"Stitchers" is a show, like "Legends," which I never would have come across had it not been for a pre-movie advertisement I saw in a theater. Back in May, I saw this show advertised on the big screen and thought it looked interesting. With it's season finale having just aired tonight, I'm glad that I decided to check it out.
"Stitchers" is very much a mystery in many different aspects. The show centers around a young woman named Kirsten (Emma Ishta) who has Temporal Dysplasia, a mental disorder in which the subject does not perceive the passage of time and is often left cold and emotionless. After the death of her adopted father, Kirsten is recruited into the Stitchers program, an organization which "stitches" people into the memories of the recently deceased to solve their murders. As the season progresses, Kirsten learns more about her family's history and their connections to the Stitchers program.
Emma Ishta plays Kirsten very well. Starting off the season very distant from much of the main cast, Ishta shows Kirsten's slow connections start to build between various members of the ensemble. She also does a very neat job during the stitching sequences as she is able to remain an obvious anomaly for the memories which we see. Presuming this is a green screen effect of some sort, it is done very nicely as Kirsten is overlapped with many full-fledged memories.
Something, though, which the show started with but quickly forgot about was the idea that Kirsten would gain some of the personality of the person she was stitching into that week, similar to Liv Moore in "IZombie." In the pilot, we see something to this effect when Kirsten takes on these traits for a moment before passing out after her first stitch. It's something which would have allowed Ishta to showcase her acting chops like that of McIver, but the Kirsten we got probably worked better as we got to see the development of the character not encased in a new personality each week.
Another key member of the cast is Kyle Harris who plays Cameron, one of the heads of the Stitchers program. He and Kirsten instantly develop a connection in the pilot and seeing these two interact each week is enjoyable. Cameron himself is a fairly developed character, as are all of the four main stars. He begins the show conflicted and with an ire of mystery surrounding him as well, since something went wrong with the program once before. Harris delivers in his performance each week and makes Cameron an extremely likable addition to the show.
It's actually quite impressive how much the show is able to focus on the real lives of these people outside of the job, showing who they are and what they deal with in their day to day lives. Many shows like this would focus almost entirely on the murder of the week (i.e. "Castle") and not spend as much time developing four characters. But it does that, and the secondary plots each week are just as interesting and amusing as the central element of the episode.
Allison Scagliotti was the one character which worried me slightly when I first started watching it. I had last seen her on the Nickelodeon show "Drake and Josh" and had seen her in nothing since. But as the show went on, she impressed me. Her chemistry with Kirsten is interesting as she tries to get reactions out of her and Camille's eventual involvement in the Stitchers program was a good way of immersing the character into the show further, rather than keeping her as the suspicious roommate for a whole season. Her interactions with Linus (Ritesh Rajan) were always fun to see as well, thanks to his awkward demeanor. And seeing them grow in regards to a relationship over the course of the season worked out nicely, especially with the pen-ultimate episode.
The fact that there is a deeper mystery which overlaps the whole season is a good thing. While each week focuses on a new murder victim, the secrets of the season begin to be revealed, making each end seem like a great cliffhanger. The connections between all of the regular characters works really nicely and we get to see them all slowly bond in a believable way, rather than have it seem forced and awkward. The actors all do great work in this department and make the show interesting, whether the focus is on a primary or secondary plot. This is definitely a show worth checking out if you get the chance. The premise is unique, the characters work well, and the season finale leaves off on a nice cliffhanger for season two.
That said, I will now be diving into my thoughts on the season finale which aired tonight (8/4/15). So if you are not caught up through the whole first season, stop reading here and come back when you're ready.
I have mixed thoughts on this finale.
First, the good. I really liked seeing how Kirsten got temporal dysplasia. The fact that her father, who supposedly helped to set up the Stitchers program, stitched her in first makes sense as to why the system reacts so well to her mind. I also liked Cameron's sacrifice, while it did seem a bit forced for story progression, in that it showed that Kirsten and Cameron met as children; something which will be likely brought up in season two. I also liked the connection between an event which occurred earlier in the season and someone in this episode. Connections are always nice to see because it means the writers and thinking about this stuff in advance and writing a smart show.
Now for the meh. The idea that Cameron and Fisher might die seems silly to me. For one thing, Harris made a thank you video for fans when "Stitchers" was renewed for season two. You'd think if he wasn't coming back he'd be less enthused. And Dayoub, I believe, has been promoted to a series regular for season two. So unless he's going to die and show up in flashbacks for a while, he's a likely contender to return. So that last scene when they're trying to revive Cameron likely would have ended with Cameron waking up had the show been cancelled, for purposes of closure. Odds are that's how season two will start.
And now for the bad. Two things here. Firstly, Linus being mad at Camille for being taken on as Cameron's protege is a little silly and out of no where. She was starting to do this in the last episode and he showed no issue with it then. Just seemed very strange and I'd be okay if they started season two with no qualm between the two of them and just forgot that it happened. The second thing is the fact that Liam was nowhere to be found in the finale. The pen-ultimate ending made it seem as if he would have some sort of big role in this episode, but no such luck. I suppose we'll have to wait to see Cameron (you know it'll be Cameron) kick Liam's ass next season.
So yeah. While the finale had enough reveals to keep me interested, the cheap plays with possible deaths was unnecessary and Linus' freak out at Camille was completely uncalled for. Regardless, I'm excited to see what season two brings whenever they decide to air it (hoping for January sometime).
Have you watched "Stitchers?" Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!