Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Fall, BBC something, I don't know, bit annoyed with it.

Is anyone else who loved The Fall feeling a bit confused and angry at the ending? I watched Series one and two up until the finale without blinking, it took me three watches to get to the end of the finale and both times I fell asleep at the same point, 60 minutes into a 90 minute special. Anyone else smell a rat?

Up until this point, it was layered with complicated and not so complicated layers of communication (note the love sick puppy, drunk idiot that pushes his boundaries, forgotten his name, he looks like Eric Cantona basically)  problems between men and women; control issues, patriarchal structures like the church, the IRA, the press, law enforcement; at times it was like it had taken on too much. But maybe its point was that it is everywhere and everything? There's a killer on the loose in Northern Ireland with a mannequin in the roof with locks of his mother's hair, he's killing women and taking more locks of hair, jewellery, choking them slowly to death then bathing them, painting their nails and putting them back in bed. And his daughter meanwhile is drawing pictures of naked women she thinks she's seen in the house and being given the jewellery of dead women to wear to school.

Clip to his wife who is a nurse in a premature baby unit caring for the most vulnerable, and who looks nothing like his mother or his victims. It's significant of course because men get obsessed with a certain look and whether it's good or bad. I know 'not all men' but most.  But from series one to two, it's like it kept taking the wrong turning at some points and I don't think that's to do with writing, but more to do with another patriarchal corporation running the show. Maybe?

The drama has got it in the neck at points for glamorising male violence against women and Stella Gibson being in high heels and a see through blouse for the most part as a professional crime investigator. Well guess what? She's also a victim of an obsession with her father's looks and smell and whether or not he 'possessed' her (I think that means raped) or whether she wanted him to is again not clear. Also, I think the blouse thing was only a couple of times and was focussed on a bit too much really.

She's a 'strong' character (like Thatcher, cold, acting like a man)  but ultimately another victim who is cold and calculated with sex and cries very subtly at points when she watching tapes back of evidence of the killer's grooming and childhood. Her character also spends most  of her dialogue looking like she's on the verge of an angry orgasm. But I liked that, it showed a layer to it all that most don't think about. It's about silencing and privilege and finding the dialogue you can to get what you want. It's uncomfortable to watch but making a choice is not always empowered but often guided by society and getting a result. Maybe Thatcher should have looked like she was on the verge of an angry orgasm rather than going home to don a pinny to make dinner even though she'd ruined the country for a day.

The killer works out a way to distract by making out he's had an affair with his babysitter, a minor. There's been inappropriateness but no affair. There's definitely been some abuse and manipulation and as Stella Gibson points out to him later that tying up a woman, choking her to death slowly and then posing her dead body is rape, his reply is 'no it was not sexual'. And quite rightly she points out that choking the last breath out of her person is 'possession'. Bravo. Another myth about raping is that its sexual; no its about possessing and controlling and violence. Then she tackles the other myth that men that kill are monsters. Eric Cantona (again I can't be bothered to find out his character's name, he was so pathetic) turns up at her hotel drunk, wanting 'to fuck, bang or nail her' and won't take no for an answer...except she punches him. And HE says he would never 'use that language'. Meanwhile the killer has been reading her diary and now knows she has 'daddy issues'. And he says the killer is a monster. Her reply is 'no he's a man', you're not as bad but you 'over stepped the mark'. Paraphrasing of course, I can't watch it again.   It's in everything and everywhere to different degrees.

So after all this and the nuance and the predictable location of Catholicism and Ireland, we get to the last half an hour of this drama that has been challenging and good and it all seems to go a bit tits up? Merlin turned up a few episodes ago and he's a game player in the last 30 mins of the finale. And  this is what I think basically is it.

1 The writer thought he was getting a third series and was told 'no' due to BBC axing and thought 'fuck it' and wrote a 30 minute add on that was awful Or ...

2 Merlin is the killer. That is why Stella ran to Spector and tried to stem his shot wound after seeing that Rose Stagg was shut in a boot with food and water. And Spector was obsessed with fantasy, hence the mannequin and that he never actually touched the babysitter. And his wife and daughter were not oblivious, not stupid and innocent, but instinctively 'know' he's not a killer.

3 And Merlin got a bit humpy about Stella saying he was like Spector, in age and looks. 'What else?' he says.

4 Or it was just a disappointing pile of shit in the end.

You're welcome of course. Next up I'm reviewing a couple of books.








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