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Series / Stalker (2014)

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He's definetely not your friendly neighbor.

"Stalking can be the result of a relationship gone wrong or delusional fixations that are pushed to the extremes. Anyone can be a stalker... anyone can be a victim and it's on the rise."
Lieutenant Beth Davis talks about stalking to university students, "Pilot"

Stalker is an American police procedural show that aired on CBS, created by Kevin Williamson as part of the 2014–15 fall television season. It first aired on October 1, 2014. The show stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott as Los Angeles Police Department detectives assigned to investigate cases of stalking, big or small, in the Greater Los Angeles area. CBS has confirmed that the show will not be renewed after the network concludes its airing.

Detectives of the Los Angeles Police Department's Threat Assessment Unit investigate stalking cases that occur every day in the city of Los Angeles. Leading the unit is Lieutenant Beth Davis, an experienced plainclothes officer responsible for handling stalker cases by the LAPD. Joining the unit is Detective Jack Larsen, who is a recent transfer to the LAPD from the city of New York. While there, he tries to reconnect again with his wife and child after they left him. So far, his ex-wife is not receptive of his presence and wants him to leave.

This show contains examples of:

  • Action Survivor: The victim in "Fanatic", an actress named Nina Preston, proves herself to be one throughout the episode crossing over with Crazy-Prepared, Genre Savvy and Bad Ass Normal. After being the victim of three prior stalkers, she had setup a safe room in her house complete with alarm and surveillance cameras. When she picks up on the fact that there's an intruder in her house, she locks herself in and notifies the police. When her stalker attacks her agent and confronts her at the hospital, she's able to use mace and self-defense techniques to subdue him and then smartly calls out for help. Finally, when the stalker's mother goes after her, she uses a hot cup of tea and is able to fight her off until help arrives. That is while being stalked with a deranged woman with a knife, suffering from a knife wound, and scared. At no point does she panic. Bad. Ass. The only time she slips up is when not locking her trailer door.
  • All Stalkers Are Male: So far all the stalkers shown are male, with the exception of "Whatever Happened to Baby James?", "Cry For Help", "The News" and "My Hero"
    • Averted in "Love is a Battlefield". Up to this point, every stalker who was male was portrayed sympathetically and had an excuse, in even the minimal use of the word. The stalker in this episode was female and was a complete sociopath: killing her dog, framing her ex for assault, and even saying she was going to kill his girlfriend and gloating to her about how she was going to get away with it, all so she could look like the victim. It was like the episode was stating "yes there are female stalkers and they can be worse than males".
  • Always Gets His Man: This happens in the end of every episode, regardless if a stalker is arrested or gunned down by police.
  • Blackmail: A sub-plot shows the tension between Amanda and Jack with the former willing to use it to get him to leave the city. It's averted since Jack tells Beth about his past near the end of "Love is a Battlefield".
  • Cliffhanger: With the end of the 20th episode being the season finale due to the show not being renewed.
  • Crazy-Prepared: What happens to former stalking victims afterwards. Of course, it doesn't always work.
  • Dark Secret: Jack has one that Amanda is using to Blackmail Jack as part of the sub-plot.
    • Beth Davis as well, to the point she changed her identity. So far all we know is her real name is Michelle Webber.
  • Deconstruction: This series, in its own way, seems to deconstruct both stalking itself and the way it is treated.
    • Not all stalkers are evil people who want to hurt their victims. In some cases, the stalker realizes they have a problem and asks for help, as if hopelessly addicted it like it's a drug. One stalker had suffered a serious breakdown and became delusional, believing there was a conspiracy against him. Jack was essentially been reduced to stalking simply because his ex-wife wouldn't let him anywhere near his son. The one stalker so far who is a complete sociopath of a stalker is a woman, which also goes against the idea that all stalkers are male and shows that female stalkers can be even worse than male stalkers.
    • Sometimes, the stalker isn't after the person they're stalking, but someone or something related. For example, one stalker was fixated on someone's house. Another was trying to get close to a famous reporter to get closer to his colleague.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Beth tells Perry White he did this when he released her previous stalker from the asylum. From what we have seen lately it seems like he is starting to agree with her.
  • Downer Ending: Due to the show's canceling, the last scene's a Cliffhanger of a killer holding his lover at gunpoint because She Knows Too Much.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Jack suffers from this in the first few episodes. Despite being extremely competent in the job everyone is a Jerkass to him. However, they grow to respect his detective skills.
  • Engineered Heroics: What Beth's stalker tried to do to get her to be his girlfriend again. But the fire spread faster than he anticipated and her family died in the fire.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Displayed in how the relationship between Perry and Ray ultimately plays out. Perry begins to realize pretty quickly that Ray is a lot more vicious than he bargained for.
  • Every Episode Ending: Beth going through her nightly routine.
    • Inversely, all episodes start the same as well — with the unfolding of the case that is investigated in that episode.
  • Everyone Can See It: A non-romantic example. The entire team is able to catch on that Beth is having troubles. Yet every time one of them ask if she needs any help she essentially tells them to leave her alone.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The Threat Assessment Unit to the actual Threat Management Unit of the LAPD.
  • Halloween Episode: The LAPD investigate an abandoned house in "The Haunting" on rumors that it used to be haunted. It wasn't true.
  • Improvised Weapon: The victim in "Fanatic" uses a hot cup of tea to stun the stalker's mother, who was armed with a knife, and buy herself time to escape.
  • Jerkass:
    • Virtually the entire team is this to Jack despite him being a great addition to the team. Also Amanda at certain times.
    • Then there was the Token Black Friend in "The Haunting" who wanted to completely ruin her friend's ex-boyfriend's life simply because she fully believes that he is the one stalking her. She is displayed throughout the episode seeming to want to destroy the guy's life more than she cares about keeping her friend safe. And when it turns out her ex-boyfriend has nothing to do with the stalking, she doesn't seem to give it a second though that she was very close to ruining the guy's life.
      • Although, in fairness, the ex-boyfriend was stalking her - he was mostly harmless and didn't turn out to be the Bad Guy Of The Week, but he actually did most of what the friend attributed to him.
  • Kill It with Fire: Kate Edwards.
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: The mother of the stalker in "Fanatic" refuses to believe anything bad the Unit says about her son.
  • My Beloved Smother: The stalker's mother in "Fanatic". Revealing she faked being the actress he liked by replying to his emails to her (which fed his delusion) and attacked a bully at her son's school with a knife. Then she tried to kill the victim believing he would be better off with her gone.
  • Never My Fault: The stalker's mother from "Fanatic" was ultimately responsible for feeding her son's delusions and getting him in trouble, but blamed Nina instead.
  • New Media Are Evil: The driving point by Beth Davies when she tells an audience of university students in "Pilot" that stalkers use their personal data found in social media to follow them.
    Beth: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder. Whatever app is hot today, we have too much access to one another. Social media is the number one reason stalking cases have tripled in the last decade.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The TAU is made up of six full-time detectives.
    Beth: There are currently 6 Detectives in the unit. Each Detective is responsible for his own caseload, but we're a small unit, so we work together.
  • Oh, Crap!: Played with whenever a stalker/s manages to get the jump on their victims after they let their guard down.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted and averted. The unit tells most of the victims/attempted victims that unless they can tell them what they know about their stalkers, they won't be able to help them if they get into trouble again with their stalker/s.
  • Redemption Equals Death: At least arguably this is the ultimate fate of Perry Whitley.
  • Red Herring: In some episodes, the TAU investigates the obvious suspect such as an ex-boyfriend or a convicted child molester. Turns out that they aren't the suspects at all.
  • Shown Their Work: The show explains what would happen if a stalking case is reported to the police, starting with a restraining order before the court would issue an order for the stalker to not go near his/her victims or risk arrest.
  • Show Within a Show: "Savage Shore", first mentioned in "Fanatic".
  • Stalking Is Funny if It Is Female After Male: In "A Cry for Help" the bus driver who tells his co-workers he was being stalked by a woman laughed at him and told him he should be flattered.
  • Stalking is Love/Stalker with a Crush/Stalker without a Crush: Depending on the suspects, but these are most of the motivation why the stalkers stalk their victims.
  • Title Drop: Many times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Jack Larsen in "Manhunt" just shot their main suspect and thinks he's dead. The suspect is ex-Military special forces. Instead of keeping his eye on him and immediately calling for backup, he turns his back on him allowing the suspect to get the drop on him.
  • Urban Legend: The deserted house in "The Haunting" after rumors in the community said that the couple who lived there died by killing themselves. It was false, but the wife did die due to natural reasons. The husband chose to isolate himself from the community by "hiding" himself inside the basement.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One person who stands out is a former high school sports star Scott Mason, who started out his career as a serial rapist by raping Freshman best friends Cori and Meg. He continued raping teenage girls after high school ball games.

Alternative Title(s): Stalker