The Fall Series 1 Episode 2 (BBC2) Review

Last week’s slow and creepy opener to The Fall got a very good reaction from critics and audiences alike, and deserved all of it, but when watching this second episode unfold in such a particular and peculiar way, I couldn’t help but feel this was an even stronger effort. The scope of Gibson and Spector’s cat and mouse game just got a lot bigger and, via some interesting choices, it seemed we were able to see every moment through several sets of eyes.

The opening sequence was masterfully done, with Stella’s casual encounter with an officer she met last week cut together with Paul lovingly tending to Sally’s corpse. There’s a lot of mirroring like this in The Fall, and it’s largely left for the audience to decide what each instance of it means but, for me, it serves to lend Spector’s secret tendencies to each of the other characters, no matter how innocent they otherwise may be – whether it’s a parent reaching out to their child, or Paul washing his daughter’s hair in much the same way he did his last victim’s.

In addition to the longer look into Paul’s home life, in which we discover that his daughter may not be a clueless as he thinks, we also begin to learn of the corruption in the Belfast police force that is preventing Stella’s review into Alice’s murder from getting anywhere. Even with another killing, discovered by Sally’s sister later the next day, Stella’s superiors flat-out forbid anyone from making the connection between the incidents. The show isn’t just about Stella and Paul anymore, even if they are at the centre of everything.

Every scene of the episode felt important, even if they were completely mundane or ordinary, and the complexity The Fall has so far revealed is really something to admire. With no murder mystery for the audience to solve, we’re forced to take a look into the characters and what makes them tick, so it’s a good job Stella and Paul are such interesting and disconcerting characters to study. I can only imagine what the show is building up to, if this is what they pull out in week two, but let’s hope it doesn’t break its own rules in subtlety and the power in slow, near-silent character beats away from the story.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.