Thursday, June 20, 2013

'Hannibal' Finale Review - 1.13 Savoureux

        On the season finale of NBC's Hannibal, Will returns from Minnesota without Abigail; Jack and the BAU team find strong evidence of Will having killed not only Abigail, but possibly being the Copy Cat Killer; Will is arrest, plans a desperate escape and takes Hannibal back to Minnesota to clear his name and prove he's being framed; but before he can, the situation takes another ugly and unexpected turn.

        Identity has been a huge thematic arc for Hannibal and its great first season of thirteen episodes. Every character inner turmoil about who they truly are and how they are perceived to others is a beautiful and poetic aspect of writing that has been to the benefit of everyone this season. Will knows who he is. He knows that he couldn't have killed Marissa or Cassie because he wasn't sick back then. And yet, the evidence mounts and desperation sinks in. Will is pushed to the edge and he's trying to hold onto any kind of rational thought. But what he doesn't realize is that the reality he's trying to ground himself in is the reality that Hannibal has deemed the best for himself. Hannibal Lector is a sociopath and yet he has shown true feelings of friendship for Will despite his manipulations of him. He has been able to hide his true motivations by getting close to Will and Jack. He, too though, is unraveling. He has to expertly keep up his facade even though Will confronted him on being a murderer. Hannibal's therapy on Will this season has been to push him over the edge and see what happens but unexpectedly it was this push that proved to be the most beneficial for Will to see Hannibal for who he really is. And yet, in that final scene, Will and Hannibal are in the exact positions that they feel how others see them. Hannibal standing confidently outside the cell looking in. Will inside in the one place that he fears the most.
        One of the truly outstanding things to watch as this show navigated an exceptional season was the high quality performances. Mads Mikkelsen was able to take this hugely prolific character and creating a variation of him that was truly unique and different that didn't feel like an homage to the past incarnations. Hugh Dancy is giving a truly captivating lead performance - on a show where he's not even though the titular character. His depiction of mental illness was the true foundation of this season's arc. It should be interesting to see how the show continues this in its second year now that Will's encephalitis has been cured. Caroline Dhavernas and Hettienne Park often got sidelined this season in order to give the leading men the ability to shine. But in this finale, both of them got some great material to work. How characters react is pivotal for a series. Alana and Beverly don't want to believe that Will is a killer and yet all of the evidence points to that conclusion. That sequence where Alana was screaming in her car was stunning and proved just how great Dhavernas can be when she's allowed to shine.

So what did everyone think of the season finale? What did you think of the homage to Silence of the Lambs? Can Gillian Anderson please come back for more episodes even though she is now starring on the network's Crisis? Why doesn't David Slade direct more things? Share your thoughts in the comments.