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Hannibal – Finale Recap: Are You a Killer, Will?

“Savoureux” bids adieu to a stellar first season of NBC’s Hannibal! The season 1 finale was packed with succulent suspense and one hell of a dramatic conclusion. “Are you a killer, Will?”

Before starting the recap and review of episode 13, let me start by stating that crime dramas are not normally my cup of tea. I took on Hannibal this season expecting to appreciate it, but I have yet to experience any episode of this series that I found lacked a compelling story arc, great moments of character development, and moments of brilliant writing. Hannibal is, well, delicious. I’ve never found the gore to be gratuitous, and just enough horror elements are served up on a silver platter. Thanks for sharing the experience of Season 1 with me!

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NBC “Hannibal”

The episode opened with one last dreamwalk for Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Graham stalked the killer stag into the forest one last time, gun aimed, only to find the beast had morphed into a human/ shadow/ deer hybrid of sorts. Upon waking in a cold sweat, as usual, Will discovered that his feet were indeed covered in mud and his head was reeling from another episode of lost time. After attempting to down his medication, Will heaved up a gulp of water in the sink, only to realize that he’d also spit up… a human ear. Upon calling Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), Will’s worst fears had become a reality. He hadn’t seen nor heard from Abigail Hobbs since she’d run from the cabin on the penultimate episode prior. She’d run, of course, because he’d suffered from a hallucination in which he impaled her.

NBC "Hannibal"

NBC “Hannibal”

Much of the opening half of episode 13 surrounded the shocking reactions of Will’s former teammates. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) watched Will get taken away with a look of true disappointment. Of course, I consistently find myself frustrated when Jack fails to take any sort of ownership over what’d happened to Will’s mental state. In all honesty, when someone seems as though they’re about to snap, you know. Will might never have spelled it out for Crawford, but Crawford certainly knew. As Will willingly underwent analysis, and Beverly (Hettienne Park) scraped bloody tissue samples from under his nails, I found myself wishing we’d gotten more screen time between the two. I enjoyed watching what little bits of that friendship we got to see develop, and her relationship with Will was always much different than his friendships with Lecter or Alana (Caroline Dhavernas). Hettienne Park certainly brings a nice sense of spice to the cast. Knowing that Will hadn’t truly murdered Abigail made watching these reactions from people who care about Graham that much more difficult and frustrating.

Alana, needless to say, was devastated, as she sat listening to Crawford’s explanation. Crawford initially refused to take any blame, but Alana, who’d spent the entirety of Hannibal’s first season warning Jack not to let Will get “too close,” had reached her breaking point. She lashed out at Crawford, spreading the blame for Will’s snapping and Abigail’s death across all of them. After a slight meltdown in her car, which we thankfully got to watch in silence, Alana confronted Will one-on-one in secrecy. Excellent work from Caroline Dhavernas here, am I right? The romantic relationship between Will and Alana, which was barely existent to begin with, had come to a screeching halt. Alana found herself wounded, rather than upset with Graham. Will, on the other hand, seemed utterly defeated. It all seemed like one terrible nightmare, and I myself felt consumed by it all. That’s great writing on the show’s part! In an interesting turn of events, Hannibal’s “clock drawing” scenario popped up in conversation, leading Alana to recreate the procedure. Will’s hand-drawn clock was more askew than ever, leading Alana to believe that the man was, indeed, ill.

NBC "Hannibal"

NBC “Hannibal”

Hannibal had been meticulous in his planning to frame Will. He sat weeping, explaining his grief for the loss of Abigail to Bedelia (Gillian Anderson). I, for one, believe he was crying over the loss of Will, as well. I enjoyed the two’s conversation surrounding the meaning of life. Hannibal had always assumed he knew the answer to life’s biggest question, recognizing the countless lives that had come and gone before him. Still, Abigail had touched him personally, reminding him of a different sort of legacy, the legacy left by guiding a child through the world. Hannibal has, of course, been working towards his own twisted legacy, cluing us in a bit further as to why framing his only true friend for his string of copycat murders was necessary. Hannibal has a certain unique view on the value of life, doesn’t he? Rudeness and crudeness are not tolerated. They’re considered a particularly wasteful way of living to Lecter. Thus, he punishes and humiliates his victims. His work as the Chesapeake Ripper is not yet complete, and his sacrificing of Abigail and Will remind us that even psychopaths fear something. Yet, for a moment, we now wondered whether or not Hannibal regretted choosing this path. Could children have saved him?

Crawford’s crew managed to bring in some of Will’s homemade fishing lures, lures that had been re-imagined with the remains of the copycat killer’s victims. How Hannibal managed to shove Abigail’s ear down Will’s throat, I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t put anything past him. Remember, Hannibal might not be losing his mind, but he has certain knowledge of craziness and insanity. He could have manipulated even a zoned out, blank, Will Graham. Then again, this was the first time we’d seen the stag go through the metamorphosis into demon form. Maybe Will was truly more active and involved than we were lead to believe! You never know; however, things, generally speaking, were not looking good for Will, who was now pegged with the murders of each of Hannibal’s copycat victims via the lures. Worse yet, Will reminded Crawford in another one-on-one session that he hadn’t yet started to lose his mind during the first string of kills. Meaning, he would have to have been intelligently psychopathic to murder those girls. Will, though, trusted himself enough during that time to realize that he was being framed in the present, and that someone with knowledge of the cases would be the one held responsible. Even Crawford could be to blame, yet Will was in custody, and heading for incarceration.

In transit, Will decided to make one last ditch effort to prove his innocence, dislocating his own thumb in order to remove his cuffs, and disarming both the guard the driver before escaping all together. Alana, Crawford, and Hannibal subsequently met at Lecter’s office to discuss Will’s behavior and fleeing. Alana had kept Will’s clock drawing a secret, but offered it to Hannibal. Hannibal, in turn, pulled out his own mock drawing of a perfect Clock in place of Will’s. Alana had seen enough to consider encephalitis, which is, of course the actual infection plaguing Will’s brain. Crawford, on the other hand, questioned whether or not Will could fake a bad drawing to attempt to prove himself as criminally insane. By the way, credit is due to the great Laurence Fishburne, who has continued to play Crawford very well. I’ve never found his character particularly likable, but I think that’s the point. He’s a different kind of a strong personality, yet he too seems alone and isolated. He’s not insane or psychopathic, but loneliness is its own particular kind of universal plague.

By the time Alana and Crawford had left, Will had snuck his way into Hannibal’s office to attempt to explain himself. One of my personal favorite parts of the finale was the repetition by Will of “I know who I am…” particularly in his scenes with Lecter. Will’s plan was to have Hannibal drive him to the site of Abigail Hobb’s death. His special analysis could shed light on the shocking truth. The two stood alone in the darkened kitchen of her home. Will noticed immediately, by the shape of the bloodshed, that her throat had been slit, though they never uncovered her body. Through a series of flashbacks, and coercion by Hannibal, Will did manage to uncover the truth. Hannibal had previously attempted to walk Graham through how and why he could have murdered each and every girl, pretending to play devil’s advocate, but it appeared as though Will still had enough belief in his own being to counter him. He knows who he is, but he doesn’t necessarily know who Hannibal is anymore. Hannibal, refusing to budge, let Will explain how alike they are in their tremendous loneliness, recognizing that Hannibal, unlike himself, would be incredibly hard to incriminate due to his utter lack of motive. Gun raised, Will seemed ready to end Hannibal, the true copycat killer, on the spot, only to find his effort thwarted by Crawford, who’d been waiting in the wings. Will, shot in the shoulder, fell into the exact spot in which Garrett Jacob Hobbs had bled to death. Will uttered the same words,

See. See.

as the shadow man lurked over Crawford’s shoulder.

NBC "Hannibal"

NBC “Hannibal”

Crawford, in a bit of a departure from his previous sentiments, sat by Will’s hospital bed, distraught over how far Will had deteriorated. Finally, we caught some semblance of responsibility from Jack! Hannibal sat by his side listening.

NBC "Hannibal"

NBC “Hannibal”

One of the more interesting scenes of the finale, “Savoureux,” featured Hannibal visiting Dr. Du Maurier at her home, bringing one last signature dinner for the season to her table rather than serving it at his own. Veal or Abigail, we’ll never really know (I think I know…), but that’s the fun of dining with Hannibal Lecter. I will say, though, that Bedelia has a very interesting veil of mystery over her. This scene, in particular, made me wonder just how much she knows about Hannibal and his “patterns.” She has a great reason to protect Lecter, as we’ve been led to insinuate that he has saved her life in the past. Was she eating veal, a meat she deemed “controversial,” knowing that he’s a cannibalistic killer? I think Gillian Anderson sure played it that way. Her clever words of caution were some of my favorite lines during this season 1 finale.

NBC "Hannibal"

NBC “Hannibal”

The episode ended with Hannibal’s own farewell of sorts to Will Graham. He visited Will in his cell, to which Will greeted him,

Hello, Dr. Lecter.

Hannibal left us with one last smirk, letting us know that even if he lost his one shot at a friend in Will Graham, his mission to draw Will to the dark side had been completed. Hannibal is not alone. Will had lived and “died” as Garrett Jacob Hobbs, a serial killer.

NBC "Hannibal"

NBC “Hannibal”

What did you think of the Season Finale of Hannibal, Episode 13, “Savoureux”? Did you enjoy the first season overall? Will you be tuning in for Season 2?

Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of the Season Finale of Hannibal, Season 1 Episode 13, “Savoureux”! I’ll see you all here for Season 2!

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