On Saturday night (August 29), American audiences will say goodbye to "Hannibal" -- hopefully not for the last time, but unfortunately, the show's future is still as up in the air as Hannibal's (Mads Mikkelsen) right now. But even if "The Wrath of the Lamb" ends up being our final hour with Hannibal, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) and the gang, we'll still have dozens of the most beautifully grotesque scenes in television history to chew on from now until the end of days -- even when we don't want to.
Below, the 13 most visually stunning yet physically horrifying moments from "Hannibal" that we will never, ever forget, ranked in order of spine-chills, goosebumps, and the food we spit into our napkins as we were watching. (Don't act like you haven't done it.)
The totem pole, “Trou Normand”
To be honest, the work in "Trou Normand" isn't as vomit-inducing as some of the other corpse art of "Hannibal," which you'll see later on in this list. The idea of what happened to those poor, poor dozens of human beings before they died is not pleasant to think about, but the presentation of the bodies is almost more impressive than it is disgusting. Still, it's one of the show's most memorably insane images, so on the list it must go.
The saw, "Dolce"
Funny how a simple bone saw -- which is so innocuous on "iZombie" -- can cause so much damage to a viewer's psyche when it's being applied to the skull of our fully conscious (yet temporarily paralyzed) hero. Thank God for Mason Verger.
The mural, “Sakizuke”
"Hannibal" sure does love keeping the lens on every single life-shattering moment of mutilation, doesn't it? The "eye" created out of a diverse range of human bodies in “Sakizuke” was hard enough on its own, but the torturously slow sequence in which the killer's next victim ripped his body from the artwork (and the skin on his thighs, from the flesh beneath) was what really stood out -- like, come on camera, you can turn away for like a second, can't you?
The nurse, “Entree"
This poor, poor woman's body was just so horribly abused both before and after her death, that it was almost hard to put it on this list, because we never even sat through her entire demise. The eye gouging -- and the view of her disrespected corpse -- was enough to earn her a spot, and earn Dr. Abel Gideon a spot on our s--t list.
The Columbian Necktie, "Rôti”
One word for this Dr. Abel Gideon joint: nope. It was an unfair punishment for the psychiatrists who were just trying to do their jobs -- albeit, not very well -- as well as for the audience, who will never be able to sit through a throat-slitting scene again without imagining a tongue slipping out through the wreckage. How dare they take that from us.
The hive, “Takiawase”
Human beings are naturally repulsed by even the thought of bugs -- in this case, bees -- crawling all over them. So just imagine how that feels for Amanda Plummer's poor "acupuncture" victims, who have to literally become human beehives after their untimely demise. (And imagine me scratching my head as I'm writing this, because I am.) Trypophobics, beware.
The mushroom garden, “Amuse-Bouche”
The infamous mushroom garden from "Amuse-Bouche" is a great reminder that you can do great body horror without any blood at all. All you need is a mad man willing to use diabetic, comatose human beings to fertilize his mushroom garden -- and bonus points if one of them spurts and spasms once you find the grisly scene.
The horse birth, “Su-zakana”
"Hannibal" has made artistic corpse presentation its b-tch since the pilot, and kudos to them for the introduction of Jeremy Davies' Peter -- a man obsessed with A, horses, and B, life emerging from death. He managed to combine the two when he found a woman he knew dead, sewed her into the body of a horse, then put a live bird in her chest for rebirth. The image of the woman being "birthed" from the horse was severely psychologically disturbing -- and only outdone by the image of her killer later crawling out of a horse himself, covered in its guts.
The winged angels, "Coquilles”
Watching the flesh rip from the angels' backs was our first real moment of "this show is on NBC?!?!
Abel's last meal, "Antipasto"
Psychologically, Hannibal making Abel Gideon eat his own limbs as he stuffed him with foodstuffs that would make him eventually taste better to Hannibal was the hardest thing we've dealt with on the show, and a great reminder that sometimes, just knowing what's happening (and picturing it, in your own sick brain) is more effective than actually seeing it play out onscreen.
The human cello, "Fromage”
Admit it -- you definitely grabbed your throat when you watched this one. If you didn't, you're inhuman, because watching the human body endure that type of abuse and humiliation post-mortem is not an easy experience to stomach.
The face-off, "Tome-wan”
The vile Mason Verger didn't bite it until half a season later, and we loved watching him be reduced to a pile of fish food, but it was his face-off moment in "Tome-wan" that really signaled his end as a viable nemesis for Hannibal. Like, Hannibal got the dude high and convinced him to eat off his own face. Props to the makeup department for making this unforgettable nightmare happen.
The happy valentine, "Primavera"
Just when you thought season three was going to be all Italian dinner parties and Hannibal stabbing coworkers, in came "Primavera" to give us our best look yet at what Hannibal the artist is truly capable of. Yes, Will's valentine was less repulsive than the beehive or the mushroom garden, but both the symbolism behind it -- this is what happens to you when you're not Will Graham, and Hannibal DGAF about you -- and the thought of a human body being treated like origami, combined with the haunting image of the heart becoming the stag, is peak "Hannibal," and totally deserving of the number one spot.