The new, post-misogynist iteration of Stalker continues to spread its stalkers’ love this week with three victims (or – SPOILER ALERT – “victims”): two men and a woman. Ok, the men remain fully clothed at all times and the woman ends up screaming in her undies, but at least it’s only for a few seconds, you guys. A few weeks ago, it’d have been a two-and-a-half-minute selling point.
Some habits are obviously harder to break, mind you; Stalker Jack may have given up stalking his ex (for now) but the show isn’t quite ready to give up on the idea of the Good Stalker completely. “This one’s not so black and white”, Janice jansplains, and so it proves: the perp is the true vic, the vics are the true perps, and a nail gun to the hand is – dudes, I don’t care, a nail gun to the hand is still NOT COOL.
Still, the investigation’s another triumph for Janice and Jack, running the show once again while Lt Beth mopes about her office, insisting she’s FINE. Even Desk Cop Ben has noticed she’s NOT FINE by now, though, so Jack’s sympathetic stalker ear shifts into slimy stand-by mode, once again, but to no avail; Beth has learned her lesson after last week’s episode and manages not to agree to marry him or anything like that. Well, not on the show….
But I digress. While Beth bats off Jack’s stalker solicitude and Desk Cop Ben’s half-hearted “Do you need help with anything?” with varying degrees of shudder, a new challenger emerges for the creepy crown in the form of the increasingly astonishing Janice.
Her attitude to the first victim – a generously-built bus driver who has had the temerity to both sleep with a slimmer woman and be beaten up by one – is an impressively contemptuous mix of derision and disbelief which might make one question why on earth this individual is allowed to interact with members of the public, but of course things “improve” when Judge Janice approaches the significantly skinnier Lt. Beth. “Let me in,” she coos. “I wanna help you,” she murmurs. “Do you want to take your shirt off?” I thought was coming next – has the sidekick become the Stalker? She has been spending a lot of time with Jack, after all.
Compared with self-avowed psychopath Perry, though, I suppose Janice is still an amateur in the field of freakdom. And she has a gun. So Beth’s capitulation is understandable if ill-advised. This episode, meanwhile, never rises above mediocre.