Stitchers continues to delight audiences with fun geek references, cleverly written cases, and amazing depth of character
The Show: Stitchers
The Network: Freeform
The Genre: Science Fiction, Comedy, Drama
The Challenge: Give a show four episodes with which to draw you in, impress you, challenge you, make you feel something deeply. Four episodes for the chance to find out if you care what happens to the characters you’re watching enough to become invested in the story. If after all that, it does none of those things for you? Then no biggie. You gave it a good shot and you can move on. But if you love it, you’ll be glad you stuck around.
The Premise: Stitchers follows a young graduate student named Kirsten Clark (Emma Ishta) as she is recruited into a top secret NSA program. Its leader, Agent Maggie Baptist (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), reveals that the lab has the technology to “stitch” into a dead person’s memories. They use the information they gather to solve the victim’s murders and any potential related crimes. As Kirsten suffers from temporal dysplasia, a condition that makes perception of time difficult, she makes an ideal Stitcher. The rest of the team is made up of Dr. Cameron Goodkin (Kyle Harris), Dr. Linus Ahluwalia (Ritesh Rajan), her roommate Camille Engelson (Allison Scagliotti), and support staff. Driven to solve the mystery of her missing parents and why she was left with her caretaker Ed, she agrees to join the program.
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When season 3 opens, Kirsten is still trapped in the rogue stitch Daniel Stinger created. Cameron and the others finally devise a plan to break her of the connection with her mother’s memory. As soon as she is safe, Blair initiates his plan to break the team apart, but Kirsten is one step ahead of him. She goes above his head and to have him removed as director, Maggie put in his place, and her mother’s location identified. With the knowledge that she must perfect the stitching technology and map the entire brain to save her, Kirsten gets to work. Along the way, her new relationship with Cameron is challenged in a most unique way. He faces hurdles of his own when Maggie assigns him acting team leader while she travels. Between personal drama and surprising cases, our squad has their work cut out for them this season!
The geek is strong with this team, and we couldn’t be happier
If there is something that Stitchers has been known for since its pilot episode, it’s their love of geek references. Not only does show creator Jeffrey Schechter proudly display his fanboy status in the scripts, so do the rest of the writing team. Every episode so far has had almost one reference in every major scene. Many of them are spoken by the Men of Science, as Cameron and Linus are nicknamed. These two characters are genuinely geeks at heart, and it shows in their jokes and one-liners. While Kirsten and Camille are less enthusiastic in their geekhood, they are nonetheless active participants as well. As the stitch pilot, Dr. Goodkin regularly quotes movies and TV before inducing neurosync, and his nicknames for Kirsten are both topical and hilarious. The writers don’t stop there, though, because they often draw inspiration from what the love most.
Season three does not stray from this winning formula, starting the premiere off with a multitude of references. As seen above, Kirsten, Ivy, and Tim come up with an Ocean’s Eleven-worthy plan to break the team out. Those who are Star Wars fans should recognize the detention cell number she gives immediately. In “For Love or Money,” Ivy gets in on the game and proves she has quite the interesting superpower. Then there’s Cameron, who cannot contain his humor when he investigates the love doll factory in “Perfect.” Even guest stars are not immune to being subjected to geekiness, as Agent Abbott discovers when Cameron sneaks in a Jerry Maguire reference in episode four. Whether it’s science fiction, fantasy, anime, movie, or TV show, Stitchers never neglects to leave us a geeky Easter egg, and we couldn’t be more of a fangirl or fanboy about it!
Stitching is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get
After Kirsten joined the Stitchers program, she found out they comes across some very interesting cases. Each one is surprising in its own way – the memory, the crime, or the killer. We’ve seen the team push the boundaries when they performed stitches under less than ideal circumstances. Some of the most memorable cases include Kirsten’s guardian Ed, the viral epidemiologist, an internet psychic, a brainwashed actress, and twelve plane passengers. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention stitching into a pseudo-dead Cameron at the end of season one, or Daniel Stinger’s hijack of the stitch in the season two finale. With Stitchers, there is no shortage of creative storylines, and the cases always expertly walk the fine line between reality and fiction.
Cameron: “I’ll tell you what it means. It means that John Doe built a mind palace – a memory technique for people who need to keep their secrets secret.”
Linus: “Royal marines plus mind palace equals…”
Fisher: “John Doe was a spy.”
We’re only four episodes into season three, but we’ve already seen two spectacular cases. The first was a Clue-esque mystery of a dead divorce lawyer. The list of suspects ranged from the ex, the mummy, Miss Perfect, and Doc Hollywood. The truth is even stranger than fiction, and watching the squad work through the mystery had us glued to the television. The second is in “Mind Palace,” in which – you guessed it – the victim used the technique to protect his memories. Not only do we see the team go up against MI6, but they must crack a codex in time to save one of their own. We really appreciate Stitchers for choosing smart writing over mindless entertainment. Cases like this force us to think outside the box and keeps us talking long after it airs.
The cases aren’t the only enigmas to decipher when it comes to the stitch lab
The world of Stitchers is filled with advanced technology, but it also comes with a team of characters that is just as fascinating to us. Within the main cast alone, we have a snark queen, two geeky Men of Science, a temporally challenged stitcher, a girl boss, and a wise (ass) cop. Then, we were given so much more as the first two seasons progressed. We find out that Cameron has a father he loves to hate, while Kirsten has no knowledge of her family. Camille has come a long way to prove she is more than a small town girl with a past. Linus struggles with the cultural expectations of his parents while trying to become more independent. Maggie has a son in the military that she worries about constantly, and Fisher is in a complicated relationship with his estranged wife.
Tim: “Who’s the skirt?”
Tim: “[Sex in a pool] Completely overrated. That’s a true fact.”
Tim: “[Oxytocin] That’s my favorite hormone. No, wait. It’s estrogen.”
Tim: “You can also think of all the different kinds of pickles. Works for me.”
Season three sheds even more light on our favorite squad through the eyes of those around them. With the blossoming romance between Camille and ME Amanda Weston, we’re seeing her more vulnerable than ever before. Linus is learning to stick up for what he believes in, especially when it comes to his new love interest, Ivy. However, these supporting characters have rich backstories of their own, and the dynamics they bring to the team only adds to the depth of each character. We’re also super excited to see some of the lab support staff getting a few moments too. This is especially true for Tim, hilariously portrayed by Cameron Britton. We’re hoping we’ll learn more about Alex, Chelsea, and Ayo soon!
Final Verdict: Stitchers season three shows why the fans worked so hard to save the show
Stitchers received cult success during its first and second seasons. Still, we were worried when Freeform remained silent about its renewal last year. To ensure the show’s return, a petition for season three was led by a group of passionate fans. It received so many signatures that the network took notice. They gave the show 10 more episodes in an homage to the show’s fiercely loyal audience, and here we are. Jeffrey Schechter and everyone working on Stitchers have shown us in just the first four episodes that they are determined to stay. They kept the things we love most – the geeky humor, the pop culture references, and the clever writing. However, they also expanded the cast to include important recurring characters and relationships. New dynamics in the lab keep things interesting every week, and the cases that have come along are incredibly creative.
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With many shows, we would worry about the writing peaking too early in a season. After all, each of the first four episodes have raised the bar for the next one. However, the writers have shown their capacity for consistent brilliance on paper. Camsten shippers want to see the two finally happy together, and we’re rooting for Livy and Camanda as well. Finding out what is in Kirsten’s mother’s mind is an exciting prospect, and confronting Daniel Stinger will be quite an experience. We’re curious to see where the team takes the stitching technology next, and find out more about how their cases are assigned. Most of all, we’re just excited to see a show as smart as Stitchers stay on the air, because we all could use a little of that every week!