‘Hannibal’ (Season 3): Looking to a Hypothetical Future

Hannibal The Wrath of the Lamb Season 3 Finale 2015

Hannibal, ultimately, ended in just about the best way imaginable. With our main characters – hard to call them heroes or even protagonists at this point – having more or less consummated their relationship in the bloody destruction of the great Red Dragon, Will made the sacrificial. He embraced Hannibal, and his own inner darkness, and took him right over the side of a cliff, Sherlock Holmes style. And while there’s still the slight chance Hannibal could return one day, this truly feels like the perfect close to the Will Graham part of the story.

At the midseason, I noted that the first half of the season could’ve served as a solid series finale on its own. I still stand by that, but it’s hard to deny the pleasure of seeing Will and Hannibal finally being honest with how they feel about each other. Really, take away the murderous darkness in both of them, I’m sure they could be very happy together. However, with Will realizing his inability to truly go back to his wife and son, he decided to end it all with the man he loves. There’s a twisted beauty to it all.

Of course, had the show been renewed, I’m sure both men would’ve miraculously survived. However, while I’m fine with Hannibal returning – there’s not really a show without him – I kind of prefer the narrative where Will dies or leaves the show. His story has come to a stellar conclusion, and I’d like to see him removed from the world that’s already taken so much from him.

So, in a hypothetical season 4 or mini-series continuation, I would love to see the introduction of Clarice Starling. OF course, The Silence of the Lambs has been wrapped up in rights issues for a while, but showrunner Bryan Fuller has recently dropped hints at the introduction of that storyline being a possibility down the line. And since this is all hypothetical anyway, why not imagine that possibility?

Truthfully, in the past, I was never that curious about seeing that novel adapted. As originally written, Red Dragon and Lambs are fairly similar narratives, with the biggest difference really being the investigator looking into the killings. However, Fuller’s team did a lot to bring original elements to their take on Red Dragon, while also enriching it with all of the world-building done in the previous two seasons.

So imagine how much fun it would be to see a new presence enter the halls of the Baltimore State Home for the Criminally Insane? To see Clarice interact with these versions of Jack, Frederick and Alana? Maybe it’s all a long shot at this point, but it’s the sort of vision of the future that doesn’t sting too much. This chapter of Hannibal has truly come to a definitive end. Should it ever manage to see life again, I’d be excited to explore it through new eyes. And should Fuller’s dream casting of Ellen Page become a reality, all the better.