A police chief hiding behind a scruffy beard and meekly bloody nose asks, “Why are women emotionally and spiritually so much stronger than men?” This happens after he drunkenly forces himself into the bedroom of a former flame — blonde, enigmatic Stella Gibson — and ineptly tries to make a pass at her.

Stella responds with characteristic softness, “Because the basic human form is female. Maleness is a kind of birth defect.”

Mic dropped. Game changed. Feminist icon born.

For a while it seemed as though my mom and I were the only people in the world who watched “The Fall.” I wrote about it in this publication — twice, actually — and talked about it to everyone, including the deli counter person at Meijer and the entirety of my 90-count Marketing lecture. So you could say I like “The Fall.” The smart and surprisingly erotic BBC crime thriller expertly meandered through its first season, following “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Jamie Dornan’s disturbingly seductive serial killer and Gillian Anderson (TV’s “Hannibal”) as Stella, the coldly brilliant investigator out to find him.

Season one, which appeared on Netflix in 2013, spends much of its five episodes quietly building a feminist argument that parallels the misogyny of its woman-killer lead. Season two, which came out on Netflix last Friday, takes those ideas and amplifies them, explicitly attacking the violent patriarchal structures women face.

Paul Spector preys on young professional women; independent, unabashedly sexual, beautiful. While season one preoccupies itself with Paul’s actions — stalking, strangling, lovingly bathing the dead bodies — season two develops the psyche behind his hatred towards women; the abandonment via suicide of his mother, his conflicted love of his daughter and tenuous relationship with his wife, who is blonde and soft and nurturing (read: nothing like his victims).

But ultimately, he just feels threatened by these women, as Stella shows us. In a memorable moment in the first-season finale, Chief Burns calls Spector a monster, a murderer of the most debased degree, inhuman. Stella answers with a requisite lack of dramatics: “No, he is just a basic misogynist.” She is a breath of fresh air in a trend of bullshit feminism on television — she doesn’t make carefully politicized statements or brand herself as a “strong” woman. Stella states the facts the way they are, outlining our sexist world without self-pity or apology.

Season two begins with Stella interviewing Spector’s sole survivor, only recently awakened from an injury-induced coma. Many “strong female characters” on television struggle connecting to other women; strong is termed as standoffish and isolated, a one-woman army. While Stella cannot be described as warm, this scene portrays her incredible depth for empathy, and her passionate, concentrated hatred towards men who perpetuate violence. Stella may be a slight misandrist, hating men and using them for sex, but she is not a robot, and her emotions are deeply tied to her precise instincts.

While “The Fall” is still relatively unknown (its odd release schedule and slow burn structure don’t add up to a far-reaching hit), Anderson has been making waves for her performance as Stella, a character unlike any other on TV. (Not to say that Dornan isn’t revelatory as Spector; brooding, magnetic, conflictingly foxy. But his sexy serial killer schtick isn’t exactly new, whereas Stella’s mix of frankness and adeptness is rare.) Anderson wrote a profile piece for Yahoo, in which she directly addresses the enigma of Stella:

“Is it that Stella is at once in touch with her femininity in a way we have not seen, and yet still able to stand up for herself with strength, intelligence, grace and self-containment? … I’m not so sure, and yet none of the usual (independent, intelligent, focused, serious, professional, strong and, yes, feminist) character descriptions seem to define or explain the whole of her.”

That’s the crux of it. I just spent 700 words trying to describe why I love Stella, and why we need Stella on television today. But like any real woman, she defies explanation, a mix of complexities, mysteries and idiosyncrasies.

Please, please, for the love of God, watch “The Fall,” if you don’t already. If well-developed and stylishly executed feminist manifestos aren’t your thing, watch for the terrifying suspense. If you don’t like regular crime thrillers, watch for the fascinating dichotomy between killer and investigator, the blurred lines of right and wrong. And if none of that does it for you — not even the skewed power dynamics, salacious crimes or impeccable dialogue — there’s a pretty memorable make-out scene between Anderson and “The Good Wife” ’s Archie Panjabi — you know, if that’s your thing.

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