With “Hannibal” Season 3 coming to an end and the Great Red Dragon’s victims piling up, fans are dying (no pun intended) to know how the NBC drama will end. Can Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) stop Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Arbitage) before he kills again? The answer might lie in the season’s source material – Thomas Harris’ novel “Red Dragon.”
The scant synopsis for what will be both the Season 3, and seemingly the series finale of “Hannibal” does not reveal much. Will has a new plan to capture (or perhaps kill) Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Arbitage) after episode 12’s failed attempt lost Fredrick Chilton (Raúl Esparza) his lips, and this time Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) will be the bait. Will the plan work?
While “Hannibal” has always played things fast and loose with Thomas Harris’ book series, Season 3 has been the most literal adaptation of the material the series has produced. The first half of the season, largely set in Italy, was ripped straight out of “Hannibal,” while Season 3’s second half arc has closely followed “Red Dragon,” sometimes down to the exact lines – “Save yourself. Kill them all.” So, maybe the best jumping off point to speculate about what will happen in the show’s final hour is to take a look at how things went down in the book.
In the book, Dolarhyde kidnaps Reba, played in the series by Rutina Wesley, just as he did in episode 12 of Season. But after brining her back to his home he is unable to kill her, instead shooting himself. Reba escapes before a gas explosion destroys the house only to be found by Will, who had tracked Dolarhyde after realizing that the killer chose his victims after watching their home movies while developing the film. Will comforts Reba, telling her that the kindness she showed towards Dolarhyde saved lives, but in reality, Dolarhyde is not dead at all. He had faked his death, leaving behind the body of another victim in the house while it exploded.
Later, Dolarhyde tracks down Will and stabs him in the face. In the end it is Will’s wife, Molly, played in the series by Nina Arianda, who is forced to shoot and finally kill Dolarhyde. Meanwhile, Will ends the novel on the outs with Hannibal Lecter, who tries to write a letter to Will that Jack Crawford, played in the series by Lawrence Fishburne, intercepts and destroys.
Will the finale of “Hannibal” Season 3 match the ending of the story in “Red Dragon?” Fans will have to wait to find out. “Hannibal” airs Saturday at 10 p.m. EDT on NBC.
Watch the promo for the Season 3 finale below: