As previously stated, it was never too hard to read into Will and Hannibal’s mutual desire. Fuller himself has even stated in multiple interviews that the characters possess a sexual attraction to each other, leaving little room for ambiguity on their relationship. Why, then, was the show concluded with a fatal embrace as opposed to a kiss?
In an effort to eschew overt spoilers, I’m going to keep the details vague (after all, if you’ve never seen “Hannibal”, you absolutely must, and the gripping finale is best experienced fresh). After an extended search for each other, Will and Hannibal finally meet again. They are both irrevocably attracted to and repelled by the other — they’re both so alike, yet so different. They possess a maddening desire to know the other, while imparting a bit of their own personal inclinations in the process. When the two come together again, they cease to become separate cosmic entities; instead, they embrace, becoming one forever.
For many fans, this embrace felt far too amicable for a duo that has shared vicarious sex scenes and violent physical (and psychological) intimacy. A passionate kiss would have translated better, particularly because of their preexisting erotic relationship. Fuller himself has even expressed regret over not including a kiss during the finale:
“If I had to do it again, I might suggest to kiss and see how it played. But neither of the actors were ever afraid of going there. If there were any concerns, it was always just about the remaining authentic. That certainly was my goal because, yes, I absolutely wanted to see them kiss. That would be wank bank material for the best of us [Laughs]. But I was just really trying to maintain authenticity in the moment. The shot that’s in there felt the most authentic and felt like it struck the right balance. But if I could get back into the editing room, I might do something differently now.”
Of course, this isn’t to say that the resurrection of “Hannibal” would solely exist to have Will and Hannibal finally kiss. Honestly, Fuller has been candid about what he’d like the fourth season to look like, going so far to detail what he’d like to cover in a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone:
“I’d want to play point-of-view in a dramatic way. I think I’ve said that season 4 is ‘Inception’ meets ‘Angel Heart.’ And that means that there’s going to be considerable mind-palacing and obfuscating of reality, or at least the perception of reality. And the thing that I’m most excited about is, because there’s going to be such a mental landscape to explore, that means actors who play characters who have previously died can manifest in the mess of Will Graham’s brain.”
With a vision already conceived by Fuller, what exactly could be stopping “Hannibal” from returning?