Remember how much joy it gave us when Hannibal was renewed for a third season? Well, this second season finale (which would have made the ballsiest series finale ever, let me tell you) pretty much served as a reminder that the words "joy" and "Hannibal" should never really be uttered in the same sentence. Instead, it should be more like, "oops, everyone's dead now" and "Hannibal."

Tick tock, tick tock...

So "Mizumono" begins, and it's already different from the rest of the season. No, I'm not talking about Bella Crawford being in the previouslies (and a part of the season finale) despite really having nothing to do with this season's endgame. I'm talking the constant score in every single scene. There are some pianos, sure, but the prevalent noise (well, theme) is the ticking of the clock. The ticking of the clock to the point where I wanted it to shut up so I could think.

But really, I wanted it to shut up so I could be a little less scared. Something was coming, and it wasn't going to be the happy ending that Hannibal had imagined for himself and Will. Will really should have listened to Bedelia last week when she said that Hannibal was always in complete control. Oh, how he should have listened. But hindsight really is 20/20, now isn't it?

Tick tock, tick tock...

"I have a concept of you, just as you have a concept of me."
"Neither of us ideal."
"Both of us are too curious about too many things for any ideals. Is it ideal that Jack die?"
"It's necessary."

The episode is as much the culmination of the fight for Will's soul as it the literal fight that it builds to. Jack and Hannibal both want Will to "do the right thing," but when one person's idea of the right thing involves becoming a serial killer, I feel like it's a pretty easy decision to make.

Of course, picking Jack's side leads to the possible death of everyone he cares about (and on the show), so maybe you should always side with your serial killer bestie when given the chance? That's a life lesson you'll never get in public school. The more you know.

Jack and Hannibal both serve similar purposes on opposite ends of the spectrum, but they make one ugly man when merged together. That second part may not have been intentional (but really, that merged face is not attractive), as far as insights go, but I'm going to go with it. Jack and Hannibal together does lead to quite the bloody mess, so I think it works. Will choosing Jack led to this bloodbath, but to believe that choosing Hannibal wouldn't lead to a similar outcome? That's kind of naive, don't you think?

Tick tock, tick tock...

"Love and death are the great hinges on which all human sympathies turn. What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others—that's beyond us."

If you were keeping score at home—and I'm sure you were, because that's the standard way to watch television—by the time the episode ends, Jack Crawford, Alana Bloom, Abigail Hobbs (Hi, Abigail! You're alive!/Bye, Abigail! Sorry about your really sucky life!), and Will Graham are all bleeding to death in or around Hannibal Lecter's home. That's how the season ends. That's how the series could have ended. It's not ideal, but it could have been necessary.


What if this show hadn't been renewed? Who would we send our strongly worded letters to? Oh no, would the symbolic fan submissions to the network be severed body parts? "Have a hand… in renewing Hannibal." "If you don't bring back Hannibal, you won't have a leg to stand on." Excuse me, I need to go take a shower in bleach real quick.

Where was I? OK. When Jack said he was going to be wired and would have some sharpshooters set up outside of Hannibal's house, I felt a sense of relief. Huzzah! Jack can't die now! Sharpshooters! So yeah, I'm one to talk about naivety. Then that damn Kade Prurnell came in talking about things like "entrapment" and "the law," and I hated myself for that sense of relief. Relief is not what Hannibal is about. Hannibal is about tension. It's about unhealthy "love" and doing anything you can to keep it going. It's about everyone getting stabbed or gutted or slashed or thrown out windows.

It's not about Jack saving the day with sharpshooters.

Tick tock, tick tock...

"All our destinies flying and swimming in blood and emptiness."

The worst (or best, now that I think about it) part of all of this is that our protagonists sort of went through all of this pain for nothing. Why did any of this happen? Assuming that Hannibal really wanted to give Will that happy ending—and honestly, all signs point to yes—Will could have given in to his companion and found some sort of peace with a living Abigail Hobbs. Jack and Alana could have forgotten all about them. Jack could have finally focused on his dying wife. Alana could have found a nice man or become a nun. Freddie Lounds could have written a dozen best-selling books and bought hundreds of fabulous hats. The tea cup could have been unbroken.

Instead, Jack could possibly die before his dying wife, Alana will most likely be paralyzed if she lives at all, Abigail Hobbs is definitely dead this time (right?), and Will has no one to take care of his dogs. It's really not a more traumatizing situation than the entire premise of All Dogs Go To Heaven, but it's still ultimately the same results.

Tick tock, tick tock...

The credits roll and its… blue skies? I could just see Bryan Fuller's shit-eating grin during this moment. "Oh yeah, everyone's dying and Hannibal escaped. Cue U2's 'Beautiful Day'." Actually, if the show had played U2's "Beautiful Day," I probably would have lost it, in the best way possible, of course.

Instead we're given Hannibal on a plane to paradise along with his companion, Bedelia. How long has this been the plan? Is Bedelia with Hannibal under duress or are they fucking? Is it possibly both? I mean, this was the first episode where I ever really got the attraction one could have—in a sexual manner, you see—to Hannibal. Naturally, it was when he and Jack were fighting to the death, because apparently I'm in need of some deep therapy myself.

Yeah, I won't blame Bedelia if that's what happened. Will doesn't know what he's missing.

So yeah, that's how the season ends. Hannibal wins. The end.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to sit in the corner and watch the clock until the third season begins.

[Images via NBC]

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