In Hannibal's season finale, the characters were left questioning their own belief in what should be definite -- the evidence. Who killed Abigail? And, was it the copycat killer? With everything pointing to someone close to the investigation, they had to face the possibility that one of their own was responsible and a killer.
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The finale began with what seemed to be another one of Will's dreams, but was it actually real? One of the oddities of Hannibal is that it hasn't always been clear if we're watching a dreamlike vision and reenactment in Will's mind or if we're seeing an actual reality or memory.
The opening scene appeared to be a vision of him working out the case in his mind with the Stag representing his target. When he woke up filthy with muddy feet, it could have been a combination of reality and his visions colliding.
By the end of the episode, it still wasn't clear what was real and what was contrived.
Will Killed Abigail?
The audience is in an interesting position to know that Will has been framed not only for Abigail's murder, but as the copycat in the other murders as well. After waking up disoriented, filthy, and throwing up a human ear, even Will wasn't sure what happened.
The ear was real. And, he literally threw it up. There was no possibility that it was a figment of his imagination. And, while he didn't want to believe he was capable of killing Abigail, he did have that vision in her father's cabin of doing just that.
With the evidence piling up against him and his colleagues at the FBI believing he was a killer, how was he supposed to find the strength within him to recognize the truth that Hannibal was setting him up? He had Abigail's blood under his fingers, her ear in his stomach, he returned to Virginia without her, and even lures made with victims' body parts were found in his place.
When he read the evidence he came to the only conclusion he could and said, "I killed Abigail Hobbes."
Hannibal Manipulates Will
Even with the overwhelming amount of evidence against Will, he wanted to prove that he wasn't capable of killing Abigail and escaped from FBI custody. He went to the one person he should have stayed away from -- Hannibal.
The doctor used Will's fragile mental state from his undiagnosed illness to further plant the idea that his patient was guilty. Hannibal expressed concern that Will could be the copycat killer and how he would have done it.
He also suggested that Will got too close to Hobbes and completed the job the father wasn't able to finish by killing his daughter for him. Will's talent turned him into a killer according to Hannibal, "You catch these killers by getting into their heads, but you also let them into yours."
While Will didn't believe Hannibal, he wasn't ready to see the killer that was staring him in his face. Not yet, anyway. That was still to come.
Will Realizes the Truth
Before the Abigail was killed and Will's relapse, Will started to recognize that Hannibal was the copycat killer. After returning to Minnesota with the doctor, Will became even more convinced that he was set up and framed by Hannibal.
After reenacting the raid on Hobbes' home, Will realized without a doubt that Hannibal was the man on the phone that warned Hobbes. Finally. Will knew the truth. He told Hannibal, "I can see you now." He was no longer blinded to the man's true identity. Would he have pulled the trigger and shot Hannibal? I'm not sure.
We won't know because Jack came in and shot Will first and protected Hannibal.
It's Not Over
Even though Will figured out the truth, he was taken into custody again. Will's illness was diagnosed by Alana with no help from Hannibal. He was treated and locked up. Now, that Will knows the truth, what comes next?
The final moment of Hannibal walking in and seeing Will behind bars was iconic. Now that Will is mentally healthy, he should be able to see Hannibal for the serial killer that he is and make moves to prove his innocent.
"Hello, Dr. Lecter."
What will happen next? We will have to wait for Hannibal season 2 to find out, but Dr. Lecter has threats surrounding him. Will sees him for the serial copy cat killer that he is. And, even Hannibal's own therapist worried that his patterns were becoming too easy to trace.
Will may have a difficult time proving his innocence, but knowing the killer's true identity should help him find a hole in the frame job.
Perhaps, how did Will kill Abigail in Minnesota, when he returned to Virginia? He was found bloody, dirty, and with her ear in his stomach, but he was clean on the flight home. Season 2 should be an intriguing face off between two great minds: Will and Hannibal.
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(Image courtesy of NBC.)