Stitchers does something a bit different in this episode, as Kirsten bounces from a stitch, only to find that everyone in the lab is gone except for Cameron. The team basically solves a puzzle with every case, putting the pieces that Kirsten gets from each stitch together to figure out how a person died. Well, the puzzle solving is a bit different for this case, but the end result is the same.
As for Kirsten and Cameron’s relationship, is the time it takes to figure out the case in “Just the Two of Us” just what they need?
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Where is Everyone?
Kirsten comes out a stitch feeling sick and possibly smelling gas, only to find that everyone except Cameron has disappeared, they have no idea what their current case is and there’s static on the monitors. But even though they’re alone in the lab, Kirsten feels like they’re being watched.
The mysterious clues continue with hot cups of coffee both at the lab and Kirsten’s house, along with blackout curtains in Camille’s room that Kirsten doesn’t remember seeing before. Cameron calls the NSA and reports that they’ve been told to stay put and “mother” is looking out for them. Who is “mother”? Maggie? The person who picks their cases? Kirsten’s mother?
Over dinner, Kirsten is surprised by what Cameron shares about his mother. She loved him, but his condition put a strain on her. He didn’t know how to tell her not to worry, so he worked out his frustrations with puzzles and thought experiments. After his father left, she met Bill. But he didn’t get along with him, and Bill wanted him out. His mother had to make a choice: send him away to school or end it with Bill. When Kirsten reaches out to comfort him, Cameron pulls away; with everything going on, the less touching the better, he says.
After Kirsten sees someone outside (but when Cameron checks, no one’s there), she asks him to sleep in her room. She thinks that his story about his mother proves that they don’t know everything about each other (even though it feels like they should), but he proves her wrong, knowing her favorite movie, why she quit basketball in middle school and which bone she broke as a kid — even though she never told him that last story. How’d he know? (Maybe because he’s not really Cameron?)
The next morning, there’s the expected “Wait, Cameron’s gone now too?!” moment when Kirsten wakes up alone, only for him to be in the kitchen. Then it’s back to the lab, where Kirsten finds a few clues: a key (with ‘EURO’ engraved on it) in another cup of coffee, faces in the static on the monitors and a puzzle piece in Cameron’s locker.
Cameron figures out the right color light and frequency to make the images in the static pop, and Kirsten recognizes the faces as those used to help people with autism understand emotions. (Anyone else see where this is going?) Arrows on the monitor point to the tank, where Kirsten completes the puzzle at the bottom with the piece she found. It’s a house, with the address circled.
The house is empty, but they find a vintage car in the garage. Cameron recognizes it; he was obsessed with cars as a kid, but his mother said it was too dangerous, he tells Kirsten. It’s something else she didn’t know about him. The key is to the car; it doesn’t say ‘EURO,’ but rather ‘FORD.’ Inside the glove compartment is a Rubik’s cube. Once Kirsten starts the car, she can’t turn the engine off. As the garage fills up with fumes, they look for a way out, but the door is locked, and it takes both of them to break it down.
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Just Another Puzzle
Cameron’s the one to realize what the clue left in the garage was: someone switched one of the squares on the Rubik’s cube, making it unsolvable.
Their friends may be missing and they may have nearly died, but they are enjoying working closely together again. That’s when Kirsten begins to wonder if someone is deliberately forcing them to rely on each other to get over their baggage and be a more effective team. Is it Stinger’s doing, to get them to keep stitching? Is the NSA behind it, a stalling technique or an attempt to get her to forgive Cameron?
They were a mistake, Cameron says, explaining that his whole life he’s had problems making connections with people. That confuses her because he’s never had problems connecting with anyone. And after she figures out their current case (simply by using a computer with a big colorful keyboard), she realizes what’s going on: Cameron isn’t real, and she’s still stitched into their current case.
The victim is Tom, a 20-something man with severe autistic who was found dead in his garage, a presumed suicide due to car exhaust inhalation. He was an empath; his brain was wired in such a way that he could feel the depth of other people’s emotional states.
By stitching into Tom, they opened up a pathway into his empath abilities, so instead of objectively seeing his memories, she’s experiencing them through a filter of her emotional state. “You’re a reflection of my feelings about us,” she explains to “Cameron.”
He wants her to prove it by shooting him, but she can’t watch something happen to even her projected version of him and can’t stand the thought of losing him being her fault. “Cameron” guesses that means she loves him. Her theory is proven correct when the gun goes off and Cameron is shot, but then his body disappears.
Kirsten is ready to bounce when she sees the others she has stitched into and, with Ed Clark’s encouragement, makes the decision to speak for Tom just like she’s spoken for all of them. That means solving this case. The images on the monitors are part of one big puzzle, deliberately separated, she realizes, and gets to work putting them together.
Her conversations with “Cameron” weren’t real, just Tom’s memories mixing with her emotional state, so anything that felt out of the ordinary must have been coming from Tom. Bill was Tom’s mother’s boyfriend. The blackout curtains, not wanting to be touched, his trouble connecting with people — that was all part of how Tom experienced life as a man with autism. He liked puzzles because they helped him focus and feel like he had control. “Mother” is Tom’s mother. But who killed Tom? Kirsten gets that answer once she puts the monitors together and recognizes the face.
After she finally makes the bounce, she has all the answers for the team. Bill killed Tom. Before he left for work, he locked Tom in the garage and started the engine to his old car. Tom’s mother kept that key in an old coffee cup so something like this would never happen. Tom had heat sensitivity so he wouldn’t have touched the cup himself. Bill left Tom the unsolvable Rubik’s cube so he’d be too focused on trying to solve it to leave. Bill thought he was freeing Tom’s mother from her “burden” by killing him since she was so devoted to her son.
Though Kirsten thinks she was in the stitch for days, Cameron reveals that she was only in there for three seconds — and the mission clock confirms that. That was all the time she needed, she says, before kissing him.
How long did it take you to figure out what was really going on? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Stitchers season 3 airs Mondays at 9/8c on Freeform. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of Freeform)