When the opens, we see the set of KCAX news and are introduced to John Bardo (Kerr Smith), the anchor. John receives strange text messages, before he receives a video of his daughter, Emma. When the show goes live, John panics and begins calling for help and the police. Jack Larsen (Dylan McDermott) arrives at the Threat Assessment Unit and thanks Beth Davis (Maggie Q) for confiding in him about her stalker. After a brief conversation, Janice (Mariana Klaveno) enters, who tells them she just got off the phone with Perry’s father, who is refusing to file a missing person’s report. Beth mentions that Tracy has left town and is safe with a friend.
Ben Caldwell (Victor Rasuk) watches the footage of Bardo, when everyone else enters. The video was recorded a week before. The group discuss a previous Stalker, Sam Russell (Todd Giebenhain), who attempted to kill Bardo two years ago. Russell was released from prison a few months ago. Next, Beth and Jack interview John and his girlfriend, Lauren (Erin Daniels). John instantly suspects Russell. The pair have been together for four to five weeks. Beth promises they’ll get to the truth.
Next, Russell is interviewed and insists he would never hurt John. He insists his crime blog is consuming all of his time, before denying stalking John. Russell is definitely creepy, but Beth doesn’t believe he is the stalker. Jack notices something on the video of Emma. The video shows a reflection of the stalker in Emma’s mirror. Ben insists he can blow the image up and decipher the logo on the stalker’s sweater. Next, John admits he hired a security team to watch over Emma. He also hired his own, which will arrive tomorrow. Lauren and John hear a strange noise, which sends John on the hunt. A hunt of the house comes up empty. After he goes outside, he looks at Lauren through the window, when Russell emerges from a closet.
John rushes upstairs and knocks Russell out with the fire poker. Next, Janice interviews Russell, who insists he was trying to help John. Russell admits he got scared for John, after speaking with the police. Russell is taken away, since he violated his parole. Ben discover Russell has been stalking the family using cameras. While watching the footage, Ben discovers John arguing with the network’s field correspondent, Keith Bradshaw (David Julian Hirsh). Ben says Keith was up for anchor, but John took the spot. The fight intensifies, as Keith punches John.
Next, Perry Whitley (Erik Stocklin) pays another visit to Ray (Eion Bailey). Ray insists Perry’s plan will not work, but Perry believes it will. The pair agree about their obsession of Michelle. Perry fills Ray in on Beth’s new life. Ray insists he never meant to kill Michelle’s family and instead wanted to rescue them all, in order to win back Beth. Perry insists they can help each other and he can help get Ray out.
Beth speaks with Keith, who admits to the punch. Keith insists John would be better off, if he’d keep his pants on and stop sleeping around. Jack and Janice discuss John’s previous girlfriends, before Jack notices something in one of John’s newscasts. Jack believes John has been having an affair with his co-anchor, Adele Marshall (Nazneen Contractor). This could be a problem, since Adele is married. Meanwhile, security sets up at John’s house. John gets a knock at the door. Nobody is there. Gunshots ring out and John hits the ground, as a car speeds off.
Afterwards, Janice interviews John, who was grazed in the shoulder, by a bullet. Jack enters and questions about Keith and Matt Marshall. John insists he only fooled around with Adele once. He admits to sending Lauren away, after Sam showed back up. Matt (Brad Schmidt) and Adele are brought to the TAU, where they’re interviewed. Beth speaks with Adele. Adele admits to having sex with John once and that her husband knows. She admits the pair has an open relationship. Next, Matt is brought in and admits he knew about John. The pair insists they were at home entertaining a “guest”, John Thorpe, last night. Their alibi checks out.
Next, Ben discovers that the sweater’s logo belongs to Bradbury University, which is in Chicago. Keith attended the university and is brought in for an interview. Keith insists he isn’t the only one with a similar sweatshirt. Keith seems to believe John stepped down, but Beth breaks the bad news to him. Keith gets angry and storms out. Ben reveals one of the shell casings had a fingerprint on it, which was linked to an FBI rap sheet in Illinois. Next, Janice gets off the phone worriedly and insists she needs to speak with Beth alone. She tells Beth the Chief Administrator of the Seattle Pacific Psychiatric center called and told her Ray Matthews was released.
Jack and Beth watch the video of Ray leaving the center and getting inside a car with Perry. The pair discuss how Perry managed to get Ray released, but Beth insists on focusing on John’s case. Ben questions Beth, who insists they’ll talk about it later. Next, Ben tells everyone Keith had a female fan in Chicago, which Keith used as a way to promote himself. Keith used to hand out Bradbury t-shirrts and the casing came back to a woman, Candice Donovan, who was Keith’s stalker. Janice gets a police report on Donovan and discovers Candice is actually Lauren.
Next, John finishes wrapping up a segment, before storming out. He runs into Keith, who begins to apologize and insists he isn’t stalking him. John returns to his room. Lauren appears in the background and insists John was supposed to take time off, before she pulled out a gun and insists it is Keith’s time now. She admits to liking John, but loving Keith. Adele enters, when Candice begins shooting. Candice takes John hostage.
Next, Jack and Beth arrive at KCAX and discover John is being held hostage by Lauren/Candice. The pair head to the control room and listen in on John’s microphone. Beth attempts to guide John through the process of negotiating with Candice. She speaks about her first meeting with Keith, while swat teams nearly ruin everything. Keith speaks with Candice through the microphone. Keith sweet talks Candice, which gives John a chance to make his move, when Swat rushes in and neutralizes Candice.
Next, the ending music begins. This time it is a remix of Happy Together, by The Turtles. Back at TAU, Beth receives a threatening call from Ray. Beth tells everyone about the call. An officer clears Beth’s home, before heading outside to stand guard. She receives a knock at the door, which turns out to be Janice, Ben and Jack, who’ve come for a slumber party. Ben knows everything now.
Beth insists they don’t have to do this, but Jack insists they’re trying to help. The group enjoys pizza and beer, when the episode ends.
The first season of Stalker is coming to a close and this episode set things up nicely, with the escape of Beth’s first stalker, Ray, from the psychiatric hospital. Of course, Perry hasn’t let up any either, but Ray definitely seems to be more of a loose cannon. Meanwhile, Ben finally discovers the truth. It is fairly obvious Jack and Beth are beginning to slowly develop a romantic relationship. The two definitely have on-screen chemistry, which is likely enhanced by their off-screen romance.
The stalker case, which involved a news anchor, was interesting enough to maintain my attention, which helped. However, it would be nice if the show deviated from the same formula from time to time. Still, the episode continued to develop the characters, built relationships and moved us forward towards the ultimate showdown between Perry and Ray and TAU. The episode deserves a 7.5 out of 10.