It took me a while to come around to write about my thoughts on BBC Two’s The Fall. I made the mistake of watching the Irish crime drama on Netflix during winter finals week. Nothing like a good dose of serial killers to make those cold, depressing hours in the library better, right? If you have Netflix I highly suggest you watch the first season (there are only five episodes), but preferably in a healthy state of mind. While most American serial killer depictions focus on the blood, gore and outright evil of the person, The Fall is much more psychological, and in a way, more terrifying.
Gillian Anderson’s character, Detective Stella Gibson, is brought in as an expert to help solve the local Belfast murders. Gibson is originally the only one convinced that these murders of successful women are being committed by the same perpetrator. Unlike other shows where the tension comes from figuring out whom the murderer is, the viewers already know that it’s Jamie Dornan’s Paul Spector. Spector seems like a nice family man with a loving wife and two adorable kids. This makes it even more jarring when we see him go from playing with his daughter to strangling a woman to her death and creepily photographing her all within the same 24 hours.
The cat and mouse game between Spector and Gibson is carefully thought out and made all the more interesting by the two characters’ motivations. Gibson is an enigma- she is cold, ruthless and seems to be more emotionally attached to the murder victims than to her own romantic partners. Spector effortlessly glides from dropping his kids off at school to planning his next murder. His family is completely unaware of his actions. He’s charismatic and brilliant, but clearly disturbed as he chases the high of dominating and overpowering strong, professional women. Women that incidentally are not that different from Detective Gibson herself.
Anyway, watch this show. Mentally prepare yourself beforehand for the bleak, grey scenery and the realization that your husband could be a serial killer. Thanks Netflix!