“There’s something not right about Kirsten Clark.” -Quincy Fisher 1×02 ‘Friends in Low Places’
For those who are not familiar with Freeform’s only sci-fi procedural, Stitchers, it follows Kirsten Clark (Emma Ishta) who is recruited by Maggie Baptiste (Salli Richardson-Whitefield). She is the head of a top-secret government agency working in conjunction with the NSA. What they do is called ‘Stitching’, where a live consciousness is inserted into the mind of a recently deceased to read their memories and help solve their murder. Kirsten, a young woman who suffers with an illness known as Temporal Dysplasia, excels quite effectively with the program. Led by Stitch pilot and neuro-scientist Cameron Goodkin (Kyle Harris), communications expert Linus Ahluwalia (Ritesh Rajan), and social engineer Camille Engelson (Allison Scagliotti) the team work in recovering memories to solve the crime. Assisting them on cases and occasionally saving their lives, is Detective Quincy Fisher (Damon Dayoub).
So, what makes the first season of Stitchers so great?
In a world full of shows like Young and Hungry and Pretty Little Liars, Freeform (known as ABC Family at the time) introduced a show unlike any other. Stitchers premiered on our screens on June, 2nd 2015. Despite its low viewership at the time, those who did stumble across it quickly fell in love, and the dedicated fanbase has been growing exponentially ever since.
Within the first few episodes, you learn about Kirsten’s Temporal Dysplasia. An illness that affects her ability to feel the passage of time. Every event in her life, feels as though it’s already happened. Because of this, she also has a difficult time processing emotions and reading others. We see her struggle with this through the season as she learns what feelings like anger, joy, and love feel like. What makes this so great, is that these are things that we take for granted every day. You’re always feeling something at one time or another. While Temporal Dysplasia doesn’t actually exist, could you imagine waking up one morning and not being able to feel the love you get from petting your dog, or the joy at brewing your cup of coffee? It helps keep these simple things in perspective.
As the season progresses, the conspiracy surrounding the program increases. The Stitchers program was created for a reason not known to us viewers yet and the people in charge of the program will do anything to make sure that that reason isn’t unearthed. They are not above murder and lying and they will do whatever it takes to protect their program and protect Kirsten at all costs. Adding this layer on top of the finale, which includes a scene of the inception days of the program, help us to realize that technology can be a dangerous thing when put in the hands of the bad guys. And with Stitchers, you are never really sure who the bad guys are.
One major great thing about the first season of Stitchers are the relationships built throughout. Roommates Kirsten and Camille begin the series at opposite ends. Their lack of communication and cooperativeness have them butting heads at every turn. When Kirsten is recruited to the program she and Cameron seek out Camille for help and thus begins an exciting adventure through the season of both girls learning to accept each other and maybe even become friends.
Liam is introduced around the middle of the season, breaking the dynamic you were expecting. It’s a fresh take on a first season and he definitely is not who you are expecting him to be. Soon you are caught in a battle of good versus evil and when the season ends, your hands still seemed tied.
The bromance between Linus and Cameron is great. Two young men who know what they are doing, do it well, and still do not find each other repulsive by the end of the day. A great mentality to have with your co-workers. The two occasionally have “bro-night,” which just goes to show that even in a sci-fi procedural, sometimes you just need to ‘wind down.’
I could not talk about relationships without pointing out the fan favorite, Kirsten and Cameron. Affectionately known as ‘Camsten’. A defining characteristic of the show is their development. Kirsten depends on Cameron to help guide her through the stitches. They work alongside each other as they begin to interpret the things Kirsten sees and solve the murders that have been brought to them. For Kirsten, she learns what it’s like to trust and depend on someone when she’s never needed to before. For Cameron, it means putting aside his own issues and pride to help someone rise to their potential. He believes in Kirsten. His faith in her is endearing and shows just how big his fragile heart really is. The end of the season leaves us with realizing just how far Cameron Goodkin will go to keep Kirsten Clark safe.
If you haven’t watched season one, what are you waiting for? You may want to take a look before speculating about season two below.
What’s in store for season 2? Why should you come back?
I think the biggest question on all of our minds is a Schrodinger’s cat situation. Is Cameron dead or alive? Our hearts stopped right along with his and it has been an agonizing five months waiting to find out if his heart will start again. If it does, how will the team react? How will Kirsten react? I don’t think it’s going to be sunshine and rainbows, that’s for sure.
A big thing pulling folks back is the explanation of how the Stitchers program came to be. We are all curious to find out why the program was built. What future purpose did they intend for it? Most of all, why go to such great extremes to make sure the secrets stay buried? Are the people involved with the program part of the good guys or the bad?
The conspiracy surrounding Kirsten’s father and Liam will add a new dynamic to the already growing list of questions. Are they part of the good team or are they setting out to destroy the team from the inside?
I encourage you to watch the first season for yourself. If you have already, let this be your encouragement to watch it over again. I couldn’t touch on everything covering all ten episodes, I am sure there are dozens of more questions out there, just waiting to be asked.
Season one of Stitchers has grown to become a fan favorite. Its intelligent, comedic, and stylish writing keeps you engaged from the first scene to the last one. It’s caring and brilliant characters keep you as the viewer grounded in this sci-fi procedural, helping you to realize that this technology, in the midst of hover boards and self driving cars, could actually exist in our world today. That’s slightly terrifying, but at the same time, pretty cool.
Stitchers returns this spring on Freeform with all new episodes.