Welcome to the 28th article of our 2020 Pride Month Series! Each day in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.
Today, we’re highlighting Dr. Alana Bloom from NBC’s Hannibal. Played by Caroline Dhavernas, Dr. Bloom was featured in all three seasons of the show before its untimely cancellation in 2015. In season 1, she is the catalyst for this entire show as she recommends a psychiatrist, her former mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter, to her colleague and friend, Will Graham. Throughout this season, we watch as her and Will toe the lines of a romantic relationship, with Alana stating that she didn’t want to pursue Will due to his mental instability. However, they do end up sharing a kiss in Will’s home one night, but it progresses no further.
Moving into season 2, Will is arrested and framed as the gruesome Chesapeake Ripper, who the FBI, along with Alana and Hannibal, had been hunting throughout season 1. Alana stays true to her beliefs that Will is innocent, until he tries to have Hannibal murdered for having him framed as being the ripper, because Hannibal is actually the ripper himself. Alana begins a sexual relationship with Hannibal, who is utilizing her closeness to Will to keep both of them within arm’s reach. Season 2 ends with Alana being pushed out of the second-story window of Hannibal’s home by her former (dead until this moment) patient Abigail Hobbs.
Season 3 is when we see a real change in Alana. Up until this season she was always warm, and maybe even a little naive in her kindhearted nature. After her near-death experience at the hands of Hannibal, she shows a much darker and more vengeful side of her. She becomes the psychiatrist to Mason Verger (another victim of Hannibal), who she teams up with to try and exact revenge on the man who wronged them. It’s during this time she meets Margot Verger, Mason’s sister. As Mason and Alana conspire to kill Hannibal, Alana and Margot begin a relationship, eventually falling in love. At the time of Hannibal’s capture, Alana learns that Mason also intends to kill Will and that he will never grant Margot her freedom, which means she would lose them both. Driven by her love, she betrays Mason and frees Hannibal before she and Margot kill Mason once and for all.
After these events, Hannibal is convicted of being the Chesapeake Ripper (he surrendered willingly) and Alana becomes the chief administrator of the hospital where Hannibal is being housed, Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. She marries Margot and gives birth to a son using the sperm of Margot’s brother that they harvested moments before killing him. The last we see of Alana and Margot, they are boarding a helicopter fleeing for their lives with their child, as Hannibal has escaped and no one, especially them, is safe.
Dr. Alana Bloom is one of many fascinating characters in Hannibal, multi-layered and complex. One of the most interesting aspects of Dr. Bloom is her evolution after trauma. Surviving her attempted murder broke down whatever emotions and repressed feelings she’d been harboring, and she flourished. Now, her actions were not pure or right, but they were honest. In the days after falling, she finally accepted the world as it was, and who she was in the process. It’s interesting that Margot was her first (and last) love interest after her plight with death. Her sexuality is never discussed so we don’t know if Margot was an awakening of her true sexuality or not, but it does reinforce the idea that Alana was more true to herself after her fall out of Hannibal’s window. That in a way her trauma made her stronger and better than she was before.
All three seasons of Hannibal are now available to stream on Netflix.