For the third season running, Bryan Fuller et al have managed to shock us silent with the revelations and twists that bring the season to the close. With this finale possibly being a bit more final than the other two, we discuss whether it's possible it could've ended better, worse, or even differently. We discuss the omissions from the Red Dragon arc, and whether they were necessary to begin with, and dig deeper into the #Hannigram.
All on this episode of Eat The Rudecast, a podcast about NBC's Hannibal, and the works of Thomas Harris.
Shownotes are vast!
The breakdown of scenes from Manhunter, Red Dragon, and Hannibal is here: https://vimeo.com/137513763
Love Crime – Siouxsie Sioux & Brian Reitzell
I think when Will says that it’s okay that everyone thinks he let Hannibal escape, it’s because he’s not expecting to come out of it alive. He’s absolving Jack and Alana from guilt and eventual prosecution. Jack realizes it too – and decides that it is necessary sacrifice of Will’s life he’s willing to make, just to get rid the world from Dolarhide and Lecter. He knows that even if something goes wrong, Will is for sure going to kill Hannibal, just like Jack told him to, back in Florence.
Guys, I’m going to miss your discussions so much. I rarely commented, but I’ve been listening to you since the first episode and your podcast is my favorite from all! I sincerely hope that this only the hiatus, not the end for the show, and eventually you’ll get back to dissecting new Hannibal episodes. :’)
Exactly, well put, blue.
This tweet from Bryan Fuller https://twitter.com/BryanFuller/status/637810996308914176 says that indeed it was Will’s plan to get Hannibal to turn himself in by rejecting him, and that this was inspired by Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. As Will noted in Dolce, they’ve become conjoined, it’s not clear where one ends and the other begins. I buy that Will would have been able to predict exactly what Hannibal would do if he rejected him and use that against Hannibal.
You guys are amazing, and I had so much fun listening to this episode, but about the ending (which I also agree is the perfect ending and that I don’t NEED more because I’m so satisfied with it) – Bryan Fuller did say that if the fans want more, he’ll keep fighting with us, and if we don’t, he’ll be done. But, he also said in another interview this past weekend, and this isn’t the exact quote, “I won’t be done with these characters until I’m dead.” So I don’t think he’s giving up at all. I truly do think that he, and Martha DeLaurentiis, and the cast, really do want to keep going with these characters. Bryan even said that Hugh and Mads were “giddy” when they heard what Season 4 was going to entail, which we now know, thanks to an interview with Vulture yesterday, that Season 4 was going to be all about Will and Hannibal having “adventures” together in Europe.
? will doesn’t say ‘you’re not just blind’ to reba –he says ‘not just the blind’ in answer to her saying that people with her disability draw types who foster co-dependency.
in one recent interview fuller described hannibal as omnisexual and said that although will was heterosexual, lines can blur in that kind of intense relationship and quote, ‘who knows what happens after a 6 pack.’ he’s being fuller, of course, but i don’t think the relationship as it stands (if it continues….) has to preclude sex. it’s not necessary between them, and murdering together is clearly *their* version of it, but it could be flavouring, and hannibal is a hedonist and a sensualist so from his perspective, why not? like i said, not necessary, but it would be a natural development.
physical intimacy of *some* kind i can definitely see happening–hannibal’s canonically a touchy-feely snuggler and looooves touching will, and i could seen them building on this episode’s moment of will actually voluntarily touching hannibal for the first time.
the idea that will deliberately got hannibal to turn himself in came from dancy and mikkelsen, according to fuller.
‘your face is closed to me’–i want to relate to ‘[the dragon] likely thinks you’re as much a monster as he is’ –is D searching for that? i do think that ‘if i can see you, you can see me’ from will is meant to evoke this–he’s relating to him as monster to monster (unlike chilton who tried to relate to him man to man).
if it’s any comfort to you, will may not have tipped off dolarhyde about the convoy specifically–i mean, he wouldn’t have known the exact details of the move when they were both in the hotel room; it wasn’t even arranged yet–that’s jack’s setup–and there’s nothing to show that will communicated with D at any point after that. many folks saw genuine surprise when dolarhyde attacks the transport, and there’s this from existingcharactersdiehorribly on tumblr “I think he was expecting Francis would go after the fake/real escape location […] When he hits his head, he has a brief flash of seeing Francis in the elevator at the museum, I think that’s Will realizing that of course Hannibal had realized that Francis would go after the convoy’ (as hannibal had realised will and francis would meet at the museum). others have also suggested that D’s interception was a surprise move (surprise to will, i mean) so that he could arrange everything more to his liking. without more detailed info i choose to agree 🙂
D’s military training is from the book; in fact i think it was the military who paid for his palate repair and rhinoplasty. fuller didn’t like that his military background/general competency was left out of the other adaptions.
In that scene where they are drinking wine after Hannibal says that “No greater love hath man than to lay down his life for a friend” Hannibal moves back a little and stands between window and Will sorta shielding him from Dolarhyde, so he was expecting an attack and wanted to protect him.
And one more thing, when we first see cliff house in the dark from the distance it reminded me when in season one Will talks about his house “Sometimes…at night I leave the lights on in my little house. And … walk across the flat fields. When I look back from a distance, the house is like a boat on the sea. It’s really the only time I feel safe.”
(i wrote the above without hearing your comment about the bullroarer–filing that under will didn’t tip D off also.)
i really don’t think hannibal wants to eat will. he was only going to when bedelia put the thought into his head re:forgiving him and they’re past that now. now he’s back at ‘i want my murder-partner’. although i bet he’d totally eat will if will died.
(someone compared D/reba to hannibal/will in the sense that D/reba is the HEALTHY version because he actually let her go to protect her, unlike hannibal, who just will not leave will alone.)
note costume-wise that for their little date will’s back in a white shirt like in dolce at the dinner table, while hannibal’s back in a similar ‘casual’ ensemble as in that ep.
D doesn’t say anything about hannibal stopping his mouth; he says: ‘i’m gonna film your death, dr, lecter, as dying you meld with the strength of the dragon.’
i don’t think D was furious at any perceived betrayal of will; i think he was always prepared for will to be tricksy and got in first there. he also fully intended to kill him in any case–aside from him holding a grudge for what will said about him, he kills FAMILIES and hannibal and will are family, right, hannibal?
will thinks D’s pulling the knife for use on hannibal and is totally unprepared for copping it in the face. nevermind, will, you’ll only be hollywood scarred (seriously it doesn’t look all that bad at the end compared to what’s described in the book but I’m grateful we got it at all).
i sorta saw D’s death vision not as symbolic of his becoming (he’d already fully integrated with the dragon at the end of 312) but as symbolising his cure, in a way: the calm way he’s standing back and burning the dragon items–the book, the painting–with a pensive expression, it seems like he’s defeated it– but the only for for him to defeat it was to die with it. much like will and hannibal.
hannibal’s expression was just ecstatic and shocked (and that little head movement timed perfectly with the ‘oh!’ on the song)–this is the first time will’s reached for him, rather than the reverse, and with the acknowledgement that what they did together was beautiful, he’s got everything he ever wanted. probably even will killing him is what he wanted.
‘can’t live with him, can’t live without him’ thanks bedelia for laying that out for us.
Dante Spinotti has confirmed that Mann arranged every detail of the sets to give a particular look.
Fuller has complained about the budget/time limitations on the last scene, but it worked perfectly for me.
It’s worth noting that in Manhunter, Reba wasn’t actually on a date with the boos. He just dropped her off and Dolarhyde misinterpreted. It is an inciting incident though. On the show, Dolarhyde breaks up with Reba, sends her away when she visits, and then kidnaps her (and lets her go) for no obvious reason. I recall on twitter Fuller once linking to Trey Parker & Matt Stone recommending “therefore” and “but” connections between plot points rather than “and then”. “And then” connections are typical of a child making up a story (like Lauren Kyanka’s at Something Awful), and was increasingly the case in the last season. This also undercuts his saying that “I wanted to trust you”. If it was about her trying to escape, then of course he knew that’s what would happen. In the book his snapping is due not only to believing she’s betrayed him, but because Graham shows up at Gateway looking for him. In the show, the investigation doesn’t make any difference.
I would have been fine with Molly killing Dolarhyde, if they hadn’t already done the home invasion sequence.
Will doesn’t say “You’re not just blind”. He’s responding to Reba’s generalization about the blind drawing certain kinds of people, and he says “Not just the blind”, implicitly referring to himself.
Will seems very different from Hannibal. I think if he’d just shown up as another serial killer (a la Tobias Budge in Fromage), Hannibal would be less interested.
Does Hannibal gain anything from Bedelia? Not an alibi like Alana. I think he just likes her company.
Will’s surprise at Hannibal’s accusation regarding Chilton doesn’t work as well when he basically acknowledges his culpability to Bedelia earlier.
Chilton’s suffering has never been taken seriously on this show. He just pops back up without permanent disability or personality change.
Hugh Dancy apparently suggested the bit about Will knowing Hannibal would turn himself in. I think it’s a terrible retcon, as Will seemed genuinely earnest and was surprised when Hannibal waited around for Jack.
I wish Dolarhyde had imagined hanging himself and the Dragon proceeding without him. It was a bit from the book which seemed well suited to the imaginative nature of the show.
There aren’t a lot of “people around” Dolarhyde we see him interacting with. We never meet any Gateway employees other than him or Reba.
The doubling of voices when Will talks to Francis is similar to the scene when Alana finds Will in Hannibal’s kitchen.
How did Hannibal betray Dolarhyde? By letting the FBI listen in briefly on a phone call before warning him?
The plan to trap the Tooth Fairy came before they knew his identity in the book (and even then it still didn’t seem worth it). In the show the FBI already knows who he is (and that he’s not dead), so there’s no urgency compelling them to devise a trap. Just wait until someone recognizes him.
Some people think Will tipped off Dolarhyde to the convoy, but none of those details were even set when they met. It did seem bizarre that Jack announced his plan to murder both Dolarhyde & Hannibal not only in front of Will, but also Alana (who was uncomfortable with pushing him toward suicide!). It also seems odd that Will first tells Walter that instead of killing Dolarhyde they’ll put him in a mental institution, but now figures “kill them all”.
I also couldn’t understand that lump vs sum line.
Bedelia’s line to Jack in Tome-Wan was wrong at the time. Hannibal wasn’t just permitting them to think they’d catch him. He was actually tricked, and Jack’s plan would have worked if Kade Prurnell hadn’t found out what completely illegal stuff he was up to.
Kate Kulzick wrote about this show taking deaths less seriously this episode here. I think her criticism applies elsewhere in the season. Hannibal’s murders in Europe are played more for laughs.
I would think if you lost “the most important organ in your body” (brain? heart?) you’d be dead.
I’ve stuck up for Will regarding his responsibility toward Chilton, but Hannibal had nothing to do with it, so it’s irrelevant what Hannibal’s “capable of”.
Alana & Margot flee in a helicopter after the convoy is attacked, not after she learns about the plan to fake an escape. Although since we don’t see what she was up to in the meantime, it could just be editing suggesting that through ordering of shots.
Alana staying wasn’t an exchange for Will’s life (that agreement took place at Muskrat Farms). She stayed to save Jack before Will arrived.
Hannibal is much more unfazed than Will by the convoy attack, and seems to know more about Dolarhyde’s plan, but I don’t think he had advance knowledge either. He’s just naturally unflappable.
Dolarhyde’s military training led him to photography. I don’t think he was special forces or anything.
Some have theorized that the wine bottle Hannibal opens is the same one Will gave him in Sorbet.
Will outright states that he intends to watch Dolarhyde kill Hannibal. But we know Will could do it himself, because that’s just what he does once Dolarhyde is dead. I think Hannibal is the one laying down his life for another. Will is killing himself for himself rather than someone else.
Hannibal once spoke to Bedelia (after faking Abigail’s death) about leaving a legacy after he dies.
William Petersen was much less triumphant coming through the window than Armitage was here. Dolarhyde easily grabs him, cuts up his face and tosses him to the side.
Will’s face stabbing was worse in the book. He was down for the count, leaving Molly to fend for herself.
The cliche movie plot Miko mentions sounds like Neil Labute’s “In the Company of Men”, which Bryan Fuller has said his show is the “horror or operative version of”. There’s still some sociopathy there, but of a much more mundane variety.
Most people compared Siouxsie’s song to a James Bond theme. I agree it works much better to have a contemporary song as series finale closer than it would have anywhere else.
Will had killed someone once in every previous season. This is the first one he did alongside Hannibal (which, it might be noted, never happens with Achilles & Patroclus within the Illiad), despite Hannibal’s attempt with Mason On the other hand, Hannibal set up both Will’s previous kills to be killed by him rather than arrested. A more radical step which would show Will had truly crossed a threshold would be if he actually committed murder (rather than justifiable homicide/self defense), which he’s only attempted against Hannibal.
Nicotine Stains by the Banshees is a fine punk song, but I tend to associate the genre with short rather than long songs (hence the name of the Minutemen). Flipper could be an exception, but they were also an exception in playing slow.
The bloodstain wings were an even more obvious Manhunter homage than Dolarhyde coming through the window.
I think Will decided to die at least as early as when he said he didn’t think he could be saved and was fine with that.
Waves breaking on rocks can actually make a fall more survivable (through reducing surface tension or effective density of water), as long as you don’t hit any rocks. But I say they’re dead.
When an interviewer asked about Hannibal & Will going on the run together, Fuller said it would be “Something a little more unexpected”.
I am 100% with Cooper on how cheap it would be to undo that murder-suicide. But the show has already brought back apparently dead characters on multiple occasions. It also retconned Will’s goodbye to Hannibal and Bedelia’s attack at the hands of a patient.
Firefly was much less serialized, and the Serenity movie wrapped things up.
Will told Bedelia to flee, so why didn’t she? She seemed plenty frightened, and she fled at the drop of a hat in season 2. Of course, that cautious version of the character is hard to reconcile with the one who sticks around while Hannibal prepares her for cooking in Florence.
The notion of Bedelia doing that to herself reminds me of Marina de Van’s “In My Skin”, which is also the only comparison I can think of for Will’s self-destructive derangement this season. That movie was difficult enough to sit through at feature-length, I would not want an entire season of it.
As much as I liked this as a series finale, I would have preferred if the show ended with season 2. That’s how much I disliked this season.
I’ve gotten to the end of a tv series and wanted less. Battlestar Galactica is one instance. I dropped Dexter after season 4, which reportedly is when it should have ended.
Cooper’s suggested Silence chronology is very clever. I’m jealous I didn’t think of it myself. Would that have to exclude Hannibal’s escape, or is he going to be caught again before the Red Dragon starts?
Regarding the final scene with Bedelia…
Whenever she was talking to Will about Hannibal this season, she always seemed to have a mixture of fear and longing for Hannibal. She’s also obviously jealous of the relationship that Will and Hannibal have. In the previous episode, she talks about Hannibal eating her as if it’s arousing and exciting. I do think she’s actually scared of Hannibal, but the idea of him chasing her is exciting as well.
All that put together made me assume that once Bedelia learned that Hannibal was going to escape, she decided that she was going to wait for him to come for her. I think that she would get a rush from him eating her, and so she even prepared herself for him. Yes, it’s a little (okay, a lot) crazy, but I do think she wants Hannibal and she wants him to appreciate her. I only saw anticipation in her face in that last scene, with maybe some fear mixed in, but it’s still overpowered by her desire for Hannibal. I don’t think it necessarily means that Hannibal and/or Will actually survived, only that Bedelia assumes that they will survive and come for her.
I just want to thank you guys for doing these podcasts. I loved this finale and think it is a fitting conclusion to the Hannibal story. And your idea to incorporate a Silence of the Lambs season/movie is fantastic.
I’ll be waiting for the podcasts for the movies. I’m finally going to sit down and watch Manhunter all the way through.
Sometime I’m going to start to watch Twin Peaks. When i do, i will listen to your podcast.
I just want to hear you guys talk about every TV show. From Deadwood to Breaking Bad to Justified.
[…] (audio) Eat the Rudecast's Hannibal finale podcast episode touched upon Richard's performance starting at […]