Hannibal concluded its third -- and possibly final -- season last night, and boy did it go out with a bang! The bittersweet finale, fittingly titled “The Wrath of the Lamb”, focused solely on the heart of the show: the relationship between Hannibal and Will. After three seasons of showcasing a constantly evolving relationship, which eventually shifted from friendship to something more, Hannibal and Will finally ended up together in a way that Hannibal truly desired since the very beginning. Although the finale had quite a handful of notable scenes with other key characters of the show, such as Alana and Chilton, I found myself completely enthralled by every scene that had Hannibal and Will in it.
Hannibal may be regarded as a thriller/horror series, yet, at its core, Hannibal has always been a love story between these two gentlemen who found understanding and acceptance in one another; the finale capitalizes on their connection and brings their love story to a satisfying and hopefully temporary conclusion. A fourth season pick-up seems unlikely at this point, and I’m surprisingly okay with that. Don’t get me wrong -- I love Hannibal to death and would love to see it go on, but the finale ended up serving as a fitting series finale. So what exactly took place in “The Wrath of the Lamb”, and who bit the dust in this unsurprisingly bloody finale?
Believe it or not, not many characters died. In fact, with regard to central characters, the only casualty happens to be The Great Red Dragon himself -- with Bedelia’s fate
looking just as dire as Dolarhyde’s, but that’s another matter entirely. As for the other characters: The Verger-Bloom family makes a hasty escape, Jack manages to remain unscathed, Reba survives plus has a heart-to-heart with Will and all is well for the core characters of Hannibal, including Freddie and Chilton, who is scarred beyond belief -- but at least he’s alive, right? Dolarhyde faces off against Hannibal and Will, and, although he does put up a good fight, he’s taken down by their joint efforts. Hannibal rips off a good chunk of Dolarhyde’s neck while Will slashes open his stomach. Will’s killing blow to Dolarhyde directly parallels Season 2’s finale in which Hannibal stabbed Will in the stomach. It seemed only fitting that Dolarhyde would meet his end by the two individuals he most closely represented. Before meeting his end, Dolarhyde manages to not only shoot Hannibal but stab Will in the face; Will’s facial injury is also present in the book and is used to make his face appear grotesque.
Bedelia’s downfall is clearly implied as she’s shown seated at a table set for three with her leg severed and cooked in front of her. It’s a clear indication just who’s responsible for Bedelia’s current state; this is an exact parallel of what happened to Gideon, yet some viewers seem to believe Bedelia cut off her own leg as a peace offering to Hannibal, which, to me, makes no sense at all. The reason as to why some viewers don’t think Hannibal surgically removed Bedelia’s leg is because he fell off of a cliff with Will in his arms prior to this scene. How exactly did that happen you may ask? After disposing of Dolarhyde, a blood-soaked Hannibal and Will share a tender and, dare I say, romantic moment as Hannibal confesses, “This is all I ever wanted for you Will, for the both of us”. Will finally seems to understand Hannibal’s love, while accepting his own desire to be with him, and whispers in return, “it’s beautiful”.
The two embrace before Will sends them both tumbling off a cliff, still in Hannibal’s arms. It seems Will’s intention was to take himself out along with Hannibal; in an earlier conversation, Bedelia comments that Will can’t live with or without Hannibal thus making them a zero sum game. Will makes several cryptic remarks throughout the episode, such as “I don’t know if I can save myself and maybe that’s just fine”, and he and Hannibal spend a majority of the episode staring longingly at one another; it felt as though a fanfiction was being brought to life right before my very eyes -- and that was just fine with me.
The ending for the season is left ambiguous as viewers are left to wonder if Hannibal and Will survived the fall, but, seeing as Fuller has a continuation planned out, it’s safe to assume that Hannibal and Will are the ones about to dine on Bedelia in the after credits scene. Hannibal and Will’s fate may be somewhat unclear to viewers, but fans such as myself are happy to see most of the characters alive and in one piece. The ending is true perfection, and the show could not have ended any other way. We started the series off with Hannibal and Will, so it’s only natural to end it with them.
I won’t be saying any sappy goodbyes or farewells to the show because I remain confident in its eventual continuation -- whether it is through a movie, a mini-series or even a complete fourth season! There is still so much story left to tell with regard to Will and Hannibal’s relationship, and I pray to the old gods and the new that we’ll have the opportunity to see their relationship unfold even more. If this doesn’t happen…then I’ll just have to stick to fanfiction! Until an announcement is made (fingers crossed), I’ll try to dish out Hannibal-related pieces, including best moments and the most creative deaths, so, my fellow Fannibals, be sure to keep an eye out for those upcoming pieces!
What did you think of the finale? Were you satisfied with how things unraveled? Let out your feels in the comments down below!