Stitchers: The Root of All Evil (recap and review)

Camille and Kirsten in Stitchers
Last week in Finally the series upped its game and things got exciting for Linus, Les Turner stopped by to see his stitcher and by the end of the show, Kirsten found a key left by Ed, in The Root of All Evil, everything comes together in what may be the most perfect blend of mystery and comedy in Stitchers thus far.

At the start of this episode Kirsten is contemplating the found key when Camille enters the room waxing lyrical about a pair of boots. After complaining that they are not paid enough she goes into a detailed description of the footwear finishing with a plaintive “and a kitten spool heel.” Kirsten tells her roommate and work colleague to “stop whining” and to ask for a raise, “like normal people do.” Camille questions Kirsten’s awareness of normal in response.

After a short discussion about the hot water heater and Camille’s overly long showers, Kirsten timed her last one which make Camille say her behavior is “mega” creepy, there is a knock on the door. Camille opens the door to find a good looking Englishman on the other side of it. Kirsten looks up and says, “Hello Liam.” It turns out that this new chap is Ms. Clark’s boyfriend.

The two women are called into work and seconds into the latest case meeting, Camille mentions Liam. Maggie has a private meeting with Kirsten’s roommate and tells her to research the new boyfriend. Camille says she is not comfortable with that and Maggie reminds her that it is for Clark’s safety. She then starts to ask her boss about a raise and gets cut off, as Maggie leaves the room Camille mutters that she is “not comfortable with that either.”

The latest victim that Kirsten will stitch into is a Jane Doe. As the team prepare to set up the stitch, Cameron’s last minute instruction is for Clark to find a name for their unidentified girl and she replies “let’s hit the road already.” Dr. Goodkin then responds with Dr. Emmett Brown’s line from Back to the Future “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” Cameron is quite the pop culture aficionado at these moments.

When Kirsten goes into Jane Doe’s memory, she is in a party and it looks like the deceased is very well off, has a tiny dog that is barking at a chap on the floor of a mansion and toward the end of the stitch she ends up in a bathroom that is clearly in a different residence. In the stitch Jane holds up a magazine cover that has a picture of the mansion on it and they ID the house. Maggie tells Cameron and Kirsten that they will go to the mansion, which belongs to Joe and Suzanne Parks.

Outside the building, Kirsten calls Detective Fisher and tell him that he was wrong about Ed Clark killing himself and Cameron shows that he is more than a little jealous about the existence, and sudden appearance, of Liam. Camille, however, is bowled over by the “perfect” chap with a six pack.

Maggie tells the couple about the death of the girl and they have no idea who it could be. Kirsten almost reveals too much information and outside the mansion boss Baptiste says that Clark is not foolproof and Cameron sticks up for his colleague saying that until foolproof shows up, Kirsten is the next best thing. She looks surprised at his pronouncement.

Back at the lab Linus has identified the young woman via her dog. Linus also puts his name up to adopt the orphaned pet. Cameron and Kirsten go to her home and find a lot of jewelry hidden in the toilet cistern, as seen in the stitch. While putting together all the pieces of information about the dead girl, Maggie reveals that houses near where Miller’s body was found were broken into. Camille suggests that Kirsten be released early for a meal with Liam.

Linus and Cameron go to the spa where Bentley Miller’s friend, spotted in the stitch, works. Kirsten goes home to find Liam has fixed the hot water heater and he is confused at her behavior, not aware that she picks up bits of the deceased’s personality from the stitch; which he also knows nothing about. Camille and Maggie talk Liam Granger and she reveals to her boss that he checks out, she also starts to ask for a raise again only to be cut off by Baptiste. After Camille leaves the office, Maggie looks through pictures of Liam and discovers one that concerns her.

The two men enter the spa and inform the receptionist that they need to speak to Miller’s friend Sadie Morton and Linus pulls a “police” badge that he picked up at Comic Con, which actually has “Imperial Police” stamped on it. They talk to Sadie and it is revealed that the two women held parties in the homes of rich spa clients who were on holiday. She also explains that Bentley stole from the houses and that at the last party held, in the Parks’ home, he came back early.

Liam and Kirsten have some quality together time and Cameron calls her repeatedly to relay the new information gleaned from Sadie. He shows up to see why she is not answering her phone and meets the boyfriend. End result is that Cameron is now more jealous than before. Cameron says that Kirsten acts differently around Granger, “more of a Betty, less of a Veronica.” She asks him who he is (in the Archie verse) Archie or Reggie, he replies “Possibly Jughead.”

As they discuss Liam, the Bentley part of Kirsten comes to the fore and she asks why she cannot have it all. The “sort of” boyfriend then comes out of the kitchen with desert, perfectly stored in swan tinfoil origami, seems this chap really is practically perfect.

A second stitch is taking place and as the team prep Cameron does the sound check, “Talk to me Betty.” “Yes I hear you Jughead,” Kirsten replies. After Maggie questions the conversation, Linus says, “I thought I was Jughead.” Clark goes into the stitch and learns what really happened the night that Bentley was trapped in the house. She filmed someone having sex and blackmailed Parks, this resulted in her murder.

After the stitch the group are discussing Linus’ adoption of Giorgio when Maggie comes out announcing that Mr. Parks is in custody, he apparently sent a text to Bentley a week before she was murdered. Cameron invites the team to his place for a victory dinner and both Camille and Kirsten beg off as Liam is cooking them something. Linus and Cameron opt for a “Bro” night as his adoption of the dog is turned down, the animal does not like men. Goodkin tells the girls to have fun with “Lance.”

Cameron and Linus talk about Liam, and his Greek-God-like abs, and Linus googles Granger and reveals that the man is indeed perfect. They decide to have a real bro night versus the faux bro night. Kirsten buys the boots, with the kitten spool heel, for Camille and Clark has a flashback to the stitch and realizes that whoever killed Bentley was a woman and not Mr. Parks as Giorgio did not bark at the attacker.

The two women go to the Parks’ residence and the guys recruit Tim, from engineering, for a real bro night of beer, video games and dodgy snacks. Tim proves that not only is he “the man” on video games but he can crush a beer can on his forehead. Meanwhile Kirsten has hacked the security system on the Parks’ house and they enter to look for the gloves seen in the stitch. Back at bro night, Linus tries to crush a beer can on his forehead and knocks himself off the couch.

As they search for evidence, Mrs. Parks comes in and confronts them. Kirsten spells out just what happened and pulls the phone, containing the video that Bentley made, and Parks pulls a gun. Kirsten instantly hurls the jewelry box at the woman disarming her.

Linus and Cameron swear off women and sex in order to harness their kundalini. Tim, while playing the video game, snarls that neither of the other two are “getting any, anyway.” Cameron throws the engineer out and before he leaves Tim grabs the biggest chunk of cheese. Camille asks for her raise and gets it. Kirsten is contemplating the key when Liam comes in and after a very short preamble asks her to marry him, and being perfect, he is on bended knee while doing so.

The Root of All Evil has some brilliant comic moments and allows one of the periphery characters to share the limelight (delightfully so). Newcomer Jack Turner, who plays “sort of” boyfriend Liam Granger (who may just be the male version of Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way), is a good match for Emma Ishta who is channeling her inner stitcher brilliantly. Allison Scagliotti, Kyle Harris, Ritesh Rajan and Salli Richardson-Whitfield all vied for the comedic award in this episode, but the winner, by a crushed beer can had to be Cameron Britton at bro night.

The writing, as usual, was clever and full of pop culture references and the scripting of the show is perhaps the main reason it works so well overall. Entertaining, yet full of mystery; with puzzles to solve along the way, and topically relevant (i.e.Comic Con badge) and…Oded Fehr back for another quick cameo as the scary/creepy boss who may make Liam disappear. The only tiny bone of contention was the twist of Mrs. Parks being the murderer as Sadie said that Mr. Parks returned early not her. Regardless of this little glitch, Stitchers is great television that airs Tuesdays on ABC Family, miss this and miss the best TV you will see this year.

Stitchers: Finally (recap and review)

Kirsten in the machine Stitchers
In last week’s episode Stitcher in the Rye, Stitchers revealed that the program was a lie, at least as to its real purpose. Marta died in a hail of police bullets and this week, Finally sees the previous stitcher being buried. Kirsten is still full of questions about what happened.

Stitchers has just shot up in terms of plot cleverness, storyline arc and adding a good amount of tension to the proceedings. Like the title says, the viewer is finally shown just how intricate the world of Kirsten Clark is and how many thread all lead back to her. Answers are given to questions, both asked and unasked, and the results are surprising and exciting. Ms. Clark appears to have been almost manufactured for her work in the stitcher’s program and those flashbacks keep peeling back more layers to the woman’s past.

At the graveside ceremony, Kirsten has another flashback, this time of her mother’s death. She and Ed are standing in front of the grave with flowers. Little Kirsten hands the flowers back to Ed and walks off. Later in the show, this memory will become clearer and its meaning will move her journey forward.

The stitcher is laying in bed listening to the cassette that Ed taped. Camille comes in Kirsten’s room and gets in her roommates bed. Kirsten asks what she’s doing and Camille asks how she is doing dealing with Marta’s death. After deciding to stay in Kirsten’s bed, the stitcher keeps listening to Ed and she discovers a rhythmic beeping on the cassette, it seems Ed left her more than one message on the tape.

At work, the most recent stitch is Dani Fox, a neurological expert who died in a car crash. Kirsten learns that Fox was concerned about her work and Dr. Zuber, her business partner. She also finds out that Dani’s sister, Nicole, did not get on all that well. Kirsten learns that there appeared to be some problem with the neurological machine which was the focus of her work and Zuber’s grant money. She also discovers that Dani did not crash her car. Before the stitch Cameron calls Kirsten “Penny Priddy” which is obviously a nod to Buckeroo Banzai.

Camille plugs into Dani’s car’s “black box” and verifies what Kirsten learned in the stitch, the woman was murdered. Clark decides that she needs to learn more about Dani and Dr. Zuber. Doing online research on the brain trauma machine that Zuber and Dani built, she decides that more personal research is needed. Cameron is visited by the girl from <emI See You, Janice, and gets a couple of slaps as she’s learned he was not the benefactor who bought her groceries.

Camille and Linus turn up and she is impressed that Cameron can “take a hit.” Kirsten and Cameron visit Nicole and talk about Dani, they learn that the dead woman was all about her work. They stop by the institute where the offices are located and bump into both George and Dr. Zuber. Kirsten says that Fox told her that their brain trauma research could help her.

The doctor invites the two up to the office for a quick question and answer session, which George attends. Kirsten talks about the car crash that killed her mother and her condition she uses a story partially based upon reality to “get in.” Back at the stitcher lab, Maggie is not pleased that Kirsten has put herself in “harm’s way.” Camille gets the line of the episode with her statement that “In the history of bad ideas this ranks just above the $2 bill and “Jeggings.”

Maggie insists that Kirsten wear a wire, much to the stitcher’s annoyance, and Linus, Camille and Cameron listen in on her first appointment. During the session she reveals that after the car accident she cannot remember anything before the age of eight. She inadvertently hurts Cameron’s feelings when Zuber asks her about him and Kirsten replies that “he’s nobody.”

During her session in the trans-cranial machine Kirsten has flashbacks to previous stitches and about her childhood, including one vision where she is a child wearing some sort of harness, headgear and is floating in water…almost like she was in a “stitch-tank” prototype. She tells Zuber that her father and mother drank and were abusive to her as a child.

The team in the van are upset by this news and they rush to comfort Kirsten when she comes back after the session. She assures them the stories were untrue and Camille angrily says, “I take back the tears I almost cried for you.” Linus then quips, “Almost?” After the appointment, Kirsten confronts Maggie about Marta and the two women get into an argument with Clark accusing her boss of covering up the real purpose of the program. After she leaves the room Maggie calls Les Turner.

Kirsten breaks into the office building to look for Dani’s laptop, while Cameron, Linus and Camille listen in. A cop makes the trio move their van and as they circle the building, Kirsten is grabbed by George and Zuber. The two men put her in the machine and pump up the waves it produces. Zuber did indeed murder Dani as she wanted to come clean about the lack of progress they were making. The doctor, it turns out, is trying to help his wife.

Turner pays Clark a visit, she comes home to find the department head in her house. The two talk about Marta and he relays that no one knows what the stitchers program is really for and he also confirms what Kirsten already knew; Ed Clark did not kill himself. Turner leaves, but before he does, tells Kirsten that they are trying to keep her safe.

Kirsten asks one final question, how did Ed die? “Saving you,” Turner replies before going out the door.

After Turner goes, Kirsten heads to Camille’s bedroom where her roommate is in bed doing a crossword puzzle. In a mirroring of Camille’s entry to Kirsten’s room earlier, Clark accepts the unspoken invitation to get into bed. Camille looks at her crossword, “Four letter word for inviolable,” she asks. “Safe,” replies Kirsten.

Later Linus calls early in the morning to talk to Kirsten. Camille answers her phone, Linus can’t reach Kirsten, and she tells him that she’s still in bed. He asks about Kirsten and she hands the phone to her roommate. Linus is blown away that they are in bed “together” and Kirsten hangs up as he continues to ask if the two women are really in the same bed. He reveals that the beeping was a coded map reference.

Finally is full of revelatory moments. The characters continue to gel, Cameron and Kirsten are getting that bit closer to becoming an item; “Thank you,” says Clark, “For what,” asks Cameron, “For not being a nobody,” answers Kirsten. Oded Fehr makes a brilliant baddie. In the scene at Kirsten’s house he is smarmy, creepy, unsettling, and threatening. Not like his usual characters at all and very impressive.

This episode has joined two previous ones which leave the viewer with a lump in the throat; it is the little touches that Clark adds to each stitch. This one was delivering the Bakery lease to Nicole Fox, who thought that her dead sister did not care about her life. This is top notch television, a show where a perfect combination of writers and cast grab the viewer and lead them on a brilliant entertainment experience; making one laugh, cry and eagerly anticipate the next episode.

Stitchers equals epic win. Tune in on Tuesdays at ABC Family and see why.