Hannibal: Wrath of the Lamb Season Finale (recap and review)

Hannibal Season 3

It is fitting that the season finale of Hannibal is a blood drenched and painful looking spectacle. The shocking end of the Lector/Graham love affair has the two working together to kill The Great Red Dragon. The scene, at the end is almost balletic and is horrifically beautiful. Hannibal and Will make a good team. Too good, apparently, hence Graham’s fatal decision at the end. The finale starts where last week’s episode ended.

Last week in Hannibal we saw Dolarhyde had taken Reba and brought her to his home. This week, in The Wrath of the Lamb, she is in the house. Francis “tests” his former lover by giving her the key to the front door. He tells her to lock the door and when she opts to open it and run, Francis is on the outside. He takes Reba back upstairs and forces her to put the key around his neck and feel his shotgun.

After splashing petrol (gasoline) everywhere, he sets it alight and saying that he cannot bear to watch Reba burn to death “shoots” himself. In essence the shotgun blast blows a huge hole in his head, one that Reba can feel as she takes the key from Francis’ neck. She wraps a blanket around herself and crawls out of the house as the fire spreads.

The beauty of this scene is both overwhelming and surreal. The disjointed and distorted piano notes caressing the set piece along with the fire caressing the ceiling and walls, is fluid and sweeping. As with all of the scenes in Hannibal the crowning glory is  the jarring gore; that piece of Francis’ flesh stuck to Reba’s forehead. The tissue that landed there when she put the key around her neck.

*Sidenote* Rutina Wesley, kills it in the first of this season finale. Her performance as the blind Reba has been memorable from day one and her own “finale” was just perfect.

After the opening credits, Reba speaks with Will Graham as she recovers from her harrowing ordeal. McClane may be scarred “He shot himself in the face, I put my hand in it,” she says, not once but twice, this is clearly something Reba will never forget.  Graham tells her that in the end, Dolarhyde could not kill her, nor could he stand to see her die.

Later, we learn that this is not true. Francis never intended for Reba to die, she was meant to escape and verify his death, leaving him free to exact his revenge on Will Graham and Hannibal Lector.

She points out, to Will,  that she drew a freak.  He corrects her and says she drew a man with a freak on his back.

Will: “There is nothing wrong with you.”

Reba: “I know there’s nothing wrong with me. In making friends, I try to be wary of people who foster dependency and feed on it. I’ve been with a few. The blind attract them.”

Will: (He knows. He has attracted his own.) “Not just the blind.”

Graham goes to see Hannibal and tells him “Ding, dong the dragon’s dead.” Lector asks if congratulations are in order and Will tells him that he did not kill Dolarhyde. “I was rooting for you Will,” says Hannibal. He then taunts Graham over Chilton’s punishment and congratulates him for the job he did on the doctor.

Will tells Hannibal that he will go home now that Dolarhyde is gone and Lector tells him it will never be the same. Graham reveals to Hannibal that he knows why he turned himself in.  “Will,” Hannibal asks, “was it good to see me.” “No,” Will replies.

After their exchange Will returns to his motel. At his  room, Francis Dolarhyde incapacitates Graham, attacking him from behind. The Great Red Dragon is not dead after all. After knocking Will out, Dolarhyde wakes him up and Will says, “You didn’t break my back.” The two talk and Francis reveals that he believes that Lector betrayed him. Graham tells The Dragon  that he needs to change Hannibal Lector.

Later, the Coroner double-act reveal to Jack Crawford that the headless and burnt body was not that of Dolarhyde but the man he kidnapped earlier, Arnold Lang. Afterward, Will sells Jack on letting Lector be the bait for Dolarhyde. “Allow” Hannibal to escape drawing the Dragon to him so he can be destroyed.

Hannibal - Season 3
Jack Crawford, Dr. Bloom and Will talk strategy and Hannibal’s fate.

Will tells Bedelia of the plan and she is furious and terrified. Du Maurier believes that Hannibal will be after her to kill and eat her.  “Who holds the Devil, let him hold him well,” says Bedelia. She warns Will, “He will hardly be caught a second time.” “I don’t intend  Hannibal to be caught a second time,” Will responds.

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him,”  Bedelia taunts Will, “Is that what this is?”

“I guess,” Will replies.

After a little more conversation, Will gets up and tells Bedelia, “I’d pack my bags if I were you. Meat’s back on the menu.” Du Maurier gets her claws out, “You righteous, reckless, twitchy little man. He might as well cut all our throats and be done with it.” Will gets the last word, “Ready or not,” Will says, “Here he comes.”

Alana visits the burnt and scarred Frederick. Chilton reveals that he blames Bloom as well for his disfigurement. He tells Alana that he would like to have Hannibal’s skin. “You were never comfortable in your own skin,” she tells Frederick, “you would not be comfortable in Hannibal’s.”

“Are you,” asks Chilton.

Dr. Bloom tells Hannibal of the deal, he gets all privileges restored for playing along. Lector requests that Will ask him personally, and he wants Graham to say “Please.” Hannibal also threaten’s Bloom. (Later, after the “escape” Alana, Margo and their baby flee their mansion in case Hannibal comes calling.)

The plan is to release Lector into police custody and “let him escape” allowing Francis an opportunity to contact Hannibal.  The real plan is to kill Dolarhyde and Lector, according to Crawford. Will goes to see Lector and after a short “reprimand” from Hannibal “Now you have to pick the mic back up,” Graham does indeed say “Please.”

After delivering Hannibal to the federal authorities, he and Will are transported via a small motorcade. A police car comes up and, lights flashing, pulls up to the lead car. Dolarhyde is driving and he shoots the cop driving the lead vehicle causing it to crash. The domino effect of the first car crash takes out the entire convoy of vehicles. The van crashes and Will smacks his head into a window, he is semi-conscious when Dolarhyde arrives.

Dolarhyde releases Hannibal from his cage in the back of the van and drives away.

Hannibal - Season 3
The Dragon goes to the police van and releases Hannibal.

Hannibal climbs out of the van and takes off his straightjacket. Going to the closest police car, he drags the dead cop out of the driver’s seat while Will gets out of the van. Driving the car around, Lector pushes the other dead policeman out of the passenger seat, “Going my way,” he asks Will. Afterward, Jack Crawford surveys the carnage and we see Alana leave Mansion Verger with her little family.

Will and Hannibal are at the cliff-top house and Lector points out that the bluff is still eroding. He tells Will, “You and I are suspended over the roiling Atlantic. Soon all of this will be lost to the sea.”

Back in the house, Hannibal has wine and two glasses, he pours Will a glass and tells him  “My passion for you is inconvenient.” Will responds, “If you’re partial to beef products, it is inconvenient to be compassionate toward a cow.” After a little more conversation Graham tells Hannibal, “He is watching us now.”

Hannibal - Season 3
Dolarhyde moves in for the kill.

“I know,” Hannibal replies just before  a silenced bullet passes through his torso and smashes the wine bottle. Thus begins the long, protracted battle between the two men and the Great Red Dragon. It is brutal, dark, bloody and akin to a slow motion ballet. Blood spurts in fountains of black as the battle goes outside the house and into the moonlight and the two men, who are two sides of the same coin, orchestrate Dolarhyde’s death.

Disturbingly, yet not surprisingly, the men work as an effective team. Both suffer dearly from the wounds dealt by Francis as the Dragon. (One shot has Will seeing the Dragon approach Hannibal, wings extended, as it reaches for his intended victim.)

At the end of the battle, the Great Red Dragon is bloodily and violently banished. Will looks at his claret covered hands:

Will: “It really does look black in the moonlight.”

Hannibal: “See. This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us.”

Will: (laughing softly) “It’s beautiful.”

The two survivors embrace on the edge of the Atlantic clifftop and Will leans out over the edge, toppling the two out into space and down to the ocean below. After the end credits, we see Bedelia Du Maurier sitting at a large table groaning with food. In the middle is a rolled “long pig” (slang for human meat) and she is clearly waiting for Hannibal to arrive.

This episode, while a bit final (surely no one can survive that long drop to the rocks and ocean below) was a satisfactory ending to the series. NBC may have opted to end the story of Hannibal Lector and Will Graham but they have, at least, left us with a  brilliant legacy of dark beauty and horrible visions.

Surreal and sublime, the show offered feast as orgasmic delight, all the more so if the meal was of “long pig” dressed with sauces and side dishes to “die for.”

Kudos to both Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen for their double act  and the fitting finale. Director Michael Rymer never let us forget that these two actors made their character’s so alike that they became the mirror image of one another.

Hannibal - Season 3
Hannibal, in the reflection is clearly the reflection of Will and vice versa.

Despite the disappointment of having both main characters apparently expire, this was clearly the right ending for the series. Graham was never going to be comfortable with his transformation (his Becoming) to Hannibal, even if it was necessary in order to kill Dolarhyde.

This show will be sorely missed. Its dark beauty and horrible specters will have to haunt via reruns now. RIP Lector and Graham.

Hannibal: The Number of the Beast is 666 (review)

Jack Crawford and Freddie Lounds
This penultimate episode of Hannibal, The Number of the Beast is 666 may not be the most horrifying, that surely belongs to episode 2.12 Face Off where Mason Verger ate his nose and a good part of his face (in this viewers humble opinion that still strikes right to the bone), but last night the vision of Dolarhyde ripping off Chilton’s lips comes damned close. Later director Guillermo Navarro matches that “ripping” horror with a Sergio Leone type close up of Chilton’s face and his terror filled eyes as he starts burning.

Hannibal has always been a bit of a gore fest. At least in terms of buckets of claret being sprayed and great gouts of the stuff splashed over the walls and floors. Oddly, for a show that languishes in the sensuality of serial murderer’s committing their heinous acts, with special emphasis on Lector and his devotees love of “food,” this episode goes straight for the throat (The lips?) and bypasses the loving attention to the act.

There is no operatic overture or classical music to accompany scenes of preparing a feast. The only thing observed being eaten in this latest offering had Hannibal slurping down Chilton’s lip and then chortling about it with Crawford. The delight and focus is different. There is no sensuality here, just Lector proving that revenge is indeed best served cold…and raw.

Hannibal correctly diagnoses Dr. Chilton as not being made of the “proper stuff.” (The Lector version of the “right stuff” but spot on all the same.) Will says the same thing later on, after Chilton has punished by the Red Dragon for his “lies.” That are provided by Graham during the Lounds pseudo interview.

Will: “Chilton languished unrecognized until “Hannibal the Cannibal.” He wanted the world to know his face.”

Bedelia: “And now he doesn’t have one.”

– The Will Graham version of “be careful what you wish for.”

This entire installment cranks things up nicely. While the series has deviated from the book in term of victim, Freddie Lounds has his lips ripped off in the book, this change of fate makes a certain amount of sense. Although it implies that Chilton will not survive long enough for the cinematic tease where Lector tells Clarice Starling that he’s “going to have an old friend for dinner” as the Frederick disembarks from an airplane while Hannibal watches from the payphone where he talks to the FBI agent.

In this verse, that clearly will never happen. It would have been, presumably, in poor taste (not to mention seen as being misogynistic to an alarming degree) to allow Dolarhyde to rip the lips off of the female version of Freddie Lounds. (One wonders if creator Bryan Fuller considered this when he changed the gender of Freddie for the TV series.) Although the nice touch about the whole incident is how Graham set up Frederick for the assault.

In keeping with the strange allure of Hannibal and his world, it is oddly satisfying that Chilton was the object of Dolarhyde’s rage, something we share with Will who clearly shares Lector’s disdain and active dislike of the pompous psychiatrist. Hubris thy name is Dr. Francis Chilton and both Graham and Hannibal recognize this annoying and unflattering trait.

When Crawford, Will and Frederick meet with Freddie to write the article that will enrage the “Tooth Fairy” (Chilton’s uncomfortable and awkward recommendation that the word “fairy” bothers the Red Dragon and it they really want to “piss him off” they should use the homosexually offensive term to describe him is perfect and highlights his character perfectly.) The entire scene between Chilton and Graham is horribly amusing.

Chilton to Freddie: “The Tooth Fairy’s actions indicate a projective delusion compensating for intolerable feelings of inadequacy. Smashing mirrors ties these feelings to his appearance.”

Will: (slightly behind Chilton translates) “And not only is the Tooth Fairy insane, he is ugly and impotent.

As this goes on, Chilton looks increasingly bothered by Will’s baiting of the killer. As we stifle the urge to giggle at Graham’s obvious taunts, the unease felt by Frederick becomes shared by all. Graham putting his hand on Chilton in the photograph is a signal, as the lipless and burnt to a crisp doctor accuses Will later, “You put your hand on me like a pet,” although Frederick’s statement was somewhat harder to understand.

One thing is apparent. After the attempt on his family, Will is allowing his “inner Hannibal” to come to the fore. He clearly set up Chilton for the fall, as Bedelia says later and Frederick notes in ICU. Underneath the horror of this episode there is the clear indication of hubris. Not just from Frederick Clifton either.

“Beware the wrath of the lamb,” says Hannibal to Jack Crawford. He tells the FBI agent that they should all fear Will’s wrath. At the end of their exchange, Jack tells Lector that Dolarhyde is not the dragon, Lector is and follows up with “The Devil himself bound in the pit.”

“That makes you God, Jack” Hannibal replies.

“Yes it does,” says Crawford.

Before the end credits roll, we see the humiliation of Chilton, his punishment and his burning. (Like Will’s pretend burning of Lounds, Frederick is set on fire while bound in a wheelchair.) Reba has been kidnapped by her now former lover. The next step is for Dolarhyde to rid himself of the one human thing in himself, Reba.

Disturbingly, Will spends much of his time, when not setting up Frederick Chilton, with Bedelia Du Maurier. Through her we learn that Hannibal loves Will and we also discover this upsets her or at least makes her jealous. She relays to Graham that Lector may well have “agency in the world” but that he will never allow anyone else to kill her. As he is in captivity, Lector will never kill and eat her, the idea upsets her enough that she sheds a tear.

Richard Armitage was terrifying this week as Dolarhyde/The Great Red Dragon. Mads Mikkelsen was, as usual, brilliant and the scene where he mimics slurping down Chilton’s lip for Jack Crawford was priceless. The Hannibal Lector version of a raspberry.

Hugh Dancy, clever, droll and increasingly Hannibal by proxy. Just brilliant.

*Sidenote* Watching this latest episode I noticed that Dr. Alana Bloom and Bedelia Du Maurier sound very much the same when the talk. Tone, pacing and phrasing appear to be almost identical. It makes me wonder if this was intentional? Were Gillian Anderson and Caroline Dhavernas cast because they sound alike? Just a thought…

Special kudos to Raúl Esparza as Chilton. This performer has managed to bring out the worst in at least one viewer as he channeled his inner despicable “poor winner.” Yet when he was in the clutches of Armitage’s character one could not help but feel sorry for the “little man” who begged to be great. As Will says in the show, Chilton wanted to be great and it was not in him. When faced with the devil he crumpled and paid for Graham’s insults.

It speaks volumes that the first words out of Chilton’s lipless mouth had nothing to do with helping to stop the Great Red Dragon, but were, instead, accusations of Graham’s treachery. Proper stuff indeed.

Will has stated that he cannot go home. After the attempt on his wife and child, he has decided to stay away until the Dragon is caught.(Hence the photograph showing clearly his “temporary” location) Now that Dolarhyde has taken Reba, the series is speeding toward its conclusion. One that might be quite different from Thomas Harris’ books.

Fans of the novel will no doubt wait with bated breath to see what will be kept in from the series’ literary base. In a world where gender has been changed, character’s created and fates traded, anything can happen. The season finale of Hannibal airs August 29 on NBC. Do not miss it.

Hannibal: And the Woman Clothed with the Sun Part II Review

Francis Dolarhyde and Reba as the zoo
Last week in Hannibal we returned to Thomas Harris territory; the Tooth Fairy, The Great Red Dragon, Francis Dolarhyde, et al. Despite this move back to its literary roots, part two of And the Woman Clothed with the Sun should be treated as a separate entity.

While the series follows the book, Dolarhyde’s romance with Reba McClane, Hannibal’s set up of Will Graham, the eating of the Blake watercolor, and so on, the second half of this two-part episode looks at lot of things, that may have already been examined in the book, but for the purposes of this review will be treated as a stand alone version of Lector’s, and Will’s adventures.

After all, things have been changed from the literary tale of Graham, Dolarhyde and Lector. Lounds is a redheaded woman instead of the male newshound for the National Tattler in Harris’ book, Alana Bloom is a man and there is no Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier in the books. Regardless of the changes of some characters and the inclusion of others the series looks at the psychiatry of the serial killer as monster; peeling away layers to reveal the horror beneath.

Looking at the end of the second half of And the Woman Clothed with the Sun first, the reveal that Francis’ scar, on his upper lip, is barely discernible comes as no real surprise. Hannibal “named that tune in one,” early on when he pointed out to Will that he was disfigured mainly in his mind. Leaving behind the elaborate backstory in Harris’ book, it was apparent that the scar itself was minimal and that the cleft palate surgery left internal scarring. In the television show the only clue we have to Dolarhyde’s history is his nervous recitation of the enunciation exercises before his call to Lector, “Reh, Meh, Keh.”

This little scene tells us more than enough about the Tooth Fairy and his journey to become The Great Red Dragon.

This second half also gives us the female orgasm and death connection again. Part One had a young Abigail reacting sexually to her “murder” by Hannibal (as father) and this week we see Bedelia reacting so savagely to her murder of Zachary Quinto’s character that she passes out, such is the strength of her orgasm, after she penetrates Neal Frank with her arm and fist. Neither of these two scenes are too surprising as the show is, after all, about sex and death and how the two are interwoven and both sides of the same coin. (Although it could be argued that sex and death are two sides of a triangle with the apex being the sensuality of preparing and eating human flesh.)

There are other things that the episode shows perfectly. Dr. Du Maurier’s total denial of any complicity in Hannibal’s crimes while she was an intimate part of his life. Will’s reaction goes from humorous condemnation, “spending time in Hannibal’s bowels, the bride of Frankenstein, and crawling so far up his a** that you didn’t care.” All reactions to her public recitation at the beginning of the episode. Later he changes to amused acceptance “you lie Bedelia. You lie a lot. Why do you lie a lot?”

Perhaps most telling of all, is the framing of the tiger scene. (One does wonder if Francis makes his decision to take Reba to “see” the tiger based upon Hannibal’s William Blake The Tyger quote during their conversation.) That psychopaths are capable of such romantic gestures, and really, taking your blind girlfriend down to “look” at an unconscious tiger is the height of romanticism, is frightening. How can someone who murders entire families do something so touching, so kind or, as Reba herself says, so eloquent?

How can the monster, or the insanity, be hidden so well? While this question is not answered by director Guillermo Navarro, he does show us the beauty of the scene. The dark beauty of Reba’s hand moving softly through the orange and black fur of the sleeping tiger. The lighting is so bright it is almost surreal as seen through Francis’ eyes and therefore through ours. The beauty is overwhelming and this, combined with the couple’s lovemaking later on, is what prompts Dolarhyde to eat the watercolor and try to defeat the dragon.

For those who have read the books there will be little in the way of surprise as the show moves toward completion. What remains is the question of what will make it to the small screen version. Will Lounds lose her lips? Quite possibly after all, Mason Verger ate an incredible amount of his face. It is already apparent that Lector is setting up Will Graham, just as he does in the book. (Why else is he getting Will’s address?)

All that remains is to see just how much Bedelia, who really does feel as deadly as any serial killer in this verse, is involved. Again, regardless of the book, it will be fascinating to see where this all leads. The writing, and show creator Bryan Fuller have opened up a lot of possibilities as well as new characters. The Du Maurier victim, Neal Frank, is a good example of another character created just for the series.

Frank, played with brilliant paranoia by Zachary Quinto, gets himself so worked up that he begins to fit. Bedelia helps Neal to swallow his tongue, by apparently shoving the appendage right down into his stomach, and as horrible as this scene is, the entire incident, from insertion to removal and her orgasm, is preceded by Quinto’s character spouting a very funny line. Amusing for its very odd wording.

“No. No,” he says to Bedelia’s request to sit down. “This is culty and weird…” and arguably the funniest line in the episode is spoken by the guy who begins to choke and is then murdered by the reptilian Du Maurier. Neither character exists in the book and certainly this scene has come from the minds of the show’s makers. Such brilliance goes to show that anything can happen in this final season while they continue to follow the Harris verse.

This last season pulls out all the stops. While retaining the massive talent of Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Gillian Anderson and, occasionally Laurence Fishburne, they have added Richard Armitage and True Blood alumni Rutina Wesley. This cast must be one of the most impressive on television at the very least, in terms of cast awards and nominations not to mention performances on the show. Hannibal looks to finish impressively and continues to air Saturdays on NBC.

Hannibal: Digestivo (recap and Review)

Hannibal and Will in the truck at Muskrat Farm
Last week’s episode ended with both Will and Lector hanging like sides of beef, or pork, and being welcomed by Mason Verger; after Hannibal began to saw open his protege’s head in front of a horrified and screaming Jack Crawford. This week in Digestivo it is revealed how things went from impromptu brain surgery to Muskrat Farm in the apparent blink of an eye.

During this episode, the viewer learns just how strong that bond is between Chiyo and Hannibal, just what a pig, literally, Mason Verger is, and how two women can kill a man with an eel after “milking” him. Poetic justice is the underlying theme this week and the show ends with a large dose of irony where Hannibal and Will are concerned.

While Jack screams and blood splatters through the air the same inspector that Crawford annoyed while he questioned Bedelia about the whereabouts of Dr. Fell, Commendator Benetti, turns up with several men and they take charge of the situation. Crawford repeatedly identifies himself in Italian as an FBI agent. The inspector tells his men that they are taking Graham as well as Hannibal, but not Jack as the FBI agent is not worth any money. Benetti tells Crawford that he is to be Lector’s latest victim.

“Arrividerci,” says the Commendator after instructing two of his accomplices to “prepare” Jack like Lector meant to slaughter Will. After leaving, the two Italian law officials move in to comply and two silenced shots take the men out. Jack Crawford, it seems, has more lives than a cat as he cheats death not only for a second time from Hannibal, but also from the polizia.

His savior? Chiyo.

She is, as Lector said earlier, very protective of him and obviously Chiyo has spared Jack to learn where Hannibal and Will have been taken. The two talk, after he convinces her to remove the needle that has been left in his neck, about exactly where Hannibal has been taken. Crawford explains that he will have to be very careful leaving Florence as he has been reported dead.

It now appears to be equally obvious that Chiyo will now head to Maryland and Muskrat Farm in an effort to save Hannibal.

Meanwhile back at the farm, Bloom and Margot wake up in bed together and after a phone call from Italy, the two share thoughts on Mason and Hannibal. Mason is enjoying his victory over Lector and gloats while he explains to the two captives, who are still hanging upside down in the back of the truck, that he still has his father’s knife, used to check for pig fat. The blade is shoved into Hannibal, who does not make a sound.

Mason continues to taunt both Lector and Will in the pig pens and later he speaks of Jack Crawford’s death to Dr. Bloom when Margot comes in and tells him that “feces is flying in Florence,” as the FBI agent is alive. After expressing disappointment at the news, Mason questions Bloom about her loyalty. Alana warns Verger that if he plays with his food it can bite him. Mason declares that he is not playing and she replies that Hannibal is. “He is always playing,” Bloom explains.

Both Hannibal and Will are unwilling guests at a meal hosted by Mason and served up by Cordell. Will realizes that Verger wants his face and after Hannibal question’s his next actions, Mason tells his new cook that Graham looks dry and needs some moisturizer. As Mason talks of his plans for Hannibal, Cordell starts to apply the salve when Will leans over and bites a chunk of flesh from the doctor-cum-cook’s face.

While Cordell screams, Will spits out the piece of cheek onto his plate. “No shorties for you Mr. Graham,” Mason says. He tells Will that he will be fed to the pigs after Cordell removes his face and transplants it onto Verger’s scarred remains. Later Doemling sews the bit of cheek back onto his face and immediately after brands Hannibal. Lector recognizes that Mason wants him to feel everything that his pigs do before being slaughtered and eaten.

The brand says “Verger.”

Hannibal taunts Cordell and states that Mason has a lot of ideas behind that “faceless skull.” Doemling takes offense and tells Lector that the longer he is respectful, the longer he will keep his tongue. The two speak of how the appendage will be prepared and Cordell goes into detail. Hannibal approves. Cordell then tells his captive that he will come back in a few hours and remove everything from below Hannibal’s elbows and knees. After a little discussion about how Lector will be kept alive, the doctor promises to always cook Hannibal to perfection.

Mason continues to torture Margot with promises of having his child. After questioning his sister about her relationship with Bloom, he tells her that a surrogate already exists for her “harvested” eggs. Margot demands to see her and Mason tells her that “she’s resting.” Verger also tells his sister that the surrogate is “on the farm.” Margot threatens him and he applauds her “maternal instincts revving up.”

Bloom and Will have a chat and she reveals that Jack is still alive. Graham accuses Alana of giving him and Hannibal up to Mason. She tells Will that she thought the FBI would have rescued Will and Lector. Graham tells the doctor that she needs to evolve her plans since that is not going to happen.

Margot comes to visit Hannibal in the pig pen. He is bound up with a collar around his neck. They talk about Mason’s promise to her about the surrogate and the baby. Lector tells her that Mason will deny her and that he always will. Hannibal tells her she needs to kill her brother, reminding her that he did mention this before in session. As they talk Alana comes in and shoots the guard.

Lector tells the women that the guard has a knife in his pocket and tells them if they cut one side of the rope he will do the rest. Bloom asks Lector to save Will and to promise, he does and she asks if he will kill Mason. Hannibal says that Margot will do this and that she should take some hair and skin from him and place it in Verger’s hand. She cuts the rope and the two women leave. Hannibal then removes his bonds and stands up.

Will is in prep and Mason is wheeled in by Cordell. Verger taunts Graham and tells him that he only wants his face and that since he believes in Jesus he is free. Doemling injects Graham telling him that he will not be able to move but will feel everything. Hannibal is watching.

Margot and Alana find the surrogate. It is a sow. A baby has been sewn into its uterus, the fetus is dead. After checking that the infant is not alive, Margot insists that it be taken out. Cordell starts to cut Will’s face and says, “Be sure to tell me if this hurts.”

Cue interlude of a face being removed from someone’s skull and Margot cradling the dead infant. Mason wakes up with his new face, the bottom of which is covered with a plastic half-mask. He begins calling for Cordell and reaches for a mirror, the face he is “wearing” is not Will Graham’s but his sycophantic cook’s. As he looks at the face, it slips off. He begins screaming for Cordell.

Meanwhile Hannibal is carrying Will across the snowy landscape of Muskrat Farm. Two men are following and Chiyo kills them both. Margot and Alana confront the pistol packing Mason after he learns that Cordell is dead and that Hannibal has escaped. He thinks the sow uterus very funny and warns his sister that if she kills him, with no heir, the Southern Baptist Church gets his entire fortune. Alana and Margot reveal that while he was unconscious, they stuck a cattle prod up his anus to stimulate his prostate gland, with Hannibal’s help, and the two have more than enough sperm to produce an heir.

Mason is shoved into the tank with his eel and the creature enters the monster’s mouth, killing him.

Hannibal and Will are back in Graham’s house, Chiyo stands away from the building in the snow, cradling her sniper rifle. She and Lector talk and she tells him that she cannot go home any more than he can. She reveals that is was Mischa’s plight that started her journey and Hannibal admits to eating his sister but not killing her.

Lector tells Chiyo that she is between iron and silver between the periodic table. Will dreams of a breaking tea cup and Hannibal asks him what he wants to talk about, teacups and time and the rules of disorder and Will says the teacup is broken. It will never, he says, “gather itself back together again.” “Not even in your mind?” asks Hannibal.

The two talk about the things they share and their differences. Will says that he will not find Lector after this is over and that he does not want to think about him anymore or know where he is or what he is doing. He bids goodbye to his “addiction” and Lector leaves.

Outside Will’s house police cars converge on the building. Jack Crawford exits one vehicle and Graham tells the man that Hannibal is not there as officers enter his house. “Jack, I’m here,” says Lector as he emerges from the shadows, arms up, and turns himself in to Crawford. This is his “punishment” for Will, who now knows exactly where Hannibal is and what he is doing.

Hannibal congratulates Crawford on catching the Chesapeake Ripper and Jack says he did not catch him, he surrendered. Hannibal looks at Will and replies that he wants to be where Jack always knows where he is at, meaning of course, Graham. Crawford tells officers to put Lector in his car and Chiyo walks off as the snow “tinkles” down in the forest.

This is the last of the Red Dragon “preamble.” The next time the audience see Lector he will be imprisoned.

In this first half of the final season, Hannibal proved just what a master gamesman he is. Mason Verger overplayed his hand with sis and picked the wrong accomplice in Cordell. Margot has gotten her wish and Alana managed to save Will from both Hannibal and Verger. Looking at the teaser for the next episode of Hannibal, it appears that the FBI, and Jack Crawford, have forgiven Graham and allow him to get involved with the Red Dragon killer.

It was apparent from the very first time that Mason mentioned it that the surrogate was going to be a pig. This particular bogeyman was nothing if not predictable and Mason will be missed. The series will be replacing Verger with Thomas Harris’s introductory killer from his novel.

Brilliant and thought-provoking as usual, Hannibal, in its last season on NBC, continues to feature outstanding performances from all its cast. Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Katherine Isabelle, Tao Okamoto, Caroline Dhavernas and Joe Anderson, the Brit actor playing Mason Verger this season, all knock it out of the park with their portrayals. For the time being, Hannibal airs Saturdays on NBC.

Hannibal: Cancelled by NBC aka Noxious Banal Cretins

Still of Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal
Let there be no doubt; NBC are a lot of noxious banal cretins who would not recognize class and quality if both of them came up and cut off their noses; sliced thinly and served on a silver platter with a fine Spanish red and a side of sautéed baby potatoes or however Hannibal himself might be tempted to serve up the powers that be who cancelled the show in its third season. This psychological horror series with its complex storylines and bucket loads of gore is easily the best scripted show on television and seemingly had something for everyone.

Certain episodes had scenes so horrific that what the eye did not see the imagination filled in handily and viewers must have known that these white knuckle images would come back to haunt their dreams. This violence and bloodshed, which to be honest was nowhere near as bad as it could have been, should have appealed to the younger demographic that television networks are so eager to please.

The complexity of the plot threads and the interaction between Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen), Dr. Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson), Jack Crawford (Lawrence Fishburne) and a slew of other fascinating characters were the draw for those more sophisticated than the usual market target.

Show creator Bryan Forbes is not too upset and revealed that he has enjoyed the ride. Other’s are implying that the series may have gotten the NBC axe but that Hannibal could live on in another “platform.” Shows like Longmire, which was cancelled causing fan outrage as the ratings were actually solid, have been picked up by Netflix who will continue the series. More recently Constantine; another NBC show with a solid fanbase which was cancelled, has been actively pursuing a Netflix or Hulu deal and fans are “petitioning up”  to help  make this happen.

Like Constantine, Hannibal has had a difficult time building up a large following. Fans of both shows were dedicated and as mentioned by Slate.com, the latter series has always had an active and prolific Twitter fanbase.

Season three of Hannibal has had an introspective dreamy aspect that may have helped along its demise. Scenes are darker than ever and the amount of time spent focussing on mealtimes, with swelling operatic scores accentuating the sheer opulence of the cannibalistic feast, is almost overwhelming.

It is, perhaps, the introspection as well as the complex and almost musical dialogue of the characters which has also been off putting to the younger demographic. With lines containing several layers of meaning and the increasingly complicated interwoven threads of plot and characters, this “look at Hannibal’s beginning” could be bogging the average viewer down.

This is nothing new, each of the first two seasons made the audience think. Certainly fans were wont to discuss the meanings of the symbology and the mythos in the show after each episode. Twitter has been, as mentioned above, the social platform of choice for most fans to talk implications and underlying themes.

With the news that NBC has turned its back on a show that is highly praised by critics but has a disappointing viewer rating, fans will have to wait to see if a new home can be found for the series and its incredible cast. Until then, the rest of season three can be enjoyed in spite of the noxiously banal cretins at NBC.