Netflix show ‘The Fall’ falls short

It really stings when good TV goes bad


Lydia Wieczorek, Staff Reporter

Bad shows are a television staple. We see them often. The world is overrun with them in fact; their births barely acknowledged, their deaths unmourned. However, It’s when something that starts strong and turns out to be lackluster, that really hurts.

Netflix’s show ‘The Fall’ is one of those heartbreaking cases. A detective superintendent, Stella Gibson, played by Gillian Anderson, battles her own personal demons as she tries to get inside the head of serial killer Paul Spector, played by Jamie Dornan, who is hiding behind a family-man facade.

Off the bat, the show had appeal. Paul was a stereotypically attractive man with the picture-perfect life: wife, kids and a good job; however, he held a secret no one knew of him. This is what was so intriguing. The Fall was a taut game of cat and mouse. It was a horror story about a normal family man with a monstrous secret tracked by a mysterious police officer who couldn’t explain her attraction to the case. Every episode, as Spector’s murders grew more brutal, and the circle closed in around him, was even more unbearably tense than the last. It kept the viewer interested in what was going to happen next. It was a proper, grown up, sexy, scary thriller.

And then it wasn’t.

Like anyone else who watched it, the exact moment The Fall fell apart can be pinpointed. It’s halfway through the second season and too many doors had been opened now. Gibson was finally supposed to come face-to-face with Spector, allowing us to see all the violence and chemistry that had long been promised. We’re supposed to find out what happens between vital characters involved in Spector’s life. What is Paul’s backstory?

This is where the show begins to feel rushed and important notes are left out. We find out all of these subjects but they are never elaborated on nor explored deeper than surface level. Disappointingly enough, this issue isn’t remedied throughout the rest of the season onto its third season either.

The show’s premise was promising and succeeded in reeling me in for the first season or so but fell short when plot holes and unanswered cliffhangers began to pile up. It felt like a tight, compact one-series show had been blasted wide open for three seasons so that it could brag about having Gillian Anderson on its books for the long term.

The series would have definitely benefited from being a little more thought out and having some of these looser ends tied together more clearly for the viewers to understand the storyline. Overall, the series does what we can only assume it intends to do – leaving you to ask these questions.

However, the slow-burning psychological thriller that the series could have been leaves a little more to be desired.