'The Fall' Season 2 Recap Will Prepare You For Gibson & Spector's Final Showdown


If you absolutely cannot wait for The Fall Season 3 to hit Netflix on Oct. 29, you're not alone. And, if it feels like it's been forever since Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) graced our small screens, you're not imagining things. It's been almost two years since Season 2 of the BBC series began streaming on Netflix, and plenty of people (*raises my hand*) marathoned all six fantastic episodes in one weekend. The season concluded with a massive cliffhanger that was arguably the most memorable scene of the season — after Gibson and Spector finally came face-to-face, a shootout in the woods left both Spector and Detective Anderson fighting for their lives. But, a whole lot of other important events lead up to that moment — so let's recap Season 2 of The Fall before we spend our weekends marathoning Season 3.

Before he was cast as Christian Grey, Dornan was the Belfast Strangler, a serial killer who preyed on young professional women living alone. In Season 1, Detective Superintendent Gibson of England was assigned to conduct a 28-day review of the case — but she remained in Belfast when the case stalled and made clear that she wouldn't give up until the murderer was brought to justice. Gibson and her team finally identified Spector as the killer — but, since things are never simple on this show, Spector's former patient shot him in the finale's final moments.

Shocking cliffhanger aside, here are the key plot points and moments from Season 2 that you'll want to remember before tuning in to learn Spector's fate.

Let's Talk About The Babysitter

Katie, who babysits Paul's kids, totally suspects that he's the killer. For a brief moment I wondered if this precocious 15-year-old would successfully manage to accomplish what Gibson and her team had failed to do — bring the Belfast Strangler to justice. But, not so fast — she develops a creepy obsession with him and is eventually placed under police surveillance as detectives close in on Spector. At the end of the season, Katie is arrested for attempting to dispose of evidence that implicates him in the murders.

A Figure From Spector's Past Is Key

The Belfast Strangler is national news, and Gibson and Spector play an ongoing game of cat and mouse via the telephone. When the case comes to the attention of Spector's college girlfriend, Rose Stagg, she contacts Gibson and recounts a consensual sexual encounter with Spector that turned into rape and attempted murder via strangulation. Rose reveals that Spector went by the name "Peter" when she knew him, and Gibson makes a potentially deadly slip-up during a call with Spector. She tells him that she knows he used to be called Peter and, in one of the season's most heartbreaking plotlines, Spector kidnaps Rose and holds her hostage.

Spector Breaks Into Gibson's Hotel Room

When Gibson takes a much-needed break at the hotel bar with pathologist Reed Smith, Spector successfully breaks into the detective's hotel room and has enough time to read her through her journal before Gibson and Constable Jim Burns enter the room. As he hides in the closet, Spector overhears Gibson reject an intoxicated Burns' advances and the constable's admission that there's been corruption in the police department. The glimpses of Gibson's diary and the conversation between she and Burns give Spector some serious leverage for when the pair finally come face-to-face in the finale.

On the bright side, this scene provides us with one of the best lines of the season — when Burns gets pushy with her, Gibson gives this explanation for why she will definitely not sleep with him: "The basic human form is female. Maleness is a kind of birth defect." Burn.

Spector Is Finally Caught

There's mounting evidence against Spector — namely, the presence of his fingerprints on a murder weapon and his wife's admission that she provided a false alibi. Spector is placed under surveillance and eventually taken into custody for murder and Rose Stagg's kidnapping. We still have hope that this particular victim is still alive.

Gibson initially delegates her male subordinates to handle the questioning and charges, but Spector insists that he'll only speak to Gibson. And, finally, the season finale brings the two main characters face-to-face. It's just as intense as you'd expect, as the two continue to play psychological mind games with each other. Spector initially refuses to provide any information about Rose's whereabouts, but later that night he offers to lead Gibson to Rose in exchange for a visit with his daughter.

One Happy Ending & One Major Cliffhanger

True to his word, Spector leads Gibson, Anderson, and the rest of the team to a heavily wooded area where he claims she'll find Rose. Unbeknownst to all of them, they've been followed by a Chronicle journalist and one of Spector's disgruntled patients, Jimmy. (The prison guard who has repeatedly tipped off the press throughout the season is largely to blame for the bloody chaos that ensues.) Gibson finds Rose in the trunk of her car — in rough shape, but alive. So, although I wouldn't necessarily call anything about this show "happy," it's a major relief that Rose survived the season.

About five seconds after Rose's rescue, all hell breaks loose. Jimmy, who blames Spector for the dissolution of his marriage, shoots both Anderson and Spector. Gibson appears frantic to save Spector's life and her repeated cries that "we're losing him" make the situation seem pretty dire. As we hear Gibson say in the Season 3 trailer, she wants Spector to live a long life behind bars.

I'm not sure if poor Detective Anderson will make it, but it's a safe assumption that Spector will survive and stand trial because, you know, he's the star of the series. However, it appears that justice will just have to wait until the Belfast Strangler comes out of surgery. And there you have it — bring on Season 3!

Images: Netflix (6)