Will engineers a final showdown between Hannibal and the Red Dragon, putting his own life in danger.
After Francis reveals he's the Red Dragon, Reba tries to appeal to his humanity, but the Dragon is fully in control. He makes sure Reba understands where she is, then asks her to remove the key from his neck and lock the front door. The Dragon warns Reba not to try to flee, but she does so anyway. When she runs out the front door, the Dragon is waiting for her. He brings her back to the bedroom, pulls out a shotgun and makes Reba feel it. Francis asserts that he doesn't want to see Reba hurt by the Dragon, so instead, he pours gasoline all around them and ignites the room with a match. Realizing that he can't bear to see Reba burn, the Dragon shoots himself in the head. After the shot goes off, Reba drops to the ground and combs through what's left of the man she loved until she finds the key. She manages to crawl to the front door and escape.
At the hospital, Reba is visited by Will, who asks her to recount what happened. He comforts her concerns about attracting a monster by assuring her there is nothing wrong with her and that Francis' actions could be construed as him trying to stop his murderous impulses - thanks to her.
Will breaks the news of the Dragon's death to Hannibal, who says he's disappointed for Will. Will came all this way and didn't even get to kill someone, aside from Dr. Chilton. Will brushes off the accusation, saying he came back to stop the Dragon and the Dragon stopped. Hannibal wonders if Will can even return to family life now, noting that it will never be the same. He additionally asks Will to think of him when things get maddeningly polite. But Will puts an end to Hannibal's mind games when he reminds him that he only turned himself in because Will rejected him. And with that, Will leaves.
As he enters his hotel room, Will is ambushed by the Dragon, very much alive and armed with a chloroform-soaked handkerchief. When Will comes to, he's still in the room, restrained but otherwise unharmed. The Dragon and Will forge a bond by trading stories about being betrayed by Hannibal. Will says Hannibal is the one person the Dragon truly needs to change. The Dragon agrees, saying he'd like to meet Hannibal. He asks Will how that can be managed.
When Jimmy and Brian get ahold of the Dragon's body, they confirm what Will already knows: it's not the Dragon's. Rather, it likely belongs to a service station attendant who was reported missing. Brian, Jimmy and Jack agree that the Dragon staged Reba's interactions with the key around his neck so she would believe it was him dead on the floor. To capture the Dragon once and for all, Will proposes that they get the Dragon to come to them... with Hannibal as the bait. The Dragon wants to kill Hannibal in order to absorb him, become more than him. Jack can arrange for Hannibal to be taken into federal custody. Then, they fake an escape.
During his last session with Bedelia, Will admits, however, that he has no intention of seeing Hannibal caught a second time. This is his becoming, bringing an end to Hannibal. Bedelia is infuriated by Will's recklessness, saying he might as well just slit their throats and be done with it. But Will stands firm and advises Bedelia to pack her bags - meat's back on the menu.
When next Alana sees Chilton, he is being treated inside a glass chamber. She tells him she came to visit because she wanted to be reminded of what Hannibal is capable of. Chilton knows better; he's actually an example of what she and Will are capable of. After visiting Chilton, Alana speaks with Hannibal. She lays out Jack and Will's plan and explains that the Dragon is still alive. Furthermore, Alana promises Hannibal that if he cooperates, she'll ensure that his books, drawings and toilet are returned. Hannibal wonders why Alana would support such a plan when his escape, if it were to become permanent, could lead to her death. When Alana doesn't back down, Hannibal eventually gives in - but with the stipulation that Will ask him to participate himself. Alana, meanwhile, takes Hannibal's threat to heart. On the day of his planned escape, she, Margot and their son depart the Verger estate.
Hannibal is only too happy to see Will have to retract his goodbye and ask for his help. Will explains that the Dragon once expressed interest in meeting Hannibal, so after the escape, Hannibal is to send a message to the Dragon and arrange a meet-up. The Secret Service has lent the FBI a rendezvous point that has never been used before. Its isolated location should be able to convince the Dragon he is not walking into a trap. The day of the escape, two armed guards join Will and Hannibal in the back of a truck while a pair of cop cars drives in front of and behind the truck. During the drive, a third cop car pulls up alongside the escort: it's the Dragon. He shoots the driver of the first cop car, sending it careening into the truck. As Will and Hannibal are tossed about, the Dragon shoots their armed guards and the passengers of the cop cars. When Will and Hannibal emerge from the wreckage, the Dragon is gone. Hannibal hops behind the wheel of the driveable cop car and offers Will a lift. He hesitates just for a moment then gets in.
Hannibal brings Will to a house on the edge of a cliff, where he once brought Abigail and Miriam Lass. That night, Hannibal and Will come clean about the real intention for the escape, with Will admitting that he intends to watch the Dragon "change" Hannibal. He also confesses that he's not sure he'll be able to save himself and "maybe that's just fine." Will then reveals that the Dragon is watching them. Hannibal says he knows just as the wine bottle in his hand shatters as a bullet passes through it. The glass window behind Hannibal shatters, too, and Hannibal drops to the ground as the Dragon, gun raised, enters. He crouches down on the ground and removes a camera from his pack; he's going to record Hannibal's death.
Will watches Hannibal, while still sipping his wine, and reaches for his weapon. But he's too slow for the Dragon, who pounces on Will and stabs him with a knife through the cheek. The Dragon tosses Will's body into the backyard, where Will pulls the knife from his cheek and stabs the Dragon in the leg. It doesn't slow the Dragon, however, who removes the knife and again stabs Will. Before he can finish him off, Hannibal jumps on the Dragon's shoulders. The Dragon tosses him off easily, sending him flying across the yard. As the Dragon walks toward Hannibal, Will retrieves the knife and stabs the Dragon in his side. Blood pours from the Dragon and he drops Hannibal, whom he had been choking. When the Dragon again turns his attention to Will, Hannibal picks up a nearby axe and slashes the Dragon's leg. The Dragon falters just long enough for Will to stab the other leg. Working together, Hannibal and Will finish off the Dragon. When Hannibal again climbs on the Dragon's shoulders, Will slashes his stomach while Hannibal bites a chunk of flesh from his neck. As Hannibal and Will fall to either side of the Dragon, he collapses and dies, with the blood pooling beneath him forming dragon wings for the final time.
Severely beaten and bloodied, Hannibal and Will embrace with what little life they have left. Hannibal declares, "This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us." Will, with his head pressed against Hannibal's chest, tightens his grip around his friend, wrapping his arms around his shoulders. For his last act, he flings himself and Hannibal over the edge of the cliff.