TV Focus//The Fall – Episode 5

Warning – Contains huge spoilers so avoid reading this if you haven’t seen the final episode yet!

Starring: Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan.

The story: Stella Gibson is edging ever closer to finding the killer and thanks to a rushed attack at the end of last week’s fourth part he’s on the run with excuses and lies coming down faster than rain in Scotland. As the evidence appears and the stakes get higher, “things are going to be so different from now on…”

“This time he’s really fouled up…”

Following the “scissor scene”, as some have dubbed it, at the conclusion of part four Anne Brawley is in hospital clinging to life, whist (we now discover) her brother is deceased via said scissors. (If you’ve seen it you’ll know to what I refer). Even after a fouled up murder, Dornan’s creepy killer is in organised mode, disposing of evidence as he goes, then sending the babysitter Katie on her way with some force. Her distinctly flirtatious conversation annoys him clearly and when she rather unwisely flashes her assets with a suggestive “Do I look like a kid?” you begin to question just what happened when she asked him to kiss her wound better a few episodes back…

“Sally Ann, I have something to confess…”

That is, an affair with Katie apparently, that sends his partner Sally-Ann into an understandable mood but following an impromptu sex session in an unknown location and the revelation she’s pregnant with their third child there’s a change of attitude and they’re planning to go away.  The doubling, as Stella puts it so succinctly in the hospital earlier in the episode, that Dornan portrays is compelling and even though you know he’s a killer you almost see the desperation in his eyes as he wriggles almost successfully out of the corner he’s in. Indeed, a sex scene has never seemed as downright creepy as the one depicted between the couple.

Stella, meanwhile, is getting ever more determined in her pursuit of Dornan’s killer and while she’s examining crime scenes and running tests it’s obvious from the eye bags on her face and the tension in her actions she’s set in her task. The emotions are coming out in trickles but they are definitely there and Anderson’s portrayal of Stella Gibson is easily the best thing about The Fall next to Jamie Dornan’s ultra creepy killer. The moment – fleeting moment I should add – that they meet in the corridor at the police station is enough to convince the viewer she’s now got a very subtle seed planted in the back of her mind that will surely flower in the second series.

The phone conversation between the two leads at the episodes conclusion is easily the highlight of the series. Just as we think the justice-will-prevail tag ending will come he’s teasing her with a faceless admission of guilt, on an unregistered pay as you go phone no less, and the determination of each shows through strongly. On one hand, the killer is ready to move on and forget his failings, burning them symbolically in a car boot earlier on, but on the other Stella is reminding him he’ll never stop and the fact he struck too early is a “fuck up”.

This exchange sets the scene for the next series and seals Stella’s determination to conclude her hunt and as the family drive off to go and start again the news that Anne Brawley has recovered consciousness comes… and with that the credits roll. In an age when a tv series can be cancelled as quick as a snap of the fingers with no answers given we’re seriously pleased the chase will continue and hopefully very soon…

Best Line: “Art gives the chaos of the world an order that doesn’t exist…”

The Decisive Statement Award: “It won’t be over until I stop you…” (Stella to the killer)

The good news: With a second series commissioned the brilliant performances of Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan will be back. Such a well directed, well written and above all well acted drama is rare to find and the wait until the second series will be a long one…

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan.

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