Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween "Classic" Recap: Stitchers: "When Darkness Falls"

“Corn on the cob? Nothing. Corn tortillas? Bring it. Popcorn, corn chowder, corn muffins? I’m all over that. But pretend corn trying to be corn? Pass.”

Happy Halloween, everyone! For my favorite holiday of the year, I’m recapping an episode of my favorite new show of the summer, ABC Family’s “Stitchers.” Why recap a summer show for Halloween, you may ask? Well, the “Stitchers” team released a Halloween episode a couple weeks ago. It doesn’t fit anywhere in particular in the show’s timeline (so it doesn’t resolve cliffhangers we saw in the summer finale), but it was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed seeing these characters on my television screen again. “Stitchers” tells the story of Kirsten Clark, a young woman who has no sense of time thanks to a failed experiment when she was a kid. Her job is to “stitch” her consciousness into people who have died to solve their murders. Kirsten’s being unstuck in time worked very well for the nowhere in particular in the timeline aspect of the episode. “Stitchers” overall feels very much like classic Syfy shows such as “Eureka” and “Warehouse 13,” and the out-of-timeline holiday episode is something those shows did as well.

We learn early in this episode that Camille is a Halloween superfan. She is known for throwing a huge bash in a creepy house every year. She is also very into decorating the small house she shares with Kirsten. Kirsten is disturbed from her nightly internet surfing by a (awesome) zombie robot out in the hall. Camille has been trying to scare Kirsten, but Kirsten insists that she doesn’t “do scared.” Cameron and Linus, coworkers from the stitchers lab and love interests for Kirsten and Camille respectively, drop by the house to show off their (pretty lame) first attempts at Halloween costumes, and they all talk more about the party. We learn the next day that Camille isn’t going to be able to have her party at the usual house, but before the gang can come up with a solution, they get a new case to investigate.

The dead body of the episode belongs to a man named Devon. He is potentially tied to the disappearance of a fellow college student named Kelly. Kirsten stitches into Devon, and it’s a rather disjointed experience. She keeps bouncing around in the timeline, much more than usual. We see one scene where Devon is patronizing the diner where Kelly works, and he awkwardly tries to talk to her about the class they are both in before just putting some cash on the table and leaving. There are some other, quicker scenes, one of which appears to be Devon talking to himself Gollum-style. What really freaks Kristen out is when he appears to address her directly in a threatening way. It scares her enough that she immediately bounces out of the stitch.

Devon has lived by himself in the spooky old family mansion ever since his parents’ death, and the gang pays a visit to see what they can learn about him. Camille thinks, especially since Devon died intestate and it’s going to take a while for the estate to officially escheat back to the State, that the house would be the perfect replacement venue for her big Halloween bash. While everyone is looking at the house from the front yard, Kirsten thinks she sees someone moving near an upstairs window, so the gang all goes inside. They see plenty of spookiness and general decrepit-ness, but nothing to suggest that someone is actively inside the house. Kirsten isn’t quite convinced, though.

Linus and Camille head out to run errands and set up Devon’s house for the party, leaving Kirsten home alone. She tries to go to sleep, leaving her bedroom window open even though it’s late October and a thunderstorm is brewing outside. I guess late October might not be all that cold in LA, but seriously, thunderstorm! She is just getting settled when she is startled by what she thinks is a vision of Devon in the window. Kirsten checks all around outside, but she’s still freaked out by what she saw, so she goes over to Cameron’s place. She demands some Nutella (apparently it calms her down), drinks milk directly from the carton, and goes to sleep in Cameron’s bed (directing him to sleep on the couch). It’s moments like this that make me wonder what Cameron sees in her. On the more positive side, she was also very vulnerable with Cameron in this episode, which is definitely progress. Kirsten has a nightmare about a stitch that goes bad, and when she wakes up, she thinks she sees Devon through the peep hole in the door to Cameron’s apartment. She wakes Cameron up, and he does his best to calm her down and put her back to bed. They end up sleeping next to each other on the bed, which was kind of sweet.

Cameron is woken up the next morning by a phone call from Fisher, the local detective that the team regularly works with. He figured out that Devon was an intern at the local med school cadaver lab, and since that tracks with something Kirsten saw in the stitch, it seems like a good lead. Cameron and Kirsten go to the cadaver lab, where they are met by Fisher. Kirsten notices something in the body that they are examining – it turns out to be Kelly’s cell phone. On the screen of the phone is a photo holding a knife to the throat of a bound Kelly in a very small space. Back at the stitch lab, Camille does the math and figures Kelly only has a small amount of air left. Kirsten figures that Devon could only have taken her so far away on his tight timetable, and she does an emergency stitch back into Devon to figure out where. It turns out that Kelly is in the basement of Devon’s house, so the team rushes there to rescue her.

Kelly is taken to the hospital to recover from her ordeal, and the big Halloween party can commence. It’s quite the shindig, decorated to the hilt. It’s the kind of Halloween party I’d like to attend. Halloween decorations are one of my favorite things. I just love the black, purple, and orange combo. Anyway, at the party, Camille (who is a vampire space princess) throws “pixie dust,” and some of it gets in Kirsten’s eye. Kirsten and Cameron are flirting a bit, and Cameron asks Kirsten for a dance. Kirsten agrees, but she needs to take care of the pixie dust situation first. She plans to use one of the upstairs bathrooms, but that turns out to be a bad idea. She finds a secret room, and inside, she is attacked by Devon’s evil twin brother, Gavin.

Kirsten manages to get away from Gavin, and she rushes back downstairs, announcing that an evil twin attacked her. Camille breaks up the party, but then she disappears. The rest of the gang finds her upstairs, tied up like Kelly was. Kirsten rushes in to help her, and the door shuts behind her. It is weighted, so Cameron and Linus can’t get in. Gavin tries to attack, but Kirsten talks him down by describing how she’s always been a misfit, too. At the last second, though, she says she’s actually nothing like Gavin, and she knocks him out with the weight from the door. Once the threat has passed, Kirsten is back to being her usual, no-nonsense self (to Cameron’s chagrin, no doubt). Fisher says he should arrest the lot of them for breaking into a house to throw a party, but he says he won’t as long as he’s invited to the party next year.

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