HANNIBAL Season 2 Finale: “Mizumono”

     May 24, 2014


Clean off your knives and have a rest, Fannibals — there’s a lot to unpack here.  Hannibal has always been about the monster within.  Throughout this second season, Hannibal himself has tried to cultivate that monster in Will like he did with Garrett Jacob Hobbs and others.  After Will was finally freed, though, he was ready to implement his master plan against Hannibal, which meant pretending to go along.  Except, as DuMaurier warned him as well as Jack, if you think you’ve got Hannibal cornered, it’s probably because he wants you to think that.  Hit the jump for why “we’re all desperate for a little hope.”

hannibal-season-2-posterWhat an unbelievable bloodbath.  No, wait — scratch “unbelievable.”  This is Hannibal.  And yet, the show often displays a cool aesthetic with its violence.  It was telling that “Mizumono” ended in such a feral way for Hannibal.  Throughout the series, his violence, or capacity for violence, has only been hinted at.  He did engage in hand-to-hand combat once or twice, but never to such a bloody end.  In this hour, he chastised Will for thinking he could take his life, or his freedom.  This is Hannibal, uncaged.  You like him now?

Though it was Will who seemed to be the one goaded towards violence and killing throughout the season, it was Hannibal who was covered in blood and ready to kill at every turn in this finale.  His fight with Jack had been teased since the premiere, but the extent of that fight, and how many others would become casualties, was a surprise.  All of this was an elaborate dance concocted by Hannibal (and, apparently, DuMaurier) to snuff out Jack, Will and Alana.  As well as, potentially, the forever-beleaguered Abigail Hobbs.  How many times can one girl die?

Will seemed to be Hannibal’s match in this round — they both had a hidden girl they supposedly killed, but actually were saving for a later reveal; they both had people on the inside; they both played both sides; and they both committed murder as necessary to bond together and to control their mutual situation.  To think Will was really Hannibal’s equal in any of this was clearly folly, as Hannibal had apparently anticipated all of this from the start, manipulating each of the trio in turn so as to create this final horror show.  The logic for this reality requires something akin to superhuman abilities for Hannibal.

On the more human side, Hannibal gave everyone a chance (except, perhaps, Jack).  He told Alana to be blind, not brave, but he anticipated her choice, placing Abigail upstairs to kill her.  It was Will, though, who seemed to disappoint him the most.  It was a weird, tense moment when Hannibal, with tears in his eyes, almost seemed to want to kiss Will, before stabbing and embracing him.  To then slit Abigail’s throat in front of him was the final emotional blow.  “I don’t need a sacrifice, do you?” he had asked Will earlier.  Abigail has only ever been something to trade, from her father to Will to Hannibal.  It was a tragic end for an otherwise incredibly resilient character.  To trot her out just to spray her blood on Will was cruel to him, and to us.

hannibal-season-2-finale-mizumono-mads-mikkelsenThese elements of Hannibal are problematic, and I’ve spoken here and there about the show’s treatment of women and female characters (when did they all get so dumb?) Because beneath the exceptional graphics (which, thanks to David Slade‘s return, were beautiful throughout the episode) and the well-chosen classical pieces, Hannibal doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny.  It’s a show that asks its viewers to float along in its nightmare, hoping we don’t try to wake ourselves up.  When you do, like Alana did, things can get ugly quite fast.

Moving forward, the reality is that we don’t know who is actually dead.  Dead is clearly not dead on Hannibal, so any / all / none of those who got the sharp end of something from Hannibal might survive into the next season.  While a full purge seems crazy, Alana seemed to portend what would happen if they weren’t all dead.  “Nothing will stop them,” she says about Will and Jack.  They spent an entire season plotting, Will often from a jail cell.  This was their design.  And it failed.

What “Mizumono” gave us what a mini horror movie that started off like a regular Hannibal episode, and ended down a bloody, haunted path.  There’s still clearly so much more to explore with Hannibal, like his true feelings of betrayal with Will, and his shrouded history that the Vergers helped illuminate some parts of.  In the clearest part of his friendship with Will, though, the teacup remained broken.  But can he be forgiven?  We’re all desperate for a little hope.  Let the stag live!

Episode Rating: B+

Season Rating: A

Musings and Miscellanea:

hannibal-season-2-finale-mizumono-laurence-fishburne– Overall this was a great season for Hannibal.  The Cases of The Week slipped away, allowing for more character development within the season-long story.  It seems like that story was explored to its nth degree, though, and was given the space to be told before coming to one hell of a bloody end.  If everyone actually died, I wouldn’t be surprised.  Where do you go from here?

– This was Hannibal‘s Red Wedding.

– Alana brought a gun to a knife party, and still lost.

– Abigail, girl, what the hell?  Apparently the element of surprise and emotion is still the greatest weakness for Hannibal to exploit in others.

– Naturally, Garrett Jacob Hobbs had to appear in this episode.  It’s been a season without him!

– Hannibal sniffing out Freddie’s hair on Will, and that freaky graphic …

– Alana’s fall, her description of evil, the shimmering glass, the blood rain, the bloody tear … everything was beautiful and terrible.

– The details of Hannibal’s memory palace are apparently straight from the book.  I didn’t really need to hear all of that, but I did like the skeleton in the fire imagery.

– Admittedly, the first half of this hour dragged, but it was essentially so everyone could say goodbye (mostly Will / Hannibal).  My Lord, those last fifteen minutes though …

– “You moved my punctuation mark, Dr. Lecter. You moved my meaning” – Bella.  He does have a way of controlling women, and orchestrating whether they live or die.

– Jack removing his gun and badge was such a typical rogue cop move.  As soon as he was told he was under investigation though, I knew he was dead.  He no longer had the backup he needed to survive.  Further, where in fuck were the Baltimore PD??

hannibal-season-2-finale-mizumono-hugh-dancy– FBI Investigator Kade Prurnell (Cynthia Nixon) tells Alana that reality can’t hide the truth any longer, and this episode essentially did that for us.  Hannibal is a monster.

– “I forgive you, will. Will you forgive me?” – Hannibal.

– Few shows make me want to both cry and vomit so much at the same time.

– “Then this is the clearest moment of our friendship” – Jack.

– “I couldn’t leave without you” – Hannibal.

– Did anyone else think that Hannibal’s blood mustache was a little Hitler-esque?

– “We’re all desperate for a little hope” – Will.


Around The Web
  • AaronS12

    Well I loved this season finale and I’m so glad this is getting a third season.
    I would give it an A – especially for those final few minutes…

  • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

    Visually, this was the most stunning episode of HANNIBAL thus far, and that’s saying something.

    I liked this episode a lot, but it indulged in a trend I hate for shows that are on the bubble: the half-series finale. The creators are plunged into ambiguity not because the script demands it, but because they’re trying to find a middle ground where an episode can work one of two ways. If this were a true series finale, everyone would have died. Hannibal wins. The end.

    I think at the very least, Will will return. It puts him in a new place in season three where he’s filled with doubt but no choice but to keep going out of revenge. It takes his bloodlust to a new level, with Hannibal inside of his head (I wouldn’t be surprised to see hallucinations and dream sequences) as he tries to hunt him down.

    If they choose to kill off everyone, the only logical choice moving forward is to bring in Clarice, but I think it’s far too early for that. There’s still more places Will/Hannibal can go.

    The larger question is if Will would even bother to try and capture Hannibal at this point. Presumably, Will is now out for blood, and the only way Hannibal goes to jail is if he wants to.

    Overall, this is definitely the season I was hoping for, especially after Will got out of jail. Top marks. Bloody, bloody marks.

    • BSweetness

      While I agree this could have served as a series finale if needed, Bryan Fuller has had a clear 7 season plan laid out for the series since the beginning, and this fits right in with it. Changes can (and will) certainly occur, but anyone familiar with Fuller’s widely publicized plans for the show (and to a certain extent the books) knows the general direction of where things are heading.

    • World’s Finest Comments

      They can’t do Clarice yet because they’re still trying to get the rights to her from MGM. I think that’s why season 3 is a Hannibal on the run type of story instead of going into Red Dragon territory. It gives them more time to work out the legal issues in getting her, or at least create their own original substitute just in case.

      • Dab-Rag Jacob On Ice

        Yeah in an interview Fuller has stated Hannibal/Hannibal Rising as the two novels next season will delve into. Him being on the lam in a foreign country & contending with the vengeful Mason Verger. Also I guess we’ll be exploring his childhood & the sister he once had. Fuller’d said season 3 is Hannibal/Hannibal Rising, season 4 is the other half of Red Dragon’s novel, the stuff involving Francis Dolarhyde. (who was the perpetrator of the murder Will investigates in the opening minutes of the pilot) Season 5′d be the contents of Silence of the Lambs. Sounds good to me!

      • World’s Finest Comments

        I saw that same interview! And season 6 will be the other half of Hannibal and it’s own conclusion of the character.

    • edshrinker

      Farscape was able to keep the villain around by giving Crichton a neural clone in his head. HArvey. He was able to use the personality of his villlain as a guide in his head throughout the second half of the series. I wonder if they could use that approach with Hannibal in Will’s head – guiding him towards his own capture.

      • Chuck Finley

        Hey Ed – good to see you – slayme3 here from tv.com. How awesome was that finale?!?! Can’t wait to see what happens in Season 3!

      • edshrinker

        Hey Chuck! How’s Fiona and Michael? Nice to see you here!

      • Chuck Finley

        Hey Ed – good to see you – slayme3 here from tv.com. How awesome was that finale?!?! Can’t wait to see what happens in Season 3!

    • GrimReaper07

      I actually have loved the way both this and the previous season’s finales have sort of felt like they could have been series finales on their own. Not only does it mean the series will be completely different when it comes back (something few series do) but it gives a greater unity to each season.

  • Rjd12345

    Jack and Alana are probably dead. They didn’t kill off Will. He gets viciously cut open open by Hannibal in the book, and this was that moment playing out.

    • BSweetness

      Unless they’re making a radical departure from the books, I doubt Jack is dead.

  • World’s Finest Comments

    Solid finale, but I can’t help but feel incomplete about it. I feel like they were too preoccupied with going all out in case they didn’t get picked up, that they forgot to pause now and then to really examine the consequences of everything. Jack being cornered by FBI policies, Abigail being alive and what that did to Will and letting the reveals sink in just a little bit more. But it did it’s job, it’s making me come back for season 3 to see who survived and making me painfully wait a whole year to find out.

    • GrimReaper07

      Like Game of Thrones, they end each season with a bang and begin the next one picking up the pieces. I wouldn’t worry too much.

    • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

      I think Hannibal is one of the best shows when it comes to giving pause (at least within scenes). I suppose Rectify would be one of the few shows that gives more space for things to sink in.

  • Mike Sloan

    Abigail was there solely to be the one who died, so the bloodbath wasn’t empty of corpses. You can’t have Will Graham retire after season three only to be brought back on the case by who? It has to be Jack Crawford. He’ll die, but not yet. Same with Alana, it was shown she was shallowly breathing on the ground, in the rain, as Hannibal stepped over her. As for Will, he gets gutted with a linoleum knife by Hannibal, nearly disemboweling him in the background for the Red Dragon. Season 3 = Hannibal on the run, probably in Quebec, the French was a red herring, sorta. Season 4 Red dragon, dead Freddie Lounds, Tooth Fairy, Hannibal in a cell. Season 5 Jack might die and WIll could possibly take his place when they introduce Flarice Marling Buffalo Bill or whoever it’ll be if they don’t get the rights. Season Six, the return of the Verger’s after Hannibal’s escape. Season 7, Hannibal and Clarice, together at last?

    • GrimReaper07

      Fuller has been talking about 6 seasons lately, not 7.

  • Sajorij

    If this episode wasn’t an A, then I don’t know which one was. Clearly the best episode of Hannibal to date.

  • MJ

    What, no more nose tacos and tear martinis until next year?

  • Tim Brechlin

    I’ve commented about this before, but it’s really inaccurate to call your articles “recaps,” Allison. Recaps spell out what happened in an episode, while yours are more reviews / views. That’s fine — there’s nothing wrong at all with that approach — but “recap” and “review” are two very, very different things.

  • Steven

    Jack shall survive…………..I hope.

  • erasmus654

    I got the impression that that Hannibal only knew for sure that Will had totally betrayed him when he saw/smelled Freddy’s hair on him….

  • ally08

    I don’t really get this bad treatment of women stuff, Hannibal seems like a fairly equal opportunity killer.
    Yes Beverley got sliced up, and it was a damn shame but I never got the impression that it was because she was a woman, it was because she was clever and a bit careless.
    Better a quick strangle than what happened to Gideon or Chilton.
    Is it because the women don’t come across as particularly smart? I mean apart from Alana, at first, Bedelia or Bev? Well neither do the men, Jack, until recently, was living in oblivionville, Chilton didn’t call it either, Will is a slave to whatever is going on in his dreams at the time as well, he is half on Hannibals side, one quarter wanting to fuck Hannibal and one quarter sensible.
    So the complaint is that they killed all the women? They killed all the men too.

    • The_Dude


  • Greg Mauer

    Amazing episode. One of the best! Will I think may live. Jack? Alana?

  • Guest

    Incredible season from beginning to end.How fantastic was Will’s phone call to Hannibal: “They know.” – the exact line and circumstance from Season 1 when Hannibal alerted Garret Jacob Hobbs. Can’t wait for more!

  • chosen1

    Incredible season from beginning to end. How fantastic was Will’s phone call to Hannibal: “They know.” – the exact line and circumstance from Season 1 when Hannibal alerted Garret Jacob Hobbs. Gave me shivers. Can’t wait for more!

  • gwiz30

    Looks like I was the only one who didn’t like the finale. I guess I’m getting tired of Hannibal playing everyone like his harpsichord and achieving absolutely every outcome that he wants.

  • gwiz30

    Looks like I was the only one who didn’t like the finale. I guess I’m getting tired of Hannibal playing everyone like his harpsichord and achieving absolutely every outcome that he wants.

    • Steven

      You have a point, but surely his fall will be all the more rewarding when Will/Jack finally do capture him next season.

      Had he been caught at the end of the first season, it wouldn’t of meant as much.

  • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

    Hannibal offered Will the chance to spare Jack. Remember their conversation about Jack’s fate, confession and forgiveness. He was hoping Will would confess and head off the ensuing tragedy, but the closest Will gets is calling Hannibal once he discovers Jack won’t have backup.

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