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

Stella changes from one of her trademark silky blouses (p.s. Someone should start a Tumblr devoted to her best blouses. Get on it, Tumblesbians.) into a more form-fitting, low-cut red number. I love that she has this thing just hanging around the office in case she needs it to be used against weak men like the weapon it is.

ACC Burns enters questioning whether it is wise for her to involve herself in Paul’s questioning. She answers that he asked for her, so she doesn’t really have a choice.


Burns continues to question whether she should even be in the room with the non-human, evil monster that is Paul. What follows is the most clear and unwavering definition of sexism and misogyny in all its forms that I have ever seen spoken on television.

Stella tells him to stop, because Paul is not a monster just a man. Burns being Burns he naturally takes offense to this because he, too, is a man. NOT ALL MEN, Stella, NOT ALL MEN.

Burns: I am a man, I hope to God I am nothing like him.

Stella: No, you’re not. But you still came to my hotel room uninvited and mounted some kind of drunken attack on me.

Burns: It wasn’t an attack! That is unfair! I was… I just wanted…

Stella: What did you want?

Burns: I don’t know.

Stella: To fuck me? Nail me? Band me? Screw me?

Burns: I wouldn’t use those words about you.

Stella: I was saying no, Jim. Quite clearly. You ignored me and carried on.

Burns: It is not the same.

Stella: No, it’s not the same. But you still crossed a line.


If that isn’t the most perfect response to all the #NotAllMen misandrist nonsense then I don’t know what is. I wanted it to go on forever. Please, let it go on forever.

The danger we face, as a society, when we label our worst humans as inhuman, is it releases the rest of us from the responsibility of dealing with what it truly means to be human. We are deeply flawed and deeply vulnerable and deeply troubled beings at times. As a society we can either address our imperfections, even our most ugly and unsavory instincts, or we can pretend they’re the work of otherworldly monsters. We create our own monsters, and we’re also responsible for stopping them. We are also responsible for stopping the monsters within.


Stella takes the long walk down the corridor to the interrogation room. I have had a lot of procedural questions about the differences between the U.S. and U.K. police and legal system. But so far none is bigger than why Stella, and any of the interviewers, is allowed to be in a room alone with a suspected serial killer without a guard right outside the door. All I’m saying is, that’s a long way for someone to have to come running if shit goes wrong.

Paul stares her down with those dead fish eyes. I’m pretty sure, the whole lesbian thing notwithstanding, I would never find Jamie sexy as Christian Grey because of the way he so thoroughly inhabited Paul Spector.


Stella steadies herself and sits down, matching Paul’s dispassion. Burns and later Anderson gather to watch from the control room, which is God knows how far away. Safety first, people. Or are prisoners from Belfast just naturally better behaved than their American counterparts?