Hannibal Ends on a High Note

hannibalBy Joe Buda

“Hannibal” season three was perhaps was it’s best season, a season where all of the pieces came together. Let me start off by saying, I am a fan of the Thomas Harris novels (with the exception of “Hannibal Rising”) and the film adaptations (again, with the exception of “Hannibal Rising”).

When I heard about “Hannibal” the television series, and how it was a prequel to “Red Dragon,” I was expecting a build up of the relationship between Hannibal and Will Graham. The first two years served as that.

But season three was different. It served as a retelling of “Hannibal” as well as “Red Dragon.” It made the Hannibal Lecter story its own, not strictly beholden to its source material.

If you look at the source material, the story flows in the following manner: “Red Dragon,” “Silence of the Lambs” and then “Hannibal.”

In this new world, the story flows from the introduction of the Will and Hannibal relationship, then it goes into a retelling of “Hannibal” (sans Clarice) and then into “Red Dragon.”

It was an interesting twist that kept viewers guessing as to how this world would end. And it ended brilliantly.

(Spoilers ahead!)

In “The Wrath of the Lamb,” Will concocts a plan to catch Dolarhyde (a.k.a. the Red Dragon). His plan involves staging Hannibal’s escape, then using him as bait to catch Dolarhyde, who is clearly obsessed with the good Dr. Lecter.

Now, keep in mind, up until this point, Will’s plans have not had the greatest track record. Last week, in his attempt to lure our Dolardhyde, he ended up getting Dr. Chilton captured instead, which resulted in a gruesome scene where Chilton was set on fire.

Dr. Chilton, by the way, must have nine lives. I was certain he was killed last season when he was shot in the face. I was certain that he was dead after being set on fire. But nope, Chilton lives on in this episode as well, albeit getting a ton of skin grafts and existing in a hyperbaric  chamber.

This is a different Will than in the movies. It is clear that Will may have been settings up Chilton with his plan last week. Chilton threatened Hannibal and then Will’s plan almost finished Chilton off.

The Will and Hannibal relationship is twisted, and full of love. Hannibal, in his own way, is in love with Will. And it seems that love goes both ways to some extent.

Will is willing to risk other lives in order to get his end result. This week, he was warned by almost everybody what a bad idea this was.

Skipping ahead. Several people were shot and presumably killed during the Lecter escape, which was aided by Dolarhyde. I wonder if this was part of Will’s design.

Will and Hannibal escaped together to Hannibal’s escape house, which is built, of course, on a cliff that overlooks the sea.

In the end, it is Will and Hannibal locked in battle with Dolarhyde. Hannibal got what he wanted as he always seems to enjoy teaming up with Will. And Will got what he wanted in stopping the Red Dragon. And he too seems to enjoy the relationship he shares with Hannibal.

There were subtleties present throughout the episode as Will let’s it known that the plan includes the death of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal knows this and isn’t concerned. There are subtleties that support this throughout the episode, including Will’s initial hesitance when Dolarhyde shoots then attacks Lecter.

The true love between these two is shows when the go off the cliff together while embracing.

This is certainly not the Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter relationship from “Red Dragon” the book.

The came the after credits scene. Bedelia Du Maurier is sitting at a dining room table, about to be served her own leg. Did Dr. Lecter survive? If not him, who is doing this. Alas, we may never know.

The best stories leave the readers and viewers wanting more.

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