*** Caution: Spoilers for the Finale of Hannibal Season Two Ahead… ***

For all those who tuned into the climax to Bryan Fuller’s homoerotic romance between Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (a/k/a Mizumono, the Season Two finale) what was left in the final moments of the episode were merely broken, bloody bodies. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) was tossed out a window. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) was stabbed in the neck and locked in Lecter’s stainless steel wine cellar. Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl) was revealed to be alive and presented as an offering to Will before Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) slit her throat. And finally, as he was in Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, Graham was gutted and left for dead as Hannibal exited in the rain and boarded a plane with his coy therapist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson). It was an operatic set piece worthy of Brian De Palma (and certainly reminiscent of the finale of Raising Cain), delivering geysers of blood and numerous unanswered questions as the credits rolled.

Now, Bryan Fuller is weighing in on what fans should expect come the beginning of Season Three. But don’t expect him to tell you who lives and who dies…because that would just be rude. And we all know what Hannibal does to the rude. 

In an interview with TV Guide, Fuller was quite coquettish:

“We are staying very true to in the incident in the novel with Will and Hannibal and it’s very basic outcome… There’s going to be an impact from what’s happened here. It’s safe to say that not everybody survives. Everyone that’s laying there breathing could be breathing their last breaths. It doesn’t go well for all of them.

One of the wonders of this season is: Will Alana survive and will Jack Crawford survive? Will Abigail Hobbs survive? Those are things that are going to be revealed very slowly at the beginning of Season 3.”

While definitely exhibiting a flair for the theatrical (as he has done throughout his entire career), there’s something genuinely misleading at the beginning of Fuller’s statement. He says they’re staying “very true to the incident in the novel”, which I’m inferring to mean the gutting of Will Graham at the hands of Hannibal Lecter. But if you’ll indulge the hardcore Lecter fanboy in me for a second (I’ve devoured all of the novels and films several times apiece…yes, even Hannibal Rising), you’ll see that this is a deliberately deceiving statement.


Fuller has already warped the timeline of the original novels to the point that it’s going to take some juggling for the show to stay “true” to any of it. Though Will Graham is wounded in the beginning of Red Dragon, Hannibal is caught and captured immediately after. Will retires, but is brought back into the service of the FBI by Jack Crawford (who was never in any mortal danger during the course of Harris’ books) in order to catch Francis “The Tooth Fairy” Dolarhyde. During the course of their investigation, Graham consults with a jailed Hannibal Lecter as to how Doralhyde can be caught. In turn, Lecter places Graham’s wife and child (that’s right…Will’s family is made up of more than dogs in the books) in harm’s way by publicly disclosing the address of his Florida home.

Fuller himself has said that they don’t even “get into the literature” until Season Four (which would be a direct adaptation of Red Dragon), so that leads me to believe that all of Season Three is going to be spent on a kind of fan fiction version of the “hunt for Hannibal Lecter”. But even after they catch him, it’s going to be fascinating to see how they transmorph the written version of Red Dragon in order to fit it into the series’ continuity. Technically, the first two seasons of Hannibal could be seen as an expansion of the flashback Graham has at the end of the novel. This reminiscence takes place at Shiloh, the site of a major battle in the U.S. Civil War, shortly after apprehending (and in the process killing) Garret Jacob Hobbs (a/k/a The Minnesota Shrike and father to Abigail). In it, he remembers meeting Hannibal Lecter, thus beginning their relationship.

Were I a betting man, I’d be putting my money on Season Three being a bridge between this prequel and the Red Dragon Fourth Season. Season Five is said to be the “Silence of the Lambs era” and Season Six will cover the Hannibal novel (in which we’ll hopefully see the return of Michael Pitt’s Mason Verger). Fuller has said that Season Seven will be the last, bringing “a resolve to the ending of that book”. But astute fans of the novels know that Fuller has already cherry-picked moments from upcoming tales (the end of Season Two is basically a direct riff on how the novel Hannibal actually ends, only substituting Dr. Du Maurier for Agent Clarice Starling) and changed the fates of certain characters who play key roles in the future (if Dr. Chilton is dead*, who the hell is left to meddle in Starling’s case come Season Five?). Furthermore, Fuller dropped this quote in regards to how the rest of Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham’s relationship plays out:

“It really is a love story, for lack of a better description, between these two characters. As Hannibal has said [to Graham] in a couple of the movies, ‘You’re a lot more like me than you realize.’ We’ll get to the bottom of exactly what that means over the course of the first two seasons. But we’re taking our sweet precious time.”

Granted, he’s directly referencing the “first few seasons” of Hannibal in regards to Lecter and Graham’s budding bromance, but if they stay “true” to the books, there is no Will Graham past Season Four. Does Fuller have the upmost faith in his fans that they’ll stick around in a post-Hugh Dancy Hannibal? Or is the overall storyline going to be changed yet again to include Will Graham in stories he never existed in? This quote from Fuller’s series outline last year is rather telling:

“[I]t would be about incorporating [Will] in a way that he hasn’t been incorporated in the books, because Will Graham was only mentioned in Silence of the Lambs, he was not seen, and so I would be curious to see what happens to Will Graham after Red Dragon. By the time of Red Dragon, he’s married to Molly and has her son from a previous marriage, but doesn’t have any children of his own. And then that relationship is more complicated by Francis Dolarhyde and there were suggestions that there was a not-so-happy ending for Will Graham after Red Dragon because he has his face carved up and you wonder what’s going to happen to Will now, and I’m curious to see what happens to Will after that.”

Needless to say, I’ll be tuning in to see how all of this ends up working. Don’t get me wrong, while I’m questioning the warped continuity, I’m in no way complaining. One of the things that keeps Hannibal so fascinating is the way Fuller plays with the novels, chopping them up and adding them into his own recipe for madness. It keeps even hardcore Harris fans like myself on their toes, leaving us to speculate while only Fuller has all of the answers.

Via: Screen Rant

*Though Fuller has been coy on Chilton’s fate as well: “many have survived gunshots to the face…”

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