‘Hannibal’ Finale: The TV Series Is Over But The Story May Not Be

Hannibal’s finale aired on NBC last night, leaving “Fannibals” with quite the mic drop.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

In the last fifteen minutes of the show, season 3 — and the series — was brought to a close with a satisfying and bloody conclusion. With “Fannibals” mourning the loss of the show, the good news is that while Hannibal as a TV series is over, the story of Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham may not be.

It cannot be denied that Hannibal was a visual feast, and the aesthetics of the show were cinematic in quality. The writing, the acting, and the imagery all combined to give Hannibal’s viewers a unique flavor of Thomas Harris’s novel, Red Dragon.

As Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Mads Mikkelsen breathed new life into the well-known cannibalistic psychiatrist. Before the TV series, actor Anthony Hopkins was synonymous with the killer psychiatrist, but it would be fair to say Mikkelsen has become synonymous with this new and younger Hannibal.

Hugh Dancy’s take on Will Graham, the FBI special investigator who ends up developing an unconventional relationship with Hannibal, endeared fans to him and his character. The chemistry between Dancy and Mikkelsen onscreen was undeniable, and their acting had fans rooting for their relationship to evolve into something more.

It’s still quite a feat that Hannibal was on network television. When the series premiered in 2013, viewers were curious how the violence, especially the cannibalism, would be handled to instill psychological horror while also adhering to what can and can’t be shown on network television.

“NBC has allowed us to craft a television series that no other broadcast network would have dared,” showrunner Bryan Fuller told CNN.

Entertainment Weekly exquisitely summed up the emotions behind Will and Hannibal teaming up to kill the Great Red Dragon, also known as the Tooth Fairy. In their assessment of that bloody battle to the finish, EW gives a nod to Will and Hannibal’s relationship with its romantic overtones.

“They sliced and chopped in a beautifully coordinated act of violence, like master chefs working together in a kitchen, or more true to the subtext of the entire series, lovers rolling in the sheets. When they were finished, Will fell into Hannibal’s arms, the two finally becoming one, their symbolic marriage finally completed and consummated.”

In Hannibal’s series finale, Will and Hannibal successfully killed the Red Dragon. Afterward, they embraced, falling off the nearby cliff together as Siouxie Sioux’s “Love Crime” plays in the background. The emotions of the scene combined with the music made for pure visual poetry.

In a surprising twist, Gillian Anderson’s Bedelia is seen, post-credits, sitting at a dinner table set for three. When the camera pans down, it’s apparent her leg has been cut off and is the main course sitting on the table. Fannibals believe this is proof that Will and Hannibal survive their fall from the cliff with plates waiting for them by Bedelia.

In the novel by Thomas Harris, Hannibal and Will Graham’s relationship is thin, according to showrunner Bryan Fuller. Much of the appeal of Hannibal was a result of that relationship being fleshed out by Fuller in a complicated and delicate way where fans found themselves rooting for the duo and what they brought out in one another.

“The concept of the series is fan fiction. The relationship between Will and Hannibal was relatively thin in the novel,” Fuller said. “Giving them a friendship that changed them in a deep way, that felt like we were shifting the entire Hannibal oeuvre.”

Though NBC cancelled Hannibal, there could be new life for the series yet. In separate interviews with Variety and CNN, Bryan Fuller said a feature film allowing the story to continue might be a possibility.

“(Executive producer) Martha De Laurentiis is investigating financing for a feature film and there’s any of a number of scenarios. Shows have come back years after they’ve been cancelled, and I’m never saying never because… as creatively daunting as it would be to tell that fourth season of Will and Hannibal’s story, I’m very excited by that challenge,” Fuller told Variety.

Similarly to CNN, Fuller said, “It would be a whole new chapter, instead of the story being told. I feel like even though we end this season on such a great final note, that the most intriguing chapter of Will Graham’s story has yet to be told.”

What did you think of the season finale of Hannibal? Will Hannibal find new life?

[Image via Twitter]