Predictions For 'Hannibal's Season 2 Finale: Hannibal Could Finally Get Caught

Friday night on NBC is undoubtedly going to be a bloody good affair: it's time for the Season 2 finale of NBC's Hannibal titled "Mizumono." How could it not be great when you've got a brilliant serial killing cannibal and a mentally unbalanced FBI profiler locked in a battle of wits with the lives of a few mere mortals hanging in the balance? Bryan Fuller, the creator and executive producer of Hannibal, has rarely left fans wanting more when it comes to thrills, chills, and gore... and there's no reason to believe that this episode will be any different. But while Fuller has been fairly forthcoming with his long-term Hannibal plan for the show, he's been pretty cagey about the details surrounding "Mizumono" specifically.

The early half of Season 2 dealt primarily with Will attempting to secure his release from the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane after Hannibal framed him as the Chesapeake Ripper. Will eventually managed to prove his innocence, but Hannibal simply pinned his own crimes on another scapegoat: Dr. Chilton, who was then murdered by Miriam Lass. The latter half of the season has revolved around Will's increasingly complicated attempts to bring Hannibal to justice, which lately has involved befriending the serial killer and pretending to convert to his cannibalistic ways. This all comes to a head tonight. And we've got so many questions about what's about to go down.

What is mizumono?

First of all, let's talk about that title. All the episodes this season have been named after Japanese cuisine — just like all the Season 1 episodes were named after traditional French dishes. "Mizumono" is a seasonal dessert that may be fruit, confection, ice cream, or cake. Basically, it's anything that's sweet and served at the end of a meal. The mizumono pictured above is roasted figs stuffed with concord grapes, covered in a dried yuba sheet and an edible tea leaf, garnished in maple sugar dust. Yum.

Curiously, mizumono never contains meat, which makes it antithetical to Hannibal as a character. Hopefully that means the finale will be as sweet as the dessert sounds, and we'll finally see Will get justice for all the wrongs that Hannibal has committed against him.

Will Hannibal finally get caught?

Though it's clear from the brutal brawl between Hannibal and Jack that opened the season that the FBI will finally become aware of Hannibal's true nature, don't necessarily take that to mean they'll have the killer in handcuffs in the finale. We'll see the end result of that fight-to-the-death tonight, but whatever happens, expect Hannibal to get away. Why are we so confident that Hannibal won't be in jail by the end of the season?

Back when Hannibal was first starting out, Fuller very clearly laid out his long-term plan for the series. He envisioned a seven-year arc with Seasons 1 through 3 all being prequel to the novels, Seasons 4 though 6 would be adaptations of Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, and then Season 7 would be his own conclusion to the saga. His outline for the prequel seasons was clear: a bromance, a break-up, and a fugitive. Season 1 was about Will and Hannibal meeting and becoming interested in each other. Season 2 was about the messy end of their relationship. And Season 3 would be about Hannibal on the run after the FBI realizes he's the Chesapeake Ripper.

Unless Fuller's seven-year plan has been condensed out of fear of cancellation (Hannibal has been firmly on the cancellation bubble for two years in a row), then expect to see Hannibal evade capture tonight and become a dangerous fugitive.

Whose side is Will really on?

The official summary for "Mizumono" releases by NBC begins, "The trap for Hannibal has been set, but whose side is Will really on?" That has essentially been the central question of the entire season, and we should get an answer in tonight's episode. As Dr. Du Maurier put it in last week's episode, "If you think you're about to catch Hannibal, that's because he wants you to think that. Don't fool yourself into thinking he's not in control of what's happening."

If Hannibal is the one who's actually in control, has he somehow manipulated Will into being on his side? What Hannibal does isn't coercion, it's persuasion (according to Dr. DuMarier). Last week's episode ended with Will encouraging Hannibal to reveal to Jack his true identity as the Chesapeake Ripper. Is he betraying Hannibal by encouraging him to expose himself? Or has he been persuaded by Hannibal into betraying Jack, and is encouraging his frenemy to kill his boss? We'll find out tonight.

Who's forgiving who?

Fuller has said that "the finale is all about forgiveness."

We don't choose forgiveness, it just appears one day in our hearts and in our consciousness. When you think about all the acts of duplicity and betrayal that have been woven through this second season, it feels like an appropriate concept to explore.

But who exactly will be forgiving who? The characters of Hannibal don't really seem like a forgiving bunch. Will Jack forgive Hannibal for trying to kill him? Will Hannibal forgive Will for trying to trap him? Will Will forgive Hannibal for framing him? Will Alana forgive Hannibal for being a cannibal? It'll be interesting to see who has it in their heart to absolve anyone in this sorry bunch of their guilt.

How will Alana react to the truth about Hannibal?

We know that Hannibal's friend with benefits will discover the truth about him tonight, thanks to a glimpse in the promo of her interrupting his brawl with Jack. But how will the doctor react to learning that her lover is a serial killer? She has a gun in her hand in the promo. Will she use it? She has grown distant from former crush Will this season since he tried to have Hannibal murdered. Will she forgive him once she realizes that he was right about Dr. Lecter all along? Can she even survive such a horrifying revelation without becoming a relationship-phobic mess?

Will Bedelia and Freddie have a scene together?

Hannibal's former therapist Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier and tabloid journalist Freddie Lounds are both fan favorite supporting characters, but they've yet to share the screen. Both of them have been brought in by the FBI to help catch Hannibal — Is it too much to hope that these two fabulous (and fabulously stylish) women will get a scene together?

Who will die?

Jack Crawford seems like he's about to kick the bucket, given the blood spurting from his neck after his altercation with Hannibal. But will he actually die? Or will Hannibal finally kill Bedelia, who evaded his clutches earlier this season? Or will it be someone else entirely?

Will there be a cliffhanger?

Season 1 ended with quite a doozy. Hannibal had successfully framed Will as the Chesapeake Ripper and the unstable profiler was locked up, with all his colleagues believing him to be a serial killer. Will Season 2 end on a similarly nerve-jangling note? You can bet on it.

Before Hannibal was officially renewed for a third season, Fuller was asked whether fans would be satisfied with the ending, if "Mizumono" turned out to be the series finale. TVLine got the answer:

It completes the arc of the last two seasons in a way that I find very satisfying, but it also ends on several cliffhangers that will be frustrating to not have closure on.

Several? Oy vey. I better get my paper bag ready because it sounds like I'm going to be hyperventilating for 60 minutes straight.

Images: NBC