The Fall-Final episode
Some notes and dialogue.
(on first watching)
Here comes Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson in her swish blue BMW.
Doleful faced Policeman Jed & Stella.
“It seems the car was set on fire deliberately..”
“It looks like the care exploded and its remains were scattered far and wide” (I swear he said that)
Was the fire extinguished?” (she is so Deep)
“No it burnt itself out”
“Nothing to find except a few burnt hairs most likely from this mannequin..”
(there just would be a mannequin in the boot/ trunk and a little plastic leg)
Ged & D.S.I. Stella Gibson.
Stella finally notices the abandoned building..
“We should wait for back-up Ma’am”
Jed dutifully sprints off.
Gibson goes in alone. Low key piano notes play.
Not the old hidden door/ staircase down or up? Yep.
Music has gone all kind of synthesiser or evil accordion on us.
There is the chair.
A tripod. Just in case it wasn’t really clear that this is where the video was taken..
Stares into the dark room.
“Establish a cordon”
“Protect the scene”
“We may need protective tents..”
Uh oh. Here is the heavy. (guy)
D.S.I.Gibson to Police Desk Sergeant:
(whispering) “I know”..
“So your’e telling me, Rose is dead?”
“No, I’m not telling you that..”
“Has he (Spector) given any information?”
Paul Spector’s next door neighbour to a Journalist:
“I saw them take the wife away..”
“What’s his name?”
“How do you spell that?”
“I don’t know how you spell Spector”!.
Then Gibson gets to look at Katie and Spector’s Skype call. Is Stella breathing? She is staring. Tom Anderson stares a long time too.
Gibson confirms my earlier suspicion of her choosing Tom Anderson simply for his handsomeness. Not for her but as a weapon against Spector.
D.S.I.Gibson to Tom:
“”Listen attentively to her, whatever she says”
“I wanted to see how she will react to someone of her own age, not a woman..”
Tom Anderson and Katie.
“I am wondering why you have that T-shirt ..its an e-fit of the murderer?”
“I like it, it looks a bit like him”
“It IS him!”
Sally Spector to interviewing Detective, Eastwood:
D.S.I.Gibson to deliberately sexy Detective:
“Make him realise his silence is futile, the overwhelming evidence proves his complicity..”
The woman Detective and Spector.
We are then treated to objectifying shots of her. Supposedly through his eyes.
Suddenly Spector laughs:
“Sending in someone who looks like Stella Brawley!”
Detective Tom Anderson to Katie:
“Seems you’ve experienced Paul Spector’s aberrant sexuality?..”
“There are other ways of expressing yourself..”
“I love him, now I’m awake,”
“before I met him, I was asleep”..
“I’m not allowed to show you the crime scene photos..”
But then he draws a circle.
Exactly nine centimetres in diameter..
Then (comes) Liz’s husband.
This storyline is severely depressing and not really relevant.
D.S.I.Gibson in the forensics Lab:
Somehow making a white forensic suit and mask look like catwalk fashion in a white niqab.
So Spector has even got to his own daughter. Much the same process.
D.S.I.Gibson is crying.
to Tom Anderson:
“I think she saw the mannequin..”
“All her instincts are telling her to protect him at all costs..”
Tom Anderson looks down, standing smoulderingly handsome in the shadows.
D.S.I. Stella Gibson to Detective Eastwood about Sally Spector:
“There are more things on..”
This Detective is now trying to interview Paul Spector.
Spector is doing his very best hypnotic stare.
Spector: After a long silence and the staring as described.
“I’ll only talk to Stella!”
Looks up at the camera.
“Only you Stella..”
Burns to Stella:
He knows things about you, your diary, he’s not a human being, he’s a monster..”
D.S.I. Stella Gibson:
“He’s not a monster, he’s a man!”
“Its all perfectly understandable..”
Then the already signposted teaching moment about rape comes up.
I saw that one coming.
But of course Stella is correct. Yet the comparison was deliberately set up for us as viewers. For some possibly tiresome moral relativism for murderers kind of thing. Poor liddle murderer and all that.
D.S.I.Gibson interviews Paul Spector.
“So how did all this begin for you, take me back to it, your childhood..”
What did I tell you. yawn.
so Gibson is winning so far: but I doubt this will last.
D.S.I. Stella Gibson:
So that must have made you feel angry, abandoned..”
“I’ve spoken to Father Jenses”..
“I simply didn’t wash, ever, I was repulsive.”
“I was sent away instead..”
“How old were you..”
“when did the sexual impulse become fixed for you?”
“You have sex in the head..”
“The thoughts, feelings I have, the outside world is…only the interior world is real, “
“Utterly impelling, compulsive..”
“the life you are about to extinguish..”
He makes it sound so sexy.
Paul Spector continues:
“You’re a barren spinster,”
“You wouldn’t know..”
“I had small children, they take up all of my time”..
“a switch has been turned on..
“something was done that couldn’t be undone. you’re in a state of existential shock”
“You are no longer controlled by a divine or secular being..”!
“but then you find yourself unchallenged by and divine or secular power..”
Paul Spector continues:
“An elevated aestheticism if you like..”
Do they die slowly?”
“How do you feel afterwards?”
Stella Gibson is getting geared up:
“Who is Bigfoot Chester?”!
“What could you possibly gain from corrupting her..”
“Once a man has corrupted himself, he’s finally achieved contempt for himself,”
“he has contempt for all man made morality”..
“I live free..”
D.S.I. Stella Gibson:
All of your victims are daughters..”
“I live at another intensity..”
“My God-like power..”!
Maybe you did possess your victims but you couldn’t keep them”
“And now they are gone!”
Stella Gibson leans forward:
“Its an addiction…an enslavement!”
Then Spector mounts his attack back.
“Little Stella, in the night? make you his?”
“If he didn’t, you sure as hell wanted him too..”
“He came into the room, I was strangling his sister, the best he could manage was piece of wood to the back,”
“What Bourgeois nonsense prevents teachers, the influence of Church, Police Officers..conspires to make you incapable of crushing a man’s skull even to save his sister?!”
Err. Gonna stop there.
Paul Spector to D.S.I. Gibson
“Not one mention of men in your victim list!”
“Let men perish!” wtf! (what the fuck)
“I wanted to know, who is that, who are you talking to?”!
then she goes all meta-existential on us.
“Who are we talking to?”
“You, me, the people who watch on TV or read about programmes like this?”
Ha ha. TV ate itself.
Burns to D.S.I. Gibson:
“Seems we’ve got him.”
( I will believe that when I see it)
Stella looks up at him. In her usual cool and stony silence. Both her eyes are red.
So the tall and inscrutable Tom Anderson is reading out the list of charges.
It can’t be over yet. This was all too easy.
Katie and her beautiful friend.
“Did he do it?”
So D.S.I.Gibson is ensconced in silk. Drinking whiskey and writing her speech. In a beautiful hotel room. O my Lord. There is someone asleep in her bed..
I’m not telling.
D.S.I. Gibson is like a beautiful timeless beauty from the 1920’s or before, a film star even.
Officially awkward moment. As Tom Anderson asks Stella a question. (Do I remind you of Spector?)
“There is something fascinating about him, a strange allure..”
“He might fascinate you -I despise him with every fibre of my being!”
Gibson speaks with Detective Eastwood: (huskily)
“Spector has come up with an offer..”
Oh no. They are not seriously going to take Spector out in a car?
I spy trouble ahead..
So this is the officially painful scene for Stella Gibson as spector gives his good Daddy speech.
So this is Stella’s weak spot.
All fairly obvious.
“I love you little one”
“I love you best in the whole wide world Daddy..”
Gibson is looking red eyed again.
Get a grip woman.
This is dragging on somewhat now.
Oh but wait. Here comes the crazy madcap escapade. That you just know is going to go horribly wrong. And at least one person is going to end up dead.
Of course Spector is going in the car with D.S.I. Gibson and Tom Anderson. I think. Uh oh..
So now we have the largely irrelevant storyline mainly there to underscore another issue of violence towards women.
Yes but Tom Anderson has already expressd his fascination with the mystic hypnotic murdrer Spector.
That leaves only D.S.I. Gibson immune..
Spector to Gibson:
“Two hundred yards or so..”
Shit. I just realised. Tom Anderson is actually handcuffed to Spector. This is not good. I can already imagine his big brown eyes, fluttering. With his final words.
Ah, a lovely forest that Paul Spector has sent D.S.I. Stella Gibson wandering into..
Think I will stop here or it would give too much away. Surely this is going to be the final debacle.
Not long now.
Why does Gibson always set off on these things alone? With no back-up whatsoever? It’s very Sarah Lund. Just no torch or tension. Much.
Now Paul Spector starts his games with Tom Anderson. This was expected.
“I’ve tasted both the fantasy and the deed..”
“The fantasy is way more piquant”
What a way with words eh.
Gillian Anderson in the forest is a bit X-Files. Mulder, where are you…
Of course the other option is that Spector will actually do something noble. Sacrifice himself to save a life. Whilst grinning (smugly) all the while.
What the hell. Why does Gibson go to Spector and not Tom?!…
Well blow me down with a feather. That was all a bit dull and flat in the end wasn’t it. A Southland ending. I can say no more. We are left wondering. My take on it, the last few seconds that seemed like ticking minutes (since time has be elongated to slow in The Fall) was that everything was not looking good. In fact things were looking suspiciously over. to me.
However we as viewers are not allowed to know for sure that the final scene really was the final curtain. I hear there is another series. Don’t tell me this is one of those annoying cliffhanger not really an ending: ending. Which always leaves you feeling conned somehow.
Like you donated all those hours. Of unending patience on my part I feel. For what? some half-hearted desultory resume of one final intersection of storylines. Trouble is I didn’t really care. By then. Because all of the individual story lines were just a bit dull and boring. Neither individually or together: they just didn’t gel somehow.
Wobble wobble. Wobble wobble. Jelly on a plate. I believe the children’s song goes.
Like a sickly pink blancmange (a jelly but not quite real jelly) The Fall sat, ensconced on its plate dully glistening. Intermittently wobbling. Into action or the semblance of brief interest. But the inside of a blancmange is unusual, with cake. Nobody expects this cake texture inside. That difference will hold our eyes for a while.
The Fall is different, for sure.
All right, blancmanges may not actually wobble on their own. Though I reckon they could, with footsteps or nearby vibrations. Something that looks like jelly on the outside just shouldn’t have cake on this inside. That’s just my opinion. I never did like blancmange.
OK maybe blancmange doesn’t have cake inside. That would be trifle. But blancmange looks like jelly but is not. It is some strange and other worldly creation.
The Fall did glisten with an arty gloss. It was often times beautifully shot. Faces were uncomfortably close-up. Stella Gibson was incredibly beautiful. Which I suppose made gazing at her face in all its fairly stony moments and different angels of tilt for a great deal of the drama in real time: pass more pleasantly perhaps.
Trouble is, D.S.I.Gibson never really convinced me as a character with any kind of fully fledged persona. Or believability as her role. Possibly we are meant to be familiar with her character from the previous series.
Stella Gibson’s supporting cast were more humanly believable.
However when really handsome or beautiful people say nothing they are often attributed with all sorts of depth and mystery by others.
So it was with Paul Spector and so it was with D.S.I. Gibson. Though she did turn it out good and proper at the very last interview. I will give her that. But boy was this latter day cogency a long time coming. with a whole bunch of staring silences before that moment.
What a marathon like effort to watch was The Fall. Dragged down even further for me by the leaden heavy preachifying. About rape, violence against women, not to mention the whole children and Priest storyline with some regrettably amped up sexiness of the whole serial killer as handsome Lothario figure and all round good egg Dad.
The murky waters of moral relativism: pointing us in the direction of comparison. With lots of tastefully created beautiful people filled scenes. Those people nicely panting. We know Spector is turned on by it all. But D.S.I. Gibson, Tom Anderson, Katie for example as well as us perhaps, are supposed to be turned on by all this sexiness too.
See, I’m not a nasty creepy rapist, Spector pretty much proudly says, I am a good old fashioned serial killer. I get off on it sure. But it’s all on a higher spiritual (existential) plane.
There are some shots in The Fall that are hard to forgive. These inexplicable (and to our modern day eyes shocking) shots cannot be justified as being seen through Paul Spector’s eyes. Unless he can see round corners and under tables. As pointed out before in my review, many of these weirdly wrong shots of women happen when Paul Spector is not even present. This is how the drama presents women.
Since there are no accompanying shots of the physiques of the men. Well apart from the eponymous shirtless scenes. Which are supposedly balancing. As if. The camera ain’t creeping around them. With no face.
Shame really that The Fall had to creak so clunkily beneath the weight of so many message laden points. preached from somebody’s pulpit and at one odd yet entertaining moment preaching at us. Then it had to pile into the heaving mess: necessarily balancing themes. To counteract all the sexed up creepiness of shots that I thought we had left long behind.
Sure, people find a subliminal imaginary thrill in dark doings and death. It is therefore not necessary to sexify.
Thing is, this whole manipulatively applied gloss of sexiness designed to entrance and engage the viewer always seemed misplace to me. Paul Spector was all about power surely. I was not convinced that Spector looked as the camera looked.
So that leaves the show’s creator. Who was apparently teaching us all valuable lessons on worthy points and inherently and overtly scolding us at the same time. For being taken in by his sexy trickery.
See, murderers are really just like you and me. Well not really.
There were stories to be told in The Fall: the interesting case of Katie’s grooming by Paul Spector for example. However this story was never really explained. Nor was the fallout afterwards gone into. I would have been more interested in how Katie learnt to fully extricate herself from Paul Spector’s power over her thoughts. If she ever did.
Likewise Stella. Perhaps I would have had more patience with D.S.I.Gibson if I had understood her inner life. Her machinations. But nada. Nothing. Possibly this understanding would have been gained from watching the first series. I wonder.
I did read about The Fall and I don’t normally, Just to see if I had misconstrued, possibly, the end. It seems nobody else knows either. Some feel the ending maybe pointing towards another series..
I was surprised to read of a take on D.S.I. Gibson as actually being a feminist, fighting sexism wars. There was more but my eyes started to glaze over. Really? You could have fooled me. Although the idea was pleasing. Perhaps. Overall. That was all The Fall was about. I mean Stella did have her stellar moments. Ha ha.
But blimey did Detective Superintendent Gibson do some proper girly moping about and was embarrassingly prone to crying. At officially meaningful moments. Good grief (as Charlie Brown might have said) woman,get a grip. This was most un-Detective like and certainly not 100% hard boiled superintendent.
However this was just the script with which Gillian Anderson did her very best. And D.S.I. Gibson did improve in my admiration of her Detectively ways, several if not quite many times.
I probably would have taken The Fall more seriously and even thought D.S.I. Gibson to be one hundred percent cool, tough and unusual if I had not seen Scandinavian series with woman Detectives in them.
Although Superintendent Stella Gibson is still all of those things.
So it is goodbye to Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson for now. The Fall was strangely enjoyable overall.
Mostly for The Fall’s glorious daftness plus ludicrous line. Like D.S.I. Gibson to Paul Spector:
“They are all daughters“. Yep. All women are. But Rose was a mother. Was that why?..
But then were not some of the others? But I was distracted by all the drawn out dizziness of the plot and the characters within. I didn’t really care. Although one could admire all the effort.
Subversive slogans for perfume Ads float through my head. Really it was all about Paul Spector, just floating around, like he was on the rooftops looking at his watch. (in a tuxedo)
Cue Spector’s beautiful dame. Or in this case: nemesis.
“Murder..” intones the voice-over as Spector’s eyes gleam..
“For those days when you just feel..magnificent“!
“Lady Stella” interrupts another voice-over: husky and drawling instead:
(as Stella slinks in-all in silk)
“She always gets her man..”
Notes for the final Review made after Episode Five-penultimate episode.
So there is a reason that I would rather write about my made up story of the little dog and how Lady Stella the presumably kind as in charitable plummy voiced aristocrat fell of her bike in order to avoid him. In another century.
Well apart from the satirical impact of an invented story just as ridiculous as the happenings and story-lines in the world of The Fall. I was resistant to discussing the increasingly obviously message heavy points apparently more important to the the creators of The Fall than having a believable drama.
Yes, The Fall is all about rape it would seem. and boy were we lectured upon all its aspects. By bullet-point practically in the case of the “pederast Priest”. None of this story-line was truly relevant to the story in hand however the subject was obviously of prime importance to the writers. So they levered the subject of rape and consent into each and every episode.
Yep. The issue of consent and the the definition of rape never mind the subject of deliciously dreadful rape fantasies of women and their apparent intractable attraction to a handsome man carrying such fantasies out.
However with the clumsy rape attempt of Stella by Burns, thankfully stopped it its stride by means of a forcefully applied elbow to the nose, was brushed off as a mere misunderstanding by all involved and especially D.S.I.Gibson herself.
Unsurprising perhaps since Stella’s own inexplicable assault on another woman is later explained, drawlingly by D.S.I.Gibson as:
It being ideal to pick someone appropriate who can return those affections”.
Uh huh. So that is what you call jumping on your unsuspecting mate in a sudden fit of lips vacuum-locked to the un-consenting other.
These, you see are just mere shenanigans, no harm done. In spite of consent being decidedly absent in both instances above.
However consent is not consent from a child was elucidated for us. So this, in The Fall would appear the only accepted case of no consent. Or so it would seem.
Cause you see, Paul Spector just cannot help it if all these women are secretly turned on by the whole strangling rapey thing. Katie the babysitter for example. So Spector most honourably it would seem, saves her from herself.
See? He is practically the good guy. Compared to the rest. The civilians like Burns and Gibson. Get it?
The writer is rather clumsily for me anyway, holding up all these examples of assault and consent for comparison-look normal people act all rapey too! Its all morally equivalent. We must discuss. We are having a teaching moment.
(please note this is an entirely made-up story and follows on from the end of my reviews for episodes four and five of The Fall)
The story of Lady Stella (from another era) and the scruffy stray dog.
So as only we know (as previously described) our fair haired flaxen heroine is really Lady Stella, from another century.
With whom a scruffy stray dog had fallen in love and asked her to be his mistress that day. On the fateful humpbacked bridge.
The dog had been wandering so long, lost and alone on the cold and windswept Yorkshire moors. Since losing his beloved Master. The dog had been grieving, out in the wild. Then his stomach and sanity had returned and warned him: he needed to find food, soon. A warm dwelling as well would be wonderful Then he would have a home.
When Lady Stella had fallen from her bike in order to avoid, as she saw it, running the scruffy dog over: she banged her head on the road. Since then she has lain in a coma. With her worried and watching family around her. Never leaving her side. Nannie dearest had refused to budge and was installed beside Lady Stella. Knitting needles furiously clacking.
However Nannie dearest was quite elderly now and this particular night, she was tired. Lady Stella lay sleeping as ever. Nobody knew that she had been transported to 2014. Only the scruffy stray dog sensed that something was wrong.
This one night, in her exhaustion, Since Stella’s old Nanny had barely left her side since the accident, the Nanny fell asleep. (a woollen darned sock lay in her lap)
The dog, who had already taken his chance to enter the enormous dwelling, was biding his time. As he had planned the dog had got in through the opened door. When one of Lady Stella’s many visitors had entered first the dwelling and then her room. Now the dog was hiding in an alcove, behind a bust of Marcus Aurelius.
As the Nanny’s gentle snores rose from her chair: the dog considered. He would have to be very careful and quiet. He understood that Nannie was guarding Stella. Indeed he had heard her angry voice before-making some visitors go away.
Only the scruffy dog knew that he could save Lady Stella. By licking her hand with love as a declaration of his devotion. But mostly to wake her up. He was going to protect Lady Stella now. Nanny could help.
It was time that Lady Stella came back from the future: 2014. A terrible place the dog could sense was full of dark doings and death. Just how his newly chosen mistress was involved: he did not know.
But Lady Stella lay twitching fitfully, muttering silently phrases that only the dog could hear:
“Where is Rose?” “protective tents”.
“Issue a warning!” And finally:
“It’s an enslavement, an addiction!..”
The dog didn’t like the sound of any of that.
The dog was going to take Lady Stella on walks in the countryside, he would keep her dwelling free from all rats. He would make Lady Stella smile. She would be happy again.
Plus from the fulsome smell, wafting up from the kitchen: the dog envisaged that his stomach would soon be full. When his newly chosen mistress lady Stella would reward him for all these valuable services.
The little scruffy dog with the big brown sad eyes didn’t know it yet, but Lady Stella , born in the Edwardian era, would name him Cerberus. The keeper of the underworld. A dog with three heads.
The dog would not be insulted by this name since Lady Stella would credit him with keeping her nightmares (that bubbled below) from the underworld away.
The dog moved forward. His big eyes shining with hope.