May 27 2014

Hannibal Season Finale Review: “Mizumono”

Published by at 10:00 am under Reviews,Television

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Hannibal’s theme this week was forgiveness, which I can only assume is a pre-emptive strike from Bryan Fuller against fans who will have trouble ever trusting this guy with their hearts again. Good grief; that was a hell of a way to close out the season.

As Bella and Hannibal discuss in one of the early conversations in “Mizumono,” endings grant meaning to all that came before them.* On that note, thank heaven this show got renewed. Can you imagine if that was the last we saw of this universe? Since the show gladly DID get renewed, however, we can comfortably talk about how massive it season finale wound up being.

Which, was pretty effing massive. Obviously, we finally return to the kitchen brawl that kicked us off thirteen weeks ago, but there’s so much other stuff going on in this episode it isn’t even funny. It’s really, really NOT funny, come to think of it. Hannibal’s iconic slow-burn style pays off as “Mizumono” comes out so hot it practically burns the show to the ground.

“Here’s to the truth… and all its consequences.”

fight

Pictured: consequences. 

The sense of dread settled in early, with Jack and Hannibal offering twin pleas for Will’s loyalty in the upcoming conflict. Brian Reitzell’s typically excellent score/sound design backs the first half or so of the episode with a persistent ticking clock . There’s no turning back now; only the march towards the inevitable. The “punctuation,” as Bella or Hannibal might say.

Everyone comes back. Freddie Lounds and Kade Prurnell appear early, and Prurnell probably causes more problems per second of screentime than anybody else in this episode (save the title character, obviously). The “turn in your gun and your badge” trope usually plays as a little tired, but this show earns through how far our main characters have trespassed the bounds of good taste in their pursuit of Hannibal Lecter.

Alana Bloom also manages to make a big impact in the finale, despite having been edged offscreen by the two leads for many of the past weeks. That creepy nightmare sequence kinda says it all; her final stand in Hannibal’s house is the mark of an innocent bystander who’s been consumed by the darkness inside these men. Speaking of which…

abigail

Abigail Hobbs! While some predicted this twist (after Beverly Katz’s shocked reaction in Hannibal’s basement), it hit hard regardless. I revisited her last episode from Season 1 the other day, and it’s really remarkable how twisted and tragic her story is in its totality.** Poor girl. Hannibal sending her out the same way her father almost did is a particularly gruesome grace note to the whole thing.

Hannibal, by the way, proves to be an even more cunning bastard than we might have predicted. It’s a tribute to his resourcefulness that he’s stayed free from permanent consequences until now. After all, Will’s had it out for him for something like fourteen episodes now, and that’s with a fridge that’s well-stocked with unfortunate remains. Dr. Lecter’s habits simply refuse to be usurped by something as frivolous as an FBI consultant knowing almost everything he’s been up to.

“They know.”

Two words that sent Season 1 into its nightmarish spiral. Two words that bring the blood-soaked Season 2 to its crazy crescendo.

Hannibal - Season 2

As soon as Hannibal busts Will for his true intentions, stuff hits the proverbial fan. “Mizumono” makes it startlingly clear: Dr. Lecter, freed from consequences of law and morality, has the capacity act instantly and drastically. We’ve known this guy was dangerous for a long time, but this episode shifts him into true supervillain status.

The final showdown in Hannibal’s house is absolutely crazy. It just keeps going and going; you quickly realize that nobody’s safe, but the realization doesn’t dull the shock as one character after another gets carved up by the cannibal’s knives. Their blood mixes as Dr. Lecter walks, nearly unharmed, into the rain. His violence is indiscriminate; no matter their reasons for being there, the characters’ fates are virtually the same. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Hannibal.

“I gave you a rare gift, but you didn’t want it.”

Bizarrely, and almost touchingly, the final conversation Will and Hannibal share may also be their most emotional. Hannibal seems to really feel Will’s betrayal; he exhibits an anger and sadness that’s genuinely shocking for the character. And with that, let’s take a moment to verbally reiterate just how brilliant Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy have been in this show. These are two of TV’s best performances in two of its most demanding roles, and their sick bromance is easily one of the most fascinating things I’ve had the pleasure of watching over the past two years.

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So… how many of these people are dead? There was a LOT of blood staining Dr. Lecter’s floorboards as the credits began to roll. But… surely they wouldn’t kill off everybody. Right? They haven’t even gotten to the books yet, and Will’s pretty central there. As is Jack, I believe.

Then again, this show is insane. There’s always the chance that “Mizumono” was Fuller’s “Red Wedding” and we’ll simply have a whole new thing going next year.

Season Three. Now.

FOOTNOTES:

*Quick note: Love the production design element of her wallpaper. Wilted flowers… nice touch.

**Also of note: How well they kept her name in the air this year, despite her presumed death.





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7 responses so far

  • Léo Said-Hedouga

    Still recovering from the finale, just a quick message to tell you how much I enjoyed your reviews and I hope you’ll review season 3 next year. (and if the tv powers that be are merciful, the other seasons after that).
    PS: What are your thoughts on the plane scene at the very end?

    • David R

      Hey, thanks! I’d love to keep it up when the show returns; this was my first time doing a weekly review of a series and I felt like I sorta got the hang of it in the back half of the season.

      With the plane scene, I’m basically just intrigued. Dr. du Maurier has proven over and over that she’s two things: Hard to pin down, and very scared of Hannibal Lecter. How these will come into play now that they’re together, is pretty much anybody’s guess as far as I’m concerned.

  • itsnotoveryet11

    I spent the whole season convinced Abigail was alive because it seemed so suspicious for a show that turns murder scenes into sick art to not show her body.
    Yet I was still in total shock at her appearance, it felt like a punch to the gut.

    • robinvik1 .

      Hannibal only puts the rude on display. Abigail wasn’t rude.

  • Dzuksi

    Season 2 of Hannibal is better than season 4 of Game of thrones. There! I said it! Well, at least for me.

    That was epic finale for the season, beautiful, bloody, well paced, with fantastic atmosphere and sound. Perfect episode. And that airplane scene was icing on the cake. If Hannibal planned it all from beginning, then he is just one of the most twisted characters ever. Also, love the way how he smelled Freddie on Will.

    I hope that Jack and Will survive, but Fuller himself said that we will not know fates of the characters until episode 2 of season 3, since first episode will focus only on Hannibal and Bedilia.

    • David R

      You’re not alone. Hannibal is my favorite show anywhere on television right now.

      The hair sniff is another scene that, like the gun/badge thing, could have come off as a really lame cliche-type thing. Fortunately this show knows how to set up and sell those sorts of moments so that they just play like the dramatic turns that they are.

  • Frothy_Ham

    This show just pushes all of my buttons on every single level. Most of the time, I have to admit that I’m multi-tasking while watching TV, either on my laptop, or smartphone, playing games, etc…but not with this show.

    Each episode, I put aside all distractions and allow the show to transport me to another world. I’ve joked before with my wife, that due to the combination of the cinematography, visual effects, and the score…I’m never quite sure that I’m actually watching the show while it’s on, it feels so utterly surreal that I almost think I might be dreaming it, it’s only when I push pause that the reality of my living room comes back into view.

    A few notes of my own, just random thoughts about what we’ve seen so far. The show has done such an excellent job of endearing us to Hannibal (the character). We are aware logically that he’s done absolutely horrible things to people who did nothing to deserve them, but it was done with such charm and often concealed in a way so that we failed to glimpse the acts themselves. This felt like the first time however that we really glimpsed the true beast beneath the skin…the merciless killing machine, and it’s the first time I was actually scared by him. It’s just a testament to the actors, scriptwriters and directors that they were able to pull this off.

    A true work of art.

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