After recovering in the hospital, Will Graham began to see the recent killings in a whole new light and clearly for the first time. His insight and intuition threatened Hannibal's secret in "Releves," which forced the doctor to further implicate his patient/friend and kill to protect his secret.
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Hannibal has done an exceptional job pacing out its first season and integrating new cases, while not simply dismissing the previous ones. In particular, the way the Hobbes case and Abigail has been threaded through the season has been well done.
Poor Georgia. Yes, she killed her best friend, but she was sick when she did that. And, even though she's a killer, no one deserves her final fate. The risk that she would be able to identify Hannibal as Dr. Sutcliffe's killer was one he wasn't willing to take.
Hannibal used Georgia's isolation in a hyperbaric chamber to his advantage. He left a seemingly innocent plastic comb inside the chamber and it became the murder weapon. The tiniest electric charge inside set the oxygen on fire and she was burned to death.
An utterly horrible way to die. With her death, Hannibal no longer had to worry about being tied to Dr. Sutcliffe's murder, plus he could implicate Will in her murder if necessary.
Will Ties Together the Killings
After kicking his fever in the hospital, Will began to see the cases that followed Hobbes' copycat more clearly. He recognized the ties between them and took his theory to Jack and the FBI. They were initially dismissive of his suggestion, but after looking at the evidence they began to see the possibility.
Will also shared his extensive copycat theory with Hannibal. The doctor tried to dissuade Will from his line of thinking however the Doctor could, but he wasn't able to put even a tiny dent in Will's resolve.
Will decided to take Abigail back to Minnesota in order to start proving his theory. They visited the cabin and it set Will's mind in motion. I was surprised that the antlers were still there since they should have been considered evidence.
By returning to the site of Marissa's murder, Will realized that Abigail was used by her father as a lure to catch his victims. Will went into one of his dream states and envisioned killing Abigail.
She believed that Will was the copycat. And, then Will woke up on an airplane back home after another blackout.
Since Will made the connections to the various copycat murders, Hannibal was forced into self-preservation. He needed to remain unconnected to the killing, so he upped his efforts to frame Will.
Hannibal suggested to Jack that it was Will that was the killer. It had to be an inside job, since the copycat knew so much about the original killers' methods. And, who better to blame then the guy who was able to get inside the head of a killer.
Hannibal even played a recording of a session he had with Will for Jack and misrepresented what the tape meant. Jack believed Hannibal's assessment that Will could be the killer and moved forward under that premise.
As horrible as Georgia's death was in method, Abigail's was in betrayal. She put her trust in the wrong guardian. Will was creepy at times and definitely troubled, but he had her best interest at heart. She left him at the cabin after coming to believe he was the copycat murderer.
Hannibal on the other hand wanted to make Abigail his own. He set up her murder of Boyle to bring them closer, but ultimately Hannibal realized he couldn't let her in. She was a risk to his freedom and way of life.
When Abigail found Hannibal at her family home and hugged him it was bittersweet. He showed that he cared deeply about her in that moment, but that love or caring wasn't enough to save her.
Once Jack realized that Abigail helped her father with his killings, there was no protecting her. She would be captured and she knew too much about Hannibal's own killings. It was horrible to watch Abigail's face as she realized that he was going to kill her.
The final words: "I'm so sorry Abigail. I'm sorry I couldn't protect you in this life."
What Happens Now?
Hannibal will most likely try to peg Abigail's murder on Will. That could be either easy or difficult to do. Will went to Minnesota with Abigail and returned without her. Though, the timing could be a way to alibi him out for the time of her death.
Or, perhaps Hannibal will try to make her death appear to be a suicide? Though, I doubt Will or Freddie would buy that. And, a suicide wouldn't help further frame Will as a killer and the copycat.
Since Hannibal has been renewed for another season, it's unlikely that Hannibal will be found out. And, even if Will suspects that he's the copycat, Will won't be able to prove it. That would be a good thread to explore during season 2.
Will is going to be accused of being the copycat, but season 2 wouldn't be very exciting if he was behind bars, right? The addition of Hannibal's own therapist and the secret behind the attack at her office would be another storyline that could be explored next season.
At this point, I have no clue what's going to happen in the finale. There are so many different directions the investigation could go. As good as Jack, Will and the FBI are at investigating, I can't assume that Hannibal wouldn't effectively set Will up as the killer.
(Image courtesy of NBC.)