This is a guest post by Dead Derrick.
At long last, the series finale for “Hannibal” has arrived and this is my final write-up.
NBC’s “Hannibal” is a series that really never should have been as great as it actually turned out to be. After all, this is a series that was inspired by a well-known book and movie series. The latter of which featured an iconic performance from Anthony Hopkins to the point where no one else could ever possibly play the cannibal doctor without facing some ridicule.
To refresh, the first season started off as a demented killer-of-the-week show and the second season is where the series really hit its stride (following linear plot-line and building a bloody tension between a small group of characters). Seeing as all good things must come to an end, “Hannibal” was cancelled this summer and now I’m covering the last two episodes of Season 3.
At the very least, I can say it’s been an interesting ride that’s taken me into the darkest recesses of how gory and demented a network television show can be.
Without further ado, let’s get on with these final two episodes: “The Number of the Beast is 666” and “The Wrath of the Lamb.”
When we last left Will, he was investigating the murderous Dolarhyde, a hair-lipped maniac who believes himself to be going through a blood-soaked transformation into the Great Red Dragon. While Will seems to be drawing ever closer to Dolarhyde; his psyche is also falling apart at the seams. By falling apart at the seams, I mean that Will is having vivid nightmares of him murdering his entire family in a way similar to Dolarhyde.
In an effort to keep the darkness from consuming him, Will has decided to take up therapy with Du Maurier (Hannibal’s former psychiatrist/lover). Insert goofy sitcom music here.
While I understand that it’s essential to keep Du Maurier in the story as she’s a regular player in the series, I would also like to believe that Will is entirely too smart to get head-fucked by yet another psycho psychiatrist. Don’t worry though, because Du Maurier will come back in a big way during the final end credits scene (more on that in a moment).
It bears mentioning that ever since they announced that “Red Dragon” was being adapted into the third season of the show, one scene kept sticking out in my mind. That scene is when Dolarhyde captures tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds and murders her in a horrifying manner, after “showing” her what he’s become.
Ever since Miss Lounds (the character was changed into a frustrating redhead in this small-screen adaptation) made her appearance way back in the first season of this show, I was awaiting her ultimate comeuppance.
Every ounce of anger viewers felt towards this woman (whom hindered more investigations than she helped) would come back full force when she pissed off Dolarhyde. However, that was changed significantly for this episode.
Instead of little Freddie Lounds getting her well-deserved comeuppance, Dr. Chilton (who has already been crippled and shot at this point) finds himself in Dolarhyde’s clutches.
What plays out is a tense conversation between the two of them. It is easily my favorite version of this scene in all three “Red Dragon” adaptations. Chilton is glued to a wheelchair and is forced to see Dolarhyde’s work first hand. However, he’s not quite off the hook as Dolarhyde bites off his lips and then lights the psychiatrist on fire before setting him free.
Then Dolarhyde gives his final goodbye to Reba. This comes in the form of faking his suicide. Not to be insensitive, but that’s not exactly hard to do as she’s blind. So he blasts a random corpse in the face and everyone believes him to be dead, because psychos don’t exactly have a tendency of doing that in horror movies or TV series… right?
Will frees Hannibal to help him take Dolarhyde down. This plan is approved by FBI’s Jack Crawford, but it hits a snag when Dolarhyde ambushes the pair and kills their police escort. Hannibal hops in a cruiser (complete with a cheesy “going my way” line) and Will follows him to the cannibal therapist’s isolated cabin (the same place he’s kept previous victims).
Hannibal and Will vs. Dolarhyde
This final fight gets very bloody, stylish and gory, while being beautifully shot. In the end both Hannibal and Will lie bloody and broken, but the Red Dragon is dead.
Will and Hannibal go to hug it out, and Hannibal confesses, “This is all I wanted for you.”
Realizing that he will never fully escape Hannibal’s hold on him, Will takes the good doctor and falls off a cliff with him. We cut to the dark water below and assume that the two have met an untimely demise.
However, a post-credits sequence reveals a dinner table set for three with Du Maurier’s leg as the meal while a terrified one-legged Du Maurier sits at the table (much in the same way as a victim in the second season sat).
It’s not quite the ending that fans were supposed to get, but I actually like the idea that Will and Hannibal became cannibal psychos together. It seems like a darker, bittersweet conclusion to one of the most exquisitely disturbing horror series to ever hit the small screen.
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this third (and final season) of “Hannibal.” Supposedly, a feature film might be in the works to send this out properly (much like “Serenity” did for “Firefly”). Here’s hoping that happens, but if not, this was a satisfying three-season meal all the same!