The Fall BBC Two
Detective Superintendent Gibson is in her nightdress. Floating around the Police station. Cleavage opportunity I suppose. Same with her vest.
( I only say this as the camera seems to be focused there-from above-weird)
Blam-Blam! D.S.I Gibson shoots black balaclava-ed man. Unmasks him on the floor.
“Help me please, I don’t want to die..”
He says. He is another handsome man.
Of course it is a dream.
But D.S.I. Gibson wakes up. And she really is asleep in the office. On a little camp bed. A man is stretching in the other room. Wtf. For a moment i thought she had actually locked up the handsome murderer next door.
Ah, more D.S.I Gibson in the shower, head and face up to the water. Dramas just love to get women under the shower.
to handsome murderer:
“Your’re not really him, are you?”
He looks at her.
Rose seems confused about her relationship with the man who raped her. ( i think) unless she is just trying to save her life.
Likewise the baby-sitter seemed strangely turned on by the fact that the murderer rapist or attacked her. Not quite sure.
D.S.I Gibson’s questioning technique consists of her staring, slightly squinty-eyed at the other person and asking ridiculously leading questions:
“Violently angry enough to leave?”! she unaccountably shouts at the innocent husband of Rose. Rose having mysteriously disappeared.
Apart from weakly sparring, as is required in all Detective dramas with the boring beardy man boss. all D.S.I Gibson does is she moons about looking moody. She snivels a bit at the first autopsy.
Then D.S.I. Gibson she seems to have cheered up a bit by the time she and the pathologist hold a special duplicate giant pair of scissors experimentally above the already stabbed body.
I dunno, it didn’t look like a match to me.
So you see the serial killer is a nice Dad too. Too bad the babysitter appears to be walking to her death.
“Midway upon the journey..” the baby sitter reads.
Yes. All the young women he meets seem unable to believe that he is a mad murderer. In spite of the dreadful things he has, i think, done to them. Odd.
Oh yes and the handsome murderer quotes Camus. How cool.
Finally D.S.I. Gibson gets a bit aerated but is immediately reprimanded by beardy overlord Boss. Who is forever turning up in his black chauffeur driven limousine and barking: “get in” peremptorily at people. Including D.S.I Gibson.
Meanwhile. In the boot of the car of mystic murderer we hear:
(muffled crying) (Mmmm mmmm!)
It’s almost funny.
The end. For now.
So The Fall is really ridiculous. More than slightly icky in scenes. The speed of the pace of the drama has speeded up slightly. From sloth like to snail-like. with a slimy slither.
However just as i could feel myself buying into the Fall, actually believing in these asynchronous scenes of intensity and dullness all a jumble: i remembered that wound-down feeling of the Fall. Like a record meant to be played at a faster speed has erroneously been played slower.
Maybe it’s just me. Who thinks this. This glacial, art filled pace in dramas certainly seems to be the latest fashion.
Bespoke or bespeaking of depth, intensity and mood. Presumably. Trouble is this crawling stupor of movement and filmic action is attached like unseen ether to the edges of everything that happens in The Fall. And it doesn’t work.
There are times in the drama that everything comes together and I am seriously creeped out. By the everyday actions and calmness of the serial killer. How nice and smart and believable he looks in his suit. His valuable photo I.D. What does the I.D. even say. Nothing probably. Just him, Bereavement Counsellor. Lovely.
How the mystic murderer manages to finagle then inveigle his way into the hospital room of one of his victims. Presumably he wore a mask when he attacked her. That was a creep-y scene. But then the victim starts expounding on her rape fantasies and what website she went on and mumbles how it was just a fantasy, it wasn’t real. Great.
Nice Counsellor murderer then gives her sensible wise advice. He is good at his job. Then he asks her about the website. I am left wondering how did he originally meet this victim. On the website: or is he just being nosy and lascivious .
It is true that handsomeness is confounding. Certainly the handsomeness, charm and persona of the murderer seems to be confusing nearly everyone. Hopefully D.S.I Gibson can stand firm against the apparently deadly charms of the smooth and avuncular murderer. And all round good egg Dad.
Ideally D.S.I. Gibson will meet the murderer sans floaty low cut nightdresses with something more functional instead. I thought D.S.I. Gibson looked punchily cool in her uniform. Mind you anything else would do. Apart from D.S.I. Gibson’s so far floaty ethereal garb.
I did try to imagine, for fairness and comparison: a picture of a Scandinavian Detective, who happened to be in a vest or nightie. Yes, but in those series the clothes seem irrelevant, matter of fact. No big deal. In the Fall however, the focus is of dwelling, lingeringly over the women. I got the same feeling watching a particular Woody Allen film. Less face, more bod/ body.
I read that the makers of The Fall had answered the criticism of The Fall of being exploitative by explaining that they wanted to show a handsome, normal man as a serial killer. This is how he would look at women. Something like that.
However all the lingering shots of women, whether D.S.I. Gibson, Rose, or the babysitter, often precede the killer’s arrival. So he is not there. It is not his view of the women we are seeing. It is how the drama presents them.
Unless, really deep like, this over concentration on the physical aspects of women throughout, is meant to represent how the mystic murderer thinks of women. All the time.
I definitely found the scene with the schoolgirl babysitter icky indeed. Was it quite so necessary for it to be sexy I wonder. I began to find it tiresome and manipulative as a scene. Which then all descends into semi almost embarrassing farce.
As the more than disturbed, depressed indeed apparently suicidal teenager is tied to a bed. Briefly, we get a glimpse of the mystic murder’s six pack squared. In his black boxers. Woopie doo. All of this is in turn: briefly sinister and embarrassingly flat. I don’t know why.
Such is the experience of watching The Fall for me. There are interludes where some kind of cogent story coalesces and the characters become briefly animated.
Goodness only knows about the Police investigation though. There are precious few details to be had from D.S.I Gibson’s occasional barks of mono-syllabic orders, random and unconnected Zen-like questioning and spaced out dreamy interludes. That are meant to be so very meaningful. But are not.
The fact that I believe, in the drama for a while, as I am checking out the experience at the same time with a certain cynicism: is that I am aware I have been subject to a series of semaphore like signals within. Superficial settings soaked in something like cliché’. Covered on top with glossy art.
There are times when the moody near (now) mystic murder is now practically presented as the moral core of the drama as if he was being kind or even saving these girls. Like some Western Kung Fu hero. In a series.
There are times when the murderer is sinister and there are times when he is just a bit boring. Me, I just got tired of looking at his beardy, unrevealing face.
If only D.S.I Gibson could tear herself away from her inexplicable camp bed in the office or the magnetic indeed immobilising Kyrptonite pull of the hazardous presence of mirrors that she encounters. Everywhere.
If only D.S.I. Gibson actually had some actual agency, some proactive behaviour and took charge of something, anything, even the investigation. Told the beardy boss with the insufferably shiny shoes (“Holy Mother of God-shiny shoes!”) ( courtesty of Gotham) where to get off.
If only I had never watched Scandinavian series with women detectives. I might think that The Fall was good. Rather than questionably morally bankrupt and deeply dubious.