Will Graham has been terribly busy, conspiring with Jack Crawford to set a trap for Hannibal Lecter. As if that is not enough, he has also been helping Hannibal set a trap for Jack. He's walking a tightrope with low odds he'll make it to the other side. And if he does, will he find the salvation and grace he hopes for?
After a long day of plotting with both Jack and Hannibal, Will comes home to find his dogs barking and Garrett Jacob Hobbs standing on his porch. Or rather, this must be the ghost of Hobbs, since Will shot and killed him months ago. Standing at the porch railing, Hobbs whispers "See? See?" Will looks through the scope of a hunting rifle that has appeared in his hands. A black stag stands amongst the trees, looking around. Will aims and fires.
Bella Crawford, still dying slowly and painfully from lung cancer, lies in her bed. Hannibal sits at her bedside. Unlike the last time he sat at her bedside, Bella does not seem inclined to slap him. Maybe she's just too weak. She certainly does not seem to have forgiven Hannibal for saving her from her suicide attempt, but she does have a favor to ask. "You saved me for Jack. Will you save him for me when I'm gone?" she asks. In literature this is known as ironic foreshadowing.
The surprisingly alive Freddie Lounds has been stashed in an FBI safe house until Jack and Will can spring their trap on Hannibal. She tells Will she's looking forward to her resurrection, when she can write the crime story of the century and perhaps finally earn some respect for her journalism. Will has one favor to ask: Freddie can write about whatever she wants as long as she leaves Abigail Hobbs out of it completely. He wants Abigail to rest in peace. That's assuming she already is. Perhaps Will does not know what happens when one assumes something...
In Hannibal's office, there's a flutter of paper as notebooks rain down from the shelves. Hannibal, with Will's help, is burning his notes on all his patients. Since he and Will plan on fleeing the country after killing Jack, he would like to spare his patients the scrutiny of the FBI, which will be combing through all his records for clues. So thoughtful of him!
Will is going right along with the plan. He really has Hannibal fooled. This might work after all... until Hannibal catches a scent he knows clinging to Will's clothes. He closes his eyes as his mind works to identify it, and he sees... Freddie Lounds. He stares at Will, who has his back turned and misses the look of shock and betrayal on Hannibal's face. What do you know, the man does have human feelings.
Alana Bloom is also terrified and having nightmares about drowning in deep, black water. She wants to know how Will can be sure that, rather than goading Hannibal into his trap, the doctor is not goading him? Will can't, and he's not picking up on any clues. As he and Hannibal sit over the bones of a lamb they have picked clean, Hannibal suggests they skip killing Jack and just flee the country now, tonight. He's feeling Will out, and Will doesn't take the bait. Or maybe he does, since he tells the doctor he won't leave without revealing the truth to Jack. Whoops. Will just took the snare from around Hannibal's neck and placed it around his own.
So Jack and Will's plan is still moving forward. Until Jack's boss, Kade Prurnell, finds out about it and shuts it down. "This is entrapment," she tells Jack. "You'll never get a conviction." She puts him on leave and takes his badge. More importantly, maybe, she takes his gun.
Not that this is going to stop him and Will, as Alana tells Kade. The agent remains unconvinced, particularly as she looks at photos of the mutilated body of Randall Tier, a murder and mutilation for which Will is responsible, even if he was trying to maintain his cover with Hannibal. Kade plans to bring both Will and Jack up on charges, so Alana warns Will that a warrant has been issued for his arrest. As he listens to her over the phone, Will watches the FBI's cars pull up his driveway. He grabs a gun and flees out the back. From the woods, he calls Hannibal to warn him: "They know."
Oh Will. Everybody knows everything. Except you.
Jack arrives early for dinner at Hannibal's. Except this is different from all their other dinners. For starters, Hannibal has never skewered Jack's hand with a knife to keep him from pulling a gun. The two men fight, throwing each other around the kitchen. It seems to end when Jack strangles Hannibal. As he leans over the body to catch his breath, the doctor comes to and stabs Jack in the neck with a shard of glass. Jack falls into the pantry and barricades the door.
As Hannibal, knives in both hands, throws himself against the door to break it down, Alana walks in. Having entered the house and hearing the sounds of the fight, she has pulled the gun Will gave her from her purse. Now she points it at Hannibal as he tries to convince her to walk away. Instead she pulls the trigger. Nothing. She pulls it again. "I took your bullets," Hannibal sneers.
Alana runs, fleeing up the stairs. She digs through her purse and finds another clip, slaps it home. There is a knock at the door. She fires through it three times. "I found more bullets," she yells.
No answer. But a presence. She turns. It is Abigail Hobbs, very much alive, though presumably missing an ear. "I'm sorry," she whispers to a shocked Alana, just before pushing her out a window. Alana falls toward the street in a spray of glass.
A cab lets Will off in front of Hannibal's house. The rain is really coming down now, and Alana lies in it, alive, shivering, badly hurt, a few feet from the open front door. Will bends over her. "Go," she whispers.
Will searches the house. In the kitchen he finds Abigail, still crying, trying to explain.
And then Hannibal is behind Will, bloody, beaten up and triumphant. He sticks a knife into Will's stomach and guts him. As Will lies on the floor, bleeding out, Hannibal stands over him. "I let you know me, see me," he hisses. "I gave you a rare gift." Some gift. Most guys would just give their friend a new fishing rod or something.
Hannibal puts an arm around Abigail. Aw cute, they have bonded. Then he slices her throat. Oops, maybe they haven't bonded. Abigail collapses next to Will.
Hannibal walks outside and raises his face into the rain, letting it wash off the blood. He walks past a still-breathing Alana and down the street, pulling on a jacket as, behind him, the lights of police cars flash and reflect off the front of his house.
Jack lies in the pantry, still bleeding, an unanswered phone he has dialed with his cell ringing in his ear. Out in the kitchen, Will and Abigail continue bleeding out. Nearby, the black stag lies on its side. As Will watches, it breathes its last.
On a plane, a French-speaking flight attendant offers orange juice and champagne to passengers. Hannibal, clad in one of his neat suits, takes a glass. His companion in the next seat turns it down. Hannibal looks at her. It is Bedelia du Maurier, his therapist who was going to turn state's evidence. She gives him a slight smile. Is she relieved or terrified? Either way, Hannibal takes her hand. Then he puts his head back and closes his eyes, resting. Why not? He's had a brutal day.
Springing their trap, Jack, Will and Alana face off with Hannibal in a bloody final showdown, but the doctor has a few surprises of his own.