There may be a puzzle to solve in Stitchers Roundtable 3X07 “Just The Two Of Us,” but we’re clearly in love
There has certainly been a lot going on for our stitch squad this season, but this week we were given an intimate look at just one. After waking up from a stitch to an empty lab, Kirsten goes in search of her colleagues and finds Cameron unconscious on the floor. Slapping him into consciousness, the two of them attempt to recall the events that led to their current situation. When there is nothing but a hot coffee cup to decipher, they head to Kirsten’s house looking for Camille. Unfortunately, all they find is yet another toasty mug, leaving them to have a makeshift meal while Cameron reveals a little about his estranged mother. Kirsten catches sight of someone outside the house, but a thorough search later, there is nothing to be found. They attempt to get some sleep, with Cameron agreeing to (platonically) share a bed, and they return to the lab the next morning.
There, they find a key to something that later turns out to be a classic car. While trying to figure out who it belongs to, they are nearly killed in the gas-filled garage. The duo head back to Cameron’s house only to go back to the lab after Kirsten finally deciphers the random clues they have been finding. She believes that Cameron is in fact a projection of her mind brought on by the stitch into their current case, an autistic young man called Tom. Cameron challenges her assertion by bringing out a gun and aiming it at himself, but then it discharges accidentally after she realizes her true feelings for him. Thankfully, her theory is correct, and Kirsten quickly solves the puzzle presented to her and comes out of the stitch to share a kiss with Cameron.
We thought we had already seen plenty of amazing cases, but this week’s really topped the charts! To give us their blow-by-blow, here’s our roundtable:
Guest Moderator: Allie (@alliejlanning) – Stitchers fandom Jane-of-all-trades
Heather (@xoheatherkw) – Quality control scientist, dog mom, and fangirl extraordinaire.
Larissa (@ladame_) – Accountant with a serious love for beauty, fashion, Marvel movies, and T.V. shows….especially Stitchers!
Manuel (@Make_The_Bounce) – Web designer & consumer of entirely TOO much caffeine. Unabashed Sci-Fi nerd!
Wanda (@WandaDeane) – Tax Administrator, Paralegal and Mom.
Lauralea (@DExHooker) – Writer, dog momma, Stitchers obsessive, Camsten addict.
1. How did Kirsten’s connection to Tom’s memories compared with the other victims in helping her make sense of things?
Heather (@xoheatherkw): I think that Kirsten’s connections on how she viewed the world as a kid, and what she had struggled with really helped her connect to Tom’s memories in a very unique way. I don’t think we’ve seen this type of connection to any of the other victims. If it were anyone else as the stitcher, I don’t think the connections would have been made, and ultimately the case probably wouldn’t have been solved.
Larissa (@ladame_): I love the connections of her emotions, (Cameron being in it) with the screens being puzzle pieces and the puzzle pieces the whole episode is just comprised of. I was speechless. It was INSANE. It was the absolute neatest way to write the episode. And the ending! THREE SECONDS. I know I trailed off but I still can’t get over how incredible it all was.
Manuel (@Make_The_Bounce): It is always amazing how our own experiences inform how we react to everything around us. Whereas in prior stitches Kirsten was more of a third party spectator, with Tom she was experiencing his memories translated thru the lens of her own emotions. I can’t help but wonder if Kirsten would have figured out she was still in the stitch faster had she not experienced Tom’s memories in that manner or if she would have become trapped in them somehow.
Wanda (@WandaDeane): In this episode Kirsten wasn’t seeing the victim’s memories, not really, for this stitch she was more than a witness, she was an active participant. There wasn’t a “movie” for her to watch, she was more of a Sherlock Holmes for Tom. This stitch was in my opinion one of the most fascinating of all the stitches that have been done to date. The way that Kirsten was projecting her emotions about Cameron into this stitch was wonderful to watch but also very unexpected in a way. I felt as though it showed that Cameron is a part of Kirsten’s identity, a piece of her, if you will.
Lauralea (@DExHooker): With a normal stitch, Kirsten honestly doesn’t have to work for her answers. The closest stitches that could possibly compare to Tom’s would be Turner’s shattered memories, the Red Eye multi-stitch and the more recent mind palace. The using of Cameron to be the physical representation of Tom within the stitch gave Tom an “in” with Kirsten; a familiar face that deep down she trusts (even given their current standing) working through the puzzles with her allowed her to keep an open mind. From there, her own temporal dysplasia and her experiences with putting together the puzzle pieces of the three previously mentioned stitches allowed her the ability to put those pieces into a comprehensive story, eventually leading to the murderer and giving Tom his voice again.
2. This episode was all about puzzles, and was often a puzzle itself. What pieces were you able to comb together to connect how Tom was able to tell Kirsten who killed him?
Heather: I am pretty much the worst at puzzles, so I would not have been any help to Kirsten. But once she figured out that it was all a stitch, I was piecing them together right as she was.
Larissa: The clue where when Kirsten touched the cup and it was scorching hot, and the key being to the car was just about it. Even then it might be my hindsight bias at play. I was at a complete loss and absolutely loved it. It’s definitely my new favorite episode of any television series. Could someone explain what was the connection with the girl Kirsten saw that night in the window? It still creeps me out!
Manuel: There were a couple things that tipped me off in this regard. The reappearing coffee mug, although in the beginning I didn’t realize there was an ACTUAL key inside, always had the feel of being instrumental in figuring out this mystery. Secondly, and I may be alone in this, but right from the beginning I felt like Cameron’s dinner conversation with Kirsten after he cooked the pasta was Tom talking about HIS mother. I have a friend who has autism and he has expressed similar sentiments that he doesn’t want people to be overly worried about him and that he is very aware that his condition can be stressful for his parents. So hearing Cameron say almost those exact words was a big piece of the puzzle for me, after that the signs seemed more obvious that Tom was trying to lead Kirsten so to speak.
Wanda: Obviously it became clear when Kirsten and Cameron almost died that if there were a victim, that person was likely killed by car exhaust fumes. The fact that Kirsten and Cameron were locked in told me that whatever they were investigating had to do with a murder – even though at that point they didn’t know that they were in a stitch. The most confusing for me was the big panels in the lab. I may have to watch the episode a few more times before I truly understand how they knew it was an image. Kirsten definitely opened her mind in order to see the image of an eye in those panels.
Lauralea: Picking up clues was easy – the hot mugs, the rubix cube – however, putting them together to come up with the killer just wasn’t on my radar. I clued in by the end as to who the killer was while Kirsten was talking to Cameron over the comms. Once she started spelling out the connections between Tom and what she had experienced while in the stitch, putting two and two together was easy, specifically pointing out the story about Tom’s mother and Bill. Until she started drawing it out for us, I was in the dark. Of course, going into the episode without knowing anything about the victim probably didn’t help me in sorting out the clues as they appeared.
3. Why do you think trust is still such a monumental factor between Kirsten and Cameron after all this time?
Heather: I think trust is a fundamental part of any relationship. But in particular, Kirsten and Cameron are working together and their lives are on the line out in the field. You have to have trust in order to make that work. And with Kirsten’s complicated family history, Cameron is probably the first person she’s trusted in her entire life (at least her with emotions). She isn’t sure how to go about repair that trust and she’s learning how to repair that trust as she goes.
Larissa: It’s definitely a big part of any relationship, but I think all the factors surrounding their life (how they met, where they work, what and who they work for) makes trust all the more crucial and all the more sensitive to them. It’s especially something important for Kirsten; in her life after temporal dysplasia, this is a place where she is overcoming the baby steps of learning how to feel, and it’s just a crazy world to live in. Poor Cameron can’t catch a break (not undermining the importance of what he told Maggie), but I’m glad things are starting to look up for the last part of this epic ride of a season!
Manuel: Because the nature of their relationship has changed. Friend trust versus romantic “here is my heart please don’t crush it” trust are very different things! Without trust what kind of relationship do you really have and as Camille said to Cameron a couple episodes back, this is Kirsten’s first relationship with emotions. In many respects she went into it headlong and when you open your heart up to someone that much any betrayal, intentional or not, can be a crushing blow that takes some time to recover from. Kirsten has never processed emotions like this before so learning to trust again, or trusting herself to trust again, can be difficult.
Wanda: Kirsten was abandoned by her father. When a parent disappoints you so profoundly it is apt to leave scars. I believe that’s really why it’s hard for Kirsten to trust Cameron. In addition to that Maggie, Blair, Ed, & Camille all hid things from her. Even Cameron, who loves her, broke her trust. For Cameron though, he put himself out there for her last season and she rebuffed his love. I think its been hard for him to fully do that again.
Lauralea: Kirsten has never trusted easily, that much is apparent by her relationship with Ed. She comes to trust over time, but that is a slow and painful process for her. When he “betrayed” her by revealing Jacqueline’s location to Maggie, it was like he was confirming everything she always expected would happen if she were ever to allow someone that close. It really goes back to watching Stinger walk away from her as a child – the person she was supposed to be able to trust the most in her lifetime betrayed and and left her broken and abandoned. The sheer force of losing Cameron has always been enough to drive Kirsten towards him – again shown by their shared kiss last night, but the underlying issue will always be there until Kirsten can finally let go of her obsession with Stinger. Physically, she and Cameron will be fine, but I highly doubt we will see happy fluffy Camsten any time soon.
4. How does the reveal of Kirsten’s feelings towards Cameron explain her actions from this season so far?
Heather: I mean relationships aren’t all sunshine and rainbows, but I’m really happy with the progress of Kirsten and Cameron (or projected Cameron) throughout this episode. It’s clear that she still cares about him and maybe even loves him. But just because you love someone doesn’t mean you need to like them all of the time. Especially considering Cameron betrayed Kirsten’s trust and she’s been trying to work through what that means for her, and what that means for them as a couple. I think this episode has shed some light on moving past those obstacles and trying to forgive. So I hope that’s the path they’re on now.
Larissa: It makes sense and really always had made sense Kirsten would fall in love with him. It shows why she was so hurt and so upset with what he (accidently!) did, and it sets up nicely what is bound to happen next in their relationship.
Manuel: For me it completely explains everything. Love makes people do crazy things right? This being her first romantic relationship where she actually feels all aspects of being in love I’m surprised her behavior hasn’t been more erratic actually! It’s been a wonderful journey to watch her process emotions and arrive at the place that she arrives at by the end of this episode. I think Kirsten is starting to understand that true love isn’t the most common commodity in the world.
Wanda: I think she got so angry with him when he mistakenly told Maggie about her mom because she was ready to be in love and was ready to truly commit to Cameron. I think she pushed him away because she was angry but also because the love that she feels and the anger she felt at his telling her mom’s secret was new and feeling those emotions scared her.
Lauralea: Kirsten has always loved Cameron on one level or the next, finding that out this week was not a shock. Her actions have always been a reflection of her feelings towards Cameron, even when she didn’t recognize them as actual feelings. Friends to best friends, best friends to something more, something more to something better – they’ve always been progressing to this point. That said, her over reaction to losing Jacqueline and her avoidance of Cameron from the last two episodes are completely explainable by love. He was the one person in this world that she thought was there for her, but he chose the job over her and he chose himself over her when he didn’t tell her what was happening. Cameron’s perceived betrayal has helped to forge a familial bond between Kirsten and Ivy at the same time as driving a wedge between Kirsten and Maggie. Their love has expanded her horizons on many levels, and is undoubtedly the foundation that her decisions and reactions have been based on through every season, not just this one.
5. What do you think lies in the future for Cameron and Kirsten now?
Heather: I don’t think they’re going to immediately go back to being cuddly and in love, but I think they’re on their way to repairing their trust and relationship. In this episode we’ve seen Kirsten go through so much in terms of their relationship and realizing her feelings for him over the course of days, but Cameron hasn’t been through that. So I’m almost wondering if we’ll see Cameron be more hesitant moving forward. From his perspective she went from pissed off one second, to three seconds later ready to forgive and move forward. I’d like to see them figure things out together in the next episode. So here’s hoping!
Larissa: I strongly believe sometime in these last few episodes they will confess they love each other. That would be a great end to this season of building up to that. But (spoiler!!) I saw on Twitter yesterday that rumor has it a cliffhanger and some more Camsten trouble is what lies in our future….no surprise there though, and I can’t complain THAT much as it keeps you intrigued!
Manuel: Well no relationship travels a straight path right? So they are bound to have their ups and downs but for me the encouraging part is that although she knew he wasn’t the real Cameron, when he got shot in the stitch it drew out a big emotional reaction from her. I think that was a real visceral moment where she realized that life without Cameron isn’t what she wants and opens the door for them to have a much stronger foundation moving forward. Come what may…
Wanda: Well hopefully Kirsten tells the real Cameron that she loves him! I’m looking forward to that scene, whenever it is. I also hope they build on their friendship and partnership so that they are always working towards each other, and not going in separate directions.
Lauralea: White weddings and cute Camsten babies of course. Kidding – it’s going to be a long road for them. I have every belief that they will survive this and move forward together, but I also believe that Cameron is going to need to earn his place back in Kirsten’s heart, not for her love as he will always have that, but for her trust. He has cost himself so much ground with her that I think we’re going to see her questioning his motives more frequently and her usual total belief in him is going to suffer. They can come back from this, it’s just going to take some time and a lot of work to fill the cracks in their foundation.
6. Do you think Kirsten’s history with Temporal Dysplasia gave her an advantage to solving Tom’s case?
Heather: Oh, absolutely! I’m wondering if the stitch somehow tapped into that part of her brain, whether it be a trigger or the conductivity of the stitch tank, or just Tom as an empath sort of channeling that part of her. Then the flashcards of human faces to learn emotions was another similarity between Kirsten and Tom. If she hadn’t been exposed to that experience as a child, she might not have made that connection that it’s also used for people with autism.
Larissa: Well…in a way I could see it. She knew what those people on the screens were there for, and because of her experience with that as well as stitching so much she knew something was up when she couldn’t remember traveling. I love how this case handled the storyline of autism, as someone who has a little cousin on the spectrum. It made me enjoy it even more.
Manuel: Absolutely! Everything from recognizing the “emotion flashcards” to not processing the true passage of time while in the stitch all gave her an advantage to helping solve Tom’s case. What’s more, I love love LOVE how they tied in all of her past stitches in that scene in the lab. They are more than simply stitches, each of those people have played a huge role in shaping the person that Kirsten has become and it was a wonderful nod and a spellbinding scene that I still get chills thinking about.
Wanda: It might have. She recognized the pictures of emotions because of it. It put autism into her mind and that made it possible, when the time came to connect the dots, with regards to heat sensitivity, being uncomfortable with touch etc. Each of those items were minutiae, almost background noise if you will, but added together with the pictures of emotions that she used for her Temporal Dysplasia and autism became instantly more recognizable as a potential scenario.
Lauralea: I think it certainly gave her a heads up, the ability to recognize the flash cards, Tom’s sensitivities, etc. Without having lived through a childhood that was affected by a mental disorder, I don’t think she would have caught on quite as quickly as she did. The increased ability to understand, at least partially, the way Tom saw the world around him allowed her to recognize the clues and put together the pieces that his mind left for her to connect.
7. How do you think this particular case will help with the overall purpose of evolving the human brain?
Heather: Well we haven’t seen any other cases like this. So it’s possible that this case explored a different part of the brain that hasn’t been mapped before. I’m not exactly sure how much they can map in the three seconds of the stitch, but I’m hopeful that it has helped in the overall goal of mapping the brain in its entirety. Which will get Kirsten (and the stitch lab) one step closer to saving her mother one day.
Larissa: It will help so much! I hope that gets played up a lot in the upcoming episodes. These kinds of cases that are just a bit more unique than usual are definitely going to play a part in the end of this season. I am so excited to see how that final scene is going to play out. These special cases that we can’t help but always remember have to mean something in the end. It’s going to be as great as this episode was!
Manuel: Tom’s brain clearly worked on a completely different level than anything Kirsten had encountered up to that point. While I’m not exactly sure how it fits into the overall puzzle of helping to evolve the human brain, what it does do is make me wonder (it’s crazy theory time!) if Kirsten isn’t, somehow, already on that path of cerebral evolution. Think about all that she experienced in 3 seconds…literally days worth of life. Not just indistinct dreamscape kinda stuff, but detailed life experiences, problem solving, complicated emotions and so on. There has to be a reason that she is still so successful stitching even though she no longer has temporal dysplasia…
Wanda: This case was a way of showing Kirsten what she would have to do, to puzzle her way through the mind of an autistic individual. It showed her that not every mind works in the same way. Some minds, like Turner’s can be locked, some like the food truck spy can have thoughts on top of images, some can be hijacked as hers was in “Midnight Stitcher”. These cases seem to me to be a way of decoding different minds and different mind maps. I am truly excited to see what happens next!
Lauralea: Autism is such a misunderstood disorder that mapping out the brain of a person suffering the effects should provide intricate knowledge once comparing the brain map from Tom’s brain to a previous stitch’s brain. Areas of the brain that don’t function fully in a non autistic person are suspected to function in certain people on the spectrum. Activity in a normally dull area could give them a new corridor into opening up the mind to the final level that they’ll need to reach to both understand what Jacqueline has become as well as create a working program that will allow Kirsten to move forward with bringing her mother back to the real world.
Final Verdict: Stitchers 3X07 “Just The Two Of Us” has us sharing Kirsten’s journey to emotional discovery
With this week’s Stitcher’s episode, co-writers Matt Kanee and Jeff Schechter challenged Kirsten (and us) with the turducken of puzzling cases. Luckily, our stitch squad has genius to spare, and she solves the case with more than enough time to spare. The empathic connection between Tom and Kirsten gave her the final push that she needed to truly focus on what’s important. The parallels to her own life are obvious, and we’re excited to see how the two minds came together to solve two problems: his death and her true feelings. Emma Ishta and Kyle Harris really nailed their performances in this episode, something that’s no doubt intimidating to do when asked to carry an episode. With three episodes left, we can only say that we’re on the #RenewStitchers4 train!