“The Fall wimps out without an explanation.”
In the final episode of the first series of The Fall, Spector raises his wife’s suspicions when he asks her to provide him with an alibi, while Gibson attends a press conference with the family of the victim of his less-than-perfect-kill which leads to the hunters meeting face to face. However, after five weeks of watching this nail-biting ‘it’s-not-a-whodunit-but-a-whydunit’, The Fall wimps out without an explanation.
Before we get to the evil cliffhanger, the episode picks up from the previous episode with Spector running from the scene of the crime, covered in blood to the sound of police sirens and barking dogs. Naturally, I’m thinking ‘someone’s bound to see him and he’ll get caught’. No, not yet. A news report shows him and his daughter on video at the park on the same day as one of his victims the day before she’s killed. This is it, I’m thinking, when his wife convinces him to contact the police so they can rule him out of their investigations. In questioning, he makes a number of improbable statements and provides a false alibi, his handwriting and his fingerprints. Aha, they’ve got him now, surely?
That’s when it happens; The cop-out ending and the screaming-at-the-telly moment. When his wife confronts him about the alibi, Spector tells her he’s having an affair with the 15-year old babysitter (so that would make him a paedophile in his wife’s eyes), he burns his car and the bag with all the memorabilia from his crimes, subsequently has kiss-and-make-up sex with his wife promising her a better life if they can just pack up and leave the country (seriously, why would she stay with a paedophile?!), then makes a goodbye confessional call to DSI Gibson. As Spector and his family enjoy a sing-along in a car packed with all their possessions and all the tension eeks out, The Fall fades to ‘To Be Continued’.
The Fall deserves to be recommissioned for a second series that much is true. And yes, Allan Cubitt did warn us that the ‘first series builds to a gripping cliffhanger’, but to say I feel disappointed after watching this would be an understatement. I am mostly irritated by the ending. It’s a shame the programme makers didn’t trust enough that we’d want to come back for the second series if they delivered a more satisfying conclusion to series one. But for the missed opportunity, series one has been an amazing series.
With the abundance of evidence pointing to Spector’s identity, it’s unlikely to be long before DSI Gibson catches up with him, so I’d be happier for his arrest to be left as a forgone conclusion and to see DSI Gibson and her team in the hunt for other prey in series two – even if that means no more Monday nights enjoying a partially naked Jamie Dornan. Just bring back the Gillian Anderson and her silk blouses, sexual tension and more fixed menacing stares complete with night terrors and me watching it all from behind the sofa.