The Wrath of the Lamb
Season 3, Episode 13
Wrath of lamb finale
Air date August 29, 2015
Written by Bryan Fuller & Steve Lightfoot & Nick Antosca
Directed by Michael Rymer
Episode Guide
The Number of the Beast is 666
Series Finale
The Wrath of the Lamb gallery

"The Wrath of the Lamb" is the thirteenth and final episode of Season 3 and the series. It originally aired on August 29, 2015.

Plot Edit

In a desperate bid to capture Francis Dolarhyde, Will Graham engineers a cunning ploy utilizing Hannibal Lecter. Upon learning of his plan, Bedelia Du Maurier voices concerns that Will's actions may not only put his life in peril but the lives of those around him. As the end draws near, Will remains unflinching in his game with Hannibal, even when it means coming face-to-face with his own darkest fears.

Extras Edit

  • The first several minutes of this episode were scripted and shot for the preceding episode, but were moved when “The Number of the Beast Is 666” ran long and this episode ran short. “The Number of the Beast Is 666” initially ended with the pull-back shot through the mutilated head.
  • This episode was initially intended to open with a scene of Dolarhyde burning a pile of all his Dragon paraphernalia (painting, ledger, films, etc.). Bryan Fuller moved this footage to the end of the episode during editing, because there had not been time in the schedule to shoot close-ups of Richard Armitage for the ending fight sequence, and Fuller wanted to make sure the audience had a last opportunity to connect with the character.
  • The sequence of Reba escaping the burning house was intended to be much more elaborate; in the script, Dolarhyde covertly follows her in a gas mask to make sure she gets out alive. Fuller said that, due to budget and time constraints, much of the footage was not up to the show’s standards, leading him to edit the shorter, more impressionistic version in the final episode.
  • Although the show intentionally ignores the rape element of Dolarhyde’s crimes from the book, Bryan Fuller in the audio commentary says he confirmed to Richard Armitage that Dolarhyde plans to rape Hannibal’s corpse as he did his other victims.
  • In the script, Will lunges at Hannibal, pulling him off the bluff, in contrast to the more tender final version as shot.

Book to Show Edit

  • This episode concludes the show’s adaptation of the novel Red Dragon, adapting material from Chapters 14, 46, 48, 50, and 54.
  • In addition to referencing the passage from the Book of Revelation which Hannibal quoted in the prior episode, this episode’s title also contrasts with the title The Silence of the Lambs. 
  • The opening scene between Dolarhyde and Reba faithfully adapts material from Chapter 46 of the book, continuing where the prior episode left off. In the book, Reba actually manages to get out the door and runs before Dolarhyde catches her and strangles her to unconsciousness. The show simplifies this, having Dolarhyde simply block her path.
  • The material after Dolarhyde forces Reba back into the house, up through her escape from the burning house, faithfully adapts Chapter 48, which starts with Reba regaining consciousness after Dolarhyde has brought her back into the house. In the book, however, Dolarhyde does not put gasoline to the fire until after Reba escapes, in order to ensure her survival. The show echoes the 2002 movie in having Dolarhyde pour gas around the house before lighting the fire. Dolarhyde’s line, “It’s all over for me,” in the book refers to the fact that he saw the FBI at Gateway; his motivation for faking his death at this particular point in the show is more ambiguous.
  • The use of Debussy on the soundtrack during Reba’s escape recalls happier times with Dolarhyde in the show, which in turn referenced Dolarhyde putting on Debussy when Reba first visits his house in the novel.
  • Although Will focused throughout his investigation on how the Dragon chooses his victims, this question is never actually answered on the show. The show entirely skips the last part of the investigation from the book, which ultimately leads to Will making the connection to Gateway Film Laboratories, who developed both the Jacobis’ and Leedses’ home movies. He and Jack then fly to St. Louis and review Gateway’s personnel records. They reach Dolarhyde’s house as it burns to the ground and find Reba out front. Steve Lightfoot has said that the writers initially intended to update the book’s “home movie” storyline, which would be anachronistic in 2015, by having Will investigate the way the Dragon was finding and tracking his victims on social media. Ultimately, all that survives of this idea in the final show is Hannibal postulating in “...and the Beast from the Sea” that this is how Dolarhyde finds his victims. In the show, Will and Jack ultimately only discover Dolarhyde’s identity through Dolarhyde’s own actions in revealing himself to Reba and then letting her go, not through any investigation of their own.
  • In the book, Dolarhyde has a trunk of dynamite which ensures that the house and the corpse’s remains are thoroughly destroyed. The show leaves out this detail, as well as the character of FBI Explosives section chief S.F. Aynesworth. In the the book, Aynesworth finds Grandmother’s teeth while sifting through the wreckage of the house, whereas in the show they are apparently in Arnold Lang’s mouth.
  • The scene between Reba and Will in the hospital faithfully adapts material from Chapter 50 of the book (although Reba’s first line, “He shot himself in the face...” is said earlier in the book, when the FBI first comes on the scene of the burning house and finds her out front). The detail of Reba sucking on cracked ice comes from the book, as does all the dialogue up through Will telling Reba there is nothing wrong with her. The show leaves out some jokey banter at the end when Will leaves (telling her to do something about her hair before he visits again). Instead, the show gives Reba more strength in this moment, adding her line that she knows there is nothing wrong with her. Her subsequent line about being wary of those who foster dependency comes from narration earlier in the book, after Dolarhyde has left her house the first day he takes her home.
  • Hannibal’s “cunning boy” line comes from the letter he sends Will after Lounds’s death. His followup line comes from narration in this passage: “The enemy inside Graham agreed with any accusation.”
  • Hannibal’s “unwanted company” line comes from narration in the novel describing Will and Molly’s lives when they return home and realize (as Hannibal says in the episode) it is not the same. The phrase “maddeningly polite” also comes from this passage, where it describes Willy’s attitude toward Will.
  • The show departs significantly from the closing chapters of the book. In the book, Will, Molly and Willy return home after Dolarhyde’s “death,” and find that they are distant, and Will feels disliked. Dolarhyde attacks them there, and Molly ultimately shoots him to death (this sequence was loosely adapted at an earlier point in the show’s story as the home invasion sequence in “...and the Beast from the Sea”). The 2002 film adaptation remains the only one of the three adaptations that allows Molly to kill Dolarhyde, as in the book. The novel ends with a rather sullen chapter of Will recovering in the hospital from the attack. Molly reveals that Willy has returned to Oregon to stay with his father’s parents, and Will is convinced that Molly will inevitably leave him (this is seemingly confirmed in The Silence of the Lambs, where Will is said to be a disfigured drunk). The book ends with Will alone in his hospital bed, dreaming of a visit he took to the Shiloh battleground site shortly after shooting Garret Jacob Hobbs, contemplating the indifference of nature. The last line of the book is, “Shiloh isn’t haunted—men are haunted. Shiloh doesn’t care.” The show instead substitutes Dolarhyde attacking Will in his hotel room, leading to the new development of Dolarhyde desiring revenge on Hannibal (which is not the case in the book) and entering into a scheme with Will. 
  • Dolarhyde saying that Will’s face is closed to him comes from Dolarhyde’s thoughts in the book when looking at the photo in the Tattler of Will outside BSHCI.
  • Will quotes Hannibal’s “elements undergoing change” line from “Kō No Mono,” which originated in Dolarhyde’s thoughts in the novel Red Dragon, when it is said that Dolarhyde believes Lecter understands this.
  • Dolarhyde’s line that he tried to share with Lecter and Lecter betrayed him comes from narration in the book (in the book, he presumably believes the FBI’s coded note in the Tattler’s ad section inviting him to a mail drop was actually sent by Lecter). In this same passage, it is said that he would like to share with Reba a little, in a way she could survive, which he echoes in the show (this is the section of the novel where he conceives the plan to show Reba the tiger). 
  • Dolarhyde saying he chose not to change Reba refers to the “power to choose” he believes he gains after eating the painting in the book.
  • Zeller and Price’s dialogue is adapted from Chapter 54, the final chapter of the novel, wherein Jack fills Will in on details of the case during Will’s convalescence in the hospital. In the book, Arnold Lang appears earlier in the story; Dolarhyde catches him looking up Reba’s dress while wiping Dolarhyde’s windshield and they have an altercation, explaining why Dolarhyde later targets Lang when he needs a body. Differences from the book: In the book Jack says vulcanite has not been used in thirty-five years, which is updated to fifty years on the show (adding fifteen years is a seemingly arbitrary number choice, since 34 years passed between the publication of the novel and the airing of the episode). In the book, the Dragon’s teeth are recovered from the real Dolarhyde’s body after Molly shoots him, not from Lang; in the show, Dolarhyde apparently abandoned both Grandmother’s teeth and the Dragon’s teeth during his faked death. The show leaves out a lengthy explanation about Dolarhyde using the tow truck from Lang’s service station to ensure that he could leave his own van in front of the burning house and use Lang’s car as a getaway vehicle.
  • The plot to use Hannibal as bait has its origins in Chapter 14 of the book, when Will proposes this while they are contemplating how to reply to the Tooth Fairy’s letter to Hannibal. The dialogue when Will proposes the idea to Jack in the show is close to the exchange in the novel. In the book, however, Jack decides that while this plan may be the best shot, they will save it for a last option due to the inevitable bad press. Will’s motivation on the show is of course very different from the book when proposing this plan. Jack’s line, “You sound pretty sure,” and Will’s reply, take on a new context in the show, where Will has met with Dolarhyde without telling Jack.
  • Bedelia’s line, “We assign a moment to decision,” comes from narration in the novel Hannibal referring to Pazzi’s thought process in deciding to sell Hannibal. Will’s reply comes from the same passage.
  • For the third episode in a row, a character quotes Goethe. Bedelia quotes from Faust when she says, “Who holds the devil, let him hold him well...” recalling once again Hannibal “rooting for Mephistopheles and contemptuous of Faust” in Hannibal Rising.
  • Chilton’s dialogue that Alana’s face did not change at all, and that shock in seeing him is usually delayed, comes from narration in the novel Hannibal when Clarice Starling first sees Mason Verger. Chilton in some ways more closely resembles the book’s description of Mason than the show’s version of Mason did (he is said to be lipless and “all teeth, like a creature of the deep, deep ocean”).
  • Alana’s line that there is a deal, “or there could be,” is spoken by Chilton to Hannibal after he brokers the deal with Senator Martin in The Silence of the Lambs, as is her line about why Jack did not ask personally, and Hannibal’s reply (which he thinks but does not speak in the book). Alana saying she has been on the phone for hours on Hannibal’s behalf, and saying “This is what you get,” also comes from Chilton’s dialogue in this passage. Hannibal noting that police are not as wise as Alana comes from Hannibal’s thoughts in this passage, where he notes that police are not as wise as Barney.
  • Hannibal wishing Chilton “a speedy convalescence and hope he won’t be very ugly” comes from the letter he sends Will at the end of the novel Red Dragon, while Will is recovering from Dolarhyde’s attack. Hannibal saying any rational society would either kill him or give him his books also comes from the letter. 
  • Jack saying they will have a stampede when people think Lecter is out comes from Chapter 14 of the novel, when Jack rejects this plan.
  • Will’s line to Hannibal, “Maybe that was a serious invitation,” comes from Chapter 14 when Will discusses the Tooth Fairy wanting to meet Hannibal. All of their subsequent dialogue in the scene also comes from Will and Jack in this Chapter discussing the plan. In the book, the “mail drop” plot is a separate plan after Jack has rejected the staged escape. Most of this dialogue is spoken by Will in the book, but Hannibal’s line that it sounds weak even as Will says it comes from narration in the book, and Will’s line about the Secret Service setup is spoken by Jack in the book.
  • Hannibal saying Will worries too much, and that he would be so much more comfortable if he relaxed with himself, comes from the letter he sends Will after Lounds’s death in Red Dragon.
  • Hannibal’s bluff-top house on the Atlantic is an invention of the show. In the novel Hannibal, he brainwashes Clarice Starling at a house on the Chesapeake shore he rents from a German lobbyist for a year.
  • Bach’s Goldberg Variations, a favorite piece of Hannibal’s, makes a final appearance in a special arrangement by series composer Brian Reitzell, as Hannibal and Will wait for Dolarhyde. Various versions were previously used in: the novel and film The Silence of the Lambs (the novel specifies Hannibal's preference for the Glenn Gould version, whereas the film uses a soundalike by Jerry Zimmerman); the novel and film Hannibal (he plays the piece on clavier in the book, whereas the film uses both Gould's 1955 and 1981 recordings at different points); the film Hannibal Rising (which uses Gould's 1955 recording); "Apéritif" (a version by Brian Reitzell); "Fromage" (Hannibal plays on the harpsichord); "Kō No Mono" (Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt's recording); "Mizumono" (in a special slowed-down version of the piece by Brian Reitzell entitled "Bloodfest"; Hewitt's version is also heard again over the end credits); and "Dolce" and "Digestivo" (both of which reuse "Bloodfest" on the soundtrack).
  • Hannibal echoes Jack’s line from the prior episode about playing games in the dark of the moon; this phrase originally came from Jack’s thoughts in the novel Red Dragon. Bryan Fuller said he gave Hannibal the line to connect Jack and Hannibal as the angel and devil on Will’s shoulder.
  • Dolarhyde’s line to Will, “Don’t run. I’ll catch you,” echoes his line to Reba earlier in the episode, which he also says to both Arnold Lang and Reba in the novel.
  • Hannibal saying that suicide is the enemy comes from narration in the book when Jack tries to enlist Alan Bloom to push the Tooth Fairy toward suicide: “Suicide was Bloom’s mortal enemy.”
  • Hannibal’s line about Dolarhyde being “seized by a fantasy life” comes from narration in the book after Dolarhyde discovers the Blake painting.
  • Dolarhyde’s desire to film Lecter’s death as he melds with the strength of the Dragon comes from narration in the novel when Dolarhyde writes to Hannibal.
  • Dolarhyde saying that watching the film will be wonderful, but not as wonderful as the act itself, comes from narration in the novel as he watches films of the Jacobi and Leeds murders.
  • Dolarhyde stabs Will in the cheek, just as he does under very different circumstances when attacking Will near his home at the climax of the novel.
  • In the book, Dolarhyde does not burn his ledger. He preserves it from the house fire, and it is found in a locker in Miami after Molly kills Dolarhyde.
  • The blood pooling around Dolarhyde’s corpse like dragon wings is a detail taken from the 1986 film adaptation Manhunter.
  • Will echoes Hannibal’s line about blood in the moonlight from “...and the Woman Clothed with the Sun,” originally spoken by Hannibal in the novel.

Cut Scenes Edit

  • The DVD and Blu Ray feature a brief deleted scene of Hannibal finding the key to his bluff-top house in its hiding place and uncovering the furniture and fixtures, including a dinosaur skeleton and a display of several large eggs.
  • The script oddly follows Will and Hannibal’s plunge to the sea with an ambiguous scene of Jack seated in the Normal Chapel, “lying in wait.” The DVD and Blu Ray feature a deleted scene expanding on this idea: Will and Hannibal are seen silently sitting in the Chapel (impliedly the Mind Palace version), shot at first from above, echoing their fall from the cliff. The scene then fades to Jack waiting in the Chapel (impliedly the real version; the priest from “Primavera” is seen). Jack seems to give up waiting and leaves.

Image galleryEdit

See otherEdit

Season 3 Episodes

AntipastoPrimaveraSecondoAperitivoContornoDolceDigestivoThe Great Red DragonAnd the Woman Clothed With The SunAnd the Woman Clothed In Sun... And the Beast From the SeaThe Number of the Beast is 666The Wrath of the Lamb