Poor Olivia brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘I see dead people’.
Two words: Jamie Dornan. It’s not hard to become emotionally conflicted whilst watching him as Paul Spector in The Fall. Family man, creepy serial killer, hottie with a bod and natural acting chops. The former underwear model now ambassador of reminding us that hoodies equal baddie, makes it easy to be torn between his abs definition and his casual malicious arrogance.
As his desire to relive the thrill of the kill consumes him, he begins to carelessly reveal his dark secret to his family. It would seem like common parental knowledge that kids always know more about the things parents think are kept secret. This doesn’t occur to Spector or he’s past caring. He goes into the cupboard above his daughter Olivia’s bed to retrieve his scrapbook while she’s faking sleep, and takes her for a walk which then turns into an exercise in scoping out an abandoned house along the way. Poor Olivia brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘I see dead people’. The realisation that the perfect victim of a previously perfect kill is tainted seems to drive Spector recklessly towards his next victim and to a chilling climax.
Gillian Anderson’s super cool Stella Gibson continues to give much-needed balance to Spector’s wanton evil and is credit to a great script and actors. Her ‘battle against the objectification of women’ is a war cry of unflinching poise against confrontations in her office and her bedroom. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that she sleeps in her office.
A wardrobe malfunction during a press conference? Just rebutton and carry on. Facing scrutiny and judgment for a one night stand with a married colleague who is then gunned down in the street? She explains to her superior it’s not that she should have asked him whether he was married but that he didn’t tell her he was married. She then gives him a graphic English lesson explaining the appropriate application of the ‘subject’, ‘verb’ and ‘object’ parts of speech to her one night stand. It wipes the smirk off his face. Refreshingly, Gibson gives neither the media nor her colleagues a reason to ‘divide women into virgins and vamps, angels or whores’. It’s great also to see some glimmer of her vulnerability emerge even if it means she armours up all the more. Allan Cubitt couldn’t have written the strength of her character as a hunter any better.
If The Fall is inspired by John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost, in the final two episodes of the series we can expect the expulsion of the deeply arrogant, albeit charismatic Spector from the garden of family life to be catastrophic and definitely not without a fight.