Are you ready for the epic battle between Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)? Here we go! The Fall season 3, episode 1 is “Silence and Suffering.” It begins seconds after the finale of season 2. Beware the spoilers.
For the next 6 days, I plan to post a recap of each episode of season 3 of The Fall. If you are a fan of this series, I’m sure you’ll have watched it all before I labor through 6 days of reviews. Please stick with me and comment as appropriate on each episode.
This episode is about rushing everyone to the hospital and fighting to keep them alive. Rose Stagg (Valene Kane) is still alive after 4 days in the trunk of a car. They get her stablized.
The abusive husband John Tyler who showed up in the woods with a gun was shot dead by the police.
DS Tom Anderson (Colin Morgan) was shot in the left arm and may have nerve damage, but he is sent home. Before he goes home he whines to Stella Gibson because she ran to Paul Spector and not him and cried, “We’re losing him,” in an anguished voice. Why does she have to explain to this man-child that she ran to the most injured and that she wants him to stand trial and go to prison?
Spector was critically injured by Tyler and they barely manage to keep him alive. He’ll need more surgery tomorrow, but for tonight he’s alive. He opens his eyes, glances around quickly, then closes them again. No one notices him doing it. I keep wondering why is he bare chested in his hospital bed? Don’t men get to wear tops, have blankets?
The higher-ups give the order that ACC Jim Burns (John Lynch) will do all the talking to the press. Stella is still in charge of the case, but Burns wants her to know it’s only because he stood up for her. Since these shootings happened while Spector was in police custody, the high mucky mucks are nervous about public response.
Spector’s wife Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh) is told what happened. She tells her children that their father was hurt in a car wreck. Spector was hallucinating about a car wreck when the episode first opens – a car wreck in a long tunnel with a light at the end. His mother’s voice calling him “Peter” urges him toward the light. His daughter Olivia’s (Sophie Beattie) voice urges him to stay.
The love-struck babysitter Katie (Aisling Franciosi) hears the news on the TV, but can’t run straight to Paul like she wants because she’s confined to her house while out on bail. In past seasons, there were many parallels between what Spector and Stella Gibson were doing. In this episode, we see Katie scrolling through the news on her computer to find out about Paul, and that morphs into Sally Ann doing the exact same thing.
Little Olivia sneaks a peak at her mom’s computer and sees a news report calling her dad The Belfast Strangler.
Stella Gibson does two interesting things in this episode. Tom Stagg (Jonjo O’Neill) comes to the hospital to see his wife. As he’s leaving he tells Stella how furious he is that he didn’t protect Rose and wonders why she didn’t yell or fight back. Stella tells him that the most common reaction to a life threatening situation is not flight or flight, but petrifying fear. She stresses that compliance is not consent. She tells Tom that how he treats Rose – the love and support he gives her – will be what determines her recovery. He seems to listen.
Gillian Anderson is powerful in scenes like this. You see all sorts of unspoken history in her face, her eyes, her posture. History that says she knows exactly what she’s talking about because she’s lived it.
The other interesting thing Stella does happens near the end of the episode. Rose Stagg and Paul Spector are in the ICU. Spector is in a private room with a very attentive Nurse Sheridan (Aisling Bea). Rose is in an open area with several beds. As Stella is about to leave for the night, an elderly woman (Barbara Adair) in a bed speaks to her. The woman thinks Stella is her daughter and tells her how happy she is to see her. Stella sits down by the woman, strokes her hand, and stays with her.
Stella’s behavior with Tom Stagg and the elderly woman remind us that Stella is a kind and good woman. She wants justice and is relentless in its pursuit, but she’s a caring individual. In case you forgot that you love everything about Stella Gibson already.