The top 5 Hannibal episodes to watch for Halloween

hannibal

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for all seasons of Hannibal.

Too often are we disappointed by the seasonal offerings of so-called terror our televisions and cinemas offer up around Halloween. Their mediocre displays leave us returning to old favourites for that delightful chill down our spines as tensions rise and blood is spilled. But it’s often difficult to pick a favourite from television shows that ran several seasons; try to marathon every episode and you’ll miss out on the rest of the Halloween fun. One of the best offerings television horror has to provide is Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, which met it’s tragic end this year.

Although there’s no such thing as a bad episode of Hannibal, we’ve created this guide to the very best to get you in the Halloween spirit.

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5. S03E10 “And the Woman Clothed In the Sun”

For the tiger scene alone, this episode will never leave my memory. It is probably the most controversial entry in this list, as it’s unlikely to make even the top ten lists of many fans, but this episode left me spinning for days. I cannot allow myself to omit it when it left such an incredible impression on me, despite how much I had to wrestle with knocking “Digestivo” off the list in its favour. Not only do we finally learn of the true nature that Bedelia had so expertly cloaked, but we also gain even deeper insights into Will and Dolarhyde’s characters. But it truly is the scene between Dolarhyde, Reba, and a sedated tiger that steals the show. The scene is jam-packed with non-verbal text as Reba marvels at the beauty she feels while Dolarhyde projects onto the beastly elements. It’s a scene that on any other show with a slightly less driven cast and production crew would have fallen completely flat. Instead, this episode of incredible moments flows together to be a shinning example of how Hannibal could toe the line of absurdity while remaining chilling to the core.

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4. S02E04 “Takiawase”

It’s strange that one of the most incredible episodes of the series should happen so early in season two. With the show’s protagonist imprisoned, the show should have fallen flat. Instead, they only served to up the stakes by having Beverly discover the secrets within Hannibal’s home, ending the episode on a memorable cliffhanger. This is also the episode that features one of the most compelling cases of the series, with an acupuncturist lobotomizing her agonized patients and turning them into living bee hives. She’s so calm and serene about the entire process, and sees herself and genuinely helping these people. This is all contrasted with Bella’s suicide attempt in Hannibal’s office, where, as she attempts to exert what small amount of agency she still has over her life, he leaves her fate to a coin toss and denies her that small power. It’s a lesson that Hannibal is unable to resist the urge to play God, even when it comes to the people he respects.

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3. S01E11 “Rôti”

It surprises even me that this is the only episode from season one on the list, and even more so that it is not the finale. However, while Hannibal always pulled out all the stops in its finales, this episode stood above it’s own. “Rôti” showed the audience just how far Hannibal’s manipulation of Will had gone and the toll it has taken on him, both mentally and physically. It is the first time the viewer is told how they’ve been seeing things through Will’s increasingly distorted perspective, culminating in his seizure in Hannibal’s dining room as the captive Abel Gideon looks on. It is from this point that the finale becomes the logical conclusion of events, and why I feel it ranks above it.

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2. S03E13 “The Wrath of the Lamb”

Many of us are in denial that this episode will remain Hannibal‘s series finale, but if it must, it was a good way to go. Will and Hannibal took both the proverbial and literal plunge in their brutal execution of Dolarhyde, followed by their moment of intimacy before a potentially deadly drop. Through three seasons, Hannibal had been seeming to goad Will into either choosing to kill him or kill with him. In true finale fashion, Will appears to have perhaps chosen both. For me, season three was a turning point in how I viewed Will and Hannibal’s relationship; easily cast-aside subtext became plain text and the final moments of the characters on screen reflected that. In their twisted, horrific, and abusive way, these two men love each other.

Also, two words: Bedelia’s leg.

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1. S02E13 “Mizumono”

Had Hannibal not been renewed for a third season, this blood-bath of a season finale would have been cruel and unusual punishment for fans. When season two started with a flash-forward of Jack and Hannibal coming to blows, many fans worried the show had pulled back too much of the curtain too soon. But as the moment came, they were proven wrong. The scene only continued to escalate into one of the most intense television finales of all time. Everything, from the music to the acting and choreography, were expertly executed. It was gutting, both literally and figuratively. The season two finale of Hannibal should be studied as an exemplary example of television.

Happy Halloween, everyone. Think we missed out on one of your favourites? Let us know in the comments. But don’t be rude about it.

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Genevieve LeBlanc
Genevieve LeBlanc 126 posts

Genevieve LeBlanc is a contributing writer for NerdReactor.com and lives in snowy Canada.