Another episode of Stitchers airs tonight on ABC Family. And I’ve been watching the show, though I haven’t recapped it since the first episode. But, as this clip from last week’s episode shows, Stitchers has a fatal flaw that makes it damn near impossible to buy into.

Spoilers...

What you’re looking at there is a flashback to when Marta, the original subject of the Stitcher program, had a near-fatal accident that put her into a coma. Because this is a super-experimental procedure, where you’re connecting a living person’s brain to a dead person’s brain and allowing her to explore the corpse’s memories. So there are certain risks. And the head science geek, Cameron, is twitchy about the new Stitcher, Kirsten, because he’s worried the same thing will happen to her.

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With me so far? Great.

Here’s the problem. If your highly experimental science program nearly killed its only previous test subject, you’d expect the people running it to be incredibly serious about safety. Instead, they give Kirsten an incredibly complicated (and harrassy) procedure for terminating her “Stitches” — she has to type her own name on a keyboard, followed by the code “iheartlinus” — Linus being the name of the dorky guy who does all the programming ‘n’ stuff. Why wouldn’t they just give her a giant red button that she can hit when she needs to evacuate out of someone’s brain? Why force her to declare her undying love for Linus every time she’s in danger of having her brain destroyed by a dead person’s messed up consciousness?

In general, it wrecks my suspension of disbelief to see the nerds running this program making Star Trek jokes and goofing around when they’re about to plunge Kirsten into a potentially life-ending situation. Especially Cameron, who the show wants us to think is traumatized by Marta’s fate, and overprotective of Kirsten as a result. You can’t have it both ways, show. Not to mention all the stuff about how they couldn’t manage to do any psych tests or other sorts of tests of Kirsten before subjecting her to the Stitch because there was just no time—even thought they’d had her under surveillance for an entire year.

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The sad thing is, Stitchers is trying to settle into a groove of being a fun, zippy show about nerds solving crimes together. And it’s almost got the ingredients to be another Warehouse 13—the cast even includes Allison Scagliotti, for Artie’s sake! But you can have the nerds being funny and quippy most of the time, and yet deadly serious when it comes time to do their job and safeguard a living person’s brain that they’re looping into a dead person’s. The funny will be even funnier if they actually seem like people who are good at their jobs.

Anyway, the show can’t keep reminding us that their tech nearly killed someone, and also keep reminding us that Kirsten is forced to type her own name plus “iheartlinus” every time she’s in danger of ending up like Marta. It just kills my ability to believe in what’s going on. Pick one, show!


Contact the author at charliejane@io9.com.

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