It’s been 10 days since the events in the season one finale
King of exposition and assistant chief constable Jim Burns (John Lynch) tells us this fact early on. Annie Brawley (Karen Hassan), the survivor of Paul Spector’s (Jamie Dornan) final attack before skipping town, has been awake from her coma that long – but she still can’t remember a thing.
“We’re running out of time,” Jim informs Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson). “And money,” she counters. The financial cost of the investigation will be an ongoing concern.
Gibson has a curious way of dealing with stress
The enemy of the hard of hearing, Gibson barely raises her voice above a seductive whisper as she instructs Annie in the art of self-harm with an elastic band. Flick the band when thoughts and fears overwhelm you, Gibson says. She’s not so keen on more touchy-feely approaches like, say, expressing your emotions.
“Some people find writing useful, putting down thoughts, whatever they may be.” She doesn’t sound convinced, but then Gibson displays all the compassion of a dead fish.
When there are no brunette women around, Barbie dolls will do
While his wife and kids have returned to Belfast, Paul is still holed up in Scotland, where his daughter can’t see how dead behind the eyes he is when she calls asking after some forgotten toys. Paul finds the toys – naked Barbie dolls, of course – and wastes no time binding the hands, feet and throat of one of them. It has brown hair.
Once he’s back in Belfast, he sneaks into his house, plants the dolls in his daughter’s suitcase and starts a secret correspondence with her. She hides the letter in the same roof cavity where Paul used stash things. Like father, like daughter.
They have hipsters in Belfast, too
Did you see the state of the beard on the guy who works at the coffee shop where Paul’s wife, Sally-Ann (Bronagh Waugh), runs into Katie (Aisling Franciosi) the babysitter? Yikes! Since Sally-Ann believes Paul and Katie have been carrying on an affair, she’s none too pleased with Katie, who sets her straight.
“There’s been no affair. What happened is he attacked me. You have no idea who he is or what he’s like.” That’s the most intelligent thing the schoolgirl has done so far – but it won’t last.
Gibson looks just as hot in uniform
While this season reconfirms that Jamie Dornan looks much better with a beard than he did clean-shaven in Fifty Shades of Grey, it seems that Gibson is just as smoking in uniform as she is out of it.
“I thought I should look as unfeminine as possible,” explains Gibson, who’s copping heat for her affair with married officer James Olson (Ben Peel) before his death. “It hasn’t worked,” Jim says.
Good looking guys can get away with anything
During a train ride back to Belfast, Paul asks a beautiful blonde whether he looks like the Identikit photo of the killer on the front page of a newspaper. Despite the fact that his questions become increasingly creepy – “Do you live alone?” – she happily flirts away, and reveals she’s normally brunette but dyed her hair after the killings started. It’s unclear if Paul is pleased or pissed off by this.
Katie is playing with fire
Her moment of clarity behind her, Katie reverts to form and acts like an idiot when Paul shows up unannounced at her home. Katie basically lays out all the evidence that suggests Paul is the killer – he’s hiding something from Sally-Ann; he has a type, which just happens to be the same as the women killed so far; he was in the CCTV footage of Sarah Kay (Laura Donnelly) in the park; he has a false alibi.
She even says, “The killer clipped a lock of hair from each of the victims. You had a lock of hair in your study.” Now, either Katie thinks Paul is the killer and is so turned on by him she doesn’t care or she’s just really dumb. Time will tell.
Gibson’s not buying that Paul has left forever
Gosh, she’s good. Gibson also provides a pretty good psychological profile of Paul in a staff briefing. But she’s not so switched on that she can work out Paul is going to abduct his former girlfriend Rose (Valene Kane) – who knew him as Peter and didn’t seem to mind the odd bit of strangle play. In a particularly eerie scene, Paul runs into Rose’s daughter before his latest crime.
“Who are you?” the girl asks. “Sssh! Don’t wake Mummy,” Paul whispers. She doesn’t. Where do you find such obedient children these days?
Sometimes it’s worth spending that little extra
When the head of the team searching for the weapon used in the Annie Brawley attack comes to Gibson saying they’ll have to call things off, she asks him to continue. “We’ll find the money,” she says. The budget blow-out yields fruit, when the pair of scissors is located.
Watch episode one here.