I finished the last episode of The Fall a couple of hours ago, and it’s taken me this long to stop double (and triple) checking my locks. However brilliant this series is, and however problematic on some respects, if I had to use only one word to describe it, I’d go with “creepy”. Yeah. I’ll add “paranoia-inducing” and “really really creepy”, just for good measure.
“My Adventurous Song” continues to cover the investigations both of the three murdered women and of Olson, as well as keeping Paul and his life on the frontlines. The graphic violence came back with a vengeance, but it (mostly) served a purpose: Paul’s growing confident and beginning to make mistakes, and it definitely showed this time. He ended up killing his intended target’s boyfriend, as well, and fleeing the scene with several of her friends as witnesses. Granted, he had his face covered, but at this rate he’s not going to remain hidden much longer.
Stella continues to blow my mind with her confidence, her absolute lack of patience for needless drama and, mostly, her efficacy and genuine passion for the job. I love how a good chunk of the episode was spent conversing with other women about a variety of topics that included their personal lives, yes, but which was in no way limited to their relationship with men – especially because Danielle, when confronted with Stella’s “do you have a man?”, admitted that she’s gay. May I make a parenthesis here and remark how impressed I am by the writers’ decision to wait half a season to reveal this? It allowed the viewer to meet Danni and develop an opinion about her without any homophobic prejudices tainting it. Storytelling-wise, that was a brilliant move. I also love how much of a non-issue it was: Danni was hesitant to bring it up, but did so definitely and matter-of-factly, and Stella merely continued with their conversation, her respect for Danni clearly not diminished in the least.
Speaking about Danni: I truly enjoy how the narrative visibly frames her as a younger version of Stella, in the way that she’s capable, ambitious and hungry for knowledge, but she’s also very noticeably her own person, with her own personality traits; and this makes her neither better nor worse than Stella herself. Danni is Danni, and that’s all she needs to succeed. Paula Reed Smith also got some focus: she’s a highly competent, no-nonsense sort of woman, with a sense of irony that I want to somehow materialize and carry around in my pocket. (She gets extra points for being played by actress Archie Panjabi, the woman responsible for bringing The Good Wife’s wonderful Kalinda to life.)
Now, Paul. I always save Paul for last, because he always, unfailingly, freaks me out. He has so many faces, both metaphorically and literally, and all of them are so carefully and coldly conveyed that I can never be fully prepared for what I know is coming. He demands gratitude for helping a woman get away from her abusive husband and he genuinely believes he deserves it, that brutally assaulting and murdering other women doesn’t make him a horrible person. It’s just… what on earth is on his mind half of the time? Why does he seem sincerely… fond, I guess, if only in an extremely creepy way, of the teenage girl he’s flirting with or who’s flirting with him – or both? Why does he target professionally successful women? What is he punishing them for? Their success? Their youth? Their independence? I have no idea – and I sure as hell hope that we get to find out at some point during the finale on Monday.
What were your thoughts on “My Adventurous Song”?