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'Hannibal' finale recap: We all knew it had to end here

Season 2 | Episode 13 | “Mizumono” | Aired May 23, 2014

We started this season with an epic fight between Hannibal and Jack Crawford that ended with Jack bleeding from a vicious stab to the carotid, followed by the subtitle “12 Weeks Earlier.”

Well, it’s been 12 weeks. As I wrote in that first recap, past is prologue, and we have come full circle. I don’t know what’s coming in the next hour but, as I like to say to my passengers from time to time — get in, sit down, strap in and hold on.

Previously, Will suggested to Hannibal that he should give Jack Crawford what he wants, and I’m sure he thought it was his idea that got Hannibal to agree that he should give Jack the Chesapeake Ripper — but now that I watch that again, I’m not so sure. I think Hannibal means to give Jack the Ripper in a very personal way. As we see Hannibal writing a dinner invitation to Jack, I have a very bad feeling about this.

Even as Will and Hannibal talk, I’m more aware of just how little Will seems to understand that he’s being played. It’s one of those conversations that’s all innuendo and poetic flow between the two of them, but I’m pretty sure Hannibal’s lulling Will into a false sense of security that he has the entire situation under control.

Jack thinks he has it under control as well. He tells Will he’ll be wearing a wire, and that he has sharpshooters with a line of sight on all the windows.

The scene is shot in an interesting way. Will stays seated in a chair and talks alternately with Jack and Hannibal. Two sides of the same man and the same plan. That duality brought into clear focus. Both Jack and Hannibal ask, “When the moment comes, will you do what needs to be done?” and Will’s two sides merge.

I wonder what Will Graham thinks need to be done. Is he the hunter or the hunted? Who knows?

It seems fitting that we’re checking in with Bella Crawford. She’s not well. She and Hannibal are talking about the idea of forgiveness. I’m not going to be able to put this scene into words effectively. Suffice it to say, Gina Torres is amazing. There’s so much tenderness and anger in what she feels for Jack and Hannibal, respectively. She’s pissed that Hannibal took her choice away by bringing her back, but she thinks he did it to be there for Jack, and asks him if he’ll be there for Jack after she’s gone.

Bella, my love, if you knew what he had planned, I fully believe you’d go all Zoe Washburne on his ass no matter how sick you were. Annnnd, now I’m all full of feels because the husband-wife connection makes this so poignant. Damn you, Bryan Fuller.

On the other side of death, Freddie Lounds is discussing her resurrection with Will. Whatever all of this has done, it’s given her a new life. The girl who was once a cancer editor for a supermarket tabloid (lucrative work because hope sells) will have much bigger stories to write. But not about Abigail Hobbs, if Will has his way. He suggests that she can write about him or write about Hannibal, but leave Abigail to rest in peace.

Freddie notes that Will doesn’t sound like he thinks he’ll come out of this alive. I agree. It feels like Will is wrapping up his affairs, so to speak.

So is Hannibal. He and Will are having a little book-burning party. Hannibal’s notes on his patients, including Will, are being burned in the office fireplace in preparation for Hannibal’s disappearance. The plan seems to be for Hannibal to get the heck outta Dodge and for Will to go along.

They’re discussing what they really need in their new life. Hannibal has his memory palace. Will just needs a stream. Interestingly, Hannibal suggests that his memory palace will be of help if he’s ever apprehended. But that memory palace is even more useful than we want it to be as Hannibal, who’s sensually close to Will, takes a sniff. Oh, no. Oh, shit. Will Graham, you idiot. You didn’t.

Yeah. He did. He forgot to shower and change clothes after seeing Freddie, and Hannibal can smell her. His memory palace brings her right to mind and all of a sudden, Hannibal looks very unhappy.

Let’s check in with Alana. It’s been a while since we did that, and I admit that I don’t like her much these days. Still, I know I’m not being kind. Alana is … dark right now. She’s telling Will about her dreams and her dreams are dark. She’s drowning in the darkness and feels poisoned.

However, she does see things more clearly, and she’s asking Will if maybe, while he thinks he’s goading Hannibal, Hannibal’s goading him. How can he be sure? Will admits he can’t.

I don’t know who this woman is with a tear rolling down her face. Maybe Margot? Hard to tell. The tear drops and hits the table. Blood mingling with tears. Uh-oh.

Hannibal has laid a table for dinner. How do I describe it? It looks cracked open. Burst pomegranate and a carcass at the center. I hope he and Will are finishing dinner, not starting. It looks like … I dunno, like pestilence came through. It’s freaky. I’m pretty sure I’m meant to be freaked out as Hannibal asks Will if he knows what an imago is. An insect in the last stage of transformation.

My Spidey sense is clanging right now.

An imago is also used in psychology, Hannibal explains. The image of a loved one buried in the unconscious. An ideal.

Clang again.

He goes on to add that they both have an ideal image of the other. But nether is. He then asks if it’s ideal that Jack Crawford die.

This is a test, Will. Tell me you feel that.

Nope. Will totally whiffs the ball. He says it’s necessary and preordained.

Hannibal offers that they can leave right now. (WILL, WAKE UP. HE’S TESTING YOU. TAKE THE OUT.)

I wish I could tell you Will got it. But nope. He whiffs it in spectacular fashion. He says that Jack wants justice and the truth and, while those things are true, we know that Hannibal knows it’s a trap. (If you just heard that in Admiral Ackbar’s voice, you are SO my people.)

The next moment is Mads Mikkelsen being flawless. Without a word and barely a change of expression, we see Hannibal’s sadness as he realizes that Will is not what he thought, and that now he has to die.

Bryan Fuller succeeds in making you feel bad for Hannibal Lecter for deciding someone has to die. That’s talent.

Things aren’t going so well for Jack either. Agent Kade Purnell (Cynthia Nixon) is holding an inquiry into his plan to “entrap” Hannibal and putting him on forced compassionate leave. Alana tries to go to bat for him, but Purnell is actually the adult in the room here, reminding Alana that the only confirmed murder in this case was committed by Will Graham. Jack Crawford hid all of this from the FBI. Misused the power of the office.

Purnell is issuing warrants for Jack and Will for conspiracy to commit entrapment.

But Alana knows something Purnell doesn’t. Jack is not going to let a warrant or lack of a badge stop him from catching Hannibal. Because Jack knows there’s only one way they’ll ever catch Hannibal, and that’s in the act.

Which is why it’s so hard seeing Jack kiss a sleeping Bella goodbye.

Alana manages to tip off Will just as the feds roll up, and Will gets a call off to Hannibal with two words. “They know.”

<insert string of curse words here>

Jack arrives at Hannibal’s, and we arrive back at the beginning. The conversation is brief (and not in the clip below), but it all boils down to Jack saying, “I know what you are.” Of course, this wasn’t the plan, so we have no sharpshooters. No wire. Just Jack ready to kill Hannibal Lecter for pretty much ruining his life.

The fight is on.

What we didn’t know 12 weeks ago is that Alana was there. She shows up and, upon hearing the fight inside Hannibal’s, she calls 911 saying she’s reporting gunshots. She has a gun. It seems she means to shoot someone.

Jack’s locked in the pantry, bleeding. Hannibal has got two knives, is covered in blood, and is banging into the door to get at Jack when Alana comes into the room, gun drawn.

I know I’m supposed to feel bad for Alana as she goes on about how blind she was, but I’m amused by something simple. Alana can barely manage a whisper as she asks, “Where’s Jack?” and Hannibal answers back in a mocking whisper, “In the pantry.” I’d have shot him right there.

She’s not amused. He suggests she can stay blind. She can walk away. He won’t “call on her” if she goes now, but if she stays, he’ll kill her.

She pulls the trigger.

Just like Will and the hints earlier. Whiff. Misfire or no bullets, I dunno. But she just tried to shoot him and failed. ALANA, YOU IN DANGER, GIRL.

She keeps trying to fire. No luck. Hannibal tells her he took her bullets.


She turns to run (upstairs?) and into (I think) Hannibal’s bedroom, where she finds and loads bullets. As she hears Hannibal, she fires through the door. We see a figure, but did she hit him?

As she stands there, we see a figure from the side. How the hell did Hannibal get in there? Alana turns. It’s not Hannibal. It’s Abigail Hobbs (OMG), who apologizes to Alana and then pushes her out the window.

It just hit me. The girl with the blood tears was Abigail!

A taxi is pulling up, and here comes Will. He finds Alana, who tells him that Jack is inside as he calls for an ambulance. It’s started to rain. Will leaves Alana lying there as the rain turns to blood.

Will is searching the house, gun drawn, and comes face-to-face with a crying Abigail. He’s stunned. He asks her where Hannibal is.


Annnnnd, this is the moment I thought wouldn’t come when I thought Jack was the reason Hannibal got caught all those weeks ago. The one where Hannibal guts Will Graham.

It seems he’s made a place for Abigail in Will’s world, and Will has a new place because he betrayed Hannibal Lecter.

Hannibal sounds almost like a jilted lover. He let Will see him, know him. He gave Will a rare gift and Will didn’t want it. He’s disappointed, but says he forgives Will. Does Will forgive him?

Will’s shaking his head, not because of the forgiveness thing, but because he knows something is wrong here. Very wrong, as Hannibal asks Abigail to come to him.

And slits her throat. Killing her again. A second death, just to torture Will Graham, whom he then leans down and reminds that he can just let go and wade into the quiet of the stream. He leaves Will there dying next to Abigail Hobbs, both of them covered in their own blood, as he walks out into the rain.

We see Jack, still alive but barely holding on, clutching his phone and dialing Bella. We see Will raise his head to see a dying Ravenstag on the kitchen floor, gasping for breath.

As everything fades to black.

The credits roll on a cloudy sky, and we see a very nice flight attendant offering champagne and orange juice to passengers in lilting French. She comes upon Hannibal, who asks for one and turns to ask his seatmate if she’d like something. But Bedelia DuMaurier responds with a “no” and turns to look — no, to gaze — at Hannibal, who takes a sip and leans back. Savoring … everything.

So ends Hannibal season 2.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank you for reading this. I’d like to thank Bryan Fuller for creating an amazing show.

But mostly, I’d like to thank the powers that be that we get a hiatus. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna need some time to recover.

Hannibal on NBC


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