With Paul Spector in custody, how on earth are they going to fill one more – super-sized – episode of The Fall?
They have their man in custody. And his wife. And the babysitter. So what’s left for DCI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) to do in the extra-long final episode besides whisper seductively and get all her male colleagues fired up? Well, there are a few loose ends to tie up…
What happened to Rose Stagg?
Paul Spector’s (Jamie Dornan) burnt out car has been found, but there’s no sign Rose (Valene Kane) was in it. Gibson assumes that Rose may be being held at a nearby building, but after searching it, she’s no closer to finding out what Paul’s done with his ex-girlfriend.
Will Katie get a clue?
After showing Merlin Tom Anderson (Colin Morgan) some webcam hanky panky between Paul and Katie (Aisling Franciosi), Gibson sends him in to interview the love-struck babysitter, thinking she might fancy any 30ish male with dark hair and spill her guts. But she continues to lie to Anderson about, well, everything. Question is: does she know she’s telling lies or has she become so convinced of her and Paul’s great love that she believes what she’s saying?
But then Anderson puts her in her place, producing photos of that time Paul left her tied to the bed in the sleazy motel and telling Katie her “lies are futile” since there’s so much other evidence proving Paul is the killer. “Why ruin your life?” he asks. Her response: “Because I was asleep before I met him and now I’m awake.” Oh shut up, Katie.
Meanwhile, Gibson’s comparison of Anderson’s looks to Paul’s comes back to bite her in the behind. Maybe literally – we didn’t actually get to see Gibson’s latest conquest play out. We do see the two cops basking in the afterglow, which Anderson decides is a good time to ask why she compared him to Paul. She says the idea that she slept with Anderson in lieu of being able to sleep with Paul is repellent. Doth she protest too much?
What will it take for Paul to crack?
When he’s not busy doing push-ups in his cell, Paul’s time is taken up by rounds of interrogation with the cop who looks like his victims and then Gibson’s colleague Matt Eastwood (Stuart Graham). He’s admitting nothing and, besides a reprimand to Gibson (delivered direct to the security camera) for thinking a brunette cop would be enough to get him to talk, isn’t even saying anything.
Finally, after being arrested for the crimes he hasn’t already been charged with, he says, “I’ll talk to Stella. No-one else.” And this is what we’ve all been waiting for – the big showdown. After a warning not to interview Paul from her perpetually horny boss, Jim Burns (John Lynch), Gibson goes through with the face-to-face.
Gibson kicks things off with some amateur psychoanalysis and Paul calls her on her “mother-blaming”. But she gets him talking – about his past, his fetishes, his violent impulses and then, finally, his murders, which he says made him feel “God-like”. There’s a lot more back and forth between the two before Paul brings an end to their interview without giving up Rose’s location.
Eventually, though, after a bittersweet farewell with his daughter, Paul takes the police to where he’s been hiding Rose – and she’s finally found, barely clinging to life in the boot of her own car.
Does anyone care about Jimmy and his battered wife?
No? Oh well, that sub plot plays out as Jimmy (Brian Milligan) cuts off his tracking ankle bracelet and heads to the Spector residence. Seeing it crawling with cops, he steals a car and speeds off. He turns up at the safe house where Liz (Séainín Brennan) is hiding out, accuses her of sleeping with Paul and pulls a gun on the terrified group of women present. It’s all very dramatic, but irrelevant, really.
Well, irrelevant except for the fact that Jimmy then hunts down Paul at the Rose Stagg crime scene – thanks to some help from a police insider. As Rose is taken to an ambulance, Jimmy shoots Paul and Anderson, before being gunned down by an officer himself. The season ends with Gibson running to Paul and cradling his body as he bleeds on the ground.
How could they possibly stretch this out for a third season?
This season could really have been a couple of episodes tacked on to the end of the first, but instead the storyline has been dragged out over a six-episode season. They’ve just about got away with it, but how could The Fall possibly sustain a third season – especially since Jamie Dornan, whose character has been caught (and presumably survives being shot), and Archie Panjabi, whose pathologist character served very little purpose this season, are both confirmed to return.
Hopefully, they have something good up their sleeve.
Catch up on the second series finale of The Fall here.