Last week Liam Granger became another fatality in the long list of Stinger related deaths. “All In” has the stitchers team doing just that as they attempt to pull Kirsten out of a honey trap. Stinger has flown the coop yet again but proves to have a far reaching influence on Kirsten and the team. He is, as suspected, behind the glitches in Kirsten’s stitches since he has a quantum computer (one of five in the world).
By the end of the episode, Nina (Jasmin Savoy Brown) learns the truth about Cameron and Linus learns that his parents have always known he is NSA. Linus’ parents were actually approached by Les Turner and Baptiste while he was still in high school.
More importantly, Kirsten learns that her mother is still alive.
(This was the episode being filmed while Mike’s Film Talk was on set in January this year. The scene were Blair orders the team to stop was being shot and observed by this writer “on the day” and, needless to say, the final cut looks even better than I imagined it.)
The second season has been all about Stinger and Kirsten. As the series has progressed Ms. Clark has become fixated on finding her father and making him pay for his actions. This year has been a focus on Stinger and his murderous activities. It seems that Daniel Stinger is the big bad in this scenario after all.
Or is he?
After Liam’s death last week, with a carefully aimed bullet sent through his memory cortex, Kirsten stitches her ex and we are treated to a fragmented view, because of the bullet, and Liam is talking to…Who? Stinger?
(Stinger is played by C. Thomas Howell and in these tight close ups of “Stinger’s” eyes and nose, it becomes apparent almost immediately that this is not Howell’s Daniel. Blue eyes instead of brown and the voice, as well as nose, is all wrong. So who is this mystery-man – who looks more John Stamos than C. Thomas Howell? It is Jonathan Emerson, who has either been drafted in to “shemp” for Howell, or he is the new Daniel Stinger.)
There is still the question of the female giving messages to Kirsten in the last season finale. That was not Stinger, could it have been Ivy? Did Daniel really opt to kill Liam via a bullet in the brain to keep him from talking?
Kirsten is coming loose at the seams in this episode. The stress of looking for her father is taking its toll. While she shares her frustration with Camille, in her ” Beautiful Mind” bedroom she realizes that someone moved a string. She looks accusingly as Camille.
“Don’t look at me. I don’t come in your room when you’re gone. This creeps me out.”
The entire team, with the exception of Fisher who is possibly patching things up with his wife, is coming close to breaking point. (Arguably, Cameron is doing “all right” but with that close connection to Kirsten, his may be a temporary peace.) Maggie has learned something distressing about her son, Camille has a full-blown case of the guilts because of Liam and she reached out to Quincy only to learn about his wife coming back into the picture. Linus looks precariously close to losing his Baba and Blair, a recent addition to the team, is a bully and an *ss.
Back to the episode plot line, Ivy did move the string. This was to lead Kirsten to her father. When she arrives, Stinger has fled and Ivy feels betrayed. It appears that there is a mole in the stitchers group who warned Brown that Kirsten was not alone. Before she leaves for questioning, Ivy reveals to her half-sister that Ed Clark did not tell her everything. Kirsten’s mother is still alive.
Kirsten confronts Blair and it ends badly for her. She then goes to speak with Cameron and they prove that those feelings (regardless of Nina) are still there. Kirsten comes home and tells Camille that she feels alone.
A slightly inebriated Camille helps Kirsten to backtrack information and they discover that Ed did leave Kirsten a clue about her mother. The urn with his ashes had a binary clue that was an address and an entry code.
The two head to the location and discover a hibernation unit with a doctor inside. He is dying and does not make it past the point of discovery. Linus learns that his parents have always known what he does and who he works for.
Kirsten and the team go to stitch the dead doc and Blair (John Billingsley) bursts into the lab to stop the proceedings. He orders Maggie to halt and she ignores him. The new “big boss” is escorted over to Camille and ordered to watch.
The glitch reappears and it is young Cameron again.
(A quick sidenote here about the young actor playing young Cameron; Willem Miller. This lad has done three other projects, one of which was his playing a young Tom Sawyer in “Band of Robbers” and this youngster is one to watch for. Great performances with an adult nuance in each and every gesture and look. Brilliant actor here and one that will go far.)
This time the group try to map where the signal is coming from and learn that it is coming from Stinger’s quantum computer. Kirsten learns that the young Cameron is not the real Cameron and they realize that Stinger had been hacking them the entire time, Kirsten is taken from the stitch by young Cameron.
Captain Stamperson and his thugs arrive to shut everything down and disarm Quincy and he takes time to taunt Cameron. Tim (Cameron Britton) steps up to save the day, a’la last season where he stepped up and saved everyone, with a polite “Excuse me” and a right uppercut which launches Stamperson into the air with a hard floor landing. The NSA goons are overpowered and the team try to extract Kirsten.
In the stitch, Stinger has lead his daughter deeper into her own mind. Using avatars of her as a child and of her mother, he forces Kirsten to get caught up in a childhood moment. Kirsten does not want to leave this memory and Stinger encourages her to stay.
The team hijack the hack and allow Cameron to interact with Kirsten via his younger avatar. The show ends with Cameron reminding Kirsten that her real family (her friends at the lab) love her and want her to come back. The camera pulls back and fade to black.
Pop Culture References:
Samwise Gamgee and Frodo – a double reference. Not only does this reflect the “Rings” trilogy but it also references “The Interview” where James Franco’s character calls Seth Rogen his Samwise Gamgee to his Frodo.
Let’s light this candle – Alan Shepard astronaut “The Right Stuff.”
C3PO – requires no explanation.
This episode was a recap of all the pain felt by Kirsten throughout the series. There were some funny moments. (The scene where she hears herself speaking to Liam and says, “did I really sound like a robot?” Cameron suppresses a giggle and says no but Camille pipes up with “An angry robot.”) Mostly though the episode was about how the search for Stinger was isolating her.
Blair turns out to be miles worse than the late Les Turner. The new program head is a major douche who was not afraid to belittle his greatest asset.
“All In” finished with Kirsten still inside her own mind and Cameron holding her hand. We still do not know the fate of Maggie’s son and it looks like “Baba” is not going to make it. This was, as promised, a darker season and how disturbing is it to think that Daniel Stinger would imprison his daughter in her own mind.
This has been a brilliant second season and Freeform need to greenlight a third season…Right now. “Stitchers” equals great television, entertainment on a level above and beyond the mediocrity on offer elsewhere.
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