“The guy clearly suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.”
Uh… takes one to know one, Jack, as, never mind the suspected perp, our “hero” starts this week thanking, rather than comforting, the beleaguered Beth for confiding in him about the other self-obsessed weirdo creepsters in her life. “I know it’s not an easy thing to do,” says Jack, “I appreciate it.” I’m sure Beth is delighted her nightmare from hell helps enhance your self-image, Jack. Oh, and your chances to smarm all over her – “I like Beth, but Michelle works too.”
Ugh. Could this guy suck any more?
Apparently, yes. But we’ll get to that.
While Jack nurses his own hero complex – see also: lunatic, Ray the – Janice is markedly annoyed that her and Beth’s gang of besties might have a new member. (Two’s company, three’s a lot less chance of Banice ever happening, after all.) Not as annoyed as the increasingly baffled Desk Cop Ben, however. “What is going on?” he keeps asking. Not now, Desk Cop Ben, everyone keeps saying, we’ve stalkers to catch.
This week’s (non-Beth) stalkee is tv news reader John “Jack from Dawson’s Creek” Bardo, who has a completely justified freak-out on air when he receives a text from his latest stalker. I say “latest” because poor John previously had a stalker and can’t believe this is a different person but, as Beth points out, firstly, “News anchors are the most common of celebrity stalking cases” and, secondly, the likelihood of having a second stalker is higher than you’d think, so: sucks to be John.
Everyone back-and-forths a bit over whether John’s old stalker Sam – he of the “narcissistic personality disorder” – is also John’s new stalker but, luckily, Janice is on hand to jansplain that “Sam is an intimacy-based stalker and we believe whoever’s stalking you now is resentful.” Hm. Do you think it was the deliberate sabotage of the live news broadcast or the shots to the chest that gave it away?
Janice, however, is too busy side-eyeing Jack, Jack is too busy eyeing up Beth and Beth is too busy worrying whether Janice, Jack, Perry or Ray is more likely to break into her house, cut her hair off and weave it into friendship bracelets to notice the actual stalker sitting right in front of her silently screaming “You guys! I’m the stalker!” via the medium of mime. But then, neither Beth, Janice nor Desk Cop Ben has noticed Stalker Jack shouting the same thing across thirteen episodes now, so maybe TAU’s not quite the centre of excellence in stalker detection we’re supposed to think it is.
Even if the culprit’s identity is really obvious, though, the story’s better than it needs to be, in fairness, and – unexpected bonus – the team are too wrapped up in their internal drama to be quite as nasty to the male victim as they usually are. They’re actually…. kind of sympathetic to him? No? Ok, let’s go with “they don’t emanate contempt towards him from every pore in their bodies.” They’re presumably saving that for Perry and Ray, now on the loose together in the flimsiest of excuses for a plot twist ever. Beth is, of course, distraught as a result, and the scene of her alone, locking up her big, silent, scary house towards the end of the episode made me genuinely sad and scared for her: whatever I think of the show, Maggie Q is not one of the problems with it. But then, perish the thought Maggie/Beth could remain centre-stage and the episode could quit while it’s ahead; up pop Janice, Desk Cop Ben (now finally in the loop) and last, but never, ever least – especially not in his head – Stalker Jack to provide pizza, beer and self-justification. “It’s not all about you,” smiles Jack, in what I assume is meant to be a joke. It might have been funny too, except, “the guy clearly suffers from narcissistic personality disorder” so I’m pretty sure he means it.