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Torchwood Miracle Day: End of the Road

Gwen: "Start again. Any chance of a drink?"

I'm a bit of a Pollyanna when it comes to shows that I love. But this episode was like someone just tossed a bunch of plot elements in a bowl and stirred, and some of them slopped out of the sides.

Life and Death and Jack and Angelo

Did Jack literally give Angelo the kiss of death? Did Jack's DNA do something to the alien null field under Angelo's bed that somehow came from underneath the decimated Torchwood Hub? What does it have to do with jellyfish and cancer cells and morphic fields? Why the obsession with Jack's blood when we all know his immortality has nothing to do with it? What the hell is The Blessing? I'm so confused.

Angelo spent his life essentially stalking Jack, obsessed with immortality. But he didn't cause Miracle Day. The Families did. The Three Families are named Ablemarch, Costerdane and Frines, and those names were somehow erased from the Earth just as Torchwood was in the first episode of Miracle Day. (Good thing, too. They're creepy names.) Apparently, the stock market has crashed and the banks are closing, which has something to do with their master plan. They employed Friedkin, and still employ Charlotte. They just hired Jilly, and I have no idea why.

Jack talked about how Miracle Day is changing the timeline and we won't get the future we were supposed to get. This feels important. (Of course it's important, but I mean plot important.) If there is no future where Jack is born, does he vanish?

Revolving Characters and Dueling Redheads

Why introduce Nana Visitor and kill her off in five minutes, only to replace her with another Star Trek actor? It's always nice to see John DeLancie (Shapero), and he made me laugh out loud a couple of times, but it's episode eight – did we need a new player at this point? They introduced Shawnie Yamaguchi, secret CIA agent, and knocked her off. Did they bring Friedkin back just to confuse us?

I knew Danes would eventually demand a victim, but it was like they finally went there, but they didn't go there. Why introduce a stand-in of Jilly for Danes to abuse in the first place? They even cast a woman who was doing a Lauren Ambrose imitation, with the nose-wrinkling and the giggle. Why? So that Danes and Jilly could have a fistfight in the hotel hallway, and Jilly could get promoted?

The prostitute mentioned Category Zero, something no one else knows, because clearly, the senators she slept with told the most classified secret on Earth to her. That makes sense. And so does Esther's sister volunteering herself and her children for Category One. I can understand the corrupt governments allowing suicide in a world crisis like this, but the murder of perfectly healthy children? This just feels completely ridiculously unbelievable.

Why put Gwen on a plane back to freaking Wales? Gwen has spent half of Miracle Day on a plane. I know they want to keep Torchwood connected to its Cardiff roots, but just having one character go back and forth by plane is not how to do it.

I was all encouraged after last week's, and now I'm down again. There are only two episodes to go. I hope they leave us with something good, because at this rate, Torchwood will need a Miracle to get another season.

Bits and pieces:

-- Dan was ticked that after all they went through to become Torchwood, Rex and Esther just went back to the CIA.

-- It was sort of fun that Jack literally pulled the plug on Angelo. And at least Ianto was mentioned.

-- In keeping with the rest of the American intelligence community, Shapero called Jack "Red Baron." Geez. Does everyone in America have to diss the coat?

-- Nice point about the name "Hitler" disappearing from the phone books.

-- Bisected bride. Positive thinking and a colostomy bag. Yech.

-- I thought the mark in Angelo's eye actually meant something, but it appears to have been there just so Jack could identify him ninety years later.

-- Gwen's mom got to be cool. "Go get 'em."

I haven't given a Torchwood episode one star in a long time, but... one category out of four. I may watch this one again before episode nine, and if it makes more sense the second time, I'll revise my review.

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

6 comments:

  1. I think I liked this one a bit more than you, Billie, but still not much. I was surprised when it ended, and I realized I'd spent a lot of the episode wondering of that under-the-house driveway thing is called a "porte cochere." Is that what it is?

    Costerdanes, Oswald Danes, yes?

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  2. "If there is no future where Jack is born, does he vanish?"

    No. The Whoniverse has never played by Back to the Future time travel rules.

    "This just feels completely ridiculously unbelievable."

    Completely disagree. The stock market's failing, the planet is overpopulated, and food is about to become very, very scarce. Of course they'd accept willing people as Category Ones to free up resources.

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  3. I did like that "Q" knew that it was best to try to separate Gwen and Jack, trying to manipulate them into information. But I agree for a show where no one is supposed to die, they do rack up the bodies, eh?

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  4. They do indeed seem very keen on burning people. I wonder if theres a reason for that apart from the world falling to pieces because of the Miracle. After all, we still dont know why exactly the families caused it. I suppose the governments are infiltrated, too, since the families are everywhere. That would explain why they make it that easy for people to volunteer for Category 1 (and even allow a mentally unstable mother to put her kids on the list).

    I agree, some new questions. At least the end is near now so hopefully we will have answers soon.

    Out of all the other thoughts I had about this episode, just this one more for now - that Ianto mention in particular actually brought a little tear to my eye. Jack (sort of) reunited with his ex lover and the one thing he says is 'did you see Ianto?'. Now that was touching. Almost had me forget the feelings I had after the last episode.

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  5. After an entire episode devoted to Jack and Angelo last week, it's disappointing that the older Angelo did not speak or open his eyes once before he died this week. I guess it's time to stop trying to make sense of the plot.

    After all Phi-Corp did to prep for the Miracle and make money off it, the market started to collapse along with the concept of money. What was the point of the Miracle then? If you are burning people because of resources, why not only apply the Miracle to a smaller set of people to begin with? Probably easier than a planet wide miracle?

    This is beyond a head scratcher to me now. I enjoyed the episode but they are pushing it.

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  6. I've been trying to give this season a chance, I really have. But in a world where nothing can die, they managed to kill any enthusiasm I have for the remaining two episodes. Loved to see Nana Visitor and John DeLancie, but Billie's point about bringing in new characters this late in the season was right on. There's a line that Gwen says - "This is not like the old Torchwood." or something to that effect, and I was like, you got that right. This does not feel even remotely like Torchwood. And the scene with Danes "dancing" in his hotel room - that has got to be the most cringe worthy thing I have ever seen. Just horrible. What were they thinking? After seeing this episode, I can see why there will in all likelihood never be another season of Torchwood, and that bums me out. With so much garbage on TV nowadays, we need good shows. But with this season, it became one of those awful shows.

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