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The Fall

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Glad I'm not the only one hugely bothered by this nurse.  Aren't dark haired young professionals his type?  I keep hoping she's a police plant to provoke him into something, which would be horrible and contrived, but would make more sense than this.

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Maybe it's just because the show isn't about this, but there seems to be a real lack of psychological assistance for several people who might need it.  The wife and children - their father is charged with murder.  That might require some support.  The police who lost a colleague.  Rose who was held captive for several days. I was wondering if it was a cultural thing - stiff upper lip more than touchy-feely North American emotional mojo.

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An especially brilliant touch was Paul commenting on his video, explaining that the "you" in his "Why are you watching this!??" could mean the audience for psycho-sex-killer crime dramas. [Entire audience of The Fall raises its hand and shouts, "Guilty!"]

From the beginning the show has tried to implicate its audience in Paul's twistedness, and has succeeded. Stella's predilection for dominating her sex partners, the behavior of her various "suitors" who have sought to conquer her, and the audience's voyeurism have all been presented as points on the same spectrum occupied by Paul Spector. He's just a little further out along that spectrum than the rest of us. You can agree or disagree with the show's POV that we have more in common with Paul Spector than we'd care to admit, but it is the show's POV, and the show (in my opinion) has made a compelling argument for it.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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Paul did actually set the timeframe at 6 years when he was initially questioned after he woke up.  He stated explicitly that in his mind, the year was 2006 - 6 years earlier than the 2012 the show is set in.

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On 10/2/2016 at 7:32 PM, John Potts said:

Yeah, while I quite like Casualty: Belfast (and I loved the Doctor), it did seem a completely different show from last Seasons.

So much so, that about twenty minutes in, I had to rewind to the opening credits, because I was sure there had to be a new showrunner. But nope, it's the same Allan Cubitt who wrote all and directed most of the first two seasons.

I hope it gets better.

Question, for those of you who know something about British medicine: I was surprised that both in the Emergency Room scene and in the Operating Room scene, the guy in charge was kind of a "director"--not doing anything himself, but keeping an eye on the whole process and telling everyone else what to do. That's not the way I ever thought it worked in America (although, admittedly, the only two times I've been in an operating room myself, I was unconscious); in America, the guy-in-charge is always hands-on, at least in TV and movies. Do American TV and movies lie, or do the Brits really do this differently than the Americans?

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4 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

Do American TV and movies lie, or do the Brits really do this differently than the Americans?

It depends on the physician.  Some prefer to get into the thick of it.  Personally, I detest what I call "excitement medicine" and so I sit back and try to analyze every possible situation, preferring to do the directing myself.  I am not a surgeon though, and am referring only to critical or code situations.  

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8 hours ago, Infie said:

Paul did actually set the timeframe at 6 years when he was initially questioned after he woke up.  He stated explicitly that in his mind, the year was 2006 - 6 years earlier than the 2012 the show is set in.

Actually, the psychologist set it at 6 years.  Remember, he first said his daughter was "small," and then the psychologist suggested that she was 2 years old, and he nodded in agreement.  That's when I knew he was faking the amnesia.  The other tell for me was when he went to see his son.  He didn't love his children in the normal sense of the word, but saw them more as extensions of himself.

I think this was an excellent psychological thriller with top-notch writing and acting on all fronts.  It's not perfect, but nothing is. 

Stella Gibson is right up there with Jane Tennison as one of the best female characters ever written.  Stella was an accomplished police officer who had studied anthropology and psychology and was focused and relentless in her pursuit of a cunning serial killer.  She made some mistakes, but she owned up to them, which is more than most cops in her situation might have done, male or female.  It was a great scene between her and Rose when she admitted that it was her mistake that put Rose in danger because she didn't understand that Rose had been the only girl Paul had had sex with during the time he was known as Peter. 

The side characters were extremely well done, also.  For example, I found David Alvarez to be a fascinating character.  He sacrificed his own life to protect Paul because Paul had shown him mercy in the midst of their living hell.  I found it incredibly poignant that such loyalty had been born from such horror.  He probably excused the fact that Paul never gave him a second thought while he was sitting in prison because he knew that Paul was more damaged from the abuse they had suffered, and he felt a certain amount of guilt about that.

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan gave stellar performances.  I know that Paul's story is over, but I hope they do future episodes with Stella on a new case.

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On 1/21/2015 at 5:52 AM, millennium said:

I call bullshit on Spector's apparent cloak of invisibility.   He can just walk in anywhere he pleases without being questioned.  I imagine he won't appear on the security cams in the hallway outside Stella's door either.    Why did he need a card key anyway?  Can't he just turn into mist and slip under the door?

Yeah, I didn't buy that he could just walk into a hotel kitchen, find a master key AND Gibson's room number, all while the kitchen staff conveniently stayed away the whole time.

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Highly dangerous suspected serial killer "watched" by two medical professionals, never chained or locked down, allowed to wear civvies, walk around the ward barely escorted and visit his son! Holds hands with doe-eyed nursey victim effigy! Hospital so small that perpetrator and victim are within eyesight of each other!

Belfast sure went soft after the Troubles. SMH.

Also, lacking in cough drops. Stella and Rose need some Halls, stat.

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I'm sticking with the show, and the developments in it are not completely devoid of interest, but it is a mystery how the same showrunner, cast and crew were able to create compelling television for two whole seasons and now are creating television that moves as slowly as these last two episodes. I'm not bored, exactly, because I'm still paying attention, but I keep looking at my watch and going, "Christ, only 13 minutes have elapsed?!??," and, "OMG, there's still a half hour to go?!??," etc. Which doesn't seem like a good thing.

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On 10/25/2016 at 0:21 AM, Ravenya003 said:

This is definitely the point: to make us question our understanding of attraction/disgust, especially when a male/female pairing is involved. Stella has consistently and continually voiced her repulsion for Spector, and yet people both in the show and watching at home CONSTANTLY question her on this, believing she's involved in some sort of twisted "love" story. It's almost as though people see Stella as a Katie, even though Stella lives firmly in the real world, and Katie is in la-la land.

I don't think she's involved in a twisted love story--but I also don't think her interest in Spector is as simple as wanting to bring a victimizer of women (as a symbol of all male victimizers, criminal and otherwise) to justice. That's part of it, but not all of it. Stella, as someone who uses sex in the way other people use power, sees a kindred spirit in Spector. Someone who takes this tendency to lunatic extremes, true, but who nevertheless belongs on the same spectrum she does, even if he's much further out along it. She carries that secret.

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1 hour ago, Milburn Stone said:

Stella, as someone who uses sex in the way other people use power, sees a kindred spirit in Spector. Someone who takes this tendency to lunatic extremes, true, but who nevertheless belongs on the same spectrum she does, even if he's much further out along it. She carries that secret.

Does she? Why? Just because she has sex she's asserting her 'power'? As far as I can tell, unless I missed something, she had consensual sex with only 2 men, one of whom wasn't on the Spector case at all (Merlin is iffy for me in terms of the boss dynamic and frankly, a poor second choice after Archie Panjabi but then nothing was made of it so I'll also ignore it). There isn't a power/control aspect to that unlike Spector who broke into homes, raped and killed them. I don't think the two are similar at all and I don't like the implication that a woman having a bit of casual sex is somehow on the same sadistic spectrum.

And she's never kept her sex life a secret. Discreet, but not a shameful secret.

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On 1/14/2017 at 3:42 PM, SparedTurkey said:

Does she? Why? Just because she has sex she's asserting her 'power'? As far as I can tell, unless I missed something, she had consensual sex with only 2 men, one of whom wasn't on the Spector case at all (Merlin is iffy for me in terms of the boss dynamic and frankly, a poor second choice after Archie Panjabi but then nothing was made of it so I'll also ignore it). There isn't a power/control aspect to that unlike Spector who broke into homes, raped and killed them. I don't think the two are similar at all and I don't like the implication that a woman having a bit of casual sex is somehow on the same sadistic spectrum.

I think we've seen evidence with the two partners with whom Stella has had sex in the timeline of the show, and with the partner whom Stella had sex with in the past, that Stella holds all the cards in those relationships. In each case, when Stella is done with them, she's done; even though the men are not ready to be done with, and can carry around torches for her for years. You may not like the implication that Stella is into sex as a way to assert her power, but the show doesn't have any qualms about it.

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9 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

I think we've seen evidence with the two partners with whom Stella has had sex in the timeline of the show, and with the partner whom Stella had sex with in the past, that Stella holds all the cards in those relationships. In each case, when Stella is done with them, she's done; even though the men are not ready to be done with, and can carry around torches for her for years. You may not like the implication that Stella is into sex as a way to assert her power, but the show doesn't have any qualms about it.

So she holds the cards because her "power" lies in saying no to these men's subsequent demands on her after she has consensual sex with them? In which case, how is that possibly something she has control over? How can she control their emotions? Particularly as she never did anything to encourage or benefit from their continued attempts. She didn't incite Jimmy Olson to continually text her - he did it in the face of it. She never demanded Burns make her SIO because they'd had sex 20 years before - If he wants to carry a torch for 20 years, that's on him. She didn't lead him on but he still got drunk and attacked her  and yet it's her power at fault? You may have a point with the card holding in regards to Anderson but again, in the show, she was never shown as leading him on or punishing him for any personal relationship in the workplace or otherwise.

Meanwhile, Spector is using his power to kill. Rape. Mutilate. Desecrate a corpse. Emotionally (following physically) torture Annie Brawley by being her shrink and physically torture Rose Stagg for weeks. Because he hates women. Stella has sex with 3 men (over a 20 year period) and kisses a woman because she finds them attractive, takes no benefit from those encounters or exploits them in any way (while being rewarded with her colleagues' judgment and a sexual assault) but the two are comparable and on the same spectrum? No I don't agree. I don't dislike the implication because it is simply not there. If anything the three men she had sex with and Spector could be compared on the same spectrum because all 4 have displayed an utter dismissal, dislike or hatred towards women being in control of anything, including their own sexuality.

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2 hours ago, SparedTurkey said:

...the two are comparable and on the same spectrum? No I don't agree.

For the record, I never said (or remotely implied) that the two are comparable. But does Stella sense that she understands something about Spector because of something in herself? Yes, I think so. That--not her conduct itself--is the secret she carries.

By the way, I'm not claiming the show is any special breakthrough in this department. The trope of "detective who senses an affinity with the perpetrator" is an old one. I first was aware of it in Michael Mann's Manhunter (the first Hannibal Lecter movie) way back in 1986, and I'm sure it predates that. It's not particularly fresh. But this show probably won't be the last one to use it, either.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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5 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

For the record, I never said (or remotely implied) that the two are comparable. But does Stella sense that she understands something about Spector because of something in herself?

Well, you did in the beginning to be fair.

On 1/15/2017 at 6:47 AM, Milburn Stone said:

Stella, as someone who uses sex in the way other people use power, sees a kindred spirit in Spector. Someone who takes this tendency to lunatic extremes, true, but who nevertheless belongs on the same spectrum she does, even if he's much further out along it. She carries that secret.

I think she'd understand his compulsion to hunt potentially. And the single-minded focus that can result in. They are both hunters, she just happens to to hunt him. Not a groundbreaking take for this show I agree. I just disagree her having a little bit of sex should be grounds for suggesting it's where a woman's power lies or is expressed.

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Maybe we have different ideas about what "comparable" means. I absolutely said they are on the same spectrum--far apart from each other on that spectrum, which to me means not comparable. (Since I tend to think "comparable" in common usage means "alike.") But I guess in the true definition of comparable, i.e., able to be compared, I am saying there is a trait in her that can be compared to a trait in him (even though expressed in radically different ways), so I'll give you that.

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I just watched this. As everyone said, bizarrely slow and boring. I was in and out of the room putting away laundry and I don't think I missed anything. 

On 10/29/2016 at 7:33 PM, mjc570 said:

That was until that scene with Olivia - I had thought she was merely an utterly annoying child, until she showed how secretive and manipulate she was.  I don't know how old she's supposed to be (the "dollies" last season made her seem very young, as did her seeking comfort from her mother), but getting her mother out of the room,  and reading the laptop secretly makes her seem older. 

I think both of Paul's kids have aged several years since the first episode of the series, both in reality and in how they are written. Its not like its a surprise that kids grow or how long of a gap there is between filming these british shows, so they should have planned for it better one way or another - like having a gap in-show between seasons, or recasting the role with a younger kid, or not focusing on them so much when they don't seem to be doing anything for the plot, or whatever. 

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2 minutes ago, LeGrandElephant said:

I just watched this. As everyone said, bizarrely slow and boring. I was in and out of the room putting away laundry and I don't think I missed anything. 

I think both of Paul's kids have aged several years since the first episode of the series, both in reality and in how they are written. Its not like its a surprise that kids grow or how long of a gap there is between filming these british shows, so they should have planned for it better one way or another - like having a gap in-show between seasons, or recasting the role with a younger kid, or not focusing on them so much when they don't seem to be doing anything for the plot, or whatever. 

The son is one thing but Spector's relationship with his daughter was always an important part of the show.  The fact that the daughter aged up didn't bother me.  

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On 10/4/2016 at 0:00 AM, Ravenya003 said:

And it was definitely lemon juice she squirted in her friend's eye - you see her buying it at the store

Oh I missed that, I was wondering if it might be something serious that would cause permanent damage, like acid. If it was just lemon juice, the friend should be ok. 

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On 11/2/2016 at 0:14 AM, Lord Donia said:

I gotta say, that was not my takeaway at all. Did you guys think his amnesia was real? The Telegraph speculated that Spector being made aware that he was a killer was what spurred his suicide, basically out of shame and regret.

I finally got around to the series over these last two weeks. I never thought for a second that the amnesia was real. Someone better check with the actor too because he sure wasn't playing it that way. 

On 11/26/2016 at 10:59 AM, jsbt said:

As said above, when he realized they had him on Susan Harper(?), and then when Stella publicly emasculated him and stripped him down to the angry manchild he really was, all his avant-garde bullshit fell away and he was enraged. He had nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, so his suicide was one final, petulant "look at me" piece of showmanship. As she said, he wants to be noticed, he wants special treatment. Killing himself (and taking the weaker patient with him) was all he had left.

I don't think Stella tipped her hand or was overly confident or anything. She proved he was faking it. She took a beating for it, but she was right. I don't know how he wasn't under observation or in some form of solitary confinement just for assaulting a police officer though. 

I wouldn't mind seeing more of Stella though on a new case. The thing with shows nowadays is that there doesn't have to be any set timetable. They can come back in a couple of years, and it doesn't have to be 3 series again. It could be 1 with 8 episodes and two cases or something. 

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16 hours ago, ganesh said:

I don't think Stella tipped her hand or was overly confident or anything. She proved he was faking it. She took a beating for it, but she was right. I don't know how he wasn't under observation or in some form of solitary confinement just for assaulting a police officer though. 

I completely agree, I didn't intend to imply otherwise. The fact is she broke him down.

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That was the best part of the series. She totally got to him and he completely snapped. That's why it's incredulous that he wasn't arrest and jailed. 

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On 11/1/2016 at 8:43 PM, WearyTraveler said:

Here's why Specter committed suicide: he wanted to win.

He has been playing a game with Stella and his aim was to walk away scot free.  When he told her about hearing a voice saying "we can't lose him", he wanted to play her.  He thought that she was as involved in the game as he was.  But her response influenced his later actions.  She told him that she wanted him to live so that he would pay for his crimes and that a quick death was not punishment enough.

Once Spector saw that they had him on a crime that happened before the alleged memory loss, he realised that he lost the game for freedom. And even if he stayed in the care facility by wining the case with an insanity defense, Stella would still win, because what she wanted was for him to lose his freedom.  A regular prison or a medical facility makes no difference.  He is still locked up.

So, the only way Spector could win his game with Stella was denying her what she wanted: a long, drawn out punishment for him.  Paul was so intent on beating her, that he was willing to lose his life, just to win the game.  And the reason Stella does not appear to get any joy/satisfaction from the news of Spector's demise, is that she realises this.

He beat her up because he knew then that the only way for him to win, was to off himself.

Great analysis. I'd only add my sense that while Stella had to deal with Paul "winning," and depriving her of the ultimate satisfaction she was seeking, she was able to find satisfaction in having caught the right guy, saved Rose's life, and made sure he never killed again. Her glass of wine at the end didn't look to me like the "glass of bitter irony," it looked like "the glass of I can live with this."

Edited by Milburn Stone
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I finally found some time and watched all 3 seasons over a 4 day span and I have to say, with the exception of season 1, as each episode went on my interest waned and finally petered out to where I just didn’t care anymore. I hung on til the end though and I hope with Specter’s death that this show has come to its end. It does not need another season.

And a completely random observation but it really struck me while watching it that I don’t recall seeing a single black character, or any minority really other than Archie Panjab’s character, in the cast. Nobody on the police force, nobody in the hospital, nobody in the battered woman’s home, nobody in the trips to the park. Are there really so little minorities in Northern Ireland?

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4 hours ago, double-elvis said:

I finally found some time and watched all 3 seasons over a 4 day span and I have to say, with the exception of season 1, as each episode went on my interest waned and finally petered out to where I just didn’t care anymore. I hung on til the end though and I hope with Specter’s death that this show has come to its end. It does not need another season.

And a completely random observation but it really struck me while watching it that I don’t recall seeing a single black character, or any minority really other than Archie Panjab’s character, in the cast. Nobody on the police force, nobody in the hospital, nobody in the battered woman’s home, nobody in the trips to the park. Are there really so little minorities in Northern Ireland?

According to indexmundi the breakdown for the whole of Ireland is:

Quote

Irish 84.5%, other white 9.8%, Asian 1.9%, black 1.4%, mixed and other 0.9%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)

So, 94.3% white.

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On 11/8/2016 at 0:16 PM, islandgal140 said:

So many frustrating and incredibly stupid things going on. I know this isn't taking place in the US but it just makes no sense that there isn't an armed police person posted at his door. That a nurse, especially one fitting his type, is alone with him in the room, with blinds closed sometimes, with Spector unrestrained and able to have these long heartfelt conversations is mind boggling. I was foaming at the mouth when they had his victim in a bed 50 feet away from him. You mean to tell me there are no other rooms or beds available at that hospital?

I actually really like this season but I was horrified at that. Jesus, poor Rose! She's recovering from an unimaginable ordeal and she sees him? He's literally a room away from her? Belfast is a major city, I'm sure the hospital is a large one, surely they could've been placed on different floors? And he could be handcuffed?

That last shot of Sally Ann and the kids made me hyperventilate. Way too reminiscent of Susan Smith. I'm wondering if she's not going to off herself, as a literary shoutout to Paul's mom.

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6 hours ago, WearyTraveler said:

According to indexmundi the breakdown for the whole of Ireland is:

So, 94.3% white.

Thanks for the info! I guess the casting was pretty authentic then. I did not realize the majority was so high. 

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Late to this thread as I just now binge watched the entire series, but I wanted to share a few thoughts.  GA did play Stella as if she were sleepwalking.  I think it was a deliberate acting choice on her part to show Stella as a deep thinking "Poirot's little gray cells" detective. Her quiet demeanor also IMO was intended to show us that she had a difficult past to overcome.  GA played Dana Scully on X Files at times the same way at times depending on what was going on with her character, but not always.  I've also seen her in other roles where she was very different from Stella.  Personally, I think the acting was stellar.  Dornan was almost unrecognizable to me as the "sheriff" on  OUAT.  Whomever played Burns (sp) did a terrific job of portraying someone who has seen so much in his career that he is unable to cope without alcohol which quickly got out of hand.  The various police officers and clinic workers were very good as were the arrogant attorney and his legal cohort, and of course Dr. Larson and the ER doctor.  And, holy cow did Merlin grow up and fill out!  He grew into his ears and is quite dishy now.  

As to Specter and whether or not his amnesia was real or faked, I agree with whomever said, it was faked the entire time or at least Dornan played it that way. His expressions when he was alone or looking at himself in the mirror indicated to me that he not only remembered everything but was playing a long con game.  He killed himself because he realized he had lost the game.  Things turned around quickly once they proved he killed the woman that David Alvarez was in prison for killing.  I agree with those who say that last conversation with Stella made him realize that the game was over, hence his angry violent outburst.

I don't see the need for another season, and I just read that X Files was renewed for another season which means GA will be busy with that for awhile.  I do wish they had told us what had happened to little Liam and why Olivia was in foster care instead of with her maternal grandparents.  

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I'm just watching this now and agree with all of the comments:

-sooo slooow

-GA's weird accent/mannerisms, opacity

Plus the ridiculous: he confessed. This should be slam dunk case. There is a real dissonance with the feeling that the case is in jeopardy or something. 

Also ridiculous:..... we are working for a masculine paramilitary patriarchal culture....I would have started laughing. True or not, that's just a ridiculous thing to say

It is really irritating and kind of creepy watching the interactions with the male cop/boss and Stella. He is supposed to be what, the male oppressor, boss trying to keep her managed or controlled, complete with questioning her relationship with hot cop? See above re: blindingly obvious statement about patriarchal culture. Is his role to act it out? It feels forced, like he is solely there to fit this stereotype and it doesn't really fit the story....she caught Spector and found Rose alive, I don't quite get why there is this reaction like she royally screwed the case and ruined everything, Spector being shot notwithstanding. 

Really tired of Paul overall. 

Edited by cleo

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Friend told me that she loved this. I am enjoying immensely.  

Is it realistic that a serial killer would have empathy/compassion when counseling bereaved parents?

I am only on episode 4, season 1.

Are there only 63 residents in Belfast? So much six-degrees-of-separation. Otherwise, loving this series. 

Kind of don’t know why they bothered to include the wardrobe malfunction, since there are only five episodes in a season. 

Okay, I lied. That was my second complaint. 

Love Amy’s nosy, bullying neighbors. Wondering if they were at a pub during the attack.

Interesting that they all describe the victims as Caucasian, female, 30s. I see some exotic DNA.  Mideast or ... something else besides Caucasian?

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I am binge-watching, too. I’m on the final episode. I love this show, even though there are many flaws.

What I love:

GA’s acting

GA’s face

Stella’s “look”

How calm Stella is most of the time

The humor:

the police officer showing up late, to the initial meeting, his phone ringing (hip hop music) loudly: “Do you think anyone noticed that I was late?” “No, I think you got away with it.”

Jimmy and his friend have beaten up Spector. Bloody Spector is down on his knees, trying to obtain the address of the halfway house. “The music is quite lovely.” “What?” “They put me on hold.”

the ER “tsar” referring to O-neg blood as “house red”

the ER doctor just in general 

the advice Stella gave Rose Stagg’s husband to help him help Rose recover from this ordeal

the advice Stella gave Katie in the interrogation room 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criticisms:

Stella almost constantly in 3-4” heels

only 153 individuals live or work in Belfast

how the police did not find any of Spector’s hair at Sarah’s house

Olivia seems much younger than 8 years old. The only time she seemed 8 was when she was browsing the internet at school.

violent, mentally unstable patients live in such a posh institution

Edited by hoodooznoodooz
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I also love the way Stella conducts herself. So authoritative, so professional, commanding, direct. I have never watched a film or TV show in which a woman in a powerful position never does ANYthing that makes me think, “That could be construed as rather b- - - -y.” 

Edited by hoodooznoodooz

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I have not seen the actor in anything else. Does always walk like that?

They spent soooooo much money on this investigation and keeping him alive. And then addressing his amnesia.

Why does he get a private room, but Rose is out in a main room? And why did they ignore the police officer’s warning that if Rose saw Spector at the hospital, it would further traumatize her?

Did Spector find his targets online? Can you use computers in public places without logging in or showing ID?

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The Spectors’ marriage certificate (?)

Condition (status?):

Paul: bachelor

Sally: spinster 

I guess being widowed or divorced is a more respectable status than never having been married.  

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