Stalker s1 ep 10

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.

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4 thoughts on “Stalker s1 ep 10

  1. Jed Bartlet January 14, 2015 / 11:54 pm

    They really are mean to the male victims, aren’t they? And they’re, um, “escalating”, as I believe they would say themselves: last week they were just grumpy with that psychiatrist, but this week they combined it with frank incredulity that dude had ever had sex.

    That apart, though, I actually thought this was the best episode of the season by a distance. The plotting was agile and surprising – I liked the way they kept things moving, and the moral ambiguity. I suppose they could have ditched the “happy” ending, but for a show which has already had disproportionate criticism for its ethical stance it was probably fair enough.

    Points, too, for Beth telling people – boss, BFF, Janice – about what’s going on with Perry; there are plenty of shows which would have had her keep it a secret for months.

    And the show seems, for now, to have back-burnered the whole people-can-change nonsense from Jack. We haven’t even seen his photo-covered wall for a few weeks, perhaps because he’s realised that he was married to his ex, works with her, and knows what she looks like. (Or maybe he didn’t get round to buying more Blu-Tac so he could stick them up again after doing the deed with Janice.)

    It isn’t great, but there are signs that Stalker’s getting its game together. Just in time to be cancelled.

    • CJ Cregg January 15, 2015 / 12:22 am

      Agreed on Beth outing Perry so quickly – I was pleased with that too.

      I was a bit bored by the rest of it, though. I thought the “happy ending” kind of sucked all the moral ambiguity out of it – everybody was on Team Stalker by then – but they did a significantly better job making me sympathise with Cori than they ever managed with Jack so that’s a step forward.

      I also liked Maggie Q busting out her Nikita moves on Cori. “You don’t want to fight with me, Cori.” I was mentally adding “I kicked Division’s ass for four years – I can certainly take YOU.”

  2. Jed Bartlet January 14, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    On a different note – why are we so unexcited about McQmott? Normally we’re all about onscreen couples hooking up IRL. But this one just isn’t speaking to me.

  3. CJ Cregg January 15, 2015 / 12:03 am

    I think I invested too much of myself in Shaggie – I can’t bring myself to get all worked up like that again when it all just fizzled out last time. Also, Jack is really horrible. I know Jack and Dylan McDermott are not the same person and he may well be lovely in real life, but it’s clouding my view.

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