Bloody hell! I didn’t see that coming. In fact, I specifically predicted Spector *wouldn’t* run amok in the psychiatric hospital because, well, it’s a high-security psychiatric hospital full of unpredictable murderers. But we were expected to believe he could run amok twice in quick succession, and give half the cast a battering in the process.
When viewers first complained about the lack of security at Belfast General Hospital I defended the show. While yes, there were scenes of tension as that daft nurse pottered about, I trusted that Spector wouldn’t actually get up from his hospital bed and throttle her. It seemed to me that the lack of restraints and cuffs was a deliberate creative decision that allowed us to re-assess the man we knew as a monster.
But the final episode abandoned any pretence of plausibility in order to let Spector re-assert control in the most definitive way possible.
“What a way for the whole thing to end,” says his female lawyer after the first explosion of violence. Indeed. But it’s not over for Sean Healey: pulses haven’t even returned to normal and he’s already seizing the opportunity to have his client declared insane. At this point Spector has already defied everyone’s expectations and his lawyers’ instructions by admitting a killing, so there’s no going back, and all that scrutiny of the other evidence against him really doesn’t matter much.
Poor Stella can’t even recuperate in peace, as the hospital’s round-the-clock doc pops up by her bedside to keep her awake, supposedly to reduce the risk of her developing PTSD but really because he’s super nosey and because the writers want to draw some more parallels between the hunter and the hunted. She even finds time to pop into juvenile hall for a visit to Katie, where they compare notes about dead dads and self-harm.
I’ve no idea why she apologised to Dr Larrson as his bloodied body was wheeled into an ambulance – it’s not as though she’d failed to mention any of her theories about Spector being a dangerous, manipulative multiple sex killer who craves total domination, is it? Yes, she got him all riled up by referring to his heart as a “dreaded black hole”, but she and poor old Tom were the ones who bore the initial brunt of that. There was plenty of time afterwards for the hospital to beef up its security.
I’d been concerned the series wouldn’t be tied up in a satisfying way, but I should really have been concerned that we’d see Spector tie his head in a bag and hang himself – an incredibly graphic scene that I’m surprised was cleared for broadcast.
What now? I’d love to see more of Stella, and maybe even meet some of these alleged friends of hers. Would her career survive all the inquiries that would follow the events of these three series? If it didn’t, that might make for an even more interesting show.