In the previous episode of Stitchers, Kirsten’s boyfriend unexpectedly showed up in town, setting off both Maggie’s and Cameron’s suspicions. Maggie discovered a connection between Kirsten’s boyfriend and a mystery man that had her concerned. She passed this information along to her boss, who claimed he would take care of it. But here’s hoping that Kirsten’s boyfriend is not a bad guy because, as the episode ended, he proposed to Kirsten.

In the eighth episode, “Fire in the Hole,” Kirsten’s romantic dilemma is put on the back-burner as the lab is placed under quarantine after the team is exposed to a deadly virus. And all of this just in time for Kirsten’s birthday.

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Worst Birthday Ever

Kirsten arrives at the lab and is greeted by alarm bells and panicked co-workers. But it turns out to be a ruse to cover a surprise birthday party. But thanks to her condition, Kirsten cannot appreciate the surprise part. Unfortunately, before they can celebrate with cake, they get an alert about a new case.

The team is asked to look into the suicide of a disease researcher. They know there was no foul play with her death, but the team has been asked to figure out why she took her own life. The woman, Dr. Anna Barmal, had a photographic memory, so she did not write anything down about her research that could help them.

Kirsten stitches into the doctor’s memories and finds her in her lab. She injects herself with some unknown serum, then injects herself with a high-potency mutated strain of Spanish flu. Kirsten watches as the doctor tests her blood and does not like the results.

While Kirsten is in the stitch, an alarm goes off in the lab. Maggie immediately throws the lab into emergency lockdown, trapping everyone inside because they have all been exposed. Kirsten explains that the doctor injected herself with a mutated virus and her body just went symptomatic.

Camille to the Rescue

Maggie contacts her boss, Les Turner, and informs him of the situation at the lab. He tells her that she needs to put Kirsten in isolation because she is the key to the entire program. Maggie makes that suggestion to Kirsten, but Kirsten practically scoffs in her face. No one puts Kirsten in the isolation corner.

Camille says that the doctor must have thought she was close to a cure when she injected herself. Kirsten believes the doctor thought she got it right with the serum she injected herself with. But since that is all the team has to go on, Kirsten stitches back into her memories. This time, she gets the formula for the serum Dr. Barmal thought would lead to a cure. It is not much, but it gives them somewhere to start. Alas, it might be too late for Linus, who has already started showing symptoms.

The lab’s computers can figure out where the doctor went wrong with the formula for the cure, but they need a sample of her blood from before she was symptomatic in order to isolate how the serum affected her immune system. Luckily, they took a sample of her blood when her body first arrived. But the sample is in the medical bay and the lab’s security system has locked them out thanks to the virus exposure.

The team realizes that they can use a drainage culvert to get into the medical bay, but it is a tight space so only someone small can get in. The task falls to Camille, and after a panic attack thanks to a rat sighting, Camille gets in and lets the others into the bay. (The scene with Camille freaking out over the rat is easily the highlight of the episode.)

Alas, even once their computers use the doctor’s blood to analyze her formula, they still do not have a solution. The computer says her formula was right and should have resulted in a cure. With hope running out, Maggie tells the others that they should start saying their goodbyes.

Everyone Says Goodbye

With death seemingly imminent, the team members call their families. Linus calls his parents and they instantly know something is wrong and want to help. Linus gets them off the subject by mentioning that he has a girlfriend and they are delighted. This show could use more of Linus’ adorable parents. Here’s hoping Linus takes them up on their offer to have his girlfriend over for dinner.

Cameron calls his mother, though it is not a pleasant conversation. Cameron’s mother is also a doctor and she spends their entire phone call reminding him that he threw away a fantastic job opportunity to work in the lab. We get the feeling they have had this conversation on quite a few occasions.

Maggie’s call also does not go well, though that is because she has to leave her goodbye in a voicemail. We do not learn what her connection is to this Ben fellow, but he is someone she loves and has apparently been fighting with as of late.

Linus asks Camille who she needs to call, but Camille does not have anyone to say goodbye to. We learn that her parents abandoned her when she was 16 and all the people she cares about are right there in the lab.

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Kirsten Learns About Maggie’s Connection to Her Mother

While Kirsten does not make any calls, she does have an interesting chat with Maggie. Maggie shows her the picture of her mother and Ed Clark, and reveals that she was the missing person from the photo. Maggie says she met Kirsten’s mother when she first got involved with the Stitchers program. Apparently, it was Kirsten’s mother, not her father, who was one of the original designers of the program. After she died, Kirsten’s father took credit for her work.

Maggie also says she once promised Ed that she would look after Kirsten if anything happened to him, and she says that Ed cared very deeply about Kirsten. Kirsten asks Maggie how she could care so much about Ed if she did not grieve for him. And Maggie admits that she, like Kirsten, has a hard time showing her emotions. I always enjoy scenes between Kirsten and Maggie, and this one is no exception. Though I hope now that there is one less secret between them, we will start to see a deeper connection forming between the two.

Fisher Saves the Day

Eventually, Kirsten and Cameron remember that the doctor had the heat turned up to maximum in her apartment before her death. She must have figured out that the heat would make the serum work. They realize that the cold in the lab brought the virus inside Dr. Barmal back to life, and if they get the heat in the lab high enough, they might be able to stop the virus.

Kirsten calls Fisher and asks if he can bring the serum to the lab. But the security measures in the lab basically view Fisher as a threat and the system tries to kill him. Kirsten manages to get to him in time and the heat-and-serum combination destroys the virus. Everyone gets the all-clear to leave and Maggie gives them the rest of the day off. Personally, I think they should have argued for a week’s worth of vacation time. They did almost die, after all.

Other Happenings

— While everyone is facing death, Cameron tells Kirsten about the scar she saw on his chest. When he was 10, he had heart surgery. But the odds of him surviving were not good, so his parents coddled him all through his childhood, afraid he was too fragile and would do something to over-exert himself. Kirsten thinks he has proven them wrong plenty of times since she’s known him.

— Kirsten and Camille have a cute scene where Kirsten talks Camille through the drainage culvert after Camille spots a rat. Apparently, Camille is terrified of rats — another reason to like her — but Kirsten is able to get through to her and convince her to keep going. The Kirsten-Camille friendship is my favorite thing about this show so far, so I will continue to highlight the moments they have together and the ways in which the show is developing their bond.

— Kirsten is still mulling over Liam’s proposal. She tells Camille this, in what she thinks is a private conversation, only to realize that they are on an open channel and everyone else heard their discussion. Later, when things look bleak, Cameron tries to convince Kirsten to call Liam to say goodbye. Kirsten claims she is not calling because she has no intention of dying, but I think she is just trying to postpone making a decision about the proposal.

What did you think of this episode of Stitchers? Who was Maggie leaving that message for? Was it her husband or boyfriend? Was it her son or another family member? I could not tell by the way she spoke to him on that voicemail. Will Maggie’s revelation about her connection to Ed and Kirsten’s mom change her relationship with Kirsten? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Stitchers airs Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC Family.

(Image courtesy of ABC Family)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV