Police procedurals about white male serial killers murdering white women are a dime-a-dozen these days. Shows that were once inventive and the best of the genre are either over or tired (Law & Order, CSI, etc.).
Enter The Fall, a British drama about two hunters, a serial killer, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), and the police officer, Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), trying to catch him. The beautiful Belfast, Ireland provides an antithetical backdrop for the horrific crimes. Additionally, Gibson must battle sexism, politics, and her own psyche as she closes in on the killer.
Don’t expect any stereotypically dramatic scenes of frustration or fear from Anderson’s Gibson as she solves the crime. Gibson is completely in control of her emotions, of her surroundings, of her sexuality at any given time. Gillian Anderson gives a quiet and subtle performance of a complex woman who understands the implications of what it means to be a woman in power who shows her emotions.
Contrary to many similar shows, the identity of the killer is not a secret to the viewer. We get to know the criminal as well as the police. Spector is a husband and father. He works as a bereavement counselor. He’s handsome and charming. …he also stalks and kills young women. The Fall utilizes Jamie Dornan’s physicality and good looks as a way to mess with the viewers’ perceptions. Many scenes with Dornan have no dialogue and are acted entirely through facial expressions.
The second season of The Fall dropped on Netflix Friday. The whole series is only 11 episodes so you can easily binge-watch it before Fifty Shades of Grey comes out on Valentine’s Day. It is unknown as to whether there will be a third season.
Have you already watched The Fall? Just now starting? Hurry up and finish. I need to talk about that ending.