Kevin from Work: ABC Family Single Cam Comedy Tries Too Hard

Noah Reid and Page Spara Kevin from Work
ABC Family has a new comedy on offer: Kevin From Work which is being shot in single cam, versus multi-cam, and sadly, it tries too hard to be funny. Hulu has the new half-hour sitcom pilot up for viewing before the official air date of August 12. There are moments that amuse and the writers include at least one pop culture reference. The Karate Kid is mentioned, the original and not the remake, where Kevin says Audrey’s boyfriend may be “the evil karate instructor” and it works well enough but it feels like a token effort.

Directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Terminator Salvation) the show deals with Kevin’s (Noah Reid) unrequited love for the girl in the cubicle next to his. Kevin gets a job in Italy and before he goes, he writes a letter expressing his feelings about Audrey. His job overseas falls through and the girl he thought he would never see again will read the letter and he will not be in Italy when she does. He tries to get back the letter and save the situation from becoming uncomfortable. The pilot then tries to cram as much as humanly possible into its half-hour time slot.

Perhaps having a cast of unknowns hinders the show’s ability to connect with the viewer. Although Reid has an impressive amount of credits after working in the industry since 1996 he, like the rest of the cast, is not a readily recognizable performer. Newcomer Paige Spara plays the love interest and perhaps the best known member of the cast; Jordan Hinson (she played Colin Ferguson’s daughter Zoe in Eureka ) is Kevin’s baby sister Roxie, “Not Roxanne, that sounds slutty,” she says before flashing her boobs at the cute guy in the car next to her.

Amy Sedaris, plays the “boss from Hell” Julia, and in terms of experience this actress has 83 credits since her start in the business back in 1991 but again, she is not a recognizable figure. Casting is part of the problem as the actors do not really gel in the pilot although this may change later. It could be the amount of gags that the creator has attempted to cram in a 22 minute runtime that stifles any chemistry that could have been achieved. That and the amount of stereotypical “comic characters” introduced in the show.

The “heavy” roommate with issues and a hearty sexual appetite, the gay muscle man who is Kevin’s best friend, the wacky sister, the sexual predator and “cougar” boss, and an entire office full of geeky people. The love interest being a gorgeous girl, in the cubicle beside Kevin, who is perfect and has the douche boyfriend, the list of types goes on.

Rather annoyingly the best bit of Kevin from Work is the teaser trailer for the show. That may well be because the pace is quick, the action snappily edited and none of the characters have too much screen time.

This sitcom may grow into a very funny and topical series. ABC Family has a good track record with their lineups, better than ABC proper where the quick demise of the Karen Gillan, John Cho comedy Selfie springs to mind, but this looks like a case of kitchen sink humor; every bit of schtick including the kitchen sink has been thrown into the mix.

Kevin from Work suffers from the three F syndrome. Flat, Forced and False. The comedy as well as the chemistry between the actors is flat, the humor is forced and the whole situation, from start to finish feels false. The best sitcoms have a grain of truth amidst the comedic chaos and this latest offering from the network lacks the one essential ingredient it needs to make it work.

The pilot airs Wednesday, August 12. This may develop into a very funny show in time, but right now, the wisest decision may be to give this one a miss.

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!

[UPDATE]

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…

Stitchers: Full Stop Preview & Emma Ishta Talks Season Finale

SALLI RICHARDSON-WHITFIELD, DAMON DAYOUB in Full Stop
Anyone who has been watching Stitchers from episode one will be full fledged fans at this point. The season finale airs on August 4 and is titled Full Stop. Emma Ishta fans can read her exclusive interview for MikesFilmTalk at the bottom of this preview. For those viewers who are not anglophiles or English, “full stop” is Queen’s English for the end of a sentence, aka period. With all the reveals that take place in the series’ season finish the title is not just apt but clever.

The latest episode, Future Tense was, for all intents and purposes, quite light-hearted, a pause for the viewer before the world of Kirsten gets darker and more disturbing. In Full Stop, all roads do indeed lead to Ms. Clark but they do not stop there despite the rather final sounding episode title.

In Full Stop much is revealed about Kirsten and quite a lot is uncovered about her co-worker Dr. Goodkin. Before the final credits roll, an item seen in an earlier stitch shows up before the opening credits and another turns up just before the end credits. Kirsten discovers that she had a “guardian angel,” Camille gets an opportunity to get on a “Fisher” roll (watch the episode, it will make sense) and a chance to practice what Cameron has taught her. The detective goes against Les Turner’s wishes and is later shot. Linus identifies Ed’s key, and he, along with Camille and Kirsten, find out where the key fits.

Detective Fisher, prior to being shot, is told by Turner that discovering who killed Ed Clark is not an option. Reluctantly, Fisher tells the big boss that he will leave the case alone, but Turner is not fooled and he tells Maggie so. Later, Fisher wants to tell Kirsten about Les at a restaurant. Camille and Cameron were invited and Quincy is clearly annoyed.

When Cameron shows up late, and Fisher reacts badly to his presence, Camille drags Kirsten off to the lady’s room. While the two are inside, and Camille continues her Fisher riff, shots are heard and rushing back into the restaurant the girls find three bodies on the floor around their table; Fisher, with blood on his chest, Cameron and a waitress.

The show then has its first stitch, Kirsten in the dead waitress to see who the shooter was, and Cameron, who was injured, decides he needs a backup and he chooses Camille. This goes over like a lead balloon with his best bud Linus and after last week’s Camille storyline (dinner with the parents) their closeness is strained and she is surprised to find Linus reacting so badly.

Camille and Cameron talk about how odd it is that Kirsten does so well at stitching and he reveals that out of all the volunteers who tried only Marta could do it. They then do a stitch simulation, all hands on hands and thumbs touching and Linus comes in. He is not happy although it appears it is less about the “getting physical” aspect and more about Camille not being “qualified.” When Linus questions Cameron about his choice of back-up, Linus is told he lacks “finesse.”

After the waitress stitch, Kirsten and Camille do a composite and Maggie recognizes the features of the shooter, Robert Barbiero (Henry Rollins) who worked with the Stitchers program 20 years previously. The man was close to Clark’s mother and father.

As the episode progresses, Kirsten learns that she was not born with Temporal Dysphasia and she learns a lot more about her father (C. Thomas Howell), mother and Barbiero and some surprising things about her childhood. One unexpected bit of information has to do with a fellow Stitchers team member and an encounter that, apparently, neither of them remember.

Stitchers feels a lot like an ensemble piece, and it is to a degree just that, but everything revolves around Emma Ishta’s Kirsten Clark. As season one has progressed, it began to look as though the young lady was “born to stitch” or made to stitch (the implication being that her destiny had been programmed, for lack of a better word) and all the team were connected to Ms. Clark.

The known connections are: Maggie and Les Turner through Ed Clark, mother, father and the stitchers program and Camille; who as her roommate was hired by Maggie to spy on Kirsten. Thus far, the only immediate team member who does not “have a history” with Kirsten is Linus, as well as new team member Detective Quincy Fisher; he only met Kirsten when Ed Clark died.

As the final episode progresses, Kirsten learns a lot more about her past, most of the information is revealing and disturbing…it is also quite touching. However, for all these lump inducing moments in the episode, the show has turned even darker in the area of the stitchers program. A man killed purposefully, to act as a stitch message machine, and the possibility that Fisher was shot (At Turner’s orders or someone else’s?) to keep him from looking into Ed Clark’s murder both point to an even darker and more disturbing side to the organization.

Just as disturbing is Kirsten’s decision to lie to everyone else on the Stitchers team…except for Cameron.

For all the revelations in the finale, more questions are left unanswered. Whose voice is on that phone? Who was in the car? What was the connection between Barbiero and Kirsten’s mother and father?

This episode has some pretty intense moments as well as some emotional ones (check out the montage of memories toward the end) and the tension is cranked to the limit before those end credits roll.

“Team Stitchers” (the actors, crew, writers and creator Jeff Schechter) have pulled out all stops to give us a finale that crackles with electricity, emotion and suspense. The usual pop culture references are there (and has a RoboCop quote used twice and, oh man, the second time will induce a lump in your throat) and while the comic relief has been pulled back for this episode, it is still in evidence…just.

The Stitchers season finale airs August 4 on ABC Family. Do not miss this event, if you are not a fan yet, start watching now and get caught up. Quality television like this does not happen very often. For those who are fans already, read on to hear Emma Ishta‘s thoughts on the finale.

Emma Ishta as Kirsten Clark in Stitchers
Emma Ishta as Kirsten Clark in Stitchers

WARNING: Some of the questions and answers in the interview come dangerously close to spoiler territory…Just saying.

MikesFilmTalk: Hi Emma, thanks for chatting with MikesFilmTalk about the season finale of Stitchers! First of all, congratulations on getting a second season!

Emma: Thank you, we’re all very excited about the second season and the chance to learn more about Kirsten.

MikesFilmTalk: Well, I just finished watching the episode and…Wow. [Emma laughs] I know you have to be careful about spoilers and things, but right off the bat, I’ve got to ask…How great did it feel for Kirsten to “take charge” in the final stitch of the episode, overriding Maggie…

Emma: I think she felt pretty great about it! There has been a bit of conflict between them from the start. So when she took over it was very satisfying, I think.

MikesFilmTalk: All roads really do lead back to Kirsten…and Cameron…and…seemingly, everyone but Linus. Is he suddenly going to pop up with some sort of connection?

Emma: Wow, that ‘s interesting that you brought that up. I had not realized that there was not a connection between the two…We will, hopefully learn more about everyone else in the second season, Camille and Linus (and their relationship) and all the other team members. We’ll also, hopefully, learn more about Linus. He may still turn out to have a history with Kirsten, you never know.

MikesFilmTalk: Assuming that you are pretty much in the dark about plot arc and reveals…how surprising was it to learn about all those reveals? And what about the Cameron connection?

Emma Ishta: That was surprising. I was sort of aware of all the other “hidden” connections, like the Stitchers program, Maggie and so on, but the Cameron and Kirsten connection was new. In terms of the characters, I don’t believe Kirsten was aware of it and, oddly enough, I don’t think the character of Cameron, was aware of it either. Which puts a different spin on the information and their relationship.

MikesFilmTalk: Now what about Kirsten’s mum…It is obvious, isn’t it, that she is going to be the one talking to Barbiero on the phone and she is in the car…

Emma: That’s an interesting idea, I hadn’t thought of that…

MikesFilmTalk: Well, in a stitch later in the episode, you end up in a memory of a young Barbiero looking at young Kirsten and her mother. The second you touch your mum’s arm in the stitch you wind up right back in the alley with Barbiero…

Emma: Wow…that would be interesting, I really haven’t thought in that direction at all. But you know, in the stitches, Kirsten does really get pulled around a lot and pushed in different directions.

MikesFilmTalk: Agreed. Right, final question. How much fun has it been to play Kirsten?

Emma: I’ve really enjoyed making this journey with her and holding Kirsten’s hand, so to speak, through everything she’s been going through.

MikesFilmTalk: “We’ve enjoyed the journey right along with you! You really brought Kirsten to life. Thanks for the chat!”

Stitchers Full Stop August 4, ABC Family. Be there.

 

Pretty Little Liars: FrAmed (recap and review)

Ali drinking coffee in Pretty Little Liars
Last week in Pretty Little Liars, Charles/A was very nearly caught, Toby got high on Spencer’s treats, Lorenzo was injured and Sara lets Emily know where she is at, FrAmed takes the girls one step closer to the Charles resolution. Hanna continues to be the voice of reason as well as derision not being Mr. DiLaurentis’ biggest fan, she has no real sympathy for Alison’s decision to feel compassion for her dangerous brother.

Aria gets her doll photos displayed at the gallery and Clark is happy for her. Toby, who was not best pleased with Spencer last week, is now texting her. “Win,” says Spencer when the girls are discussing Charles. Clark asks Aria about just what they thought they would do if Charles was at the arcade and she asks him to change the subject. Ezra listens as they talk about both the arcade and the gallery. Aria teases him about eavesdropping.

Ezra offers to be a personal bodyguard in order for Aria to attend the viewing at the gallery and she realizes that Tanner can help make the event safer with a police presence. Alison visits the injured Lorenzo, bearing soup, and she insists upon a little tender loving care to thank him. The two kiss.

Hanna complains about her mother’s inactivity over the Carissimi Group tuition check to Spencer. Spencer realizes that if they give the money back they can investigate the organization. Ella and Aria talk to Tanner about the viewing and she sorts out police protection. Reluctantly, Aria’s mother agrees to let Aria attend.

Two hooded figures monitor the gallery’s security cameras and the one in red is clearly female. Charles and his accomplice, obviously, especially considering later events.

Em helps Aria to pick an outfit out for the prom and tells her about Sara. It looks like Emily will ask Sara to the prom, in a group, and Aria is now at a loose end for a date, her original plan was for Em to be her “prom buddy.”

Hanna and Spencer meet Rhys Matthews at the Carissimi Group and he is clearly a DiLaurentis. Later, when Emily sees a picture of the executive she thinks it is Jason. Before then, the two meet with Matthews who is evasive about answering any question. He takes the $30,000 and while refusing to pass information on to his boss, Hanna takes the picture that Emily sees later.

Lorenzo tells Ali that Tanner is taping the sessions with her father and she learns that Tanner has called in a profiler. Alison offers to stick around and do some chores for Lorenzo. As she finishes folding his laundry, Ali takes his card key and leaves.

Ezra and Aria talk at the Rowitz Fine Art Gallery showing and she asks him if he would go to prom with her. As she stumbles over her words, Nicole shows up and makes things even more awkward and she goes to speak with Clark. As the two talk, some things about Clark do not add up.

The representative for the Cardillo Arts Fellowship opens the finalist viewing and Aria Montgomery’s display is in the center. The four pictures on the wall are not of Aira’s work but the “morgue” photos of the four girls taken in the doll house.

As Tanner takes the title card from under the pictures, Ella asks if they are meant to solve Charles’ riddles. The detective reads off the card. “No son Linda” which she says is Spanish for “they aren’t pretty” but it can also mean “they aren’t Linda’s” as in Linda Tanner. Meaning that the police cannot protect the girls from him.

Ali uses Lorenzo’s card to get into the evidence room at the Lakewood Police station. She is looking for things about her brother Charles. Tanner catches Alison and tells her that she has overstepped the line. The two talk about the man and the cop reveals that what Ali sees as sentimental keepsakes are in reality trophies of his abduction of the girls. She takes Lorenzo’s card.

Aria talks to Ezra outside the gallery. She reveals that since the morgue photo, she feels icy cold all the time. Lorenzo is angry with Alison and tells her he wishes she had just asked. Ella visits with Hanna’s mother and she tells her that they are going to have to tell the girls about the school not them at the prom. She also says that the police are not doing enough.

Outside the Marin kitchen, the red hoodie figure is watching the two women talk. Emily, Hanna and Spencer who saw Rhys Matthews go into the deserted doll factory, followed by Clark, stop by to tell Aria that Clark may not be a friend after all.

At the end of the show, Tanner sees Rhys on the security camera arranging wrapped pictures at the gallery. The episode’s final shot is set against James Brown’s Lost Someone. Gloved hands are putting together a kidnapping kit; six syringes in a case,a rope, a tuxedo and two prom tickets. The black hooded figure in in the back of a limousine and the red hooded figure is in the front.

Charles is ready.

Right up to this point, Pretty Little Liars kept the face of Charles hidden. That Rhys Matthews is a DiLaurentis is obvious. What is not, however, is just who his accomplish might be. Clark may look like a good suspect, but that red hoodie houses a shorter female form. Where he fits in is not clear but Clark cannot be aiding Charles.

Lucy Hale as Aria knocks it out of the park this week. Kudos also go to Ian Harding and, as usual, Ashley Benson as Hanna. This actress is so convincing as the less than overly astute “liar” whose mother is desperate to send her to college, although goodness knows why.

There are only two more episodes left and this build up to the season finale is pumping things up nicely. It is not long now till the exciting conclusion of this story. Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays on ABC Family. With only two weeks remaining, binging should be done in a hurry. Cracking TV.

Stitchers: Future Tense (recap and review)

Kirsten and Cameron Churros and complaints
Fire in the Hole in last week’s Stitchers had everyone on death’s door, loved ones were called and Fisher saved the day with help from Tim. Future Tense changes the pace a bit and deals with death on somewhat less grand scale. It also focuses on Linus and Camille as a faux couple and some disturbing visions that Kirsten sees in a murdered psychic’s memory stitch.

At the start of the episode practically perfect Liam and Kirsten are making crepes and playing at domestic bliss. Everything goes well till Cameron rings and the boyfriend lets a little jealousy and a lot of suspicion change the mood. Liam is not buying the “video game” story and, considering what happens later, he has known all along that the story was a cover.

Camille comes to work all chipper and bearing churros. After effusively complementing the team, she holds up the box of pastry singing, “Churros for everyone…” Cameron grabs the box saying “Oh churros, the extruded cousin of the Beignet.” As he runs off to put the box into the break room, Linus grabs Camille for a private moment.

After reminding her of the call to loved ones, suggested by Maggie, he explains that he told his parents that they are a couple. Camille recommends: Telling them the truth, that they broke up, or to call an escort service. Linus wants her to dine with him and his parents, explaining that his mother has made Chicken Tikka Masala. Camille is moved by the menu choice on offer and agrees to a one time dinner date, “but then I’m dumping your lying a**,” she says poking him in the chest.

Maggie talks to Kirsten about Liam and warns her that the relationship, and her potential fiancee, are dodgy. “The timing is off,” the Stitchers boss warns and Kirsten does not react well to Maggie’s inferences. After their meeting, she complains to Cameron about Maggie’s interference and states that Liam is none of her business. Cameron appears to diss the perfect partner and then says that Liam is a nice guy.

Fisher comes in and after an awkward comic moment between the detective and Cameron, he apologizes to Kirsten about not responding to her message earlier. She explains that Turner revealed that Ed died protecting her and Fisher says he look into it. Kirsten says that Les Turner is not easily accessible, Fisher smiles and says the big boss has been paying him attention lately.

The latest stitch is Vanessa Sawyer a 24 year-old “online’ psychic whose co-host returned home to find her murdered. Sawyer’s death by geode is looked into by the team and Kirsten enters into a very different memory path. During the meeting, they discover that Fisher will be questioning late woman’s co-host Solaris and Cameron is dismissive of psychics in general. Saying that they might ask Solaris for some racing tips and Maggie says she would rather rely on scientific methods.

Camille laughs at them both. “Yeah? Well stitching is basically talking to ghosts.” All the meeting’s participants stop and look at Camille. “Well it is,” she finishes. While Kirsten is in the stitch, she sees things differently, when Vanessa looks at a woman arguing with a man, she sees flames, each memory in Swanson’s brain deal more with visions than real events that have occurred.

In one memory/vision, Kirsten sees a woman being strangled. She takes herself out of the stitch and says that Vanessa was killed because she saw someone being murdered. Kirsten and Cameron join Detective Fisher at Dreamcatcher Studios where he is questioning co-workers. Kirsten spies the man who Swanson saw strangling the woman and send the detective in his direction.

She and Cameron join Fisher while he questions the studio’s owner, Rick Hauser (played by Tommy Savas). As they walk up, Hauser says, What is this, ‘bring your kids to work day?'” “Oh no, it’s interrogate a douche day,” Kirsten replies, “Go ahead Dad.” Fisher is not amused and he moves Hauser away from “his kids” to finish the questioning.

Linus and Camille go through possible outfits for the dinner. He hates her “librarian” outfit and likes the alternative outfit even less. Linus asks that his pretend girlfriend show only 10 percent of her skin, Camille turns and walks off saying, “Look at this 10 percent.”

Cameron and Kirsten talk with Solaris and while Dr. Goodkin is clearly skeptical, the woman makes a couple of accurate observations about the two. She tells Kirsten that she is making a decision and that she cannot have a relationship with anyone till she knows herself. Solaris then tells Cameron about a heart issue, which he has, and gives him a crystal for protection.

As they leave the co-host, Kirsten spots the “murdered” woman, who is clearly not dead. Mia, is another client of Hauser and she is throwing a party, Cameron and Kirsten are invited and she accepts with the idea that she can save Mia’s life. As Kirsten watches Swanson on her show, she ends a psychic message with a “happily ever after” sign-off which prompts a childhood memory with Ed.

Liam is being followed and he interrupts Kirsten’s memory flashback to tell her about it. He asks her what is really going on and she hesitates. Liam leaves, angry and upset. Kirsten confronts Maggie about Liam being followed. The two talk and Maggie points out that Liam may well be perfect but Kirsten is being dishonest. She warns that he senses it already and it will blow up in her face. Kirsten’s boss also reveals that she has a son…an estranged son.

Linus does a run though with Camille on the history of their relationship. He prompts her on what she can and cannot do or say. Kirsten goes back into Vanessa’s memory to learn more about her death. In the stitch, she sees Mia and Vanessa talk, the psychic “sees” flames around Mia. Kirsten touches a crystal on Swanson’s table and gets a vision of Cameron in a corpse cassette.

She then sees Mia’s party, which hasn’t happened yet. The team try to get her back and they realize that Kirsten is not in a memory but somewhere else in Vanessa’s brain. She is convinced that Mia will be murdered at the party. Fisher leaves the lab in disgust stating that he will find Vanessa’s killer, “You know, the one who was actually murdered,” he says.

The meal with Linus’ parents goes brilliantly, much to his chagrin and discomfort. His mother and father fall in love with Camille who does everything that Linus told her not to. Meanwhile, at the party, Kirsten arrives to find Cameron ignored her request to stay away for his safety. Back at the dinner party, Camille has won the parents over and Linus is upset.

As Kirsten and Cameron talk at Mia’s party, Liam turns up. Seeing the two together Liam starts acting very jealous and storms off. Hauser makes a speech, where he makes light of Mia’s accomplishments and builds himself up. At the dinner party, Linus’ mother brings out his grandmother’s ring, a huge rock (rather interestingly this is what Camille says in the Stitcher briefing about the geode that killed Vanessa) that Camille gets to wear.

She hands Linus the piece of jewelry, sticks out her hand and says “Put a ring on it.” Mia’s party is over. Cameron and Kirsten talk about Liam and Mia comes back as does does Hauser. The two go into the building to find Hauser choking Mia; the vision that Kirsten saw in Swanson’s stitch.

Mia has tried to burn down the studio and Kirsten realizes that she killed Vanessa. Fisher arrives to arrest Mia, after Cameron puts out the flames. Camille has a heart to heart chat with Linus’ mother and he overhears her say that they might just have a chance.

Liam and Kirsten have it out and she tells him that she is not ready to marry anyone. Cameron stops by later to support her. He gives Kirsten the crystal that Solaris gave him, to “protect your heart,” he says. Liam makes a call to someone telling them that Kirsten turned his marriage proposal down. He then asks about Plan B.

Stitchers keeps the twists coming. Liam, may have changed form Mr. Mary Poppins to Saving Mr. Banks, but it turns out that the perfect partner has a very ulterior motive. Camille shows that she too had no family growing up and her confession to Linus’ mother is touching and explains so much about the girl.

Fisher got off some good lines in the episode, “Where’s the fire” being the best. As usual, however, it is Kyle Harris’ Cameron who gets the most points for pop culture coolness. His Dr. Who quote, “We don’t know what it is, let’s poke a stick at it,” wins top prize hands-down.

Things to look for: Camille “signposting” the big rock on her finger in the meeting was either intentional, which means her character should be observed more closely, or it was a serendipitous occurrence that was uber cool. Cameron in the corpse cassette and Maggie’s son.

The former is disturbing and the latter, like Camille’s non-family life, is intriguing and explains much about the ex-CIA operative. Kirsten is becoming more adroit in each stitch and her confidence is growing as are her abilities. The danger of her becoming another “Marta” seems to have become an non-issue.

This penultimate episode took another step forward to the season’s final episode, next week, and left the viewer with one tantalizing image, a dead Cameron as seen in the stitch. The Camille and Linus storyline continues to entertain and Scagliotti may just become Queen of comic relief in this series.

The news that the Network Deities have seen to it that a second season of Stitchers will appear in 2016 is pleasing and shows that the entire creative bunch have gotten it right.

Stitchers airs Tuesdays on ABC Family. Watch this program. It has something for everyone, including the talented Emma Ishta, Allison Scagliotti, Kyle Harris, Damon Dayoub, Ritesh Rajan and Oded Fehr. Next week’s finale will also have C. Thomas Howell as guest star so do not miss it.

Fans of Emma keep an eye peeled for an exclusive interview that Ms Ishta gave to MikesFilmTalk about the season finale.