On Stitchers, "The One That Got Away" comes back and it's not great for Fisher's first mentor

On "The One That Got Away" (Stitchers S203), Fisher's mentor -- the woman who taught him all he knows about being a cop -- is killed and he's determined to find the killer... but remarkably (and a bit strangely) this isn't the center of the episode. That prize goes to Kirsten and Cameron, who deal with their unspoken feelings, and to Camille dealing with her junky brother who shows up unannounced and messes up everything.

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Kirsten Stitches into the mentor's head and finds out that she was still investigating a mass murderer she'd failed to catch seven years before, even though he haadn't been back since, and that it was probably him who killed her. Her investigation was just starting to get somewhere, but the team is sort of starting from scratch -- they have to go over all her files and see where she was. 

While at the cop bar, she and her cohorts used to hang out at, Kirsten and Cameron talk to the local profiler who tells them that they're looking for a 50-something nobody who acts out in rage. He also tells them that he's reading a lot of unresolved tension between them, and they'll never get peace until they resolve it. What's great is that's what WE have all been saying since the beginning of the season, and it's always good to have someone in the show speak for the fans. It defuses viewer fruastration quite cleanly and it makes that frustration with two characters not talking to each other part of the show, rather than just expecting us to not mention it because people in the show haven't. That's an annoying trope, and it's so great that this show is savvy enough to not do that. Self-aware TV for the win!

When they stitch back into the poor mentor, they see that she'd noticed some drugs in the first victim's crimescene photos, but they were never in the evidence log and never looked at by the cops back then. She was killed before she could track that lead down--like, seconds after the circled that clue in the photos on her murderwall--so Team Splinter takes it on. Well, Kirsten and Fisher do; Cameron has been acting reckless and gets himself grounded. Which means that Kirsten and Fisher find the doctor who prescribed the drugs dead in his storage unit, while Cameron, who is twitchy and can't seem to focus, winds up talking to the profiler again.

Kirsten and Fisher find the doctor's phone, and the last call was...FROM THE PROFILER! Dun dun DUNNNNN! The profile he gave them was a false lead! Meanwhile, Cameron, in an uncharacteristic lack of awareness, takes the profiler back to his house to consult on the case AND tells him he lives alone. The guy offers some actually not-crazy advice about how he needs to confront his feelings about Kirsten, but does it in the past tense, and that's when Cameron figures it out. 

But here's the twist: Cameron isn't afraid. He's calm, he says he's died before and he's not afraid of it now, and the only one not at peace is the psychologist who killed everyone trying to "give them peace". He disarms the guy just as Kirsten and Fisher arrive, and there's a sweet hug ("Are you alright??" "I am now.").

K&C finally start to have the conversation they should have had when he woke up, about what she saw in his head and how they feel about it, but Kirsten says she needs time and Cameron says she can have all the time she needs. He knows how he feels and he's fine. But he's still acting more like she used to before the season-ender stitch, and there's still this feeling that a) Cameron isn't telling her everything or is hiding a big secret about what happened, and b) that they've switched personality traits and no one has dealt with that yet. It's worrying that he couldn't focus on the research they needed when he was benched, and it's worrying that he's defining "not living in fear" as "being as dangerously reckless as possible". This new Cameron 2.0 lacks the chill and the sweetness of 1.0 somewhat, and it's a little more worrying each episode!

It's a little sad that Fisher couldn't have had more emotional reaction to his mentor's death. That should be a big deal, but it's barely touched on, and Fisher is either the most professionally detatched cop on TV--like, everyone always flies off the handle in crime shows when it hits home, and he doesn't even a little--or he was jilted out of his emotional arc here. Fisher deserves to feel this thing, and I hope it has fallout for him later. 

Meanwhile, Camille's big brother shows up and spends his time being a sexist jerk to the girls and worming his way into Linus's "lets give him a second chance" spot. After goons looking for money show up at her house looking for Theo, Camille kicks him out and he shows up at Linus's fancy new apartment. Rude. He's all cool and complementary to Linus, but he starts getting really mean about Camille over dinner, and Linus gets to shine when he tells him off. It's seriously a great scene, and a new side of sweet, affable Linus, to see exactly where he draws the line. At family badmouthing and insulting Camille, aparently. See, Camille and Theo grew up alone in a trailer park after their parents left, and instead of him taking care of her, she wound up taking care of him, and it was never good enough--he kept getting into trouble. So she left, made herself and her life better, and now he shows up all trashy and borderline criminal and mean, and blames her for leaving--and for everything that's gone wrong in his life since then.

Which, obviously, is crazy unfair. Linus takes Camille home, and comes back to find that good old brother is gone, but that he's taken all of Linus's cool stuff with him to pay off his goons. Poor Linus. And poor Camille!

And rounding out the plots, we have Maggie standing up for her team (always a yay! moment) and telling New Boss Blaire that if he's going to put her in charge like this, he has to trust that she knows how the team and the program work best. He doesn't stop her from taking this case, but he makes it clear that he only wants the program used for what he says to use it for, and she shouldn't make it a habit of contradicting him. So far, he's all talk, but for how long?

At the very end of the episode, Kirsten takes something they talked about earlier and decides to use her strenths to find her dad: math. There's got to be an equation that'll help her figure out his movements and predict where he'll show up.

All in all, it was another good episode, tense and twisty as the best ones always are, and full of interepersonal struggles that really are what I tune in for. There's lots of plots and subplots going on this season, and it seems like they're getting at least a little movement on all of them, which is a feat--how many awesome shows have fumbled complex plot lines? Too many, but it looks so far like this show isn't one of them. We've got characters working together who don't get much time together, we've got a balance of personal and professional concerns, and there's things moving around in the background that will undoubtedly come together in strange and unexpected ways. The preview for next week looks like things go pearshaped pretty quickly, so maybe we'll get some of that coming together sooner rather than later!

More thoughts on Stitchers 2.3 "The One That Got Away":

  • Still no soldiers. What was that mess all about, then? Why that whole thing about "this is how it is now" and then not have them even make an exit if they're not going to be around?
  • Also, where are all the lightbulbs? Why is it a thing on TV these days that when shows get a second season, they need to remove half the light and get all unprofessionally dim for medical and technical things? I mean, look how dim the lab is now! It's half way to being as dark as the one on SHIELD already, in a fraction of the episodes!
  • Another thing about Cameron acting off: he listed being tall and blonde as Kirsten's strengths in that conversation that led her to the idea of using math as a weapon. Like, he's a genius and he's usually one of the most caring people on the show. I expected more from him, and I hope that's a clue that something is actually wrong, and not a poorly written line.
  • There weren't as many nicknames as usual this episode. Another sign that something is off with Cameron. Should we be bracing ourselves for a meltdown or a breakdown?
  • Still no indication that Kirsten having feelings is going to mess up her ability to stitch, though it really probably should based on how they set it up last season. And I don't think they've talked about whether she still has temporal dysplasia, though the creators did say something about that in an interview I read but can't find now. THAT really should affect her abilities, since that's what allowed her to be the perfect stitcher to begin with!
  • Linus being such a hero with Camille's brother makes me really hope they work it out, and makes me sad that I sort of now also ship her with Fisher, because Linus doesn't deserve to be dumped if he's that into her. Of course, if she's not into him the same way, she really needs to talk to him about it. Last season, it sort of seemed like they were setting her up as aromantic, not interested in connections of the romantic variety at all, and she still sort of seems...not very into it. I can't decide yet whether that's just on-screen chemistry or if it's intentional. But Freeform is pretty open to these sorts of things and it would be interesting if they went that way.
  • Mentors on TV always have something terrible happen to them. It's not a good idea to take on a protegee if you're on a crime-based TV show.
  • Kirsten totally referred to her and Cameron as a couple and he didn't argue against it or get embarassed or anything. They were united in their scoffing at "couples councilling", and it was perfect. Much as they're the main ship in the show, it'd be so cool if they sort of just drifted into couple-dom and never made that conscious divide between before and after.
  • You can watch Stitchers 2.3 "The One That Got Away" on Hulu, on Freeform, or on the Freeform app! New episodes air at 10pm on Tuesday nights!

    By Samantha Holloway

    About the author

    Samantha is a freelance writer, editor and book and TV reviewer. She's currently in gradschool and working on her first novel, and one day she'll rule to world. Or marry her TV. Whichever comes first. Follow! twitter.com/pirategirljack.

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