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'The Fall' season 2 premiere recap: Questions ... and answers

Season 2 Episode 1 | “These Troublesome Disguises” Aired Jan 16, 2015

The second season of the BBC series The Fall was released on Netflix on January 16. Episode 1, entitled “These Troublesome Disguises,” packed every bit of tension that season one had into this first episode. When we last saw DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), Spector was on his way out of town with his family in tow, and Gibson had just been told that Spector’s latest victim had regained consciousness.

Episode 1 of season 2 opens on Gibson siting at the bedside of Annie Brawley (Karen Hassan), trying to coax the story of the girl’s assault from the recesses of her mind. In a moment of compassion, Stella slips a hairband onto Annie’s wrist and snaps it, saying, “This worked for me.” This peek inside the character of Stella Gibson brings forth only more questions. Was she a sexual assault victim? Is that the source of her intensity and tenacity to catch this killer? Did that drive her to join the police force in the first place?

When Jim Burns (John Lynch) surprisingly meets her at Annie Brawley’s home and subsequent crime scene, she speaks like a woman of experience. She tells Burns that it has only been 10 days since Annie’s assault, and they have to unlock the answers hidden in her mind. She understands the protective barriers that the mind can create for a woman who has experienced what Annie has. That is rather telling for a character who is shrouded in so much mystery.

As a counterpoint to the investigation, our serial killer is hiding out in Scotland, tying up his daughter’s dolls to satisfy his urges. Not surprisingly, it isn’t working. During a phone conversation with his daughter, we learn that his wife decided to take his children home, thus leaving him alone in Scotland to think. Dangerous for a serial killer with a particular M.O. On a train ride back to Belfast, Spector meets a girl, and for a moment we think he has changed his type to blondes in skirts. It doesn’t help that the pretty idiot hands him her license even after saying she went blond once all of the murders started.

In a fit of “unfeminism,” Stella appears in uniform at the precinct. When questioned about why she is wearing her uniform, her answer is simply, “I thought I should look as unfeminine as possible.” Burns’ reply, “Well, it hasn’t worked,” speaks to a problem that runs rampant in this show. Women are feminine. Period. Why is embracing this fact a problem? It may be a subtle plotline, but you cannot deny that it is there. Why is the fact that married men jump in bed with Stella Gibson her fault and her fault alone? She had no knowledge of their relationships, so wasn’t it for them to control? This show asks so many uncomfortable questions.

In the streets of Belfast, our serial killers wife runs into who she thinks is the underage girl her husband had been sleeping with. Sally Ann (Bronaugh Waugh) has certainly dealt with enough, and now, having to speak to the child who stole her husband’s affection? It’s too much. But Katie (Aisling Franciosi) has other ideas. She tells Sally that her husband forced her down on the floor and attacked her. Whom should Sally believe? We as the viewer know what happened. We know that Katie was not completely innocent in the situation, and perhaps that is the show’s point. The episode’s title, “These Troublesome Disguises,” is resoundingly appropriate.

We are given a glimpse into the life of victims’ families post–police involvement. Sarah Kay, the first victim that we got to know in the pilot, has been forgotten in the media circus surrounding this killer. Her sister sits down with Gibson to talk about how Sarah has been forgotten and how the media is treating her memory. This is a side we rarely see in crime-drama television. The families are part of the initial investigation, but they tend to go by the wayside early on. This show is intent on keeping these women alive in the heart and mind of Stella Gibson. Brilliant.

A woman some of us have forgotten is brought back into the mix. Rose Stagg (Valene Kane) had one night with our serial killer in college, and DSI Gibson is now back to make good on her story. Rose is worried about the implications for her marriage if her husband should find out, but unbeknownst to her or Gibson, our killer is on to her. He researches her on the Internet, finds her, and in the last bit of our episode, crawls into bed with her, taking her and the audience by surprise.

The Fall has so many twists and turns in its plotlines, it is hard to not walk away from every episode without more questions than one started with. Perhaps the rest of the season will bring some answers.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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