The 3rd season of The Fall begins with Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) stuck in a land between the living and the dead. He is shown speeding through a dark tunnel with the music cranked up. He crashes the car and we are jolted back to reality. Paul is strapped to a gurney with Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) nearby. The paramedics work on Paul all the way to the hospital. At the hospital, Dr. O’Donnell (Richard Coyle) works on an unconscious Rose Staff (Valene Kane). DC McNally (Bronagh Taggart) gives the doctor insight into Rose’s last four days. She also pleads with him to move Rose, so she won’t be forced to see Paul.
The doctor eventually relents. Moments later, Paul’s body is rushed in with Stella close behind. Stella watches from outside, as the doctors and nurses go to work on Paul. She seems distraught as she watches the janitor mop up Paul’s blood. She slips into a private room and takes a call from ACC Burns (John Lynch). She gives him and update and also confirms that Ferrington was justified in shooting Tyler. She also reveals that officers are on their way to inform Tom Stagg (Jonjo O’Neill). After Burns informs Stella he is on the way to headquarters, the phone call ends. Afterwards, Stella removes the missing poster of Rose from the hallway. The medical staff is forced to insert a tube in Paul’s throat. They do so successfully, before the surgeon Dr. Morton (Kelly Campbell) finally arrives.
Stella is caught off guard by a young girl and her mother in the hallway, while Paul is rushed to the operating theater. Stella then speaks with the doctor and tells him to keep a close eye on the man. The doctor learns that their patient could be the Belfast strangler. Nonetheless, he is convinced Paul won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Burns arrives at headquarters and consults with his boss. He confirms he can handle Stella. DS Anderson (Colin Morgan) finally arrives at the hospital. He has been shot in the arm just above the elbow. An MRI is scheduled for the next day, but the doctor refuses to provide a potential prognosis. Anderson immediately believes the worst and assumes his career will be over.
McNally follows her boss’s orders. She heads to Stella’s hotel room, puts away some paper work and also picks up a new set of clothes. Paul’s wife, Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh), is made aware of Paul’s condition. She is told nothing about Paul being connected to the Belfast Strangler case though. Meanwhile, the doctors begin working on Paul. During this time, we jump back to Paul’s fantasy world. He remains inside the tunnel with his mother calling him from one direction and his daughter in the other. The doctors are forced to remove Paul’s spleen. They also recover the bullet. Meanwhile, Sally speaks with the children. She tells them that their father has been involved in a vehicle accident.
Stella speaks with Anderson about his gunshot wound. He remains worries that his career may be over. Stella provides him with comfort and insists he will recover. Anderson asks Stella why she rushed towards Spector’s side and seemed so distraught after he was shot. She insists she only wanted to make sure he was put on trial and justice was finally served. McNally returns with the clothes and Stella prepares to speak with the press. Paul has his spleen removed and his abdomen packed. He is escorted to another room for the time being. Dr. O’Donnell and Dr. Morton speak about their patient and the possible crimes he has committed. O’Donnell tells his colleague about his army doctor friend, who was forced to treat the Taliban before British soldiers.
Stella speaks with her colleague, while preparing for her meeting with the press. Burns enters and ruins her plans. He announces he will be speaking to the press and tells Stella to remain inside. Afterwards, Stella meets with Tom. She provides him with an update on his wife, before escorting him to her bed. Rose is now conscious, but seems unable to speak. Tom gives her a picture, which was drawn by their daughter. Burns begins to speak with the press about the Operation Music Man Task Force. He tells them about Rose’s condition and the arrest of a suspect. However, he doesn’t delve into specifics. At home, Katie Benedetto (Aisling Franciosi) hears Burns’ speech on the television. She immediately recognizes that Paul is in danger and goes ballistic. Nonetheless, her mother refuses to allow her to leave.
Burns is asked about Stella. He announces that she is out doing what she does best, policing. Katie calls her friends and tries to obtain their assistance. Unfortunately, they’re no help and only enrage Katie more. Anderson leaves the hospital. He stares at the cityscape and contemplates his future. During this time, Katie and Sally both look at the composite of the Belfast Strangler. Olivia (Sarah Beattie) interrupts Sally and asks for a drink. While Sally is away, Olivia opens the computer and sees that her father is being referred to as a killer. Tom finally leaves his wife’s side. The nurse hangs their daughter’s drawing on the wall. Tom complains to Stella in the hallway. He admits he doesn’t understand how Rose could just leave with the killer.
Stella manages to calm him down. She tells him that his reaction to the situation will either make things better or worse for Rose. She also insists Rose likely went with the killer, in order to keep her family safe. After Tom exits, Stella enters Paul’s room. She stares at him from a distance, until a nurse enters and sends her out. Stella hears a woman calling for her. The old lady (Barbara Adair) speaks with Stella as if she knows her. Stella plays along, sits down and comforts the woman. Meanwhile, as the nurse is inside of Paul’s room, his eyes open. When she looks up, they’re closed. And, the episode ends.
The Fall Review
The opening episode of The Fall’s 3rd season was very uneventful. I totally understand where disappointed viewers were coming from. However, I can also see why the writers took this route. The 2nd season’s ending forced their hand to some degree. Had Paul jumped off of the gurney, things would’ve seemed far too easy. Nonetheless, the episode was decent, but nothing special. It did however feel like a necessity.
A 7 out of 10 is deserved.