Francis D

Yep, he did it again. Richard Armitage was absolutely spectacular in the role of Francis Dollarhyde! He was mesmerizing.

RA Dollarhyde
Image source:

Also mesmerizing to me were Rutina Wesley as Reba and Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. Mad Mikkelsen is very chilling as Hannibal but not quite as fascinating as Richard, Rutina and Hugh, maybe because I see no humanity shimmering in his eyes as I do see in the other three.

While I had all the intention of watching all three seasons of Hannibal to start with, I just couldn’t watch anymore after the first two episodes of season 1. It is visually very well made, aesthetic even, but the gore and horror were just too much for me. So, I only watched the season 3 Dollarhyde episodes, because of course I needed to see Richard in action. I had to avert my eyes occasionally but other than that the Dollarhyde storyline was intriguing, gruesome and sad to see. Richard really was able to portray the hurt and humanity that lies at the heart of such a cruel and cold serial killer as Francis Dollarhyde. I had never expected to feel in any way sympathetic towards Dollarhyde but I did and felt sad that no redemption for him was possible anymore. In the end, there was no other way for him but to go and, considering what he had done to others, I was glad he was stopped forever.

There were some drawbacks for me in watching Hannibal (other than the gore). I found the pacing of the episodes somewhat unsteady. I think it was because I got annoyed with the way many spoke in such measured and hushed tones all the time. It felt affectatious to me sometimes and my attention would wane. Then at other times I would be engrossed, especially in the Dollarhyde scenes and the ones that included Reba. Those two were fantastic together.

Francis and Reba
Image source:

The tragedy of Francis lies in the causes that made him become so twisted and I will forever wonder whether if he had met someone like Reba when he was young, would his life have gone differently and better?

I also really enjoyed watching Hugh Dancy as Will, the struggle within him always apparent. He plays a character to root for and he does it so well. I found the scenes of Will and Hannibal together intriguing and especially at the end of the finale, those two were magic.


Their interaction, the looks they exchanged, the way it all finally ends… yes, very well done.

So, I come away from this show being reminded again of how good Hugh Dancy is. I have discovered Rutina Wesley who I had never heard of before and she is an amazing actress. And Richard… I swear he gets better and better. I saw him in ways I had never seen him before. Roles like this make him evolve as an actor and I love that he is picking such diverse and challenging projects.

And to end on a shallow note: I watched the Hannibal final post mortem that Servetus posted on her page: Besides the fact that I always adore listening to Richard speak of his work, I have to say I also really liked the purple striped socks he was wearing!

RA purple socks

13 thoughts on “Francis D

  1. I, too, couldn’t bring myself to watch the previous 2 seasons or the episodes before Francis. I admit fast-forwarding through the house, when Hugh ‘relived’ the murders, as well as when The Dragon bit off Chilton’s lips.

    This is not a show I would have watched – in fact, I had avoided it and had it black-listed on my Tumblr. I read The Red Dragon over 20 years ago, so I knew… I’ve always been able to handle gory reading, rather than watch it.

    But Richard WAS Brilliant, much more so than Mads. I agree with the monotone, whispered dialogue that several others had and Mads just didn’t… nope. Of course, I’ve not watched (nor have any intention of watching) previous episodes in order to see or build that chemistry.

    It is what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. squirrel.0072

    I agree with what both of you said and I felt the same.
    I also like the way Laurence Fishburne played .
    It was boring when they slowly spoke , with affected , artificed or deeped voices , while there was no action . I could not feel the suspense at those times … sorry
    But Richard amazing performance will be remenbered as an unusual uncommun one .
    I am happy to discover that through the fandom


    1. Thanks for your input, Squirrel!
      Question – when you say fandom, do you mean the Hannibal fandom or the Armitage one? I have not followed response in the Hannibal fandom, so I do wonder what they think. Are we prejudiced in Richard’s favor because we all like him so much? I know reviewers have been very positive about him but I wonder about the Fannibals.


      1. squirrel.0072

        I spoke about the Armitage fandom . French Hannibal fandom, and french tv series critics don’t like very much the third saison ( Hannibal in jail , no confrontation with Will , no more action … too much R Armitage fitness or hallucinations on screen, too slow , no speech ) but they like the way RA is acting , for them the final scene is great . For us Richard’s appearance on screen are never long enough …

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Servetus

    To me, the issue with the “affected” speech was primarily a duration one. Gillian Anderson and Mads Mikkelson totally “got” the speech of the pricey, highly-credentialled, East Coast therapist (yeah, they really do speak in that way), but when you go to a therapist like that, you spend most of your time talking and they listen and comment occasionally and ask questions. Whole swathes of it were too much to bear, I agree. And I don’t have the impression that such people really speak that way to each other …


  4. I’m curious, too, about what the Fannibals thought of Richard. I thought he was spectacular, and loved every bit of his performance as Dolarhyde. When I rewatch the final 6 episodes back-to-back, I admit I’ll probably be skipping some ponderous dialogue.


    1. squirrel.0072

      It is getting better and better as I rewatch the 6 episodes and become more familiar with the language and screenplay .
      I think Fannibals discover Richard , their comments appear through the RA fandom . the attendance statistics of his biographies grow . Let us see , new blood for the fandom


  5. Pingback: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! | The Book of Esther

  6. Pingback: The RA challenge, part 2 | The Book of Esther

  7. Pingback: Music to my ears… partially… | The Book of Esther

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.