“Does this always circle back to your epic tale of personal redemption?”
Stalker is back and I think it KNOWS, you guys. It knows what we’ve been saying about it. The incessant, adoring focus on Jack; the recurring theme of the Good Stalker as misunderstood and in pain rather than malevolent and in need of a punch to the face; the utter contempt the characters have for male victims… Oh yeah, and the mysterious veil of secrecy surrounding the name of Jack’s ex-girlfriend. My GOD, you guys. It KNOWS. And it’s laughing at us.
Laughing or not, however, the wink-to-the-audience creep-of-the-week gets off to a promisingly scary start, nonetheless, by sending an exploding jack-in-the-box (a JACK-in-the-box, you guys – he is EVERYWHERE) to Mayor Brett Cullen, who looks mildly bemused to be there at all, having obviously taken a right instead a left when heading to the POI set. Poor man. I guess whatever show he’s on, he’s still “being watched.” Even if Team Machine is far more polite about it than TAU.
Manners not being a consideration on Stalker, however, the jack-in-the-box plays “POP! Goes the Weasel,” the Jack-in-the-squad spits out “Weasel is another term for traitor!” and so the hostilities begin; man-of-the-people Jack is determined to make it the politician’s fault, firing theories at the Mayor’s head in the hope one will stick and become the A-plot. “It’s always the wife!” doesn’t take – though not for want of trying – but “He’s her dad!” does, even if Jack cottons on slightly later than at least some of the viewing audience. Maybe his Stalker spidey-sense isn’t quite as sharp these days, now he’s not getting the practice he used to following his ex and his kid around. Maybe doubling up on the number of victims and stalkers of the week causes his single-track thought process to malfunction. Or maybe he’s just jealous of Janice spending all that alone time with Sad Lt Beth in her office of tears.
“Don’t worry, I was discreet,” purrs Janice, lovingly. “Only if discreet means screaming out “I KNOW BETH’S SECRET, NOW WE CAN BE 2GETHER 4EVER!” with every fibre of your being, Janice, mutters this viewer. And also “Never mind the BOLOs, you’re not catching Perry now.” “I’m Deputy DA Amanda Taylor!” announces, um, Deputy DA Amanda Taylor, just for the avoidance of doubt. And “Tell me, I wanna help,” soothes Stalker Jack, soulfully when, just as I’d been giving the show credit for having the female, non-stalker, characters work together to solve the problem themselves, the female, non-stalker, characters get nowhere. Which means, like a particularly cheesy chapter of WrestleMania, or a particularly disturbing episode of Blockbusters – are two stalker heads better than one? – we’re headed for the ultimate big boy showdown. Jack vs Perry and Ray, anyone? Presumably, in the end, there can be only one.