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Open discussion: Hannibal 3x13 "The Wrath of the Lamb"
hannibal, red dragon
By request, one last discussion post for the road. The livetweeting will be storified as the night goes on, both east and west coasts; I'm working on the "Aperitivo" recap as well and hope to have that done before I leave for Dragon Con on Thursday.

P.S. Keep watching after the credits.

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Fair warning: I will NOT be around to monitor discussion, due to the livetweeting, which goes pretty hard and fast. If things get out of hand, come get me on @cleolindajones, the Twitter I'll be on the for the night.


Edited at 2015-08-30 01:01 am (UTC)

Yay for discussion!

Though can we get a 'no spoilers in the comments until that moment has aired'? I know people like to comment during the show, and I know some people have seen it already.

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A LOT of people have gotten preempted (I'm still here for the moment), and it's disgraceful, tbh. Like, can we not have nice things just this once?

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Wow, live-tweeting is so much fun!

*CapeSwoosh and disappears*

Edited at 2015-08-30 02:43 am (UTC)

I'd say that I would really like a glass of wine now, but I've had most of a bottle (although an 18th-c. sized bottle, so w/e), and now I'm both existentially adrift and unable to feel my face.

My thoughts, I cannot gather them. So many feelings.

Did what I think just happened just happen, etc? I've never actually shipped them, but I can't read murder husbands as anything other than canon now.

So the after credits sequence...with Bedelia...

Anyone wanna talk about it?

I'm totally convinced it's a flash forward and that Hannibal and Will have come calling on her. Though given that the lyrics "I will survive" were also playing over that sequence, I do wonder if Bedelia could get out of death somehow, and 'only' manage to lose a leg to Hannibal.

Mostly I'm really disappointed in, I dunno, maybe myself and maybe the universe, that after 20 years of mostly slash fandom involvement the one time my show actually Goes There I'm not actually really that into the ship.

I mean, love the show, love the ending, it's just not My Ship.

I feel ya. I understand the emotions - and I understand how folks can ship it.

But I have dealt with too many emotionally messed up and manipulating people. So I just keep watching this being all "no no - this is bad - this is TOXIC - I don't care HOW they feel about each other GET AWAY. RUN!"

The ending didn't disappoint me persay, it felt like a natural conclusion. I just sort of feel bad cause Will lost his humanity and got absorbed into this toxic fucked up relationship. So I can't ENJOY or rejoice on any of the shipping cause, yes it happened. Yes it's canon. But I feel more like I watched a character fight and lose a moral battle.

1. Did I hallucinate this, or did @BryanFuller tweet during Episode 12 that Hannibal's line to Alana, "You saw the hole and let [Chilton] roll right into it." was a clue toward the finale's outcome? If this is true, what do you think the clue was about? Will and Hannibal both falling down the bluff?

2. I loved the sequence where the bullet shattered first Hannibal's bottle of wine, and then the glass window behind. I'm sure it's a popular trope, but I immediately thought about the dream-like, wackadoo 2009 indie film "Franklyn" which starred Eva Green. (Hey, "six degrees of Hannibal" and all that...)

3. Near the end we got this "reprise montage" of Dolarhyde burning away his old life, the Ledger, the (replica) Blake watercolor, the entire house... and we get a shot of his silhouette in front of the flames. Am I the only one who was reminded of that iconic shot of "V For Vendetta" where V blew up the concentration camp and the survivors only saw a black silhouette figure amongst the flames?

Edited at 2015-08-30 06:13 am (UTC)

Re: 1 it might not be so literal--it might mean that she saw that a colleague's decision was too risky/ was going to end badly for them and decided to let it happen? (as with Chilton and Will).

Word vomit ahead. I'm so sorry. I could try and talk about something other than the last ten minutes of the show, but who are we kidding. Though I kind of can't believe I have this many thoughts about something so open ended and semi-cliff(ha)hangery.

The plan to let Hannibal 'escape':
First, “I wanted to share with Lecter. Lecter betrayed me.” Lecter betrays everyone, sweetie. It’s his M.O. No one is special to Hannibal but Will, and Hannibal betrayed him, too. Will wants to use Hannibal to get Dolarhyde, and visa versa. So we’re back to that, sending killers after each other again, lol. I’ve actually lost count of how many times this has happened. But yeah, they’re going to transport Hannibal and fake an escape. I SEE NOTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG HERE. I've tried to figure out Will's head space in this episode, which I suspect is a mistake, because I'm not sure even Will knows what's going on in there. What were his real intentions? Another try at killing Hannibal (none of which he's been able to go through with), or did he intend to actually let Hannibal escape? Previously in the season, I was frustrated with Will's back and forth from Hannibal-like behavior to wanting to kill Hannibal. But when looked at in the light of the finale, as well as in the light of Will's struggle with himself, it makes a lot more sense. He has to kill Hannibal or become him. And well, he never succeeded at killing him, so… As an aside, Hannibal's behavior in the bungled escape was hilarious. Hannibal climbing out of the transport and casually getting the dead policeman out of the car while talking about Will needing to relax and stop worrying was glorious. “Going my way?” was practically flirtatious, as he chivalrously opens the other door from inside the car and shoves a corpse out.

The fight with Dolarhyde:
Will is just sort of standing there, watching Hannibal about to be executed, but before he can make a decision about stopping this or not, Dolarhyde stabs Will. And then you get Hannibal's angry lip twitch at seeing Will hurt, before he attacks and they tag team it against Dolarhyde. Really, the fight was over the second Hannibal got a sharp object in his hand, lol. But I think this next little moment was Will's point of no return. The moment after Hannibal had delivered the second axe strike to Dolarhyde, and he and Will are circling Dolarhyde, this LOOK passes between them, and it's like Will goes from fighting for survival to something more, to finding pleasure in it. Will and Hannibal share a look and you know they're finishing Dolarhyde together even though they can both barely walk, and then they're moving in tandem like they were made to do it. They just function as a unit, even when there's no time for planning, or even thinking. They were moving as one on instinct, in perfect deadly unison with each other. It only took them a few moments to dispatch Dolarhyde once they were working together, even though both of them were severely injured and Dolarhyde was quite the badass. That whole sequence was brutal and glorious. Like all of this show's fight scenes, the physicality of it was amazing. Hannibal was fully in his element (no one should get to look that attractive while swinging an axe), and Will was pretty comfortable in that element, lol. And Hannibal FINALLY BITES SOMEONE.

Yes, I think a lot of Will's actions come down to 'I don't know until the moment occurs.' Hence standing around sipping wine while Hannibal's bleeding on the floor (I lolled). And then deciding that no, he's not gunna let Dolarhyde 'change' Hannibal.
Although, however ambivalent he felt about it, talking Dolarhyde into going after Hannibal also served the immediate effect of stopping him from killing Will right there. It's the not telling Jack about that that's... sketchy. Did he tip D off to when they'd shift Hannibal, or is D just that good? ('Ex-military' is a great catch-all for possessing these skills.)

OMG just casually tossing corpses out of cars, 'relax!'. And nff that fight.

Edited at 2015-08-30 12:37 pm (UTC)

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The cliff dive:
After thinking about it, I feel like the cliff dive is totally tied up with Will accepting his darkness and his connection to Hannibal. Cleo brought up in a previous recap whether Will was a good man fighting his darkness or a dark man fighting to be good, and that really could go either way the last season and a half. Hannibal unleashed something in him, and there may be no putting it back. I think something in Will changed when they killed Dolarhyde together, and afterward he admitted it was beautiful. This show started with a murder that fucked Will up, and ended with a murder that fucked him up even more. But I think back to the conversation they had in Italy, about being conjoined, and would either of them survive the separation. To me, Will went over the cliff with Hannibal, intending to die. An actual death, or a death of the person he’s been to this point. Symbolically and literally, it was a fall. Not a fall from innocence, as Will lost that along time ago, but a fall from everything, perhaps. I don't think there's any coming back from going over that cliff for Will. I think he went over because he had accepted Hannibal's feelings, as well as his own. And I just think that after that, after they survived, Will was just done, and had already given into it. Going over the cliff, I think he thought something like 'one way or the other, this is it.' If he died, fine. If he survived, fine. But it would be the death of 'good Will' no matter what. That would be a very Hannibal-like thing to do (like flipping a coin on whether to revive Bella or not). Take a plunge and embrace whatever the result is: death or rebirth. And even though the line was not Will's, I can't help but think it has massive significance: "I'm so happy you chose life. Suicide is the enemy."

Beyond the fall:
I can't read the ending scene with Bedelia in any other way than that both Hannibal and Will survived. This show has fantasy physics, and fantasy logic, and fantasy 'how much blood the human body contains', so I don't see a cliff dive as that deadly. Plus, this was intended to lead to S4, and Fuller said there was more of Hannibal and Will's story to tell. I remember a discussion (here?) about the show possibly giving Clarice’s ending to Will, and it resonated with me as it would feel more organic to the story here. Because I can see Will actually doing this and going with Hannibal and letting Hannibal do things, and even do things with him, whereas I had a hard time seeing Clarice (who had always been so morally upstanding) do so and seem IC in the ending of the Hannibal book. I thought that ending might be coming down the line in a hypothetical future season, but I never thought we’d get it now. But since the show ends here, it’s pretty perfect (to me, at least). It's amazing how much it felt like a series finale because of the 'end of a journey' aspect. I mean, it's really the worst possible scenario, with Will embracing his darkness, but hey, this is the show of psychological horror. Running away with Hannibal is beyond fucked up. But at the same time, it's perfect for where these characters were going. Will has been leaning towards the darkness all season long. It's beautiful and terrible. This might not be good for Will, but that it’s an excellent ending to the series. Having Will spiral into Hannibal’s dark world is fitting. And really, I think Hannibal being happy and everyone else being miserable and fucked is a pretty fitting ending as well. Though if Will actually gave in to his dark urges, I suppose he’s not miserable. Will has had darkness for a while, and whatever life he's going to have with Hannibal from now on, I can't imagine he'll be anything but an active participant. Hannibal might be getting what he wants, but Will has walked into this with his eyes waaaaaay open, and by choosing it, it means he wants it, too. All of this is completely my take, but I just can’t help imagining what happiness looks like for Hannibal, and now Will, who by not killing Hannibal, has become fully like him.

I love your analysis; it's amazing how many things buried in our memories of earlier episodes, like that coin flip, have a way of resurfacing with new significance...

And yeah, I'm with you on the fact they both survived and I can well imagine that they've decided to place Clarice's ending with a character who it more truly suits at this point.

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Murder husbands:
I never really shipped them, though I was all over their fucked up connection. But whether they're together platonically or actually romantically, I can’t read the ending as anything but that they're alive and together. Though I see them more as twisted soulmates; it might not be traditionally romantic, but they NEED each other on a level that goes beyond any other relationship. (The way Hannibal looked so genuinely happy as Will embraced him, and then didn’t even fight as Will started to move. If Will was going over the cliff, so was he.) They find each other fascinating, and while they're not exactly the same, they can't get enough of how the other one works. They understand each other like no one else ever will because they're two halves of the same whole or two sides of the same coin, and they’ve finally stopped fighting each other. And it is SO FUCKED UP that I can't even, yet at the same time, it's perfect. I mean, I can’t believe this series isn’t continuing, but if it’s not, this ending has just left me with so much glee, I can’t even.

This is Hannibal's triumph. He's basically Satan, and he's done horrors to every character in the show including Will, but he wins in the end. He, almost impossibly, gets what he wants--a Will to kill with, talk with, confide in, and truly understand. Also, if Will really has given in, together they're probably the most dangerous team you could imagine. Hannibal Lecter is THE serial killer on a show of psycho killers, and Will's skills make him a nearly impossible to out-think. Imagining the open ended future for them with no more seasons to give us a story, I just sort of see them as murder urban legends. I mean, no one could even know they're alive at all, until it's too late for them, of course. Hannibal is perfectly capable of killing without showing off (his two year dry period as the Ripper), and now that he has Will, he doesn't need to get attention. There might be the odd murder that's suspicious, a murder that could have been them, but no one will know for sure. Plus, Hannibal might play games with his own incarceration, but having Will taken from him now that he finally has him is something he wouldn't risk. Keeping with the near-mystical, dream logic tone of the show, Will and Hannibal would just drop off the radar completely, only perhaps leaving a hint of their brutal existence before disappearing into the darkness again.

"I just sort of see them as murder urban legends"

Given Fuller's upcoming American Gods adaptation, I'm seeing a crossover fic as the New Gods of Murder/Cannibalism/Ridiculously Inventive Serial Killing.

I would like to note that if Hannibal is the Beast from the Sea (although he fits both the Beast and the Dragon, who is the Satan, that is the Devil), the beast has now returned to the sea. Just a little Revelation parallel there.

Edited at 2015-08-30 10:23 pm (UTC)

As an aside, does anyone know of a post that analyzes Will's changing clothing as he gets closer to Hannibal? That 'Everything Hannibal wore on Hannibal' EW article got me thinking.

No, although someone pointed out that Hannibal seems to like him in white. He's definitely more season 2 Operation Seduction Will fashion-wise, though.

Freddy Lounds lives! Not only that, but she was pretty much the only person to never be fed human flesh.

So, that final scene. Pretty much all the discussion I’ve read seems to think Bedelia did it to herself. (Which is ridiculous on the face of it, but this is show whose pilot had a man hopping from Minnesota to Baltimore with a pair of lungs in his carry-on, so.) But I could have sworn that was a MAN’S hand reaching for a carving fork, which I took as Fuller saying one of them had survived but we’d never know which one. What’s your take?

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