Warning: Here, there will be spoilers.
Stitchers is ABC Family’s first procedural drama, and the lighter tone regarding the characters’ personal lives balances out the seriousness of the procedural aspects of solving murders, and the potentially darker mysteries surrounding the creators of the secret program — and Kirsten’s own past — grow deeper and more dangerous.
The show follows Kirsten (Emma Ishta), a young woman recruited into a covert government agency to be ‘stitched’ into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate their deaths and decipher mysteries that otherwise would have gone to the grave. Working alongside Kirsten is Cameron (Kyle Harris), a brilliant neuroscientist whose passion for the program is evident in his work.
The secret program is headed by Maggie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), a skilled veteran of covert operations, and the rest of the team is rounded out with Linus (Ritesh Rajan), a socially awkward bioelectrical engineer and communications technician, and Kirsten’s roommate, Camille (Allison Scagliotti), a gifted computer science grad student, who was recruited into the program to use her skills to assist Kirsten in her new role as a ‘stitcher.’
With the season 5 episodes in now, the investigative aspects of the main case are still balanced by the Stitchers team members continuing to grow with each other and learn to trust one another. Kirsten’s condition, temporal dysplasia, still affects the way her team relates to her, but Cameron’s growing concern about how the stitches are affecting her behavior during the investigations is well-founded, and possibly influenced by his inability to save the previous stitcher, Marta, from harm.
The primary mystery surrounding who killed Kirsten’s guardian Ed Clark may be a tied more closely to a larger secret about the program, since Kirsten is being kept a little too busy to start doing any outside research on her own about Ed’s life and death. That outside investigation also might have just been hampered significantly with the LAPD officially closing Ed’s death out as a suicide.
The tone of the investigations has been growing more interesting as we see a typically disaffected Kirsten deal with the residual emotions from the deceased subjects and what seems to be her growing more uncomfortable with having to “process emotions” at all. Watching Kirsten shift from being fascinated with experiencing “normal” emotions to wondering if she’s able to separate herself from the memories and emotions of the victims is a journey that I’m curious where it’s going to take her, and the program along with her.
There’s also been a slow increase in intensity as the season progresses, as some of the program’s darker secrets are beginning to slip out, and the audience could be justified in wondering if the Stitchers lab team is in far more danger than any of them currently realize.
The fast pace of the show sometimes leads to a few of the geek in-jokes in the lab flying by a little too fast, but for the most part the lighter tone and feel carries through, despite the growing intensity surrounding potential conspiracies.
The show is still fun and easy to watch, and following the live tweets from various cast members is a funny and entertaining bonus. I am curious to see where the breadcrumbs about Kirsten’s past tying in with the program’s roots will lead, and I will keep watching to see where this ride goes.
Stitchers airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET/PT on ABC Family. The first two episodes are available on Hulu, and the most recent 5 episodes are available on Hulu Plus streaming.