Richard Armitage Shines In Thrilling 'Hannibal' Episode 'And The Beast From The Sea'

Patricia Didelot

Richard Armitage shined in the heart-stopping, full of action, edge-of-your-seat Hannibal episode Saturday night, and if you were live tweeting with the show executives, it was also pretty entertaining.

Hannibal has been cancelled by NBC, however, showrunner Bryan Fuller is proving that perhaps it was not the best decision. Many are still shocked that a show with such impressive cast and stunning visuals will no longer be around next season.

However, this doesn't mean there is no thrilling action, as the latest episode titled, "And The Beast From The Sea" proved. British actor Richard Armitage took his portrayal of Francis Dolarhyde/Red Dragon to a whole new level, and fans were thrilled.

There's no question that the star of Saturday's Hannibal episode was Richard Armitage -- who made serial killer Francis Dolarhyde even more of a sympathetic figure, instead of a hated character because of the despicable criminal he really is. If you have not watched this episode yet, we warn you, spoilers are coming.

The evolution of Francis and Reba's relationship has Richard Armitage's character clearly struggling. He is falling in love for the first time in his life, and at the same time, he doesn't want to hurt her. Reba is special. Otherwise, the Red Dragon would have already destroyed her. Francis clearly realizes this, but she is also interfering with his carefully laid out plans to become the Red Dragon.

But what was so stunning about Richard Armitage in Hannibal's latest episode was that he truly exploited the arc of his troubled character. The 43-year-old actor put all the different and terrifying personalities that make up Francis into action, and it was simply breathtaking. It was explained on Twitter that Armitage did those handstand pushups unassisted multiple times. Some other interesting tidbits were shared by sound department staffer Sean Armstrong on Twitter.

Francis beats himself up -- literally -- for getting involved with Reba, and in his twisted mind, holds a session on Doctor Lecter's (Mads Mikkelsen) couch trying to put his feelings into words.

Armitage was also the ruthless killer for the first time, going after investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his family. The edge-of-your-seat encounter leaves his wife Molly (Nina Arianda) in the hospital, having barely escaped the crazed murderer, and now she even doubts that she and Will can be together.

Richard Armitage shined, proving he is the man for Fuller and executive producer Martha de Laurentiis. There is little doubt any other actor could have gone trough this transformation in such an impressive manner. After Reba kicks him out in a heartbreaking scene, Francis is a man on a mission. His Becoming is here, and viewers certainly got a good taste of what Richard Armitage is all about. Impressive stuff indeed.

[Image via Martha de Laurentiis]