The Fall Episodes 3-5 Recaps: Virgins And Vamps (Season Finale) - GMonsterTV

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The Fall Episodes 3-5 Recaps: Virgins And Vamps (Season Finale)

In case you haven't heard of "The Fall", the show originally aired in the UK in May 2013. It can be viewed in the US on Netflix. Season 2 is planned for release sometime in 2014. Below is my review of the last three episodes. 

"The Fall" takes place in Belfast Northern Ireland. It follows a serial killer named Paul Spector who disguises himself as a bereavement counselor and family man. Paul is played by Jamie Dornan who was previously Sheriff Graham on "Once Upon A Time". Jamie will also portray Christian in the upcoming "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie. Police Investigator Stella Gibson (played by Gillian Anderson of "X-Files" fame) has been called in to lead up the investigation. 

The show is different from others in that we know who the killer is right off the bat. The question is how the police will catch him. There aren't any car chases or big gun fights, so if you're looking for that, you'll want to try elsewhere. The show is instead a cat and mouse game between two characters-- Paul (the serial killer) and Stella (the police detective). It deals with each person's obsessions and how they are manifested in different ways. 

Paul Spector is a kind, caring person (except for the part where he breaks into women's houses, rapes them, kills them, bathes them, does their hair and nails and takes "artful" photos of them). He targets professional woman but we don't know why. He has a notebook with keepsakes from his victims (locks of hair, ID cards, etc). He also likes to draw naked pictures of his clients and has a weird fascination with mannequins. Not sure what that's about. Mannequins are creepy.  

Paul and his daughter are shown on TV as being in the area where one woman was killed. His wife (Sally Ann) encourage him to try to help the police. This is where the story doesnt work for me. He willing goes to the police station and uses his wife as an alibi to his whereabouts. When she asks where he actually was, Paul says he was having an affair with their 15 year old babysitter Katie. Hello! Your alibi REALLY sucks! Can't you think of anything else to make up? You're creating more problems instead of getting out of them. His wife threatens to leave him. Then they get back together (Sally Ann's pregnant again) and pack up the family and leave for Scotland. 

And don't tell me Sally Ann is not suspicious at this point. She had to lie for him to the police. He gave their daughter a necklace owned by one of the victims. He roams around all night and apparently quit his job at the suicide hotline three months ago. She says something to the effect of, at some point in a relationship you get to know a person's family and friends and find out why your partner is the way they are. That never happened with Paul because he grew up in orphanages. She says she has no idea who he really is. Trust us Sally, you don't want to know!

The other main player in the show is Detective Stella Gibson. She is a woman who is very aggressive (both professionally and sexually). She picks up another police officer (James Olson) for a one night stand. He is later killed and their affair comes to light. She is unapologetic. It turns out she also had an affair with another officer previously. He says "Do you have any idea what you do to men? I would have left my wife, my kids, my job for you", to which Stella coldly replies "Well that would have been a mistake". BURN! 

Stella seems keenly aware of how society views women saying crime victims are labeled by the media as either "virgins or vamps". She also tells a lot of anthropological stories about such things as "Walking Marriages" (look it up) and "Doubling". I'm interested to learn what makes Stella tick. 

There are a few other story lines: Paul's daughter has night terrors (probably because her father's murder journals are hidden in the crawl space above her bed). There's some police corruption (hookers, drugs, the usual). Paul has an abusive husband carted off to prison. A local thug is threatening him as a result. Dude, dont you know not to threaten serial killers? 

Paul exhibits more humanity than your typical serial killer. When he finds out one of his victims was pregnant, he writes a letter to the father apologizing (saying he would never had killed her had he known). Apparently babies are more important than grown women.  Go figure. Anyway, the letter opens communication between Paul and the police. Stella finds clues on the letter (hair samples and an outline a child's drawing). Paul then calls Stella to taunt her-- always a bad move. But it sets the story in motion for what we're really waiting to see-- the showdown between Paul and Stella. Stay tuned for season 2. 

Quotable quotes:

  • "One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star"- Paul in a letter to a murder victim's father. 
  • "Cats are evil creatures"- Paul (apparently he's a dog person).

Grade: 4 Monsters (out of 5). If you're expected a fast paced US style "whodunit" you may be disappointed. "The Fall" is more of a character study with a slow burn to the finale. I'll definitely check out season 2 when it comes out. 

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The Fall Episodes 3-5 Recaps: Virgins And Vamps (Season Finale) Reviewed by GMonsterTV on 2:00 PM Rating: 5 In case you haven't heard of "The Fall", the show  originally aired in the UK in May 2013. It can be viewed in the US on N...


  1. Hi GMonster,

    Just a note to say that your reviews are very intelligent and insightful. I've read only this one, but when I've had a chance to, I'll read your other reviews of The Fall (and I see you have written about House of Cards, so I'll read them next).

    How I found your blog was that I wanted to see if anyone had made the connection between Paul's note in which he says, "One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star" and Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarasthustra... Just an fyi that these aren't really Paul's words, but Nietzsche's, which is fitting, since in series 2 we see Paul reading some volume of N's (can't remember which, or in which episode--easily findable, I assume), and he definitely positions himself as sort of Nietzschean Superman, above the laws of man...seems to be an overt plot point, especially in series 2.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that your writing is quite lovely. Cool Ugly Doll avatar.


  2. Oops...I jumped the gun. I see that, literally two seconds later, the origin of the quotation gets discussed in this ep, Nietzsche and all. Sorry 'bout's been a year or so since I'd seen the first series, and I forgot.

  3. Thanks Denise. I appreciate your kind words. Do you think there will be another season of "The Fall"? Not sure now that Jamie Dornan is busy with "50 Shades Of Grey" and Gillian Anderson with "Hannibal" and the reboot of the "X Files" (which I cant wait to see).