Spoilers will be served cold. You really should’ve seen this finale already.
I really wish it would be renewed and would take new life after its cancellation by being picked up, but the series did manage to give us a finale. Mind you, I just thought that season three was completely off the hook but also lacked a couple of familiar scenarios that I missed. That’s precisely, however, what it tried to emulate.
While the first season had some amazing scenery and tense scenarios, the familiar touches of Dr. Lecter’s therapy sessions and his elaborate dinner feasts where something that would slowly but surely change. By the end of the second season, we knew we would not have those environments again. However, we did enjoy some sumptuous dishes. Ok, I gotta put this disclaimer here, cannibalism is bad. That being said, the idea that it could be presented in such elegant way was decadent but still creepily attractive. You almost felt like NBC should put a professional help line number ad after every episode.
The third season gave way to what seemed like a familiar scene, the idea of Hannibal behind glass still imparting clues with tones of deceit. To satisfy our yearning for the scenario from past seasons, we get flashbacks and even worst – we get the psychological world of both Dolarhyde and Graham still speaking as it they were in Lecter’s office or in a sumptuous cathedral in Italy just by virtue of their imagination. You really must have attended this banquet from the first two courses to develop a taste for it (that’s me trying to tell you to watch seasons one and two first!).
The ending feels sudden and brutal when it comes, but it’s also fitting. There’s a certain affection that Will has for Hannibal that makes him recognize that they both must perish in order for Hannibal to truly die. It’s also a recognition that he can’t go back to his wife and son. Was Will Graham careless in going back to pursuing serial killers with a family in his life or was he careless in thinking he was allowed a family with his self capable of being what he has to constantly turn away from? We all knew they were in peril since the moment they appeared on screen.
I don’t want to necessarily expect a fourth season, but should it come I will say let’s try not to emulate what already has been done. Let’s do something completely different. Although in some way, I would hope some of the cooking and food presentation show up.
And about that final scene… Wow, Bedelia. Just that makes me think that when Will thought or improvised or decided that in the last minute it would be Dolarhyde, Lecter and himself he was just one criminal sociopath short.
- Francis Dolarhyde. He was quite brilliantly portrayed by Richard Armitage, but he’s still kind of the flavor of the season. He can’t seem to hold a candle to Hannibal or the other more lovecraftian killers from the first two seasons. I didn’t want to compare him to Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal in Red Dragon, but it somehow felt like a shorter role than the film.
- Mason Verger and his death. Yes, I know this happens a lot earlier. It is a bit anti-climatic. Satisfying, nevertheless, at the hands of Alana Bloom and Margot, but still. The whole gig with the face and the droning voice was a bit grating on the nerves. Perhaps that’s the way it was meant but at times it felt so cartoonish a performance.
- I would have liked to see a little more of Freddie Lounds and Abigail Hobbs (yes I know she’s dead, Will kept seeing her for a while though).
- New characters Molly Graham, Reba McClane and Chiyoh felt very interesting but also quite underused.
- Frederick Chilton might have been the embodiment of the sniveling trope but boy, does he get royally mauled, cut and burnt. He’s almost a walking model of the circulatory system by the end of the series. I genuinely felt so sorry for him that death might be preferable. Instead, Will, Jack and Alana survive cut arteries and life altering injuries to return to almost full health.
That will do for now.