Why Did Jack Let Hannibal Escape? This Epic Showdown Could've Ended Very Differently

Morpheus, is that you? Jack Crawford busted out some serious Matrix-like moves during Thursday night's Hannibal episode "Contorno," which very well could've signified the end to Hannibal's reign of terror. However, by the end of this rather impressive showdown, Jack allowed Hannibal to escape. But why? Jack clearly had the advantage this time around, having learned from his mistake from their previous epic fight scene together. (You all remember that bloody battle from Season 2.) So why go to all that trouble if he was willing to let Dr. Lecter walk away? Perhaps even Jack knows that this act should rest fully with Will Graham.

After disemboweling Inspector Pazzi (bowels out, obvs.), Hannibal looked down upon his latest artistry only to see Jack looking right back up at him. And then the dance began. (OK, it was more of a fight than a dance, but there was music involved.) It was obvious that Jack had been anticipating this day for quite some time now. He may have acted like he was done with this job, but he was READY for this moment. Despite all of Hannibal's talents and abilities, he was unable to take Jack down this time around. And yet, our favorite cannibal was able to walk away, not unscathed, but still in a decent enough condition to carry on with his devilish deeds.

However, diehard Hannibal fans shouldn't be all that surprised with this outcome. There may be a ton of people out to catch Lecter, but this victory should belong to Will. He needs to know for sure whether or not he would do the right thing and turn his friend in, once and for all. He needs to prove it to himself as much as he needs to prove it to us. So having Jack carry it out just wouldn't have felt right. But it did help to remind us that Hannibal is human. He can be injured and will be caught. As invincible as this character may seem, we all know how this is going to end. It's just a question of when.

Images: Sophie Giraud/NBC