The Fall (2013-)
Season 3 - 6 episodes (2016)
Watch The Fall on Netflix
Created by:Allan Cubitt
Starring: Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch
DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) chases serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan).
In season three, Gibson discovers more about Spector's past, while Spector may not be fit for trial.
While not as good as the first two seasons, it is a conclusion to the Paul Spector arc, albeit a bit underwhelming.
This series started off with such a unique way to tell the story of a serial killer, and in season three it relies on an amnesia trope. The story becomes contrived and is far too static most of the season as the detectives uncover Spector's background. The first episode is great and never matched after that. It's not a bad season, but it doesn't live up to the first two.
Season one was the setup, season two the case, and season three the aftermath (Read my Season 1 & 2 reviews).
Creator Cubitt does have ideas for future seasons, though thankfully Dornan won't be back. Cubitt had originally envisioned this show as Gibson tracking a different murderer each season.
I had heard season three was bad, and while the story isn't as well plotted as the first two seasons, it was serviceable as a conclusion to the story. For most of the season Spector thinks he's in the past, suffering from acute short term memory loss. We're left guessing as to the true status of his mind, as are the cops. This part of the story was annoying, but the show uses that to spur the detectives to dig into his past. We learn more about Spector, but it wasn't really necessary.
With Spector in custody this season is a lot slower, relying on interviews and bombshells about his past for excitement. While it's a method to develop his character, it just feels clumsy. The show plants a few seeds to indicate he might be lying, but that's because the cops are as incredulous as the viewer.
The cops dig up someone he knew in the past and ret-con a crime so they have charges for him despite his memory loss. It feels a bit disingenuous as it's pulled from thin air.
In episode four Spector's lawyers begin creating a defense. They question the relationship between Gibson and Spector. If they are going to have any shot at this case, that seems like a good place to start. If they get into her relationships with other men on the force, it could certainly hurt the prosecution.
It's a conclusive ending, certainly, but it feels a bit underwhelming. It's not a bad ending, and at least it's better than Spector becoming a lumberjack.