The Fall: Full Season
October 17, 2016 10:27 AM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan are back in action for the final season of serial killer drama set in Belfast, The Fall.

Recap of action from seasons 1 and 2 here.

[I have added a full season post for those of us lucky enough to be able to watch the show now as it airs in Europe. The option of posting episode by episode is left open for those of you watching on the other side of the Atlantic where it starts airing at the end of the month.]
posted by roolya_boolya (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Only seen the first three episodes so far. It's still good, but it feels like Cubitt was reading a bit too much Atul Gawande over the holidays, and episodes 1 and 2 were basically catalogues of medical terminology. I'm eager to see how it all resolves, and am very concerned for the well being of the Strangler's ICU nurse.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:25 PM on October 17, 2016

I was frustrated by the lack of anything at all happening in the first two episodes. Episode 3 picks up the pace a bit but the series is halfway through at this point. Particularly in episode 4, I like that this season makes it glaringly obvious that Stella is deeply empathetic. Her facial expressions in ep 4 are soul-destroying.
posted by frantumaglia at 5:59 AM on October 18, 2016

I like that this season makes it glaringly obvious that Stella is deeply empathetic.

Her conversation with Rose's husband in the first or second episode was fantastic as well. She showed a lot of understanding and empathy but also used that to get across quite bluntly that he had to avoid indulging his own feelings and take responsibility for the impact his reaction would have on Rose.
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:31 PM on October 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

This was such a slow show this series -- like, I mean, simply in terms of things moving or people speaking. Like, I'm pretty sure Sally Ann's only line was telling Olivia to drink the warm milk. So many shots of people not speaking. But now that I've seen the finale... I feel like it was warranted.

I wish that the lead of the additional 9 potential murders was tied off, but there was a risk of it becoming soapy -- I admit my first thought when the amnesia became evident was "oh shit, is this All My Children?" -- so I'm satisfied enough with the ending.

But there was a moment when Stella really needed to cockpunch Burns after he was all "oh how could we have known" after Sally Ann tried to drive into the sea. BECAUSE STELLA FUCKING TOLD YOU SO, YOU DRUNKASS MORON, OH MY GODDDDDD.
posted by sldownard at 3:10 PM on October 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

I haven't watched the whole season yet, but when Sally Anne is discovered on the beach...gillian Anderson's response was fantastic.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:59 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

I found this show very soothing to watch. You knew that Stella would be correct all the time, and that any man on the show would make bad decisions out of stupidity or malice or whatever. It's a level of misandry I don't see out of comment threads at The-Toast (RIP) and it was very relaxing to watch the reverse of what I usually see on tv.
posted by jeather at 5:54 PM on November 2, 2016 [6 favorites]

I felt disappointed by the end. That quiet moment of empty. All of that come to nothing. I just wanted to hug her.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:04 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Stella had a line somewhere in this season about how Paul was still managing to poison everything, even captured and amnesiac. I wasn't disappointed because it was the fulfillment of that observation. Paul was nothing but toxic and he ruined everything that he touched - the murders, yes, but also Katie, Sally Ann, the careers of at least two police officers, the staff of the clinic who are going to do some serious "how the fuck did this happen" re-evaluations, etc. Stella's career won't be seriously hurt by this, but she didn't come out unscathed emotionally, and that emptiness at the end was a reflection of that.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 7:15 PM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

I like that interpretation. But to add to it, Stella's conversation with Katie suggests that while damaged by the experience, she can choose to survive and grow. Stella is scarred by what happened, but not ruined.

Paul's death, then, becomes a redemption arc. Perhaps by confronting the man he killed (I forget his name) he realized how dangerous he really is and took his own life in order to not spread the toxicity even further.

I saw the death as an escape. He realizes he can no longer manipulate circumstances to an end he desires. (The cops found a crime he remembers. It's unlikely anyone will be believe that the death was an accident all things considered.) He does the only thing he can to remain in control. He kills himself. Instead of facing the justice system, he pronounces judgement on himself and perhaps prevents some families by having closer by taking information about other victims with him.

But I still like your read. What spurred his revelation was the reveal that his friend took the murder rap because Paul had spared him being the favorite. Even that one strange potential merciful act ended up becoming corrupted.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:56 AM on November 3, 2016

I read his suicide very differently: I think it was about Stella. She'd talked repeatedly throughout the season about why she wanted him to live, to face justice. The last interaction before his suicide, at that interview, Paul starts dropping the conceit of amnesia and admits he remembers a voice calling out "We're losing him". I think he knows it was Stella, of course, but wants to make her admit it. Stella tells him that was her, and explains why.

Or reframed, Stella told Paul another way to hurt her: die without facing trial. Lacking any better way to lash out at that point, that's what he did. It's also about control, but I don't think there was any real judgement on himself there, other than the self-loathing that I think he always had.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:15 AM on November 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

This season was really a slow build. The first episode was a total waste - all of the medical drama could have been condensed to five minutes or less. But it steadily redeemed itself. I was worried he would escape in the final episode and we'd have a fourth season of trying to find him, but at least it's wrapped up. Anyone know if Stella will be back to solve another murder?
posted by AFABulous at 7:55 PM on November 5, 2016

Loved the whole series, but I'm left with one question: Why did they call it The Fall?
posted by sixpack at 5:28 PM on November 12, 2016

I checked wikipedia:

British television series The Fall references [TS Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men"] in its title and in series 1 episode 3 serial killer Paul Spector writes the lines 'Between the idea and the reality, Between the motion and the act falls the Shadow' in his journal of his murders.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:39 PM on November 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

For those who wish to read the poem.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:13 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Knowing that the series was named after that poem, the ending is perfectly fitting. As I've had time to think about the ending, I think it's very fitting. I wanted emotional resolution (much like some of the characters) and the feeling I had after watching it mirror Gillian's. Very well played.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:30 PM on November 13, 2016

I am really trying to manage season 3 but my God, Anderson's voice is so raspy/whispery I cannot take it. Subtitles only highlight how very little is happening. I fast forward through easily half the episodes. I thought I was cured from the trauma of Caveziel's constant whispering in Person of Interest (which I endured to the end because I loved so much about the show) but nope.

All these shows seem to have the same disease of having the lead detective/person never EVER speak normally and it DRIVES ME INSANE. WT F?!??!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:23 AM on February 3, 2017

Oh boy. Just finished watching this season and wow. I loved Stella and Gillian Anderson's portrayal of her. Just excellent characterization and acting. The ending was quite satisfying, though I'd love to see another season with Stella solving a different series of crimes.

I agree with jeather, there were almost no men with redeeming qualities in this show--they were either cruel (Paul, the priest who abused the boys), or weak and cowardly (Burns), or full of hubris (the head psychiatrist at Foyle, the police higher ups) or self centred (Rose's husband). It was the women who were strongest and smartest and most compassionate, to echo the ICU head doctor (who was one of the few decent men). This whole show was about women trying to survive men's aggression and arrogance.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:37 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

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