“The Fall” recap (2.6): Actually, it’s all about ethics in serial murder

The helpful bald crime scene supervisor arrives with a crowbar and they pry open the boot. Hey, I’ve been watching a U.K. show for a while now, the terminology just seeps in. Inside there is…drum roll…ROSE STAGG. Well, what perhaps was Rose Stagg. Is she alive? They can’t find a pulse. Then she moves. I had a horrible flashback to that moment in Seven, you know the one. Sloth. *shudder*

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But Rose is actually alive, at least for now. Stella radios it in and Paul deems the results, “unexpected.” He says this with detached curiosity, like a science experiment went awry.

The chopper has spotted the reporter, which we knew they would. PC Hagstrom and partner are sent to investigate the distraction. But, wait, I don’t even know if she’s had a chance to chat up Ferrington yet. This could be their meet cute. You are ruining everything, newspaper guy.

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Rose is taken out on a stretcher and Stella implores the medics to not lose her. See, now that’s remorse, not that weird fantasy shit Paul was talking about. Inside the trunk they find water and some food, which Paul clearly left her. But then he left her, in the dark of that car trunk for however many days.

They show Stella something Rose has carved into her forearm. It says, “I love you.” A message to her family, no doubt. Our human instinct to do horrible things to each other can only ever be outweighed by our human instinct to love on another – if we let it.

Paul smiles a small, but real, smile at the suffering he has caused. All seems over. He has confessed. Rose has been found alive. Stella walks back slowly up the road. But then fucking Jimmy. Angry, jealous, vengeful Jimmy pops up out of the woods with the gun he stole and starts shooting.

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He hits Anderson, he hits Spector. Ferrington fires back, and thankfully her aim is better. Stella runs up the road toward the mayhem.

She runs right to Paul. Paul before Anderson. Ferrington runs to Anderson while Stella calls for something to tamp the blood. The helpful crime scene supervisor runs over and gives her a towel, for Paul. Anderson and Ferrington look on incredulously. I look on incredulously.

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Stella cradles Paul on her lap as she calls frantically for help. And then, as the blood pools, she cries out, “We’re losing him. We’re losing him!”

And that’s our show, folks. I’m sure this ending will be controversial. I’m sure some people hate it. But do not read it as the more simplistic and more insidiously sexist overtures to Madonna and child. This is not Michelangelo’s Pietà.

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This is a clear signal of priorities. What is more important to Stella? What matters to Stella? It’s not the tenuous emotional attachment to a man she just slept with just once. Her eyes, and heart, are not clouded by the pretense of wispy fairytale romance. Stella cares about the man she intends to bring to trial. The man she has single-mindedly chased and now caught.

Some may say being shot down in the road like a dog is what this man deserves. I wouldn’t necessarily argue that point with you too loudly. But Stella thinks he should be tried for his crimes by the laws of humankind, not our emotions. Let him have his day in court and live out his days caged up. Let this man pay for what he has done against women. Not die quietly in the arms of one. This is not about compassion, this is about justice.

More by Ms. Snarker: @dorothysnarker or dorothysurrenders.com.