I can’t say that I like The Fall. It’s hard to utter the word “like” within earshot of all those scenes of brutality against women. And sometimes the show seems to linger a little too long in the killer’s point of view, crossing the line into prurience.
But the show also lingers a little too long on Gillian Anderson’s lovely face. And I wanted to celebrate that, but I couldn’t imagine recapping the show (see above re: brutality). So I decided to cobble together a “re-cop,” in which I imagine the reactions of various fictional lady cops/lady badasses to the actions of DSI Stella Gibson.
Hmm. I think this is probably just me indulging my own crossover fanfic urges. Oh well!
1. DSI Gibson interviews Annie, the Belfast Strangler’s only surviving victim
Although Stella’s not always the most compassionate person, she does seem to be genuinely concerned for Annie’s welfare.
But just when you think she’s going in for a hug (which, admittedly, might not be very comforting to someone who was recently assaulted), she does something odd, in that very Stella way. She takes the elastic band from Annie’s braid and puts it on Annie’s wrist instead.
“Once upon a time, this worked for me. You snap the band on your wrist when your thoughts and feelings overwhelm you.”
This leads to constant and extremely harsh snapping on Annie’s part, and Stella seems to think, “Well, yes; welcome to my world.”
DCI Gill Murray, Scott and Bailey: ”I hear that snapping. It’s the snapping of your sanity. And I’d better never hear it again, if you’re keen on keeping your job.”
Detective Mary Beth Lacey: “I don’t think I even have any of those snappy thingies. Do you, Chris?”
Detective Sergeant Christine Cagney: “I think I have some other tie-ups, restraint thingies … I mean, nope, nuh-uh.”
Sergeant Catherine Cawood, Happy Valley: “Let’s all play beauty shop instead of catching a killer, shall we?”
Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada (yes, she’s a cop; have you heard of the fashion police?): “The braid was hideous. It had to be done.”
2. Stella sullies the crime scene and mentally re-enacts the assault
I’m sure UK police procedures differ from US procedures in various ways, and maybe all the CSI-ing is over and done, but it still seems weird for DSI Gibson to be picking up evidence markers willy-nilly like that.
DSI Julie Dodson and DCI Gill Murray, Scott and Bailey: “Bloody hell! Get a crew in here! Nobody makes a move without a forensic suit!”
DS Ellie Miller, Broadchurch: “I’ve no idea how or why, but I’m certain I’ll be blamed for this.”
Back at the scene, Stella is imagining the Strangler’s attack on Annie.
Gillian Anderson learned this stuff from Hugh Dancy on Hannibal.
Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, Hannibal: ”You need so much therapy.”
DS Janet Scott, Scott and Bailey: “I imagined an assault once. Oh, right, no: I was actually assaulted. Similar, though, wouldn’t you say?”
3. DSI Gibson stares down a bunch of thugs
Most of us will never achieve anything close to this level of badassery.
DS Rachel Bailey, Scott and Bailey: “Respect.”
DSI Jane Tennison, Prime Suspect: “Respect.”
4. Stella dons a uniform.
It’s somewhat annoying when Burns asks DSI Gibson why she’s wearing the uniform, but her answer is completely satisfying.
“Same reason you’re wearing [yours].”
Detective Mary Beth Lacey: “We tried that a few times — remember, Chris?”
Detective Sergeant Christine Cagney: “I remember I tried out a few new bars during those times.”
PC Doris Thatcher, Hot Fuzz: “Uniforms are really just silly, aren’t they? [snorts]”
Sergeant Catherine Cawood, Happy Valley: “I sleep in mine. But carry on playing dress-up.”
5. DSI Gibson does the briefing.
Stella’s a little uncomfortable at first, especially when talking about keeping her old phone active so the Strangler can call her again if the mood strikes him.
But she’s calm and commanding, if not exactly inspiring.
DCI Gill Murray, Scott and Bailey: “What are you thinking? You’re not even on your feet! And I heard just one mention of CCTV. No. I want CCTV, I want house-to-house, I want to find this bastard. Soon as.”
Agent Carrie Mathison, Homeland: “I don’t understand. There’s no board, there’s no color-coding. . . you’re wasting my time.”
6. Dr. Reed Smith (Archie Panjabi) inspect Stella’s fingernails
Not only does this confirm that Stella’s not a killer, but it also confirms that we have a very good reason to keep watching this season.
Investigator Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife: [chuckling] Why did I never try that line with Alicia?
Agent Clarice Starling: “Sometimes when I’m not dreaming about screaming lambs, I dream about fingernails that aren’t broken from clawing their way through something. But your thing is interesting too.”
Sigh. And now I’ve reminded myself why these things just aren’t funny or recappable. But I amused myself with this anyway, so I just might do it again. Unless I go insane trying to figure out how Gillian Anderson can be even more beautiful than she was 20 years ago.