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The Fall season finale recap: 'What Is in Me Dark Illumine'

Gibson and Spector finally go head-to-head in a bloody season finale.

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The Fall 02

The Fall

Current Status:
In Season
116 minutes
Limited Release Date:
Catinca Untaru, Lee Pace
Tarsem Singh
Dan Gilroy, Nico Soultanakis
Sci-fi and Fantasy, ActionAdventure

Ahead of The Fall‘s second-season debut on Netflix, creator Allan Cubitt told journalists at this year’s Television Critics’ Association that he was “very confident” there would be a third season of the crime drama. And, knowing that before diving into the new episodes, led me to wonder whether season 2 would bring closure to the Belfast Strangler case. And now that we’ve seen the season finale the answer is… yes and no. Yes, in that Gibson’s quest to capture Spector has been realized. No, in that, well, he might die before she’s able to give his victims’ and victims’ families any justice.

Stella Gibson

We pick up with Gibson eyeing Spector’s burnt-out car. She notices on the satellite imagery map that there’s an abandoned building not far from where the car is—an abandoned building the investigative team hasn’t searched yet. She and a copper drive over and arrive to a set of tire tracks that could resemble those from Rose Stagg’s car. (Are tire tracks ever that unique to the human eye?) Gibson doesn’t wait for backup or forensics: The officer uses bolt cutters to let her in, and she begins to pick through Spector’s lair. In an upstairs room she finds a chair and a tripod. She knows Rose has been there, but she doesn’t know where Rose is now.

Elsewhere, Jimmy has been tipped off to his wife’s safe-house location and makes a terrible scene there, attacking Liz before eventually fleeing; Katie is brought in (with an appropriate adult who is not her mother) for questioning. The tech team was able to retrieve a video from Katie’s phone. And, as you may have guessed, it’s the sexytimes videochat between her and Spector. Gibson and Anderson watch the clip for what feels like an uncomfortable length of time before Gibson asks him to head up the interview with Katie. He hesitates: The line of questioning is rather sensitive, wouldn’t Katie be more comfortable with a woman? Which is exactly what Gibson doesn’t want. “She’s obsessed with Spector. Let’s see how she deals with someone of a similar age.”

But it doesn’t seem like Katie’s uncomfortable at all. If anything, she’s probably making Anderson a bit uncomfortable with the graphic nature of her testimony. (Testimony which we know, by and large, is false.) Anderson asks why she broke into the Spectors’ home and why she snapped the selfie wearing a T-shirt of the suspect composite. “For fun,” is her pat response. Anderson makes it plain to Katie that her lies are futile, but she persists. Why? “Because I was asleep before I met him, and now I’m awake. Because I see everything with new eyes now.” (Do I smell a spin-off?)

Gibson is called in to watch more retrieved footage, this time from the Bleecker Street Hotel owner’s computer. Turns out he’s a tech-savvy Peeping Tom and has thousands of hours of video of his clientele, including the light bondage between Spector and Katie.

A gussied up McNally goes to Spector again to try to shake him, and at first, it looks like he’s taken with her. But obviously he’s too smart for all this.

“Sending in someone who looks vaguely like Annie Brawley is pretty feeble, Stella,” he says into the camera. “You can do better than that, surely.”

NEXT: Meeting of the minds