'Hannibal' Is Becoming 'The Walking Dead': Freddie, Chilton, & Abigail May Not Be Dead

When we told you last week that Hannibal's tabloid journalist Freddie Lounds was doomed, we didn't realize quite how right we were. The character, who is killed by The Tooth Fairy in the novel Red Dragon, was murdered in last Friday's episode, by none other than burgeoning serial killer Will Graham — and then he ate her! Or so we were led to believe.

Freddie's death comes close on the heels of Dr. Chilton's equally unexpected demise. (He's a character in both Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs.) We could stomach one surprisingly early death of an important supporting character, because that surprise seems like Bryan Fuller's attempt to separate his series from the popular novels it's based on. But two so close together? Now we're suspicious that Fuller is up to something. Is it possible that both Dr. Chilton and Freddie Lounds are still alive? If so, will the Season 2 finale of Hannibal morph into some bizarro version of The Walking Dead, with "dead" characters returning to life left and right? After all, it wouldn't be the first time an presumed-dead character miraculously turned up alive.

Miriam Lass

Everyone, including the FBI trainee's mentor, assumed that Miriam was dead ever since she disappeared while searching for the Chesapeake Ripper. When her severed arm showed up at a crime scene, it only seemed to reinforce this assumption. So it was more than shocking when she turned up alive — if not whole — at the bottom of a well. Since she only appeared in one episode after being discovered, it seems like the only purpose Miriam served — other than shooting Chilton, of course — was to reinforce the idea that nobody on this show is actually a goner until you see their cold, dead corpse.

Beverly Katz

Case in point. When Fuller decides to make a character's death unambiguous, he doesn't go halfway. Sadly, we know our favorite FBI agent will never be making a comeback (in the flesh, at least) because she was sliced into a dozen perfect pieces.

Dr. Chilton

The last time we saw Chilton, he was being shot in the face by Miriam Lass because she was brainwashed by Hannibal into thinking Chilton was her abductor, the Chesapeake Ripper. Did it look fatal? Sure. But so did that time when Abel Gideon removed all of Chilton's internal organs, and he survived that. Surely he could survive a bullet through the cheek. We know the doctor is resilient, and we know that he's a major player in the first two books in Harris' trilogy, which should be Seasons 4 and 5, according to Fuller's timeline. Isn't it possible that Jack Crawford is keeping Chilton's survival a secret to protect him from the vengeance of the real Chesapeake Ripper (aka Hannibal Lecter)?

Freddie Lounds

When the intrepid reporter stumbled across the bear suit of murdered serial killer Randall in Will's barn, the FBI profiler had some explaining to do. Especially when she found a human jaw in his freezer. Last we saw of her, Will was chasing her to her car, breaking her window, and dragging her out — supposedly to her doom. The next scene saw Will and Hannibal lovingly preparing a slab of human meat for dinner. Freddie scaloppine, anyone? If you're anything like me, you had a hard time swallowing the idea that Will had turned full-blown cannibal. (Pun intended.) The most popular theory is that Will explained to Freddie that he's trying to take Hannibal down by pretending to be his friend, and she's actually hidden away somewhere to aid his master plan. The meat Will brought to Hannibal? Actually the leftovers of Randall from Will's freezer.

And there's another "dead" character out there whose body we never saw, that I'm sure most viewers have forgotten about by now. And I'm equally sure Bryan Fuller wants it that way. To whom am I referring?

Abigail Hobbs

When last we saw Abigail, the daughter of the Minnesota Shrike had just connected the dots about Hannibal's true identity, and the cannibal was approaching her with murder in his eyes. Cut to: Will coughing up an ear into his sink. When the ear turned out to be Abigail's, we all knew she was dead. Hannibal had killed her and framed Will for her murder, right? Right?? But, as Miriam has showed us, people can survive when missing far more than an ear. Another popular fan theory asserts that Hannibal still has Abigail alive. Some think that's what Beverly saw in Hannibal's cellar shortly before he killer her: a captive Abigail.

So far we have one dead character who's already returned to life, and three more who are presumed dead but whose bodies we've never seen. While it would definitely be exciting to see these stellar actors return to the show, the idea of them all coming back from the dead concerns us a bit. Remember this past season of FX's American Horror Story? One of the most maligned parts of Coven was how characters kept dying and resurrecting over and over. If death is never permanent, then there are no stakes. Having not one, not two, but three important supporting characters turn up alive would inevitably cheapen the very real life-or-death stakes of Hannibal.

Then again, Chilton and Freddie still have very important roles to play in the story of Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. What will happen come Season 4 if these characters stay dead? Who will Hannibal spar with when he's locked up in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane? Who will Will use to lure The Tooth Fairy out of hiding? It may not be the best storytelling choice to bring these characters back, but we'd be lying if we said we wouldn't be happy to see Raúl Esparza and Lara Jean Chorostecki on our TV screens again.

Images: NBC (6)