Stitchers: Season Finale (recap/review) & Jeff Schechter Interview [UPDATE]

Kirsten sees Barbiero in the Alley
[UPDATE] It was mentioned that the subject of Cameron was not broached in the interview. Au contraire! He was and this has now been included at the end of the interview with Jeff. Since the ending was such a “life or death” cliff hanger involving that character the mention was very brief…and left open for debate.

Last week in Future Tense Stitchers team members Linus and Camille played happy families, Liam got his marching orders and the episode was pretty light-hearted, Full Stop sees Camille as fortune teller again, Fisher gets shot, Cameron puts himself in harm’s way and Kirsten makes a shocking discovery.

At the start of the episode, Camille says that Fisher needs “one shot, maybe two” before taking Kirsten to the ladies room for a pep talk. While the two are in the “ladies” gunfire is heard and Fisher has been shot. Rushing back out the girls find, Cameron, Quincy and a waitress down on the restaurant floor. Later they learn that Dr. Goodkin has a possible concussion and a bullet has nicked Fisher’s aorta. The detective is in ICU and the waitress is dead.

As Kirsten and Camille talk, Linus comes up and spots the “Ed” key, he identifies it as a safe deposit box key and later the three find out where the bank and the box are. Cameron shows up to stitch the dead restaurant worker and Kirsten hopes the woman saw who the shooter was. Before they start, Cameron asks Camille to step up and help out on the stitch. Just as he begins piloting the procedure Cameron learns that Fisher saved his life and it affects him significantly.

Camille is given the controls and Linus is not happy. Kirsten learns that the shooter was a guy in a wheelchair and she sees his face. After the stitch Camille and Kirsten do a composite and Maggie knows who the guy is. His name is Barbiero and he is a former Marine Sniper who worked for the Stitcher’s program in security and he was close to Kirsten’s parents, especially her mother.

Cameron and Camille talk stitching and he reveals that it less to do with science and is more of an art. The two talk about Kirsten and how odd it is that she can stitch so easily. The settings, Cameron points out, almost seem set to her brain pattern. As they talk it turns out that regardless of any “secret” agenda behind the Stitchers program Cameron’s motives are pristine.

Camille and Cameron are doing a practice stitch and Linus talks to his friend who tells him point blank that he does not have the finesse to pilot the program. Kirsten goes to access Ed’s deposit box and has to sign the signature card twice. She has a flashback to Ed having her sign her “new name” Clark, instead of her birth name, Stinger. The bank clerk allows her to re-sign her name.

The box contains the missing encyclopedia; the ‘K’ and despite her best efforts Kirsten cannot get the book to give up its secret. Cameron notices that the book’s binding on the spine does not fit correctly and they find a flash memory card lodged in the book’s cover.

They play the card and it contains a video with a young Kirsten, her father (not Ed) and her mother; they are doing a stitch. Little Kirsten is floating in a tub of water with a harness of electrodes on her head and Kirsten’s dad starts the procedure. Young Kirsten says she is inside “mommy’s head” and that she can see them all. Dad tells her to reach out to her mother and things go wrong. After checking his wife’s pulse, Kirsten’s father (C Thomas Howell) takes her from the tub.

Kirsten realizes that she was not born with temporal dysplasia, her dad caused it by stitching Kirsten into her mother. The act gave her the dysplasia and the stitch killed her mother. Apparently the woman was in a coma and her dad was trying to rescue her.

Maggie takes security to Barbiero’s apartment and they find him there dead. Linus goes to see Camille and he is angry that she is learning to pilot. He feels betrayed and upset, Camille tries to convince him that they are not trying to “edge him out.” “I thought we had each other’s backs,” he says before leaving.

Kirsten is stitched into Barbiero to see why he went after Fisher and Cameron lets Camille pilot. As they undergo the countdown, Linus lets his feelings be known. In the stitch, Barbiero is on the phone with a woman, Kirsten believes the woman hired the man to kill Fisher. The next memory is in an alley and Barbiero is talking to someone in a black sedan and in the stitch Cameron walks past the man and the car and notices nothing.

It is revealed that Barbiero has been acting as a guardian angel to Kirsten, he was there at the Santa Monica Pier and it was the former security man who turned on the carousel. Kirsten then sees her mother and herself when she was young and a younger Barbiero. She bounces back to the alley when she touches her mother’s arm. The woman on the cell phone tells Barbiero information meant for Kirsten, and the message is for her to trust no one but to continue with the Stitchers program. The last thing she says, before Barbiero is stabbed to death, is for Kirsten to not tell anyone about what she has just learned.

Later Kirsten tells Cameron about the message and the two realize that Barbiero was used as a human message machine. Cameron says, “Damn that’s…” “Evil,” Kirsten says. “I was going to say ingenious, but I can go with evil,” he replies. Kirsten tries to get Cameron to remember the plates on the car and he cannot.

He orders Ayo to get a drug to flatline him so Kirsten can stitch his memory to learn the number. Maggie tells him she will not allow it and Les Turner comes in to say it should be done. The entire team refuse and as they argue, Cameron gives himself the injection and “dies.”

The team begin the procedure after Kirsten takes charge and orders everyone to get started overruling Maggie. Camille runs the stitch and while Kirsten is in Cameron’s memory, she finds she is everywhere in his mind. She also learns that they first met when they were children; Cameron recovering from his heart surgery and Kirsten waiting for her mother to come out of her coma.

After the stitch, Kirsten stands over Cameron as the team try to revive him saying his name over and over and finally shouting it when he fails to respond.

The season finale of Stitchers was the most intense episode of the season. There are many lump inducing moments; the Cameron memory montage, the childhood meeting of the young Kirsten and Cameron, the death of Cameron and Camille shouting, “All right dead or alive Cameron you’re coming with me,” left this viewer practically in tears.

This final episode of the season answered many questions, one of which was that disturbing vision that Kirsten had of Cameron in the corpse cassette last week. Who is the woman on the other end of that phone? Did she order Fisher killed? What is Les Turner’s real place in all this? Will Linus and Camille survive the stitch pilot lessons?

Many more mysteries remain but regardless of new questions raised the cliff-hanger ending is a great one. A finish so fraught that even though the series is coming back in 2016 it will feel like forever for fans who have one thought in their heads, “Cameron!”

ABC Family have outdone themselves by keeping this show on for another season as this is great television! MikesFilmTalk was fortunate enough to talk to Stitchers creator and Executive Producer Jeff Schechter to get his thoughts on the the show, its finale and season two.

Interview with Jeff Schechter, show creator and Executive Producer:

MikesFilmTalk: Right, my first note after watching the season finale was “C Thomas Howell…Wow!” So are we going to see more of him in the next season?

Jeff: Yes now that we’ve pulled back the curtain and we have seen that dad exists, the big question is “Where is dad now and what is he up to?” That will certainly be something that we’ll be looking at in season two.

MikesFilmTalk: My second question has to be about the pop culture references, will they continue?

Jeff: Well, the short answer is yes. I am the guilty one here in that I used these to combat my short attention span!

MikesFilmTalk: Well they work brilliantly. The RoboCop quote, (“Dead or Alive I’m coming to get you”) when Camille says it the second time, made me well up!

Jeff: The funny thing about that quote is that it was supposed to be in episode 9. Then later when we started working on 10, it fit better there and worked brilliantly. It is one of those moments that I’ll admit, at the risk of sounding wimpy, like you, every time I see that and even watching it live when it was shot, I would tear up!

MikesFilmTalk: As season one progressed we were seeing a lot more of the “secondary” characters “step up. Tim from engineering for example, was the savior of the day in Fire in the Hole, will see more of these guys move up into the limelight?

Jeff: I would love to see more of the guys come up. Everyone loves Tim! Saying he should have his own show and there are so many of them who are so great, Alex, Ayo and I would love to have them do more. Unfortunately the amount to time it takes to film the show and the constraints of getting everything in means that they don’t get to be used too often. I would love to have them do more though.

MikesFilmTalk: Okay. I’m going to say I noticed this next bit by accident. In Future Tense, the group are discussing the psychic’s death and it is pointed out that she was battered to death with a geode. Camille says, “Wow that’s a big rock,” and later in the show, Linus’ mother brings out the grandmother’s ring and it is a “big rock.” In the season finale, Camille, just before she drags Kirsten off to the ladies room tells Cameron (referencing Fisher) “big guy needs a shot, maybe two.” While she and Kirsten are in the restroom, shots ring out and the detective is down. Camille seems to be signposting here, in both episodes, is that what she is doing or am I reading way too much into this, or being over imaginative?

Jeff: The way we craft these episodes, you can never read too much into it. So you are not being over imaginative. There is a lot stuff in there that is really deliberate and I wait to see if people are going to clue into it. Not that I’m trying to be too clever, but the whole show, to me, is like a Where’s Waldo scenario or a Chinese puzzle. It’s like the wheelchair. Do you remember when you first noticed the wheelchair?

MikesFilmTalk: Oh! At the eatery in a stitch, Kirsten sees it.

Jeff: You’re talking about episode five. Actually the wheelchair has been in every episode since the pilot. We put lots of things like that in the show and if people snag it that’s great. There are loads of things that not everyone catches. For instance one woman on Twitter caught that in the pilot, the show begins and ends with the same line of dialogue “I’m in.” She also caught the chess reference where young Kirsten plays chess with Ed in a flashback and she says “Queen takes Knight” and later in episode two she says the same thing to Fisher. There are many things like that in the show and hopefully people catch it.

MikesFilmTalk: The only person on the team who does not have any prior contact or connection with Kirsten is Linus. Is there going to be a reveal in season two where he does have a connection?

Jeff: You know that’s a good question. I’ve never considered it. Right now Linus is in a different place and feeling a little left out.

MikesFilmTalk: Ritesh Rajan sold Linus’ disappointment so well when Cameron tells him that he is basically too “clunky” to be a good pilot.

Jeff: It’s funny, Ritesh and Kyle Harris have gotten to be really good friends since the show started and Ritesh was able to pull that into the performance.

MikesFilmTalk: Will we find out in season two who is on the other end of that phone and in the car?

Jeff: Yes we will, I can’t promise that it will happen very early on in the season but we will find out.

MikesFilmTalk: In terms of casting, everyone has brilliant chemistry and each character sparks very well off one another. Apart from the actors in the show, I am dying to find out what the real purpose is behind the Stitchers program. I know Cameron has a real “white knight” view of the program and what it can do.

Jeff: Well Cameron is like a “best friend” character and his single most important trait is that he is a protector. Certainly there is a disconnect between the billions of dollars sunk into the Stitchers program to just be used for solving murders. A lot people rejected the show early on saying that they could not identify with Kirsten and the issue of all the money and technology being used to solve little crimes. People bumped on these things and did not realize that they were there to be bumped. Turner’s line to Maggie, when she asks what she should tell Kirsten when she asks about what the program is really for. He answers, “Tell her anything you want as long as it’s not the truth.”

MikesFilmTalk: Yes.

Jeff: The idea of an eight billion dollar program being used to solve the murder of an 18 year-old at at rave doesn’t make any sense. All that is needed then is for a character to “hang a lantern” on that and say what the audience is thinking. The show is meant to be like that Chinese puzzle box that people can enjoy on a three dimensional level, like Camille telegraphing action, or just a two dimensional one if they like.

MikesFilmTalk: Well, keeping in mind your short attention span, I’ll thank you now for chatting about the show, the finale and the second season. Congratulations again on getting the second season and I can’t wait for the next one.

Jeff: Thank you!


Cameron question:

MikesFilmTalk: …Obviously he’s got to survive and they do obviously resuscitate him; he lives for season two…

Jeff: [laughing] That’s your opinion…

MikesFilmTalk:…Well…okay…I hope he survives…

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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