There are no other words to describe this finale other than perfection.
Even though I'm sure most fans would agree that there should be more (whether in a fourth season elsewhere or in a crowdfunded feature film), the third season finale certainly doesn't falter in providing something quite satisfactory in terms of the story, the seasonal arc and the character relationships, mostly relating to Will and Hannibal. It wrapped up the season, and series, while still maintaining a level of curiosity and suspense of where the show could have gone (in quite a literal cliffhanger) had NBC allowed them to have a fourth season.
Everything about those last ten minutes was absolutely beautiful.
It's not even just with the Will and Hannibal aspect of it all, it was everything. From the location of where they were, the setting inside of the house, to how the fight scene was shot combined with the special music used for the finale. The final act of the episode, the season, the series was nothing short of phenomenal in how it was played out.
And now, let's discuss the intense relationship that is Hannibal Lector and Will Graham, and how their last scene together was absolutely organic to everything their characters have been written throughout the course of the series. Given that they've been separated from each other through most of the season, it's only fitting that the finale would be mostly about getting them back together somehow. There were theories that Will would take on Clarice's role and he would run away with Hannibal, and this finale not only fulfilled that but it twisted it into its own version and it just made sense. It makes you wonder exactly how Fuller could've Houdini'd them out of this had the show continued into a fourth season, but as it stands it makes for an excellent final scene and a great way of ending the show.
Just having them embracing after killing Dolarhyde, right before tumbling over the side of the cliff, it was nothing short of poetic and romantic. Consider the fact that this was them joining together in killing someone in a brutal fight, this is what Hannibal had wanted for them. Murder Husbands, with their little Murder Family, having their own murder adventures together. Twisted and disturbed as it is, it's oddly domestic for Hannibal to want for Will, someone who he has this deep affection for in his own way. Someone made the comparison that the fight scene and working together as one to kill Dolarhyde was essentially their sex scene. I mean, there was an actual afterglow of sorts as they embraced, Will murmuring softly about everything being beautiful before laying his head on Hannibal's shoulder. Bryan Fuller even confirmed how the scene is supposed to play out as romantic in a way, and when they fall nothing else really mattered except for them clinging to each other. I mean, I cannot stress enough how amazing this show has been with handling their relationship. There wasn't queerbaiting, nor was there fanservice for the sake of fanservice. Everything about their connection had built up over three seasons and the series finale brought it all home in the climactic and satisfying ending.
Other things I liked:
Obviously, I cannot write a review without praising Richard Armitage, who has proven to be intensely creepy and unsettling as he is heartbreaking in his performance. His version of Francis Dolarhyde was absolutely phenomenal, he managed to make this character his own with his interpretation, and clearly he deserves all the awards for achieving this without just a minimal amount of episodes. In the finale he was equally as creepy, his scenes with Reba made me terrified, since I could feel her fear due to his demeanor. I knew from the events of the book that he wouldn't kill her and wouldn't give her to the Dragon, but still, seeing that opening scene was absolutely horrific because, even though you know what he's capable of and what he is, he has always been gentle with her. And then after that, I loved what they did with his character. In the books his last confrontation is with Will and his wife, but since they already did that episodes ago, it's only fitting that his final scene would be a fight between Will and Hannibal. I loved it.
Rutina Wesley was perfect as Reba McClane. Her scenes with Richard always sizzled and gave much depth as they complemented each with their performances, again impressive considering how she the amount of episodes she was in. Reba was both confident and strong, and despite being in a helpless situation particularly in the finale she continued to be a survivor and a strong character. I could literally feel how terrified she was, wanting to plea with Francis about letting her go. Her performance on this show should also be remembered, since it was utterly fantastic.
Freddie Lounds is still alive.
I love that not only is Alana still alive, but that she and Margot are married and they have formed their little family together. I do wish we got more of them, though, particularly with how they got together and how their lives have been since Hannibal had been incarcerated. But as it stands, I love that the show placed them together romantically and that they remained alive throughout the end of the run of the show. And I love how they're basically getting the hell out of dodge, not taking any chances. The most glamorous Murder Wives, I love it.
Somehow, Chilton being alive is more devastating than a miracle given his current state, but it's still remarkable that the show made him still be alive nonetheless. By all accounts he should be dead, but he isn't.
Bedelia's last scene. That scene will forever haunt me with questions. I know many are speculating that, because the show never intended on fully ending here, that this was a setup for the next season. Possibly it's a flashforward in time, showing that Hannibal and Will did somehow survive, since the dinner table was set for three. It'll forever remain a mystery, or until Bryan Fuller makes a statement about it or there is a continuation of this universe explaining it somehow. Regardless, it was an excellent way of ending the show after the credits rolled. I was already happy with the "over the cliff" cliffhanger, but then add this little bit in there definitely continued to pique my interest on what Fuller was planning. I also love how it paralleled to the beginning of the season, with the victim eating themselves.
Overall: I'm personally quite satisfied with this finale. Despite it being bittersweet that this is the last episode ever, this series finale certainly was wonderful and beautiful and hit all those right buttons. As a season overview, while many felt that the season didn't start off as strong, the second half of the season basically exploded with a huge climax of characters and action with the Red Dragon arc that it really makes you wonder why NBC would decide to cancel such an amazing series. Hannibal was unique in a way that was unlike a lot of shows out there, from the filming to the interpretation of the characters from the book, the developed relationships, the unsettling yet beautiful soundtrack, the gorgeously grotesque imagery, the subtle cannibal puns made by Hannibal through his cooking, and just his unique sense of humor in general (something I will miss terribly), and just, ugh, everything.
Hannibal may not have been a show for everyone, but it was definitely a show that was worth praising in many aspects of its filming, the writing and the performances of all the actors involved. It's certainly sad and devastating that it won't be continuing on our television screens anymore, but hopefully Bryan Fuller will find another home for this universe somehow, and the fans will continue to love and support it no matter what.