RogerBW's Blog

Stitchers season 2 21 February 2017

2016 science fiction, 10 episodes. Kirsten Clark continues to have her consciousness inserted into the minds of the recently-dead, while hunting for more information about her father.

One of the reasons I enjoy this show is that the seams are very apparent. If you want to work out for your own purposes how crime-of-the-week can be blended with arc plotting, it's all laid out here, with very little of the spackle that better writers use to conceal the joints.

So there's the usual sort of weekly story: hacker dies when insulin pump is hacked, lawyer is poisoned by a colleague, twelve people die from heart attacks at the same time in the same plane, and the team of mostly-not-cops has to do a combination of reading their memories and on-the-ground investigation to work out what happened.

At the same time, most of the regulars have ongoing plots: Linus gets suspicious when Camille gets put onto a surveillance job; Kirsten is digging further into trying to find her biological father; Camille is dealing with a ne'er-do-well brother, doing that surveillance job, trying to patch things up with Linus, and then makes a sudden and largely unforeshadowed move in the final episode which seems distinctly out of character for her. Maybe I was the only one paying attention; Allison Scagliotti is one of the more watchable actors here.

The show's mythology, in particular the backstory of what Kirsten's father developed, is getting distinctly thin and arbitrary. A good SF show starts with its impossible concept and explores the implications of it; a bad one adds more impossibilities because they sound cool. But this is not Star Trek where a bad idea could be completely forgotten next week; all those inventions hang around and can potentially be used again, which means the writers are getting more and more hedged in by impossibilities. I suspect nobody really expected this to get renewed after the first season; it's now got into "string out the Big Revelation for as long as possible" mode, which usually means the writers don't know where they're going.

Still, the crime-of-the-week is good. Scagliotti and Salli Richardson-Whitfield are still the main reasons to watch, with the latter developing some impressive depths of characterisation. Oded Fehr's character was killed off, and John Billingsley as the Sinister Superior just plays himself, as he always does, but at least he's not on-screen very often.

The series was renewed again, and a third season is expected to be broadcast some time in 2017.

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