Hello everyone, I'm TalksTooMuch, but you can call me TTM: I will be recapping this third series of The Fall with Gillian Anderson. Oh and Jamie Dornan, too. I watched the first two seasons in a heady binge-y blur, so I'm looking forward to slowing it down a bit.
At the end of last episode / season, Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and DS Anderson (Colin Morgan) had just arrested serial murderer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) who offered to make a deal. If he could see his daughter, he'd share the information of where Rose Stagg (Valene Kane) was being held.
Rose was someone Spector had dated in the past and who he'd experimented with issues of extreme control. She was brought to Stella's attention by pathologist Reed Smith (Archie Punjabi), who knew her from before.
Completely apropos of nothing: Stella and Reed shared a smoking hot kiss in a bar that I can still feel in my waters. They decided not to pursue anything, but it lingered in the air for awhile.
That wasn't the first sexual situation for Stella on the show, she'd previously slept with (and spurned) her liason ACC Burns (John Lynch) and an attractive detective she saw standing on the side of the road. That attractive detective managed to get himself killed the very next day, so Stella got dragged into the investigation a bit and they did everything they could to slutshame her for it.
Stella will not be slutshamed, it's one of the things I love about her.
On that note, Stella is now boning young detective CutiePie Anderson, which raised my eyebrows when she promoted him in to her elite serial killer catcher squad. However, they DID catch Spector, so maybe she was impressed with more than his dreamy eyes and tiny bum.
Another side note: I was always confused with how Spector was written, as a psychopathic rapist / murderer who dearly loves his daughter. Primarily because psychopath /= great dad, but I'm sure that was just to humanize him. He's about as humanized as your average block of wood.
While they were rescuing Rose, one of Paul Spector's disgruntled clients Tyler (Brian Milligan) (okay the husband, but close enough) showed up and started shooting everyone, which left both Detective Dreamybuns and Spector bleeding from bullet wounds.
You know, that wouldn't be the WORST ending for Spector, right? Dying in Stella's arms?
Alas, it was not meant to be, we've got Spector metaphysically hurtling down a tunnel listening to blues music and heading towards the light... they get him first.
I get it, Jamie Dornan is adorable and he's got that great beard; I just find his acting to be slightly less enjoyable than watching paint dry. Perhaps he'll be unconscious for most of this episode.
Stella watches Spector in the ambulance, she appears to be in shock as well. Dr. O'Donnell (Richard Coyle) immediately takes charge of the patients at the hospital, he needs all the 'phines!
Rose is also alive, thank goodness. That wasn't for sure, since she's been locked in the trunk of a car in the woods for four days. DS McNally (Bronagh Taggart) is in charge of Rose's care and fills the good doctor in on what's transpired. She needs to stay to protect Rose from seeing Spector, and also ensure there's no cross-contamination of evidence, so the doctor grudgingly allows her to remain in the room.
Spector is the first gunshot victim brought in, the emergency room goes into full tilt and Stella and the other police are ushered outside the doors.
There are several moments of pure medical gobblety-gook as everyone is treated; Rose is covered with a swimming floaty.
Where's DS Anderson??
Stella gets a call from Burns, Tyler died at the scene. There will be an Ombudsman investigation and I do hope that's not going to be a problem for Stella. They don't know how Anderson is, because Stella took the first ambulance and went with Spector, another one was on the way.
More medical jibber jabber, Nurse Lyle (Amy Molloy) will be doing something important-sounding; there's a reason I don't watch medical dramas, y'all.
I can't even imagine how difficult this would be for an actor who is actually conscious during all that, although maybe they took pity and shot him up with something non-habit-forming.
Medical blah blah systolic blah stop looking pretty blah log the time. Honestly, Imma make a cuppa, be right back
The surgeon finally arrives, Dr. O'Donnell fills her in on the status while Rose is wheeled RIGHT PAST SPECTOR. Stella follows, whispering "you're safe now" and THAT'S clearly not true! I mean. Yes, he's all shot up, but he's also within floors of her, I'm nervous.
Stella asks McNally to go to her hotel room for clothes, and also to hide some papers that were just laying about.
Spector's stable and being wheeled off to surgery while Anderson finally arrives, another gunshot wound for the good doctor.
Stella introduces herself; what's Spector's status? He lost half his blood and he's a Maybe. She's concerned that someone may harm him (er) and she wants to get him to court in one piece. She throws in a "take care of" for her colleague and lover Anderson, but must not intend to wait. She's cold, that one, for one who burns quite that hotly. Her voice is all low smokiness, it's purely hypnotising.
The scene leftover in the loading dock is pure chaos, blood and gear everywhere.
Burns is reviewing the current case status with CC Franks (Patrick FitzSymons), he's recommending that Stella be kept on the case. Franks doesn't want her in front of the cameras or talking to everyone until the review of her handling of the situation is complete. Burns makes what can only be the unlikely promise EVER in the history of Stella Gibson, he "can manage her, sir." Pfft.
Anderson's fine! Fine! The exit wound by his elbow made me wince, but he's sitting up and conscious, practically ready to roll. He's looking around, but I think Stella's cleaning up for cameras in the clothes she requested, she doesn't know yet that she's been removed from the public eye.
Anderson has nerve damage and SERIOUSLY, do we need this much medical detail?? I typically am a detail person, but this is ridic. Anderson looked a LOT more hurt when we saw him at the end of last season, laying in a pool of blood. It's practically a flesh wound, walk it off, Dreamybuns!
McNally's at Stella's suite at the hotel now, holy fark does she have a nice hotel for a visiting police person! I'm pretty sure the budget runs more towards the local Super 8 or HoJo, why did I not notice that before? Perhaps because she looks so gloriously swank, it just fit.
McNally sweeps up all those papers Stella was worried about before I can even get a proper look and goes to gather up more silk shirts for Stella to put on. I think I could have written an essay on how she puts those off and on.
The police are notifying Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh) about Paul's surgery, but they can't tell her much more than it wasn't a police officer who shot him.
The surgery proceeds apace, gosh, I sure hope we get every second detail. Whee we DO! I may have checked out my cousin's amazing news on becoming one of a very few elite geniuses while "watching."
Oh hey, they found a way to get Spector up and "acting" again, he's in that tunnel again avoiding the light and listening to people shout at him.
More blood and literal guts and 'phines floating around, let's see what the Tumblr has!
Oh wait, we're with Sally Ann telling the kids what's up with their dad, that's the only problem with having child actors on a show: they grow FAST at this age. Olivia and Liam (Sophie and David Beattie) look twice the age they were last time, but Olivia doesn't take the news of their dad's accident well.
Stella's finally in to see Anderson, he's worried this might be the end of his career. He's mostly concerned that she ran to Spector and not him, this is why you don't get involved with chilluns, Stella! Oh jesus, is he insinuating that she CARED more for Spector? She's not anguished over her perp, she just doesn't care about YOU, Anderson. Don't get it twisted.
McNally comes in then with her clothes and Dr. O'Donnell shows her to the space she can use.
Rose is lying there in ICU, all alone with no security?? And Spector is wheeled right in there after surgery? WHAT?? This is BULLSHIT!
Dr. O'Donnell and the surgeon are talking about the Strangler above; he is of the old school that says medical need must drive treatment, regardless of whether he's a murdering bastard or not. Allegedly.
Stella's changing and being briefed by the PR liaison; she's reviewing her statement when Burns walks in. She won't be doing that statement. She asks if she's still SIO and Burns kicks out the PR person. Stella reminds the liaison before she leaves to monitor all press about Spector so that it can't be judged as inaccurate or creating biases later for court.
That seems like a very difficult way to manage a case, trying to manage outside perception instead of locking down things like Paul Spector's clothing, left on the floor of the ER for ages.
Burns always speaks to Stella as though he has a hat in hand, please, ma'am, may he have a cup of vagina? He stood up for her! He'd like some recognition (and vagina) for that, please! And he will be managing her too, he said he would and please don't make it difficult for him. She suggest he straighten his tie, perhaps he could manage himself first is the implication.
We all look at his tie.
Tom Stagg (Jonjo O'Neill) has been waiting nervously for Rose, Stella takes him to her as he asks what ELSE is going on in the hospital. Oh I never even thought that Spector might be in danger from people like Tom, I was just worried about what HE would do, or how upset Rose would be if she saw him. That must have been what Stella meant earlier. Rose is awake and doing somewhat better!
Burns gives his statement, which brings everything to a head for more than a few; Katie (Aisling Franciosi) knows they're talking about Paul, even if they don't name him on the news, she has to get to him! She can't leave the house, though, her mum has her locked in because Katie's on bail. She facetimes (people literally never do that, they text. When was the last time you saw a teenager facetiming on the street and not texting?) a friend to ask her to go to the hospital on her behalf: denied.
Anderson comes home alone to his beautiful empty flat, there is no There there, nothing much at all but a glorious view. He stands on the balcony and suddenly I'm worried he's a risk for jumping. No idea why, except that I think I'm conditioned to imagine that whenever someone distressed is at height.
Katie's reading all the news that she can find about the Belfast Strangler, so is Sally Ann and they both stop at the E-Fit drawing of Rose's description by Rose. Olivia joins Sally Ann in bed, I suppose Sally Ann lost the baby she was carrying? I don't remember. Oh damn, Olivia sent her mother to get her water and she managed to read a bit about her father being the Strangler.
Tom's brought a picture from their children for Rose, he gives it to her as he's shoo-ed away and I'm a little concerned with how glazed she seems. Tom wants to know what's going on and I saw this online and it is absolutely needs repeating here:
Paraphrased: How Tom responds to Rose and takes care of her will help or hinder Rose's recovery. She needs to know she's safe and loved. He has to be patient and tender. Tomorrow is another day.
He leaves without another word and I so hope people watching got all that. How important the After part is for people who have been traumatized. There is a (perhaps natural) tendency to focus on how YOU feel after your partner has been attacked or shared information about a previous attack with you, but it really can't be stressed enough how much more difficult it can be to recover when they have to focus on that.
Stella stands in Spector's room, watching the rise and fall of his chest until a nurse comes in and summarily throws her out. That same nurse spent a few extra minutes staring at his face earlier, my ears are up with that one. That and I'm sure she'll remember Stella being in there for the trial.
Stella takes a look over at Rose and then comes over to visit an elderly woman who is so very happy to see her. This must be her mother, but she's only listed as Old Lady (Barbara Adair) in IMDb, so we don't know just yet. She may just be an elderly lady in need of company and Stella gives it to her.
Spector opens his eyes
Which the nurse MIGHT (my kingdom for a name badge I can make out) but doesn't raise an alarm so maybe not. There's something hinky for sure with that one.
And we're out! I got a little lost in the front half, all the medical jargon draaaaaggggged for me, but it absolutely redeemed itself in the back quarter for me. This show is at it's best when it addresses social issues through Stella's perspective, I enjoy her cool gaze muchly. I couldn't care less if Paul Spector makes it or not. The Fall is at it's most interesting when we're watching Stella work, not fight red tape, but we'll see how the season goes. Until next time, keep your ICUs segregated and your elbows on the mend!