Sure, Stitchers is a show very much about science, and also one that is about trying to solve cases using it. For the sake of Monday’s “Paternis,” what we saw instead was a story about fathers and their children. We dove into history, and in the process of that, we paid witness to one of the show’s best, most vulnerable episodes.
Much of the story was told through the lens of a new case, one where Cameron’s father was suspected and it was up to him and the Stitch team in order to ensure precisely that he was not guilty of his charges. This brought Cameron back face to face with a man that he couldn’t connect with thanks in part to his criminal past from so many years before. Cameron’s flashbacks tonight were some of the most heartbreaking that we’ve seen, given that he saw his father arrested and taken from him on multiple fraud charges right before his eyes, and he was far too young at the time in order to know how he was supposed to be able to handle or process what was happening.
At the end of the episode, Cameron (who was called “Bruce Wayne” for his bravery handling the situation + his love of Batman) found himself in a position where he didn’t want to see a father arrested in front of his son. He didn’t want that kid to experience what he had before.
(Random but fun note: Isn’t it nice to see a show on Freeform, a part of the same parent company as Marvel, reference a show owned by DC Comics?)
As for some other fathers
The story of Camille was equally heartbreaking to Cameron in that we saw her hustling on the street for money, and how she had virtually no structure or anything to rely on. Meanwhile, Linus had almost the opposite — he had plenty of structure, but thanks to moving around and a controlling father, he didn’t have many social connections at all. He felt astray, and given what we learned about his family tragedy earlier on this season, seeing these sequences play out now were all the more shattering. Very well done by the writers in terms of thinking ahead, and using this episode to further influence events that happened in the past.
What also worked very well here is how the writers found a way to show how the emotional trauma left from some of these situations impacts the characters in the present. For example, Linus is intent on making something with Ivy, and having that sort of connection that he still craves. Meanwhile, Cameron over-stepped in his desire to be a hero, so much so that he may have caused Kirsten’s mother to be moved. (That’s bad news for his relationship with her, still in the early stages.) Finally, Camille, whether it be out of fear or distracted by everything else in the episode, pushed Amanda away and threatened her entire future with her.
As of right now, these characters are all hurting, but they are feeling these emotions in a way that doesn’t feel forced. It’s necessary, given how so many of us in the present are influenced so heavily by the past. This is what makes this the best episode of season 3, and one we’ll be remembering for a rather long time. Grade: A-.
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