Oh boy. Is there a single scene in the series to date that's more upsetting than Rose pleading for her life? Let's get our hankies.
If I had to distill this episode (maybe even the series) down to the two most potent beats, it would be the look on Stella's face when she hears, from her surveillance team, that Spector is playing music loudly inside his house, and Spector pulling his feet up onto the table during his interrogation. The former synthesizes Stella's intuition, wisdom and contentedness (that she's caught her guy) with one supremely delicate expression. And Spector, besting even the time when he imitated his superiors during his reprimand, radiating all of the recalcitrance of a scrappy preteen imaginable. Those two character moments tucked into this 11 hour study on the non-verbal subtleties of humanity lay bare Stella Gibson and Peter Paul Spector as good as anything we've seen.
And though there's a pallor of dread inherent in the design of The Fall, because we know, roughly, how these stories end, it's never been more true, that the way the arrest of Spector went down was full of unexpected, unimagined details -- the same that run rampant in this show. Once both Spector and Katie went on respective foot, it was anyone's guess what their goals were and why. When Spector gets confronted by James and his brute force, the viewer has to swivel as much as Stella. I think this is precisely why Stella's slight smile at Spector's music is so sublime. Spector has no intention of cleaning up his house, staying there any longer, pretending anymore or giving a shite about his family or future from here on out and no one knows this better than her. So, it's just a matter of time.
In fact, even watching Spector 'let go' after the shootout has this uneven effect of instead, wondering what the police are up to. Spector's face easily reflects that mix of what the hell, no way, did I just get away disbelief that we are experiencing to. I loved his actual arrest, too, moments later. Tom stepping to him face to face, giving Spector a run for his money in the emotionless department, had a real sense of accomplishment.
All this brings me to the place in this write-up where I must try to assemble something articulate to say about what it was like to watch Stella watch the clip of Rose that Spector edited together. I haven't ever seen anything like that before, someone try every (every) trick in the book when arguing for her life, good god. It will remain, for me, the most stirring horrific human moment in this series. It's so much more painful, viscerally so, than I could find the words to describe. Honestly, her shattered psyche might be 'the fall' here in this hour.
The Devil is in the Details:
*Oh dear, about James locating Liz's phone number.
*Netflix previously gave this episode's title as 'The Fall'.
The Devil is in the Details: I Love the Way the Irish Do Things Edition
*The Irish Miranda rights
*I'm further arresting you...
*The Palm House at the National Botanic Gardens
Rose: "Nothing you can do will ever take away how much I love my husband. How much I love my children. Nothing you can do can make me devalue my life in any way. I will celebrate life. I love and I am loved and nothing that you can do can take that away! Do you know that?! DO YOU KNOW THAT?"