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I have watched both seasons of the Hannibal series, although with some pauses between various "sessions", so there is no problem with spoilers.

My question is: how do the protagonists (Will, Jack, Alana and even Freddie Lounds) realize that Hannibal is the killer they are looking for (the Chesapeake Ripper)?

As stated above, I have watched the episodes with various pauses or over some sessions, but the thing is that I do not recall any definitive revelation moments.

In season 1, Will thinks he looses his mind and at the end of the season, he suddenly suspects the doctor. While in prison, he only starts remembering strange psychological sessions, but absolutely nothing about any sort of murder (except the part where Lecter somehow has Abigail's ear). Still, he insists upon his supposition.

With the others it's a bit different - after getting out of prison, Will keeps stating that Hannibal is the killer, and the others believe him only when he gets a bit ambiguous and doesn't really point the finger anymore.

All these things seem to come out of nowhere (deus ex machina?), but I want to doubt that there is no actual explanation here. The series seems to focus too much on psychology to add such cheap things for plot progress.

Can you please tell me how they all get convinced?

I know it might be a multiple-questions-in-one case, but it doesn't really make sense to add an identical question for each character here.

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Good question. I've watched S1 a few times and there's no explicit moment where Will witnesses anything. He just deduces. We trust his deductions and are working with additional information as the audience, but when it comes to any character actually witnessing anything the show does a very good job of blurring the lines. Lots of subjective or faulty narrative, metaphorical visions/hallucinations/stylization, and the rest is deduction by process of elimination. I'm itching to rewatch S2 now that it's possible to binge but can't recall a specific "aha" moment of proof. ..... So, good question! –  rbsite May 27 at 10:58

1 Answer 1

The post below contains a lot of spoilers, so stop reading now if you want to enjoy the show.

I'm not convinced that anyone other than Will Graham was 100% sure that Hannibal was the Chesapeake Ripper until the season 2 finale.

Will Graham - Will began to suspect that Hannibal was a killer at the end of season 1, when he figured out that it was Lecter who called to warn Garret Jacob Hobbs that he was going to be arrested. In season 2, Will has witnessed Hannibal commit several crimes first hand. Will remembers that he was manipulated by Hannibal in season 1. Will knows that Beverly Katz was going to Hannibal Lecter's house to look for evidence before she was found dead. He knows that Hannibal sent Randall Tier to kill him. He also witnessed what Lecter did to Mason Verger.

Freddie Lounds - Freddie always believed Will's story about Lecter being the real Chesapeake Ripper, but she's given more reason to believe him when she discovers body parts on Will's property and, instead of killing her, he takes her to Jack Crawford and helps her fake her own death.

Jack Crawford - Jack trusts Will Graham, but not completely. He knows about Will's ability to get into the mind of a serial killer (Jack has used this ability on several occasions to catch other killers). There's plenty of evidence to exonerate Will for crimes he was accused of, but Dr. Chilton was convincingly framed. Jack was satisfied that Chilton was the Ripper. I think this changed when Will brought Freddie Lounds to Jack for protection. It wasn't until this point when Jack was willing to reinvestigate Lecter, but he needs proof, which he gets in the finale.

Alana Bloom - Alana is the least convinced of all the main characters. She seems unconvinced by Will, but really starts to suspect Lecter when she finds out that Jack Crawford does, and particularly when she finds out the truth about Freddie Lounds.

Dr. Maurier - Dr. Maurier reveals that she knows what Lecter is because she killed her attacker under Hannibal's influence.

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It is as I suspected then: I will have to watch both seasons again in order to figure it out. Thank you for the answer. It is not what I hoped for, but rather what I feared I will get. Still I will wait until I watch the series again, before accepting the answer. Thanks again! –  Dragos May 28 at 11:04
You're welcome, @Dragos. I'll be watching the series again too, so I'll update this answer if I notice any more clues. –  Bill the Lizard May 28 at 12:57

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