Netflix Review: Season 2 of ‘THE FALL’ – A Stately Serial-Killer Drama


THE FALLWill Darnell // Contributing Writer

While rumors circulate of a possible reprisal of her iconic run as Agent Dana Scully on the out-of-this-world X-FILES, Gillian Anderson is currently starring as a tight-lipped, detached detective on the unheralded Irish drama THE FALL.

With motley choices, even in the weighty and serious crime category, it would be easy to miss the Belfast-centric series amid the hundreds of options on Netflix.

However, unlike many of its contemporaries, this show, like its leading lady, is taut and terse and more than moves the needle. The years between major projects has not tamed Anderson’s ability to lead a drama, even if this time the actor opposite her is less comic, alien-obsessed foil, and more dark and brooding strangler.

Fans of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY will quickly recognize her co-star, Jamie Dornan, as Christian Grey in the year’s most tepid sex soiree. Dornan, here as Paul Spector, plays an unhappily married bereavement counselor, who spends his time hunting, dominating and strangling business-savvy brunettes.

Jamie Dornan is Paul Spector in THE FALL. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Jamie Dornan is Paul Spector in THE FALL. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Through the series’ first six episodes, it’s nearly impossible to determine who is cat and who is mouse, as Anderson delivers a stunning and sturdy performance equaled by the cold and menacing depravity Dornan emanates every time he opens his mouth.

The series, featuring exceptional writing and characterization, alters point of view between its two leads, alternating between the strong, cool detachment of Anderson and the quiet intensity and white-hot anger of Dornan.

The second six-episode season just hit Netflix, and is more than worth the time for fans of slow-moving, though tense, crime dramas.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.