How “Hannibal” wrapped up its lesbian storyline

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What can we take away from the Hannibal series finale Saturday night on NBC? For one, legendary singer Siouxsie Sioux ended eight-year hiatus by unveiling her newest song in the final, dying hour of Hannibal’s three seasons—both morbid and fitting, and we’ll take it. But it remains muddy as to why Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle) had such an off-and-on again presence in the final season, especially when she was on the verge of experiencing the blossoming relationship between her and Dr. Alana Bloom.

The last time we saw the two, they were dealing with Margot’s evil brother Mason, the status of his sperm and a Verger baby—of which were being housed in a surrogate pig, which Margot and Alana later found dead. The girls take Mason’s sperm directly from him this time, and then end up killing him by way of his eel tank. So, then, why did their storyline go completely dark midseason with no real resolve? 

As the season finale opens, Francis Dolarhyde, the Tooth Fairy Killer (Richard Armitage) is playing a game with Reba McClane (Rutina Wesley, also known as Tara from True Blood)—his blind girlfriend, but he’s basically torturing her at this point. For those of us who’ve only kept up sporadically with this last season, he’s the main antagonist from the Red Dragon novel and he showed up in Episode 8 to start some shit. He lights the place up after pouring gasoline everywhere. He claims he can’t stand to watch her burn, so he pulls the trigger on his shotgun. Reba makes it out alive and Will Graham visits her in the hospital. He goes to Hannibal where he now sits in prison a la the Red Dragon film where Hannibal finds his home in a glass-encased cell. He lets him know that Dolarhyde died, but he’s really come to say goodbye. “Ding dong, the dragon’s dead,” says Will. Hannibal asks if Will’s glad he came by to see him, and Will’s like, “Nah.” Fair enough.

3Hannibal13.1 Young hearts be free tonight.

Back at Will’s motel, he’s confronted and attacked by a crouching Dolarhyde, wild and unpredictable those Dolarhydes. They talk about how Hannibal betrayed them, and how Dolarhyde “chose” not to change Reba, because he’s “stronger” than the dragon. Will tells him he needs to change Hannibal. Will takes this info to Jack Crawford for one last FBI sting—take Hannibal into federal custody, fake an escape, and lay him right into the trap of Dolarhyde.

Meanwhile, Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) is still drinking, speaking in a full-bodied whisper, advising Will to think twice before he carries out whatever advantageous plan he intends to set in motion. “I’d pack my bags if I were you, Bedelia. Meat’s back on the menu,” Will finally says. She reacts by calling him a “twitchy little man.” But, Will isn’t afraid of her bottomless insults. “Ready, set, here he comes,” he whispers back to her.

gillian-anderson

Dr. Alana Bloom goes to visit Chilton, who we found out is still alive from his encounter with Dolarhyde, now disfigured and in a burn unit where he is quarantined to a tube. He tells Alana that he knows she set the whole thing up. But she has another set-up in mind. She goes to Hannibal to tell him about the FBI plan to set up his escape. “I release you into police custody, and Jack uses you as bait,” says Alana. He asks if it was Will’s idea, referencing Chilton’s injuries and how terribly wrong this whole plan could go. Alana says all his prison privileges will be restored if he complies though. “You died in my kitchen, Alana—when you chose to be brave. Every moment since is borrowed. Your wife, your child, they belong to me,” Hannibal says to Alana. So, he must be referring to Margot, right? He apparently agrees to the deal. Alana takes this info to Jack and Will, and Jack says they’ll kill Dolarhyde and then they’ll kill Hannibal. Will lifts his drink and he’s like, “Devil is due.” In the words of Fiona Apple: What would an angel say? The Devil wants to know.

Hannibal and Will meet up again because, you guys, they literally can never, ever say goodbye to each other. Hannibal says that the last bit of goodbye Will said to him was what they call a mic drop. Let us applaud the writers on this one: Hannibal is funny. Will tells him the goodbyes aren’t over because Will needs him. “Ding, dong the dragon’s not dead,” Hannibal responds. In some twisted, erotic version of what a breakup is supposed to look like, this would do just fine. I am Will—I need you. I can’t let this go. Hannibal is already looking for a new apartment, and he’s taking himself off the AT&T plan. Will, get the picture. It’s over. With less than 15 minutes left of the series, it’s also a giant, gaping travesty that Katharine Isabelle, who showed up via her name in the show’s opening credits, hasn’t made one final appearance yet.

The big FBI plan is in full effect. Will is riding in the prison van with a caged Hannibal seated across from him. Cop cars line the back road they’re riding down, and suddenly we notice one of the cop cars is actually being driven by Dolarhyde, who shoots out a fellow cop and causes the van to crash. He drives off, leaving Will and Hannibal to scramble on foot. Hannibal says he won’t kill them here, because he’d prefer a more private place. Farm roads aren’t private enough I guess. Jack surveys the accident later that night while we see Alana and Margot (finally!) leaving the Verger estate with their assumed child, fleeing for their safety perhaps.

3Hannibal13.2 Hannibal did good: The lesbians (and their kid) live in the end.

Yeah, okay, give the lesbian characters one final moment—silent, blowing in the wind. But we can assume what Margot is thinking: Once and for all, she is leaving the place where she was abused and mistreated, the shackles can come off, and she never has to return again.

Hannibal and Will end up at a house on the bluffs somewhere Hannibal says will eventually be rubble in the sea, because Hannibal clearly knows when the world is going to end and we don’t. The boys pour some wine as the moon illuminates the dark void when suddenly Frances shoots through the window—piercing through Hannibal’s expensive bottle of wine into his stomach. He walks in and tells Will not to run. So, Will takes a sip of his wine. Frances stabs Will in his cheek and shoves him out onto the patio. He says he’s going to film Hannibal’s death. Will pulls the knife out of his face (OMG), reaching around to stab the knife right back into Frances. Now Hannibal is back on his feet, but it’s too late—Frances’s dragon wings emerge on either side of him as he makes a beeline for Hannibal. Now, both Hannibal and Will are taking jabs at Frances. The camera is beginning to slow itself into a hazy final five minutes of guts and blood flying. Like monkeys, Will and Hannibal climb atop Frances in spurts, tag-teaming as they finally kill him for good.

As Siouxsie Sioux’s song begins, Will inches over to where Hannibal is perched and rests his arm on his shoulder. He lets out a laugh, a tug, and then pulls himself in closer to Hannibal’s body. Gripping him tightly now, the two take a plunge off the cliff into the dark. It’s the way Hannibal fans would want it—Hannibal and Will dying together in the end after slaying the dragon—from the earth, into the water, under the dark moon.