The women of NBC’s Hannibal are strong, brave and not easily duped. They live in a world of violence and uncertainty, and have no qualms about staking claim to their own piece of morality. There’s no denying that characters on this show are complex. Let’s take a look at the ladies of Hannibal and see what makes them tick.
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier
Bedelia has been Hannibal Lecter’s psychiatrist and colleague since before we met her in S1 and continues to have a complicated relationship with the man. It’s been implied that Bedelia and Hannibal had something to do with the death of a patient who attacked her, and in S2 she admits to Jack Crawford that she killed her patient under the manipulation of Hannibal Lecter. In the first episode of S3, we got more of Bedelia and Hannibal’s fraught past, and bare witness to the intensity of the bond of fear and manipulation the two share. Bedelia is as intelligent and even tempered as they come, and her survival instincts are on point. Now that Bedelia is playing Hannibal’s wife in Italy, her involvement in his murderous exploits has become more implicit, which seems to scare the shit out of her. I’m excited to watch her character evolve and grow as S3 moves forward with Gillian Anderson as a series regular.
Tabloid blogger turned FBI consultant, Freddie has little to no ethical boundaries when it comes to getting her story published. Throughout S1, she plays a dangerous game with Will Graham and Abigail Hobbs that eventually finds her playing dead for her own safety. Freddie finds value in those who can help her catch her the next big break, and is unabashedly distasteful in her use of murder cases to further her career. Still, she learns to care for Abigail and, eventually, trust Will, and faces bravely her many adversaries, truly desiring justice for the innocents harmed in the stories she writes.
Abigail is born into violence in such a way none of the other characters can even comprehend. The daughter of S1 serial killer and ametuer cannibal, Garret Jacob Hobbs, Abigail is a skilled hunter (like her father) and manipulator who, while under her father’s care, was compelled to help him carry out his murders by luring the young girls he killed because she knew it was either them or her. Unstable, violent and alone, Abigail is confined to Port Haven Psychiatric facility after her father is killed, where Alana Bloom is her psychiatrist. Hannibal takes advantage of Abigail’s training, moral ambiguity and desperate need for guidance, and engineers her attack on Alana, only to slice her throat in front of Will in the S2 finale. Currently, her fate is unknown, but her past indicates that a violent death could be a sad bookmark at the end of her short, tragic life.
Alana is a specialist in her field, acting as psychiatrist, professor, lecturer and FBI consultant as well as friend and support system for Will Graham throughout S1&2. Alana also is Abigail’s physiatrist and displays an inordinate amount of empathy toward the people she cares about. She takes care of Will’s dogs while he is imprisoned and defends Hannibal’s innocence, even to her own detriment. While not easily influenced, Alana falls for Dr. Lecter, her former mentor and a master manipulator, and is unable to objectively analyze Hannibal or Will because she’s become to close to them both. By the end of S2, Alana has been twisted and turned around by almost everyone she cares about, but eventually, learns that she has (literally) been sleeping with the enemy. The finale of S2 shows Abigail apologizing and then pushing Alana out a window, and, while we see Hannibal step over her seemingly lifeless body, her fate is unknown (although she was in the S3 trailer, so…).
Bella is a strong, capable, intelligent woman who, when she finds out she has cancer, decides to take her life into her own hands. A fighter, Bella knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. When she decides that she wants to commit assisted suicide, despite her husband Jack’s wishes, Bella goes to the doctor we all know and mistrust, Hannibal Lecter. True to fashion, instead of bringing peace he brings chaos, and goes against her wishes at the last moment to revive her. While the love affair between the Crawfords is epic and beautiful, it is the only thing keeping Bella alive at the moment and, as the last moments of S2 showed us, may be in danger of destruction if Jack doesn’t pull through his attack from Hannibal. Without Jack, Bella has only the sweet release of death to comfort her, which is something she’s been looking forward to since we met her on screen.
Doomed for her savvy and quick thinking, Beverly Katz was murdered by Hannibal for her sheer lack of fear and strength of intelligence. A crime scene investigator, Beverly was an ally to Will Graham throughout S1 and up until her death in the middle of S2. Her instincts were always spot on and she believed in Will when no one else would even bother to hear him out. Her death (fridging, I believe the kids are calling it) is not in the books, but served as a point ofpsychotic break for Will in the show that led to him developing a righteous plan for justice with Jack Crawford against Hannibal. Hannibal used her as a lesson to those who attempted to outsmart him by freezing her, slicing her and placing her on display.
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