(Well, it’s technically episode 12 because they pulled a previous episode from the air.)
I know I’m quite late with this one, but I thought that I’d put a quick review up of Hannibal‘s finale as well as its entire freshman season. But, mostly the season.
Hannibal came out during the time plenty of serial killer, demented antiheroes were gracing the small screen. First was The Following, then Bates Motel, and then Hannibal. And if we’re being honest here, Hannibal is the best of them. Somehow centered on a psychologist, with plenty of therapy time scenes, it stays magnificently subtle and macabrely brilliant.
Better yet, we didn’t get a Killing-esque ending here. Will was able to put the pieces together and realize that Hannibal was the killer they had all been looking for this entire time. Though it was teased that something quite Silence of the Lambs was going to transpire during the season finale, who could have ever guessed the tables would have turned? Will is the one behind bars and Hannibal is still outside and able to cause trouble. (I suppose if you had read the source material, you would have known that.) It was, as are most things with Hannibal, genius.
For 12 episodes, I’ve enjoyed watching Dr. Lecter and Will Graham develop some sort of rapport; Hannibal’s morbid curiosity with Will is one of the series’ strong suits. Other strong suits? Scenes of Hannibal cooking food, but I suppose that’s for another article.
What shows like The Following try to accomplish are vastly different, of course. The Following isn’t interested in the psyche of a psycho. Bates Motel is hoping to get into that Psycho psyche just as well, but they’re both playing for plot twists and turns. Hannibal is showing that you can have your cake and your questionably acquired meat course, too. The problem with something like The Following is that it made its FBI agents into … well, not very good FBI agents.
That’s always a problem when dealing with longterm villains that are trying to keep their secret. At some point, you’re going to stretch truth so thin that we’re not going to believe any of it. With Hannibal, it’s almost effortless. Even during the finale, when they find out that Will can’t draw a clock correctly, there are believable circumstances to not suspect Hannibal of any wrongdoing.
More so, Will has actually been growing significantly more deluded. How’s that Shutter Island saying go? People tell the world you’re crazy and all your protests to the contrary just confirm what they’re saying.
In short: Hannibal is a fantastically acted and written series. It’s just a darn shame that more people aren’t watching. Thank goodness that NBC renewed the series; the ratings may not have justified it, but the quality certainly does. Who knew you could get such raw, quality work from a network series?