into a position to be tempted to stay with Hannibal or to kill him. Admittedly, much of this, at least plot-wise, was Hannibal's doing (after all, he has agency in the world). He was counting on Francis ruining Molly for Will, thus driving Will back to him. But the struggle for Will was short-changed, if it even actually existed. Will saw Molly transformed and there were no other recourses. I needed more than that. It's an emotional shortcut in a show that has generally avoided emotional shortcuts, especially when it comes to Will.

Which brings us to the core problem of Season 3. Whether it was the fact that the show's writers realized they didn't have enough story for Italy to be a whole season onto itself, or if everyone suspected this was likely the end of the road for Hannibal and they wanted a send-off that would work as a season finale as well as a series finale (while also telling its version of Thomas Harris' Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter novel), the divided season did neither story arc any favors. Italy's free-flowing art film style was a delightful thing to see on TV, but stumbled when it had to wrap itself up. The Red Dragon side of the season likewise chugged along fine until the end, when characters had to become stupid and desperate to justify the backbending necessary to get Will and Hannibal to the cliffside cabin.

I look at both stories, and I can't help but see the truncations and contortions. On the one hand, I'm rather glad that Italy ended when it did because otherwise we might've ventured even deeper into MischaLand and nothing good happens there. On the other hand, perhaps "Digestivo" might have felt more fully realized as a capper to that story as opposed to a horror house filled with fantastic but sort of hollow scares. Also, I would've loved much more time with Bedelia (who wouldn't?). With the Red Dragon arc, there was not only the subdued exploration of Will's actions and mental state, but, despite spending a plenty of time with him, Dolarhyde's deeper psychological traumas weren't given as full a hearing as they ought to have received, to say nothing of answering the basic question of how he was selecting the families. It's sort of implied with his job at a film lab, but the show didn't want to deal directly with that now dated idea from the novel.

Even with those frustrating and out-of-character errors, I did not hate Season 3. I'm not sure I could because, well, I do love the show, and it's earned so much goodwill from me that short of becoming completely incoherent I doubt I would hate it. I loved the Italian side, not just for the aforementioned art cinema stuff, but also because it dove head first into an exploration of what Will and Hannibal really meant to one another, especially what Hannibal meant to Will. I called it "bold" two episodes into the season, and I still think that it was. I  also think that this season would like the audience to maybe ignore the time jump in a way and keep Will frozen in a state of forgiving Hannibal/wanting to understand him/wanting to love him, as if his life with Molly were just a dream that was easily awoken from. If we do that, then a lot of my issues with Season 3 would just melt away. Even Hannibal's line about needing to eat Will to forgive him fell aside as Hannibal made sure to mention how his compassion got in the way of his desire to devour the profiler.

Then there was just the fact that the first half of the season really wasn't afraid to be weird. I've said on multiple occasions that it often felt like the show was trying to do everything it thought it could get away with on broadcast television, and it turned out to be bizarre digressions to Latvia, starting to saw open a man's skull, a pig as a human fetus surrogate... and basically everything save for a nude Mads Mikkelsen strapped up in a pigsty because in the States we are fine with wanton acts of violence and implied human childbirth by pig, but balk at a man's bare bottom Saturday nights at 10pm. It was, in short, Hannibal uncut into seven insane, darkly funny and introspective episodes. Perhaps a little too pure in the long run, but still something special.

I ended up liking the Red Dragon half of the season less than the Italian half, but I think I shoulder some of that blame. My expectations for Hannibal's treatment of this story were likely far too high, and they were also not properly adjusted for the structure of this season. I was likely always going to be disappointed by it on the whole because of this, and my frustrations with it probably stem, at least in part, from this. The show can take on some of the blame as well, but I do think it's only right to acknowledge my own baggage going into it.

That being said, most of my pleasures in this half of the season really came from the performances. I've already discussed Richard Armitage, Rutina Wesley, and Raúl Esparza's work this season so I won't rehash that save to say they were all very, very good, and Armitage, especially, had to do a lot of heavy lifting to make sure the Francis stuff worked at all, and he did that. 

Above them, though, it was really Hugh Dancy. He's been great all season, but he found a whole new level for Will in this arc. This Will was confident, deeply aware of being played, and also playing games. But Dancy also balanced with it a Will that was deeply torn explaining himself to both Walter and then Molly. Again, I think the show may've wanted us to think of a Will frozen after Italy, but Dancy's performance didn't really allow for that. He created a changed man in full control of his emotions after letting other people's emotions define him for so long. Small, subtle looks and reactions—just re-watch everything in the hospital in "...And the Beast from the Sea" and you'll see it—to that brittle anger whenever he has to talk to Jack. He's making eye contact and he's not hiding behind glasses. It's a different Will Graham, and Dancy made damn sure that was really clear.

Like many, when I heard about Hannibal being made into a TV series—even with Bryan Fuller at the helm—I thought it was just the dumbest and worst and most cynical idea imaginable. "Ooooh, serial killers are really big on TV right now! Let's grab this iconic one from the late '80s and early '90s and build a show around him!" It just seemed like the crassest, most capitalistic bit of intellectual property exploitation one could imagine, especially after Hannibal Rising seemed to have driven a stake very deep into the heart of the franchise.

I don't think anyone has been happier to be so very wrong than I was, or anyone else that had similar sentiments. Hannibal ended up being deeply unique and borderline impossible as a show that aired on broadcast TV in the United States, and it would have even seemed a bit out of place on basic cable during some of its stretches. It arrived at a point in which NBC was willing to try anything to regain its footing and at a time when the broadcast TV business was entering into such disarray that the show's financial situation of international deals and, later, streaming rights, made it a sound business choice (for a while, anyway). Hannibal was as much a product of television's industrial environment over the past three years as it was Bryan Fuller and his team's narrative and aesthetic sensibilities.

These were sensibilities defined by Fuller, David Slade and, most importantly, the show's director of photography James Hawkinson. The show's had its fair share of great directors cycle in and out to be sure, but Hawkinson was there to make sure their visions worked within Hannibal's overall aesthetic of saturated colors, delicate gradations of light and shadow, and baroque horror. Without him, there'd be no unifying sense of artistic perspective, no template for the weekly directors to come in and play upon while still making sure the show was always Hannibal.

In additional to the visuals of the photography, there was the costuming by Christopher Hargadon and the food design by Janice Poon. Both created feasts for the eyes, metaphorically and literally in Poon's case. Hargadon's costuming would not only tell us plenty about the characters, it would make us pretty damn envious of the characters' closets (I basically want every sweater and button-down Will Graham owns). Poon had to make make Hannibal's dishes look delectable and squirm-inducing at the same time, and I can't think of a single time that didn't happen.

Complementing the aesthetics was Brian Retizell's scoring and sound work. Largely a solo act, Reitzell gave Hannibal a soundtrack unlike any show on TV. Relying on out of the ordinary instruments (and plenty of ordinary ones), he'd swerve between subtle and cacophonous soundscapes that sometimes could barely hear and other times wish you could simply unhear, but in a good way because of the sound-image associations that it would create (seriously, the sounds of bending straws and plastic are now forever associated with shoving an ear down a man's throat for me). But he could do "conventionally" beautiful things, like "Bloodfeast" from "Mizumono" or the music during the tiger scene in "... And the Woman Clothed in Sun."

Hannibal, more than some TV shows, really wanted to bring its visual and aural aesthetics to the forefront. It was not only a way to cut through the clutter and chatter of television's presumed lack of style—hence the turn to the useless and demeaning "cinematic" descriptor for stylish shows—but they proved to be the perfect way to express characters' thoughts and interior worlds. That's something very important when you have characters talking a lot during screwed up therapy sessions.

For the sake of time and space, I'm going to pass on delving too deep into the show's acting and writing in any depth, mostly because you can find it discussed in much more serious detail in other reviews I've written and in discussions we've had in the comments. I never paid as much attention to aesthetics as I should in weekly reviews so that's why the special attention now. Obviously, Hannibal had a crackerjack cast that has been more than up to the task of handling complex and complicated material with seemingly effortless ease week in and week out, particularly, of course, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. Without them at the show's center, Hannibal would've just been a very pretty show instead of a very pretty show that was also a deeply emotional one.

And I think that's what I want to close this review on, this idea of Hannibal as deeply emotional. Plenty of scripted fictional shows are emotional, either at their core or just occasionally, when the show wants to do something particularly special (non-fiction shows, from newscasts to cooking shows to home shopping segments to reality TV are, likewise, emotional, but that's a whole other discussion), but Hannibal was obsessed with emotions. Its characters talked about theirs. The show gave those emotions visualizations. It lived in its characters' heads as much as it lived outside of them, exploring the psychic tolls of violence and, ultimately, love. 

The relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter may be one of the defining TV romances of our time, a baroque spin on the will-they-won't-they formula. Will and Hannibal were friends and then potential partners that had a very nasty break-up and then, at the end, a reconciliation (however convoluted). These are two men who struggled to share themselves with others and found, in each other, someone to finally open up to, someone who could understand and accept them. Hannibal challenged our notions of what sort of love we can accept. Love between two men? Pretty easy. Love between an overly empathetic profiler and a manipulative cannibalistic serial killer? Perhaps a little harder to get on board with since we want Will to be safe and happy instead of happy and potentially eating Bedelia's leg with Hannibal.

All the same, there was something very special about a show that slowly developed a male romance that didn't need to be read into by fans (Kirk and Spock) or routinely mocked in bits of pitiful gay panic (Sherlock). Hannibal played things as if it were the most natural thing in the world for these two people to love one another, and it achieved that by making sure everything else was bizarre, grotesque and often horrifying. As a result, we'd be encouraged to latch onto the one thing that seemed, in its own way, stable.

I'm going to miss this show.

Just go ahead and shed your tears in the comments. We're all in this together.

Comments (84)
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Feb 16, 2016
I can't imagine that the show was going to end like that,I just finished yesterday and I never thought that Hannibal accepted to "die" (we dunno)with Will, as we always says, Hannibal is the Devil in a human body...anyway...I really wanna to believe in that miracle and wait for a next season,this tv show means so much to me and I'm still loving Hannibal series(films,books,etc) Im reading the silence of the lambs and I really don't wanna to fell the sensation of a "good bye" to Hannibal,by the way,I just want to share my sadness with this "Sad/bromance" ending and I really don't think that Hannibal and Will fell in love for each other I just think that is a bromance they act like real brothers...I just want to shared that.
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Sep 17, 2015
Just a couple of thoughts inspired by the review and other comments:
"…there was something very special about a show that slowly developed a male romance…"
No way. The last thing I’d want to see is a gayish love story between H&W. It would be too vulgar and straightforward and, therefore, 'rude'. Maybe some fanfics of this kind are excitingly kinky and all that…but "I’m just about worn out with you crazy ***.” Forget it, these two men are men, whether you like it or not (I’ll give you a little bit of comfort: H’s pansexual because of his demonic nature). But whichever label you put on their deadly relationship, it has nothing to do with the things you, boys and/or girls, do with each other in your bedrooms.

Unrealistic, illogical, what else? Thank god I can still see the difference between watching a series and reading, e.g., Dostoevsky. All I know is that nothing has turned me on so much before... unfortunately. It was beautiful. So beautiful I don’t even mind all those "truncations and contortions". I loved that, notwithstanding his pendulum thinking, W achieved his mission (by defeating the Dragon and H) and, thus, "stayed unsullied in his ivory tower". As for the final scene, it may mean just that B (whether insane or under the influence of drugs) – knowing only that her "patients" have escaped and must come for her – has "properly" prepared for the meeting and sits waiting for them (the only thing that makes me doubt is the incredibly sophisticated manner in which the "dish" is cooked). But if H/W is back, then it will be The Terminator not Hannibal. On the other hand, I believe Mr. Fuller can elegantly make things right.
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Sep 14, 2015
I will so miss this show if it does not return. Yet I'm not sure where it wold go from here. Like you Noel I did not think a series about Hannibal could possibly work. I also thought who would want to be in the shadow of Hannibal ( Anthony Hopkins ) and Claris ( Jodi Foster ). But I was wrong. I really liked the show, Mikkelsen and Dancy. I loved the mysterious love/hate relationship between Hannibal and Claris and between Hannibal and Will.
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Sep 13, 2015
What a great review. I'm in tears after reading this. Did Hannibal have imperfections? Yes. Does it matter one bit? No. Emotional is the correct word to describe the whole experience that is three seasons of Mikkelsen, Dancy & co.

A week after the last episode I already missed them so much I had to start from the beginning. Almost done with the first season now, and it's even better on the second go as I can concentrate less on the murder mysteries and more on the subtle, emotional hints and between-the-lines of what is coming. Wow.
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Sep 08, 2015
All in all season 3 has felt quite uneven and disjointed to me with some episodes being all arty (esp the Italian sojourn) and then going fairly police procedural around the Red Dragon who, in spite of Armitage's efforts, wasn't that interesting (did anyone ever understood his motivations? he just seemed totally insane to me).

Was the ending always supposed to be that way (with the 'Murder Husbands' falling down the cliff that looked pretty final) or would it have been different if the show had not been cancelled? Or is that a dream sequence since Hannibal 'has' to come back to meet with Clarice?
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Jan 27, 2016
Come on now..Red Dragon seemed completely insane? Of course he did cause it was Hannibal all that time. It seems to me that you wasn't paying attention the whole 3 seasons where Hannibal was getting on his pensions minds and pretty much making them his pets. This is what happened to D guy too. Anyway the series was a build up the whole 3 seasons, think of it as Chess you sacrifice the soldiers and attack with your majors and your Queen.
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Sep 06, 2015
What a beautiful way to describe Brian Fuller's aesthetics and emotional depth that carried us for a short 3 seasons: This is HIS design! Just beautiful on so many layers and angles..... Will be haunted by his artistic multidimensional poetry for a long time. You captured the essence of what it must of felt like to watch the show and let it impregnate you. Thanking for writing about it the way you did and not just simply follow the "usual approach". This is your design!
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Sep 05, 2015
Season 1: Will somebody please help, Will Graham?
Season 2: Indecent Proposal and Hannibal's very bad, no good, terrible coping skills
Season 3: What is subtlety? #TeamHannigram
Season 4: The Murder Husbands are dead, long live the Murder Husbands!

Season 3 has lots and lots of fast-forward moments for me. Mostly Francis doing pilates and talking like the creepy, Cookie Monster. I didn't get his deal, nor did I care. Side characters were introduced that seemed like they were supposed to have some deeper meaning or impact in the storyline, but just feel like wasted screen time (Italian Detective, Chiyoh, Will's Temp Insta-Family). But still, j'adore. I could never deny my love for this show for three years, not a single day.

I want season 4! I want to see Hannibal and Will settling into their new Murder Husband-y lives together! How would that work out? Sure they're begrudgingly in love with one another, but Will still isn't a serial killer. Would Hannibal be able to deal with that or would he still keep pushing, manipulating, because he can't leave well enough alone? Would Will continue to tolerate Hannibal killing people at whim or would he try to impose a caveat to the murders like: only criminals for dinner, Hannibal. Do they get a dog? A baby? Do they get in a Battle Royale with the Lady Vergers?!!

At the end, when Will swayed himself and Hannibal over the cliff (to a Dawson Creek-style outro *shudders*), I was momentarily annoyed. I was like really, "Did they just do an old timey sex metaphor AND give Will and Hannibal a Tragic Lesbians ending??!!!" But then there was one-legged Bedelia and three place settings and I cheered, lol! Yay, erosion! Whoo, climate-change!
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Sep 02, 2015
Pretty much I agree with you Noel..when first I've heard about Hannibal I thought what a bunch of crap..but then I watched the season 1 and 2 together and I fell in love. This show was truly a masterpiece in more ways than I can think..indeed after the perfect season 2, season 3 lacked in coherence and the two part story (Italy and Red Dragon) didn't help or didn't work for me. But the things I got from this show in an artistic and purely cinematic content are priceless. James Hawkinson with Bryan Fuller are truly unique.
Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are simply awesome and can both act just by using face expressions..the mind games of season 2 were mind blowing. Richard Armitage was one of the kind...and the rest of the cast (Caroline Dhavernas, Laurence Fishburne, Richard Armitage, Raul Esparza, Gillian Anderson, Kacey Rohl, Katherine Isabelle) acted in a perfect and well orchestrated "dance". I will truly miss this show (and hope someone revives it)!!!Damn you NBC
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Sep 02, 2015
I loved the ideas and the story of season 3, just not the execution. However, compared to most other series, it was still a masterpiece. Largely because of Mikkelsen and Dancy.
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Sep 01, 2015
It was... magnificent. Whole show and this ending too.. The best of the best.
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Sep 01, 2015
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Sep 01, 2015
I think the real reason that the second half of this season felt so flat was because it followed an already well known story. The previous season and a half have been an interpretation. While it included bits and pieces of background stories that had been included in the original narration, it didn't follow the larger plot line. We didn't really know what was going to happen because everything was unexpected. The Red Dragon story has been told both in the book and onscreen. We are (mostly) all familiar with the story. So there was limited scope for manipulation or surprise. While some of Hannibals best moments were reinventions of stories we already knew, this one was too faithful, (necessarily so), that until the time when Francis kidnapped Will, you knew basically what to expect. Part of the joy of having characters with no morals and who like to manipulate is that sense of out of control freedom to do anything. This last half of the season they were bound to a script and a set of events. And that took some of the magic. So while I'm sad that there won't be any more Hannibal, in a way it's good. There's no way to move on to Clarisse, and have it feel authentic as we've already explored that in Will, Bedelia, Abigail and even Alanna. And there's no way to cover Buffalo Bill without seeming like another copy of the Dragon. Indeed there would be no satisfying way to cover future stories
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Sep 01, 2015
I'm not the "hugging type" but after the finale I really need a comforting embrace and shoulder to cry on, then maybe just maybe I could move on from this heartache *sigh
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Aug 31, 2015
Fantastic show. Sorry it's over but given their time constraints and mid season "is it over after S3 or not" I thought the writing team did a good job tying it up. Sure some of the elements were a bit rushed, but they still finished on top. Always prefer seeing a show go out on top than pulling a Dexter
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Aug 31, 2015
By leaps and bounds, this was easily the best episode of the season.

I was underwhelmed by the Red Dragon because of two reasons. First, not enough Will and Hannibal. Second, it was far too faithful an adaptation of the source material. Well, the finale remedied both of those. Amazing Will/Hannibal scenes and a beautiful departure from the text.

I had made my peace with Hannibal going away, but after this finale I am back at the "please, PLEASE won't someone figure out a way to bring this show back" phase of grief.
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Aug 31, 2015
They totally are a yandere couple
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Aug 31, 2015
Reading your review, I feel you've overlooked the point of the ending. Yes, Will and Hannibal embraced after sharing the kill of the Dragon together but then Will tightened his arm around Hannibal's neck and pushed himself and Hannibal over the cliff, to end themselves. He wanted to rid the world of their darkness, especially Hannibal's which would only endanger more people like Alana.
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Aug 31, 2015
Oh, man. Having just watched the finale I fully out gasped at the ending. And I actually said: "What a perfect, beautiful ending!"

Ugh, I'm going to miss getting new episodes of Hannibal so much. SO MUCH. Now to rewatch the ending scene a bajillion more times.
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Aug 31, 2015
I really hope Will and Hannibal died and Bedelia cut off her own leg as she enters her final phase of insanity and eventual suicide.
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Aug 30, 2015
I dont have much to say other than the fact I'm gonna miss this show so much. Also, I've seen a few people talking about the show not explaining how Dolarhyde chooses the families. Hannibal said it, "social media. Can't be too careful with the privacy settings" or something along those lines. And so that's how he chose them.
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Aug 30, 2015
I loved the finale. I wouldn't put it past Bedelia to cut off her own leg but I guess we'll never know(thanks NBC:..)
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Aug 30, 2015
Thanks for the reviews, Noel. Hannibal is really the kind of show that requires great analysis after watching it.

Indeed the finale had a cliff involved. I can't help but imagine the final scene showing Will preventing his fall by holding, with one hand, a tree branch over the ocean, and Hannibal with the other hand. Will he drop Hannibal? THE END. Oh, well, Bryan Fuller had that kind of scene in another of his shows, Pushing Daisies, except that the episode didn't finish there. Tghat, plus the Niagara Falls from Wonderfalls tell me Fuller likes all sorts of cliffs and people falling from them.

I'm not sure what to think of Bedelia's final scene. has she lost her mind? There's no way we can fit a visit by Hannibal to her home to cook her leg, so we should assume she ddid it herself. Well, I won't get into the technical difficulties of cooking one leg without the use of the aforementioned leg. The scene was purely absurd and was just there: think of it what you want. I guess if we try to rationalize it, we'd come to the conclusion Bedelia was really scared and sure Hannibal would certainly pay her a visit, so i order to save her life, she would have a dish to Hannibal's liking waiting for him. She had completely lost her mind, I suppose.

I just think that, perhaps, we should have had one review for the final episode, and one for the series in general, posted on different days. The way it was done, it was like Hannibal's season 3: trying to stuff too much in a space not big enough. But I guess the number of pageviews wouldn't justify that.

All in all, the show was a great experience, and I hope we see Mas and Dancy on TV again soon enough. And, especially, I hope Fuller starts with his new gig the soonest possible.



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Sep 04, 2015
I've seen this theory elsewhere and I'm honestly baffled. Why would anyone jump to the conclusion that Bedelia cut off and prepped her own leg? And in appeasement of all things? Who makes a lavish dinner for an army, but doesn't know if and when their guests will arrive...because they never sent out invites? That makes no logical sense. Why would someone hobble themselves in hopes of escaping a predator? Bedelia is beauiful and vain, being disfigured, but alive would not be a victory for her.

The meaning of the scene is obvious. Bedelia gussied up and nervously clutching her oyster fork as a defensive weapon and panning to her recently acquired stump. Hannibal survived. Three. place.settings. Will survived. There has been a time jump, this is not the same night as the The Cliff Fall.
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Oct 16, 2015
chicn, i've always loved your analysis and arguments. i will miss you in these here parts probably as much as i will miss hannibal and will. of course, they both live on in my memory palace which is lavish.
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Sep 05, 2015
The scene is intended to be ambiguous. There is no obviously about it. There are logical assumptions either way. Like the fact that with their wounds, the size of the cliff and the fact that there was no jump, only a kind of sideways fall, they would not have survived. And someone who has been abused and manipulated doesn't think logically. To Bedelia, the only logical thing that makes sense to her is that the first thing Hannibal will do when he gets out is come for her. She's seen her fate as inevitable, I don't think it's vanity rather than pride. And to a proud person, doing something horrible to yourself is better than having someone do it to you. But either way has both pros and cons.
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Sep 11, 2015
Replying to your below remark. Darn this site's reply set-up!

I don't know what season it is in Hannibal-land, but it's not shark season.

I presumed the cliff exit strategey was a mutual unspoken decision.
Hannibal: blahblahblah poetic allusions to time passing and the trappings of normalcy disappearing and having no meaning blahblahblah eroding blah think on that, Will blah Design.
Will: *ponders pushing Hannibal off the cliff*
A Slay a Dragon Later...
Will: What kind of dragon shoots guns and wears kimonos though?
Hannibal: *smitten*You look incredibly hot covered in blood in the moonlight. *ponders throwing self over cliff and swimming to Argentina in sheer embarrassment *
Will: *flattered**hates self**ioves Hannibal* So we Thelma and Louise this, but with like a 70/30 chance of survival. This is my design, k?
Hannibal: Dolly's camera's rolling getting both our good sides and our love ballard says we survive...sounds like a practical plan of escape to me!

I'm still meh about the Bedelia loped off her own leg theory and is waiting patiently for guests that may never arrive, but I enjoy being surprised and wtf'd by this show so if that is revealed at some future time I'll go along with it, lol. Though why Bedelia would think Hannibal would show her leniency above anyone else would be interesting. Hannibal kills indiscriminately. He kills children. He tortures people for hours, days, years before killing them or ruining their pyche. He's holding a hella grudge against Alana (and her family) for... apparently being an annoying nitwit for 2.5 seasons. He's petty as hell.

I'm not looking for zebras. Bedelia thought they were dead, time passed, she returned to her routines after hiding out for a time and got surprised. Will would be of no help to her in the best of times and he wouldn't spare her now to alert the authority of their existence, plus he's salty about her trying to steal his man. Lol, I attribute Will's unfounded hostility towards Alana this season to the same thing.
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Sep 12, 2015
I wasn't aware sharks had seasons? At least they don't in my part of the world. Also lol I assumed Will was still a little miffed about the part where Alanna helped him get caught by a guy who wanted to steal his face. But I like your theory better ;)
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Sep 07, 2015
Why would the audiene need an ambiguous scene of a (possibly) brainwashed Bedelia at the end? Nobody gives a shit about Bedelia's fate after our two main characters presumably plummeted to their deaths. At no point in Hannibal and Bedelia's relationship has brainwashing been shown.

I've never viewed Bedelia as being brainwashed. She knew Hannibal was malicious like herself, long before she knew he was a serial killing cannibal. She was attracted to him. She ran away out of rightful fear the first time. She ran off to Italy with him to be his glamorous malicious bride, but soon realized she was not equipped, nor wanted. She was on the menu. She worked smart to free herself from Hannibal, the law, and in the court of public opinion. I don't see her cutting off a leg. The logistics behind the whole process of removing a limb oneself and the sudden mobility and height problems... Can Bedelia even cook? Lol.

Re: Hannibal/Will

Their wounds weren't immediately life threatening. Hannibal had a through and through gunshot wound that missued any major organs or arteries. Will getting stabbed in the face, while messy, wasn't going to cause him to bleed to death. The fact that Will was still up and fighting and then speaking denotes that while he did get stabbed in the chest, his lung wasn't punctured. Essentially they need some sutures, gauze, bandages, and some antibiotics. Hypothermia would have been their biggest issue once they hit the Atlantic.

How they survived? This was supposed to be a season ender not a series finale. Hannibal and Wil had that long Chekov's Gun convo about the cliff and erosion. Somebody was going over that cliff by the end of the ep. Also, Hannibal would never commit suicide, I don't believe for a second he would have been so caught up not to notice Will's wee self manoeuvring them over the cliff.
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Sep 09, 2015
Ambiguous because if that's the end and we don't get any more seasons, we can say ok, they're dead. But if there are future seasons, that Bedelia scene set up a way for them to continue. So it's ambiguous for the purpose of whether or not the show will continue. While it may not have been intended as a show ender originally, it pretty much is now, and the more final solution (of their death) makes more sense in story resolution. While their wounds may not be immediately life threatening, they will definitely impede their swimming ability and attract sharks, and while I'm not familiar with that area, I assume the cliffs probably extend for a decent way both ways around, which means a long swim with serious injuries in freezing water after a long fall from a bad angle, acting as potential shake bait. Possible (maybe) but not likely. There's also a good chance they're already suffering from shock and blood loss. So not great. As for brainwashing, while I wouldn't use that term, the whole subtext of the season and indeed all of Hannibal's relationships is that he is manipulative. Why would Bedelia be different? And while you say Hannibal would have noticed Will's cliff positioning, Hannibal was the one who was standing by the cliff edge. Will came to him ;)
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Sep 01, 2015
I interpreted that scene as she fully expected Hannibal to come visit. And there were three place settings, so she also expected Will to come too. We know Will has a grudge against her, so it would make sense to her that they would both come to finish her off. Perhaps it was intended as a sacrifice, or perhaps she has been so conditioned that she thought it was necessary. But either way, it's a pitiful picture to imagine her sitting there all night until she finally hears the news that they're both gone. Kind of like being stood up but in the worst way possible. She tried to make Hannibal hate Will. And instead she was left in the cold. She made a huge sacrifice and it was all worthless.
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Sep 05, 2015
When did Bedelia try to make Hannibal hate Will? She was jealous of Will. She wanted to be Hannibal's great love, in theory. I don't think she was fully aware of what Hannibal was and that they were not compatible, until much too late. She was in Italy in stead of Hannibal's preferred choice of companion, Will (and possibly Abigail) watching him lash out in heartbreak and taunt her with eventual torturous death. When Will showed up in Italy, she was recalculating her odds. She seemed to be shoving Hannibal into acknowledging to himself that he had "real human affections" for Will and maybe he might want to go do something about that, preferably far, far away from her. Hannibal is the one that jumped on the , " I'd better eat him" train of thought. Cannibal logic.

Then when Will reappeared in her life simmering with Wronged Wife vibes, she started pushing him towards Hannibal. I don't know why it took so much darn innuendo for Will to finally cotton on to the fact that Hannibal was in love with him, but...at least Bedelia didn't haveto resort to passing him a note like: Hannibal like likes you? Do you like him? Please check Yes or No.

I thought her verbal manipulations were her act of appeasement, but I guess that didn't work because she's down one leg and a ways to go!
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Sep 05, 2015
Sorry, that wasn't supposed to be hate, it was supposed to be eat.
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Sep 01, 2015
Bedelia had been so carefully conditioned by Hannibal to accept the idea of being eaten that she couldn't face the reality of it not happening.
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Aug 30, 2015
hmmm. I can't say that I disliked it. It was very good. But I think like the rest of the season it had its good and bad. I am not sure which one weighs more than the other.

Without a doubt this show will be remembered for the good. It was tremendous, phenomenal even. It turned TV into art and that is a difficult thing to do. But, like in some art it can be overdone. Take singers, take great singers purely talented people that can sing the hell out of the song they are attempting. Sometimes, that isn't enough for them to just sing the song and sing the song well. And in order to further, in their mind, the artistic nature of it and show their skill hey go on what they call "runs". We have all heard them, Christina Aguilera, Maria Carey, they pick a part of a song and go up and down in scales with their voice. And that is great, the first time, good, the second time, ok, the third time, why, the fourth time. Then that is what the song becomes and at some point the listener just wants to scream get back to the fraking song dammit you're overdoing it. I kind of feel that happened this season.

And when an artist does that with a visual medium that is attempting a story, the story tends to suffer. Was Will capable of doing what he did this episode? Maybe. Did we really see anything this season that would lend to that belief? No. The runners were too busy planning out Reba sucking on an ice cube and making that look beautiful to develop any context that could lead Will to do that. Same thing with countless number of other scenes this season. While beautiful and a great example of the runners talents. Maybe it would have served them better to get on with the fraking story.

I think the Red Dragon story was probably the better story of the series. I think it could have been, it could have certainly been a lot worse. Armitage is a master and I can't wait to see what he ends up on next. But the character itself did lack a bit. His near magic ability to do the stuff that he did is all well and fine. But he is a man and some explanation as to how he A. got his information. B. Trained. C. Was consistently able to show the FBI Behavioral Unit to be the clowns that they were.

And herein comes the waste. I honestly didn't need to be reminded that the Behavioral unit was comprised of two morons that would have been better served behind the counter at a local Best Buy. I don't care for their ineptitude. If they might as well not exist in their world then they really shouldn't exist. Jack needs Will because he and the people he surrounds himself with are incompetents then that is fine. I don't really need to see something that can be settled with a couple of lines of dialogue. Will, "why do you need me, why do you always need me", Jack, "Because I am bad at my job and the people that I hire are worse". There, two lines of dialogue that would have taken seconds and would have saved minutes for other things on the show.

Speaking of incompetence. A man that believes himself to be the living embodiment of a dragon with a half assed pistol is able to spring a man in a motorcade with cops and agents. Come on son.

The rest was all right. I still dislike Jack and would have loved to see something happen to him in the finale. I think the vast majority of what occurred is on him and either his incompetence or his intention and he is in fact worse than Hannibal and just enjoys seeing death around him and latched on Will in order to torture him.

The scene with Bedeila was nonsense. Another attempt by the runners to "run". I don't want to, but hey it wouldn't be me if I didn't. I am hoping that it was a dream of some sorts. Why, because I doubt that A. a psychiatrist that isn't a vascular surgeon is capable of sawing off her own leg and properly tie off everything in order to keep herself from dying. B. That said psychiatrist who is a woman is capable of then taking around a 20lb leg, newly crippled, with crutches is then able to cook said 20lb leg, dress the table, and then what, hobble to the center of the table and slice off a piece of thigh and hobble back to chow down on it?

Overall, this was an unbelievable show. Nearly perfect in every way. I just wish that they would have focused a little more on the story than on the aesthetics.
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Aug 30, 2015
I agree about Dolarhyde's character lacking in some areas, but almost every character has done magical things on this show, especially Hannibal himself.I saw that the book explained a few things about Dolarhyde, that he might have been a military guy or black ops shit. I think Richard Armitage and even Rutina Wesley were the main reasons the season elevated itself after the questionable Italian arc on the first half, which me and you agree that it was just a bunch of beautiful images with not a lot of story behind them. Really when you think about it, the first season was the only season Fuller had the art and the story down to a tee as far as when no to overdo it with the beauty. It started getting out of control last season, and then just got very annoying this season (at least the first half). I do think they thankfully dialed back on the art a bit on the second half.

Jack was one of the few things I liked about the first half, and his fight with Hannibal was one of my favorite moments on this show, but on the Red Dragon story he was a just a son of a bitch. Same really goes for all the main characters, as they have all seemingly been corrupted by Hannibal.

The showrunner Bryan Fuller said the scene with Bedelia at the end was to indicate that at least Hannibal had survived. I think it's kind of stupid overall, because in no universe would Hannibal serve someone their own leg and not be present at all. What is he going back to the get a few more dishes? I don't think so. He would have brought the leg out last. I know I'm picking apart, but both scenarios kind of annoy me. They really should have just left that scene out, or showed something different. Fuller also said this season was finished before the show was cancelled, so they were planning these endings anyway. He says the next chapter would have been the most interesting part of Will Graham's story.

The best part of this finale was definitely the three way fight at the end. I thought it was a good ending for Will, Hannibal and Francis.
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Aug 30, 2015
Yea, I forgot to mention her but Rutina Wesley stepped up and did a damn fine job in her role and indeed was one of the things that made this season better than it perhaps probably was.

The art stuff, as I said is all right. When you do it too much, it is annoying, when it starts to pull away from your story and becoming the focus then you are starting to get into Murphy territory with AHS. Though Fuller and the runners know how to do beauty far better and it is deeper than just colors.

Jack was all right in the first half. But he still sought out Will and pushed him towards Hannibal in an attempt to trap Hannibal. Which seriously shouldn't have happened. Hell Alana found Hannibal and she is very much a moron this whole series.

The Bedelia thing really shouldn't have been shown. First, if Hannibal was going to do that, he should have made the cut lower so as to facilitate a prosthetic easier. As for Will, I am over him, I am done I really don't care about his story anymore, because it is the same story. A supposed brilliant criminal investigator and behavior analyst who continually gets manipulated by a better mind in Hannibal and a lesser mind in Jack. Who takes on the personalities of those around him that are stronger. If the story were to continue he would have to make some type of miraculous transition, that his character up to this point hasn't shown that he can make. I would prefer that they scratch him off and bring in Clarice.

And yea the 3 way fight was all right. But again, I am not sure I buy it from Will. And I don't see the Red Dragon being too much for Hannibal. But I will give it to Dolarhyde for shooting him before hand.
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Aug 30, 2015
Well considering they wrote Francis to almost be superhuman, I had no trouble buying that he would be too much for Hannibal. And Will was fighting Francis together with a more skilled Hannibal, so it's not like Will was beating him by himself.

And this is TV, most shows, especially ones that don't center on the police itself, the FBI are usually incompetent. That's why you need to watch The Wire, a show where the police are at their best.

By the way, I saw Hobbit 3. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but it was definitely the weakest. It had some nice action set pieces, but it overall it felt lacking. Most of that series was just fan service.
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Aug 30, 2015
@Sam20

I get that the fight looked good. I can't fault them for that. I just don't necessarily buy Will in all of it.

I would Star Wars as well. If only because it kind of came out of nowhere, Star Trek aside, it was seriously impressive feet given that time for movies. But LOTR, especially the extended versions are pretty adherent to the source material. But yea those Star Wars prequels were pretty bad. I just can't get my head around some of the decisions that they made in regard to such import things like, Story, Characters freaking midichlorians for crying out loud.

Locke isn't that great of a leader. I could go into the whole, there is no way they would still be on their own diatribe. But that is rather obvious, once it gets to the level of Nuclear, that means it gets kicked up the ladder and more resources get put on it. But I would put him on par with Dalton.

None of their leaders have been particularly good. Sinclair probably would have been the best of them lot if he had been given a chance. I don't necessarily blame Grant for Latiff. In a situation like that dealing with different countries and their intelligence organizations, on the ground, it would be hard to verify their identity. But her initial response to not giving Scott the intel on how he was burned because the Psych had sex with him. That was BS.
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Aug 30, 2015
@Mate

I still can't agree about the fight, but you're the expert about that stuff not me, so what do I know?

I think the universal response is that The Hobbit was too small a story to make into three movies. Even if there is an R-rated version, I have no desire to see it again.

There is always a debate going on about which trilogy is better, the LOTR trilogy or Star Wars trilogy. Personally, I would pick the original Star Wars trilogy over the LOTR trilogy, but it's a very close contest. However, when it comes to the prequels, that's a very easy choice. As much as I wasn't intrigued by the Hobbit series, it was still way better than those piece of shit Star Wars prequels.

There wasn't a lot to say about Strike Back this week. I'm sick of Scott's son, who is more of a damsel in distress than any woman on this show has ever been. I agree about Locke. I've actually heard complaints about people who have seen the whole series that Locke isn't that good of a leader. I think my favorite leader was Dalton, who was crazy but she still got shit done. I liked Grant too, but having Latif infiltrate the HQ at the beginning of the season was such a big fuck up that it overshadowed the good that she did.
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Aug 30, 2015
Too much trouble for a shot Hannibal, perhaps. But if it were me I would rather have a 12 year old girl with two Karate classes under her than Will, who, aside from shooting Hobbs didn't really do anything all series.

And they didn't need to be at their best. I would have settle for competent. I would have settled for forward thinking rather than 25 steps behind every single time. The two morons in Jack's unit I wouldn't trust running a computer based experiment for me. Now I don't pretend that the FBI are super cops. I mean there is a reason their nickname among some LE circles are the "feebs'' but I feel that they lessen the mythos around Hannibal. I would imagine just about anyone could have gotten over on those guys.

Supposedly the extended version of Five Armies is going to be rated R. Which would be interesting to see. I didn't like it. The whole gold madness thing was kind of silly. some of the rest of the story was just foolish.

What were your thoughts on Strike Back this week. Freaking Locke is a wanker, he shouldn't have put that burden on Stonebridge. And who lets and unskilled kid go out in the middle of Bangkok to get food, he knows there are people looking for them.
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Aug 30, 2015
I'm just going to say, I'm sad it's over and the finale was perfect.
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Aug 30, 2015
That was a LONG review, but given the ground it had to cover and the gravity of a great show gone (for now), I say hat's off, Noel. I agree that the end felt rushed, ESPECIALLY the latter half of Wrath of the Lamb, but I think I liked the Red Dragon half better than the Italian half, and I think part of the reason is that I disliked somewhat the 'weirdness' that you mentioned you liked about it. Aesthetically it was the most beautiful part of the series, I think, and some of that was lost in The Red Dragon half in exchange for better and more linear story, and a bit of a return to season one in terms of feel, but it was still there as well in the second half and so I thought overall the latter half was better. Was it sad to see Hannibal stuck in a case rather than kickin' it up a notch in the kitchen, for sure. But still.

Anyway, as I said I agree that the ending felt like it was wrapped up a bit quickly, but what a FANTASTIC ending all the same!! I could watch the final sequence and the ending that followed over and over again (and just may), although the credits came as a jarring slam in the face all of a sudden. The fight, though -- the slow-mo, the blood, the song, and the love between Graham and Lector.... I am in awe! And I am SO sad and angry at so many for letting this be the end.

I do, unfortunately, think it'll be the end, too. They let it slip away from being saved too many times so that bringing it back to life would be losing face, and while I think talk of bringing it back will go on, that will fade as time does. We're still left with something amazing. And now we, too, must bid the show a farewell.
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Aug 30, 2015

Given its background(dooming cancellation, being close and true to Red Dragon, etc...), I think this was the maybe best series finale I've seen so far. What a fantastic and unique show.
I was harrowing for hours after the finale. Nobody knew about that place at the cliffs, right? So nobody will ever look there... maybe in a few years some pilot might spot accidentally Dollarhyde's skeletonized corpse, but for the survivors the three's fates will be unknown. Poor Bedelia, her tortured smile at the end gave me goosebumps.
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Lawrence Fishburne, Richard Armitage, Raul Esparza, Gillian Anderson, Kacey Rohl, Katherine Isabelle and the rest of the cast, Brian Retizell, James Hawkinson, David Slade and especially Bryan Fuller: Thank you all very much for this gem. BRAVO!




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Aug 30, 2015
The one criticism I would have had for this season, is that it would have functioned better as two separate 8 episode seasons (European-style series.) A little more time to develop the story (both end eps felt rushed/stuffed) and more importantly separated stories, apart from each other instead of connected.

Otherwise, I'm fine with Season 3.
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Aug 30, 2015
Haha, this finale sucked so much it can't even be put into words. Not even disappointing, since this show made a joke of itself, human behaviour...
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Aug 30, 2015
Srry, i mistakenly Upvoted you.
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Aug 30, 2015
Thanks for sharing your very insightful opinion.
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Aug 30, 2015
If you wish. How do you stop a killer of 7-8? By letting out a killer of 50-100+... Will really thought R Dragon killed himself? Then he is really poor at his job... What do you do when you have a family? Will jumps off the cliff with his depraved love, who stabbed him amongst many other evil things... Also, how f*** ridiculous are the number of severe injuries Will suffered in 3 seasons. Kill him or let him live.... Bedelia eating her own leg... All these behaviors are unrealistic, ridiculous and make these caricatures in the show even more a joke.
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Aug 30, 2015
Will jumped off the cliff because 1) he knew it would never be the same again with his family (how could you look at somebody when you've imagined killing her over and over again?) and 2) he finally stepped over the line which Hannibal was trying to get him to cross for three seasons. He became much more like Hannibal than ever before and it was "beautiful." But instead of living and becoming the man Hannibal wanted to be, he decides to end it all by taking the monster with him. His last act of redemption.
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Aug 31, 2015
1. Thats just some BS talk the writers made up 2. Family would have loved him killing the bad guy, didn't the kid even ask him to do it?
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Aug 30, 2015
It's a show about Hannibal, a character who isn't realistic in the first place and fits no known psychological profile.
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Aug 30, 2015
Completely disagree with this review

In what world did 'Digestivo' Stumble? it was an epic episode that tied up everything from the Italian arc

And this is the first review i have read were 'The Wrath of the Lamb' was criticized and called a mess - even IGN gave it a 10 and they are just as harsh as you people - it was a beautiful finale that left me satisfied with what went down, the ending with Will and Hannibal made LOGICAL sense - Bedelia said it herself - can't live with him, can't live without him - so they 'died' together - it was an awe inspired ending and it reminded me of the infamous Sherlock/Moriarty Reichenbach Falls - it was the best outcome IMO

Whenever a big episode like this happens on a TV show that i watch, i tend to go to the ever critical IMDb boards but apart from a couple of negatives, this episode was praised by all those that loved the show - which is very RARE.....
I have no clue what episode you were watching Noel - maybe you just expected it to go the way you had hoped in your pretentious head of yours but 'TWotL' was definitely NOT a mess

Hannibal Mic Drop
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Aug 31, 2015
Honestly, the first few paragraphs of the review itself were so self-indulgent I had to skip the rest, but your thoughts echo my own for what I read. Sloppy work by the author, though not nearly as bad as some of the other pieces he's written.
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Aug 31, 2015
I couldn't agree more about the first few paragraphs - very self-indulgent
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Aug 31, 2015
Fantastic Finale. Haters are gonna hate. It is impossible to please everybody. I bet most Hannibal fans appreciate what was done here and are thankful for whatever fates aligned to let us experience 3 seasons of Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson. I had no idea who they were 3 years ago. And now, I'll watch anything either of them is in. Thankyou, Bryan Fuller and the entire Hannibal cast and crew for some truly excellent cinema. Just remember everyone. It couldve ended like Dexter.
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Aug 31, 2015
Yeah i heard of Hugh Dancy (but i don't think i have seen any of his work) but never even heard of Mads Mikkelsen before Hannibal but i am so glad i know who he is now - two of the best actors working right now (Mads' brother was in the series 3 finale of Sherlock too)

Am i only one who thinks Hugh Dancy looks like Jason Behr though?? (of Roswell Fame)
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Aug 30, 2015
I loved the finale but I also knew some would hate it, some wouldn't get it. I choose do think of Will and Hannibal as dead.
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Aug 30, 2015
There are always people disappointed with (let's face it) series finales no matter how good they are. I think part of it is because a brilliant show has ended and I think part of it is, like you said, part of it is that it didn't end exactly how they thought it would.
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Aug 30, 2015
Pretty disappointed that it's over (for now anyway). Though I do have to say, this episode did manage to function as an appropriate series finale in ways that I wasn't expecting it to given that it was written as a season finale.
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Aug 30, 2015
My biggest issue with this TV series is that I felt character development was sometimes explained or asserted by characters rather than shown in a progressive believable way. Specially by the end of season 2 and the whole of season 3.
All the characters were always analytical and spoke about, e.g., how Hannibal influenced people but they didn't do a good job on selling me Will's behavior (or anyone's for that matter) or how Hannibal managed to get away with knowing and reading people without seeming magical. I also missed having an ordinary man's perspective in the show to keep it a little more grounded in reality. It would have also served the purpose of allowing non sociopath viewers to connect with someone... to connect with their horror... all the main characters were cold calculating analytical monsters to different degrees... Hannibal, Will, Alana, Jack, Freddie, Chilton, the Vergers.. Some became other without any explanation like Alana. We did have some regular characters in season 1 who spoke and behaved more like normal people (the oriental doctor) and I think they did a great service to the show.
But in the end the show fell in love with itself and became self referential... thinking that the ones who kept watching the show (a minority it seems) are a privileged enlightened bunch and that the rest just don't get it is just a way of becoming a narcissistic person like the characters in the show. The show failed at emotions. It is very difficult to understand those characters motivations and therefore making it impossible to feel and connect with their muted emotions. Half of the show was cold analytical talking face to face. And it sold the audience in season 1 something that by the first half 3 was mostly gone... you cannot do that in any form of art. You must make some sort of proposal/pact with the viewer and stick to it... you can grow and develop but not substantially change. These IMO are some of the reasons that explain why it became a saturday outcast.
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Aug 30, 2015
"Season 3 simply didn't have the room to fully explore why Will would put himself back into a position to be tempted to stay with Hannibal or to kill him"

Glad you said this, cause that's where I have been struggling all season long. I just can't feel who Will has been this season. His struggle made all the sense in the world to me during season 1 and season 2, but then there was too much ambiguity to understand why he was after Hannibal anymore, and as far as I'm concerned, there was never an answer to it. Which makes the ending not as meaningful as it could have been otherwise. Cause I don't know what that guys motivations are? Hannibal is clear. But I lost Will in season 2 :(
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Aug 31, 2015
To use William Blake's poetry, Will was the Lamb, Hannibal the Tyger. Will was the prey, Hannibal the predator.

I think Will's extreme empathy is his fatal flaw. He felt deeply for the families that were brutally murdered by Dollarhyde, especially since he had one of his own and knew the joys and comforts of family life. That's why he decided to help Jack with the case.

As for Hannibal, I think Will was perfectly content to just seek his advice on the case and walk away. However, when Hannibal set Dollarhyde to destroy Will's family, I think that's when Will realized that "he couldn't live with Hannibal and couldn't live without him." As long as Hannibal was in the world, Will and the people he loves would never be safe.

And so in the end, Will became a sacrificial lamb, giving up his own life to protect the lives of those he loved.

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Aug 31, 2015
Yes, will was far too malleable this season. By both Hannibal and Jack.
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Aug 30, 2015
Perfect ending. And so the show goes the way of the firefly; Unjustified. I hate you NBC
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Aug 30, 2015
Put me in the "perfect ending, needs no movie, but would watch another season or more" camp. Also, I'm of the opinion "of course Hannibal and Will survived." Bryan Fuller says the ending would have been the same even had the series been renewed by NBC.
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Aug 30, 2015
Since it is over I am going with died. It is more beautifully tragic that way.
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Aug 30, 2015
I like how this series portrayed Hannibal's magnetic influence on those who surround him: Will, Bedelia, Margot... At some point it may have been a bit overblown (can't really decide what to think about Bedelia eating her own leg after Hannibal's alleged death). There's something Lestat-esque about how Will could not refuse him (see Lestat's homoerotic and masochistic relationship with Louis). Actually, Hannibal seemed so much in control even in prison that it was as if he possessed some supernatural mesmerizing powers... Remember he used some such trick in The Silence of the Lambs when he made his next-door inmate swallow his own tongue for disrespecting Clarice?... Yet here, his manipulative personality seemed somewhat exaggerated. Same remark about Dolarhyde's killing off a whole police squad and his towering strength...

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Aug 30, 2015
I think that is the point for me. Hannibal remains in control over many even after death.
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Aug 30, 2015
tl;dr
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Aug 30, 2015
I loved the finale. This year the two best shows on tv ended. Hannibal and Justified. I think Bedelia cut off her own leg and cooked in in hope of Hannibal and Will would come back. I choose to belive they died. If the series would come back they lived and Hannibal has indeed cooked Bedilias leg. For me the ending is open for us to enterpit as we like.
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Aug 30, 2015
I've had an increasing amount of problems with Hannibal after the first series, and I found this past season a particularly frustrating watch - but I loved that finale.

I personally hope they don't continue it, I love the idea that both Will and Hannibal plummeted to their deaths together. I'm choosing to see Bedelia's scene after the credits as wishful thinking on both her and viewers parts. I think she became so obsessed and fearful of Hannibal eventually consuming her that when he didn't come she just removed and cooked her leg herself and set both Hannibal and Will a table expecting their arrival that will never come.
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Aug 30, 2015
I honestly think Bedelia was more insane/psychotic than Hannibal & Will put together, & that she cooked her own leg in a bizarro tribute to them.
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Aug 30, 2015
I had the same interpretation too but it felt so weird. Was she consumed by fear top the point where she had to become what she feared? Did she cook her own leg out of some overweening pride or obsession to control? Was Hannibal's influence on her so great and lasting?... That's one way to suggest it...
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Aug 30, 2015
It's funny how even though we're choosing to interpret Bedelia as having cooked her own leg, that her reasoning for doing so could technically be interpreted in many different ways. I'm not entirely sure how I would read it myself - I sort of gave up trying to understand Bedelia once she started doing seminars on being a victim and coming out of her ordeal stronger when she so obviously perpetuated some of Hannibal's actions and became a weaker person in my opinion. Like Will, I think she had become to only think and act in the same way Hannibal would. Both became so entrapped in how fasincating his mind was that that way of thinking became an integral part of their own. Or something, haha.
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Aug 30, 2015
That my was my thought exactly!
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Aug 30, 2015
I thought the ending was great. the Bedelia part was a bit WTFy but not quite in a bad way.
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Aug 30, 2015
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Aug 30, 2015
What?
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Aug 30, 2015

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Aug 30, 2015
There is a bouncy castle at the bottom of the cliff. So they could be ok.
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Aug 30, 2015
Anyway, I though it was a perfect ending. I'll miss the hell out of it.

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Aug 30, 2015
Digestivo was hardly a stumble. In my opinion.
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