The season finale is upon us and I will cry myself to sleep tonight; for more reasons than one. Of all the TV series I have come to love (ever), Hannibal is easily in my top five. The show is visually stunning (I know, I know, I have said this a thousand times, but it simply cannot be overstated), intellectually stimulating, emotionally jarring, horrifying, and it makes me happy in my pants. So very, very, happy.[Editor’s Note: That sounded even dirtier than usual…]The characters are well stocked with terrible people who work toward the detriment of others, people who are naïve, people who are inept, and one or two people who are genuinely kind. And the best part? All of them are grotesquely flawed.Especially our hero, Will, and his nemesis/bromance, Lecter. What? Having a hard time accepting Lecter as anything other than a romantic lead? Trust me, I get it, but no matter how often he and Will get together and stare deeply into one another’s eyes – Lecter will always be Mephistopheles. Shocked the devil could look so good? Honey, you know he used to be an angel, right? That handsome face, the hideous yet well fitted suit, and all that luscious food is meant to seduce. It sure sucked Abigail in. But Will is finally starting to see the light, er, corruption, creeping up around the side.Also, Lecter cries during the season finale. He CRIES. Do you have any idea how much I wanted to blot those tears with Will’s tongue? [Really Gerri?] Full disclosure: Lecter cries, Will cries, Bloom cries. I will be crying next Thursday for want of the show. There is a whole lot of crying this episode. But I digress. Let us begin at the beginning.The episode starts with Will having another sweat soaked dream. This time he is in the woods, hunting his elk. Only the elk transforms into a man and Will wakes to find himself sweaty, sick, and dirty with mud splattered up to his knees. Oh, and there is a human ear in his kitchen sink.And who do we call when there are body parts in our sink? Our bromance.Abigail is missing. The last time Will laid eyes on her was in her father’s old murder cabin, right before he has an episode. An episode which happens to include a wee fantasy about killing her. Now her blood is being carefully picked out from underneath his fingernails and processed by Crawford’s team of FBI nerds. Oh, and speaking of processing, Will’s fishing lures turn out to be made from the remains of the copycat’s victims. Ruh roh.Poor Crawford; back at FBI headquarters, the disbelief is palpable. But not as palpable as the guilt. Everyone saw Will crumbling, no one stepped in to help him. Not Crawford, not Bloom, not whatshername the forensic lady. No one except Lecter. You would have thought HE would have seen SOMETHING.You know what Lecter sees? Shockingly enough, grief. His own grief for Abigail. He seems surprised that her death, although necessary, has had an impact on him. Perhaps because he could not keep his word and protect her? But how much of this sadness is real? Or are those crocodile tears? At the very least, Lecter knows that he is on a stage, playing for the crowd. And maybe that crowd is not just Crawford and the FBI; maybe the crowd he is playing for is us.Either way, Will decides not to stick around and wait for the inevitable incarceration (and torment at the hands of the recently eviscerated Dr. Chilton?!). He escapes during prison transit. How? Jesus, does it matter, apparently wackadoodles are just really fucking talented at escaping prison transports. Who knew?!And where do we go when we escape from prison? To our bromance.Will and Lecter have one of their sessions. Only this time, the tension does not come from suppressed sexy time feelings, it comes from the creeping dread Will feels. They talk about identity, they talk about perception. All of the copycat’s victims array themselves in Lecter’s office for Will’s consideration. The elk-man, now a devilish distortion, stalks him wherever he goes. He is so close. So close. And he knows it.So they go back, back to the beginning, back to the Hobbs house in Minnesota. In the kitchen, where Abigail had first been wounded, is a huge blood stain. She died on that kitchen floor after all.“Do you want to reenact the crime? You be my dad, I’ll be me, and you can be the man on the phone.”Will knows Lecter was the man on the phone. He knows that Lecter has been pulling his strings, “winding him up to watch him go – well look at me go.” Only Crawford (who just can’t ‘see’) intervenes at the last minute, saving Lecter’s life and sending Will first to the regular hospital to recover from his encephalitis, and then to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.Lecter is kind enough to visit, but only after his celebratory dinner with Du Maurier (during which you get the impression that there is another game going on; one where she knows both her role and the stakes VERY well). He stands outside Will’s cell, smug in his victory, well won over a challenging opponent. All of this has been a game, a personal challenge, where Lecter sees how far he can stretch his ‘human suit’ as Du Maurier puts it.And everyone fell for it; even us. That’s right. We root for him, fantasize about him, sympathize with him; but at the end we are trapped in our little cell, looking hopelessly out from behind bars, as the devil gazes smugly in.
Body parts consumed this week:My HEART. [Hopefully not literally…] Bryan Fuller, you are a dirty bastard. Oh, and Abigail Hobbs as a smoked haunch of veal.
How do I cook all that?BBQ Veal Heart:http://www.food.com/recipe/bbq-veal-heart-35484?layout=desktop
Den of Geek Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Awesome Stars