The Fall, series three, episode two: Big twist could prove a game-changer

Episode 2

I’m still rating this new series very highly but for the love of God, put some restraints on that man! He’s not even cuffed!

I can only assume that nurse Keira has a Katie Benedetto-style crush on Sexy Spector: it would go some way to explaining both her reckless behaviour and the ludicrous amount of It make-up she’s wearing on the ward.

All the close-up scenes of the pair of them initially made me nervous that events might be about to take a truly ridiculous turn, but it was all misdirection, and by the time the Big Twist was revealed the quality of the rest of the episode had me reassured.

I concede the gender politics were maybe laid on a little thick this week – first with Jim’s laughable, jealousy-inspired quibble that Tom Anderson hadn’t been “man enough” to guard Spector, and then with Stella’s pre-prepared pep talk to the female officer who fired the fatal shot at the end of series two: “We’ve chosen to work in a masculine, paramilitary, patriarchal culture. Let’s not let it beat us.”

But the questions raised by Spector’s apparent amnesia (I’m pretty sure it’s actual amnesia, though I note the Twitterati have their doubts) are interesting indeed. If Spector can’t remember his crimes, that means his killing spree didn’t start until 2006. So what triggered it, and is he still a threat?

Perhaps the suitcase full of lingerie, corpse photos and jotters full of sinister doodles will jog his memory. And presumably some of this series will see Stella and co working to join the dots and identify them all. Here’s where fiction can never be quite as arresting as fact – the other victims will just be names to us, whereas in real life such names can have huge meaning. I remember with perfect clarity the moment I learned that the body of Scottish teenager Vicky Hamilton had been found, 16 years after her disappearance and months after serial killer Peter Tobin was convicted of another murder.

The centrepiece of the episode is a battle of the blondes in which Stella is forced to defend the decision-making that led up to the shoot-out in the woods. It’s quite the grilling, but our heroine won’t allow herself to get in a flap – or be pressured into giving straight answers to yes/no questions about risk assessments and judgement calls. She found Rose Stagg, didn’t she? It’s not her fault that the poor woman was carted off to be further terrorised by her captor from the discomfort of her hospital bed.

Of course we’re on Stella’s side here, but it’s refreshing to see these questions asked, especially considering the kind of nonsense the cops get up to in shows like Line of Duty. I’m not sure “unauthorised cradling” should really be on the charge sheet though. Did Jim insist those questions by thrown into the mix? At least he’s defending Stella to the Police Executive. It’s notable that when Stella returns to rally the troops she distances herself from any of the snafu, merely noting that “mistakes have been made”.

Poor, poor Sally-Anne. Can’t someone just give her a hug? Doesn’t she have any pals?

Katie’s still being her usual ridiculous self, trying to sneak into the hospital and turning on a pal who sold her story. I certainly hope she’d filled her lemon squeezer with something a little strong before launching her attack – that way she’ll surely be off to prison and out of everyone’s hair by the next episode.


Published by Shona Craven

Writer, editor, talking head

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