I was impressed by its audacity. Whereas S2 was a melange of paedophile/crazy madwoman tropes set against a backdrop inspired by someone who never really grew out of their student films inspired by Metallica videos (by the way: I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that - I devoured the whole in a day, trying saying that in a norwegian grindcore voice) S3 is sort of like a whole new story with I think about two of the same characters including Marcella except she's not called that anymore. It's a little like someone wrote a story - a very, very different story with a very different tone to S1 & 2 of Marcella and a different setting entirely (Northern Ireland, not London) and someone else said 'let's turn that into S3 of Marcella then, all we have to do is change everything about Marcella to fit it' (continuing to be sort of fair/ hedge my bets, I've only watched the first episode of S3).
So I critiqued S2 as a bit obvious and scary-clown, well, S3 obviously heard me because it is completely impossible to follow. I love the idea that the makers of Marcella were like 'we have the audience now, so let's go full obtuse'. Now, she's undercover in N Ireland (this was set up at the end of S2 in a very random, abstract, entirely unbelievable way which nevertheless included a skerrick of expositional detail which only those who had taken notice of a couple of little scenes in S1 where she buys some DNA from a homeless woman, would understand but - fine). She's been living almost a year (exactly ten months) with some guy who gives her what could be an engagement ring if she wants it to be (she doesn't). Then (spoiler coming up) he is shot at close range in the garden of someone's house while admiring some parasitic mistletoe while she's standing next to him and she seems entirely indifferent to the whole incident, which is sort of... OK. Suddenly she's a part of the family who killed her boyfriend. I am not sure why but she is. Is she sure why? We have no idea.
So I'm at a crossroads. I really don't know what to make of S3 and whether I should persist, though in truth it's all the things I was criticising S2 for not being.
One thing about Marcella the person I just want to note: a lot is made of her intense instability, her blackout rages, her suicidal impulses and general despair that I guess some people would deal with through drugs or alcohol (or exercise or blogging) but which she deals with through being intensely devoted to crime solving. But in S1 and 2 her house was so beautifully neat and her fridge always stocked and problem-free. Did she have a maid or some other kind of servant? In S3, the house with the boyfriend is even better: so incredibly fastidiously tasteful. In some ways it's the scariest thing about the whole show.
> Update 20/7: The whole backstory of the move to N Ireland is at the beginning of episode 6, for some strange reason. It doesn't seem thematically connected to anything that late in the story, but I guess I still haven't seen the whole thing yet.
> Update 27/7: I finished watching it and completely forgot about it. The end is a farce. But I would like to see a season 4 although I imagine it will be all about (SPOILER ALERT) will she kill her accidentally appropriated baby like she killed the one she gave birth to?