[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Friday's episode of Hannibal. Read at your own risk.]
Who's pursuing whom?
That's the question viewers are pondering during the penultimate episode of Hannibal's second season. Although the idea first comes up during a metaphorical dinner conversation between Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), by the end of the hour, the query takes on new meaning when Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) seems once again torn between his loyalties to both men.
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And yet, in this episode, Will is still fantasizing about slicing Hannibal's throat and feeding him to Mason's pigs.
Fuller: In that moment, what we're telling the audience is that it's still a viable option for Will. There is an element of Will that still feels the rage and betrayal of what Hannibal has done to him and can see satisfaction in that outcome. It's a moment where we need to be wondering about Will's psyche because he is entertaining the idea of cutting this man's throat and feeding him to pigs. Will, in a very odd way, has found his groove. He's almost magnetized to all of the surfaces around him. He can't actually connect to them, but he hovers in this very powerful place where he is easy to roll whichever direction he needs to roll.
Meanwhile, Jack doesn't seem very pleased with the games Will is playing with Hannibal.
Fuller: Jack is getting very nervous because they have been in this entrapment scenario for a while. We have very intentionally held off on Jack's point of view because it helped lull the audience into that seduction. Now that we are seeing where Jack is, we're seeing him at the end of a spectrum. At the beginning of that spectrum it was, "You hook him, I'll catch him." Now it's, "Sh-t or get off the pot." It's a natural reaction for him. He has made huge sacrifices to catch this guy he knows is going to be impossible to catch otherwise.
So, Jack brings out his backup plan: Dr. Du Maurier. How does Jack feel about how that interrogation ends?
Fuller: It didn't go at all as he wanted or expected. He was assuming, and I think the audience was assuming, that Bedelia Du Maurier would say, "Hannibal Lecter killed this guy. I saw him say some magic words and this guy swallowed his own tongue." [Jack hoped] for something that could bear witness to Hannibal's evil. He needed another witness, because Will has been playing this game with Mason and Margot Verger and Hannibal, and Jack has lost confidence in Will's ability to close the deal. So, he's hoping that somebody will come in and be his final bit of evidence that can incriminate this guy, and instead she incriminates herself after he just gave her a get-out-of-jail-free card. I would be very annoyed if I were Jack.
If he's lost confidence in Will, can Jack just abort this mission? Or is he too committed at this point?
Fuller: He feels very far committed, and he's hoping that his investment in Will will pay off. This is a man who already betrayed Will once and didn't believe Will when it was most important for him to believe him. He's in a really tricky position. What's wonderful about Laurence's performance in these last couple episodes is that you feel this is a man who's barely holding on to rage and betrayal and confusion. And yet, he's guided by his strength of character and his perception of right and wrong.
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Keeping Hannibal alive allows Will and Jack the chance to catch him still. But if Jack is now the bait as you mentioned, Will seems to pretty firmly put Jack on the hook in that final scene. Are Will's loyalties wavering?
Fuller: That's what we want to be wondering. Will Graham is at a crossroads, and we don't know if he is betraying Jack or if he's betraying Hannibal. He's betraying somebody, but we do not entirely know with absolute clarity who that Judas kiss is meant for.
Will we know by the end of the finale?
Fuller: Maybe not! [Laughs]
What did you think of the episode? Catch up on Season 2 of Hannibal here.