The following recap contains spoilers from the Hannibal season finale. If you haven’t watched, flee! Everyone else, proceed.
So many thoughts and feelings about the Hannibal season finale – care to lend me an ear?
OK, that was too easy – hear this, there’ll be no more puns (except that one) moving forward. After all, we’ve got a lot to cover. Will is behind bars! Hannibal weeps! And Dr. Bedelia “If Mulder Could See Me Now” Du Maurier dines elegantly on… that totally isn’t veal, is it? Steel your stomachs, because it’s time to review “Savoureux.”
DEER GOD ABOVE | The episode opens with Will in the woods at night, brandishing a rifle and taking aim at a stag in the distance. The animal bolts and he fires. He keeps walking and eventually finds some blood on the ground; when he looks up, we get a split-second shot of a shadowy human figure wearing the stag’s antlers and then Will wakes up in his own bed, sweaty and kerfuffled like usual. It was just a dream, but neither he nor his pack of pups seem very relieved by that. Maybe it’s because, as Will realizes when he gets up and see his feet covered in mud, he’s done the time warp again.
Graham staggers to the kitchen and takes some pills, then convulses and vomits into the sink. (Gross.) He’s horrified to realize he’s hocked up a human ear (even grosser), which is basically unchewed (grossest, but impressive). Next thing we know, Hannibal’s pulling up to the house, where a shivering Will tells him that he last saw Abigail Hobbs in Minnesota. Oh, and he hallucinated killing her, “But it wasn’t real. I know it wasn’t real.” Dr. Lecter says it’s time to call Jack.
FACTS DO LIE | When Will can’t tell his boss what the FBI will find in Minnesota, Jack has him taken in for processing. (Side note: Hugh Dancy spends a lot of time on this show in boxers and a tee shirt, no? Not that I’m complaining…) We learn he had a folding knife in his pants pocket, which doesn’t seem like it’ll help his case; neither will whatever Beverly scrapes from underneath his fingernails. (I wish I could speak to this scene in more detail, but ever since Twin Peaks, I can. not. handle. any televised nail manipulation. Thank goodness Beverly announces, “This blood is real, Will.” The girl’s got my back.)
Unfortunately, she does not have Will’s. She admonishes him for working even though he felt unstable. “I thought I would get better,” he says in a forlorn voice. She demands that he examine the evidence and come to a conclusion. “According to the evidence,” Will says, starting to cry, “I killed Abigail Hobbs.” Man, Dancy is nailing it in this episode.
FROM BAD TO WORSE | Alana and Jack talk in his office. It’s a great scene but there’s a better one that follows, so here are the quick takeaways: Alana’s mad he pushed Will even though he knew the profiler was fragile, Jack says Hannibal – her recommendation, he points out – never indicated Will was in trouble, and the ear in Will’s belly was definitely Abigail’s. After a steering wheel-punching freakout in her car, Alana visits Will while Jack watches through two-way glass. Will inadvertently outs their romantic whatever-that-was from a few episodes back and tells her, “Guess you dodged a bullet with me.” She sadly replies, “I don’t feel like I dodged a bullet. I feel wounded,” and she cries as she tells him she’ll care for his dogs “until whenever.” The two of them are so broken it makes me ache; Will’s line about having a scream “perched under my chin” is one of the best I’ve heard on any show from the past season.
As Alana’s giving him some standard tests, Will asks if she’s going to have him draw a clock like Hannibal did. Her psychiatry-spidey senses start tingling and she has him repeat the exercise. You know she’s thinking this might help her pal… but she doesn’t yet know that the FBI has found pieces of all of the Copycat Killer’s victims in Will’s hand-tied fishing lures.
Will is unaware of this, as well. When he finds out, he tells Jack he’s being set up by someone close to Jack – or maybe even by Jack himself. “My biggest fear is that we’ll learn that you knew what you were doing the whole time,” Jack responds, conveying sadness and anger and frustration in his cool tone. Crawford reads Will his rights and has him shipped to medical lockdown, but along the way, a desperate Will manages to overtake his guard and the ambulance driver and escape.
SPIN, DOCTOR | During a session with Dr. Du Maurier, Hannibal placidly weeps over the loss of both Abigail and Will. The lady shrink recommends that if Will is to be rehabilitated, Hannibal not participate. (The way the scene is shot – all darkness and angles and reflection – is gorgeous, by the way.)
Lecter’s rare show of emotion is gone by the time he meets with Alana and Jack and lies about Will drawing a perfectly normal clock for him two weeks earlier. He then recounts the circumstances surrounding Garrett Jacob Hobbs’ death in a way that makes Will look hella guilty.
Later, Hannibal looks up in his office to see Will crouched on the balcony. “How are you feeling?” he asks. “Self-aware,” his patient deadpans. (Heh.) As they verbally deconstruct the crimes, Will has visions of the corpses painted in black, capped with a reappearance of the man wearing the stag antlers. (I may be wrong – the shot is fleeting – but is that actually Mads Mikkelsen in the horns?) A wary Will asks Hannibal to take him back to Minnesota, and the doc obliges.
At the Hobbs house – wait, did they drive from Maryland to Minnesota? That’s a 20-ish-hour trek, according to Google Maps. After some talk about how they’re both loners, Will suddenly has clarity regarding his psychiatrist. “I am who I’ve always been. The scales have just fallen from my eyes,” he tells Hannibal, pointing a gun at his head and having a small breakdown as he realizes that Lecter did everything because “you were just curious what I would do.” (Uh Hannibal, you don’t need a cracked-out clock sketch to know it’s time to get outta there.)
Jack creeps in and trains his gun on Will, then shoots him as the profiler is about to shoot Hannibal. In a nice callout to the pilot, blood spatters on Hannibal’s neck as Will falls to the exact corner of the kitchen where Daddy Hobbs breathed his last. The last thing he sees before passing out is a shadowy stag standing next to Jack.
CHIANTI, ANYONE? | As Will lies in a hospital bed while he’s treated for brain inflammation, Hannibal brings Bedelia dinner. They share some cryptic conversation about the veal they’re eating – ugh, that’s Abigail on the plate, isn’t it? – then Dr. Du Maurier warns, “You have to be careful, Hannibal. They’re starting to see your pattern,” citing his proclivity to develop relationships with patients prone to violence. (But I’m happy to note that Gillian Anderson’s character is very alive by the end of the season, which is a major accomplishment on this show. I hope she’s back in the fall.)
Soon after, Hannibal enters the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and – a la Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs — walks along the cells until he comes to… Will’s. The former FBI hired gun is now a jumpsuit-wearing inmate. And as the two men exchange barely civil hellos, the episode closes.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the serial killer drama’s first season finish? Grade the episode via the poll below, then back up your choice in the comments!