TV REVIEW: Torchwood: Miracle Day Episodes 8 and 9 – End of the Road and The Gathering

Sorry for the late/dual post, folks, but I wanted to catch up before the series finale, which airs Thursday, September 15th in the UK.  When we last saw the Torchwood gang, they were on the verge of finding out some important information about the miracle…Caution: Contains Spoilers.

Episode 8: End of the Road

The most shocking and interesting thing about this episode is that someone finally manages to die.  Other than that, I found it to be pretty weak overall, perhaps the weakest of the season thus far.

At the end of Episode 7, we learned that Jack’s former lover Angelo is still alive.  He’s been waiting for Jack all this time, and has some important information about the miracle.  The show did surprise me here – I was expecting a young Angelo who had somehow figured out Jack’s secret, managing to stay young.  But he is old, and bedridden.  The reunion is interrupted by the baddies, the corrupt CIA agents who tried to have Rex and Esther framed and arrested earlier in the season.  The real CIA soon arrives, however, and clears them out, attempting to take control of the situation.  When Gwen tries to intervene, she is taken into custody and sent off to be deported.

At Angelo’s house, his granddaughter informs the team that the miracle began with the three men that “bought” Jack back in 1927, on the day that he was tortured in the butcher shop in New York.  The three men and their families (“the families”) created the miracle, using Jack’s blood and the mysterious Blessing, which was first mentioned in Episode 6.  Armed with this information, the CIA sets to researching the three families – but Charlotte, a colleague of Rex and Esther, is a mole for the families, and she sets about blocking the CIA from getting any information.

When Angelo mysteriously dies,  the team discovers that his bed is sitting atop a device that emits a null field.  The device cancels out the morphic field emitted by the miracle, allowing Angelo to die.  Realizing the potential that the device could be used for ill, Jack takes a piece of it and slips it into his pocket.  He asks Rex to help him escape, but is shot in the process.  The episode closes with Esther driving a bleeding Jack through the countryside, wondering what to do.

Oswald and Jilly reappear and make a permanent break, at which point Jilly is approached by a representative of the families – he offers her a promotion, so it looks like she is on her way to learning the secret behind the miracle.

The season started off with such a bang and set high expectations; unfortunately, this episode didn’t deliver.  I found it to be dull and unengaging – I couldn’t even muster up any energy to be concerned about Jack’s injury and all of its implications, given his current mortality.  I am very unsatisfied thus far with the way the miracle is unfolding and Angelo’s involvement – I am all for learning about Jack’s history and backstory, but I still expected more.

I am hoping that the last two episodes bring it together in a way that won’t disappoint.  Fortunately, there isn’t long to wait!

Rating: 2.5/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana


Episode 9: The Gathering

After a disappointing showing in the previous episode, “The Gathering” picked up some steam.  It was fun, there were some surprises, and I think I’ve finally come around on Rex.

Two months have passed, and the team is scattered all over the place – Jack and Esther are in hiding in Scotland, Rex is back at CIA headquarters, and Gwen is in Wales with her family.  Thanks to Charlotte the mole, Rex hasn’t been able to find any information about the families, the world is in a global depression, and Gwen is trying to hide her Category One father from the authorities.  Overall, things look pretty bleak.

Oswald makes a surprise appearance at Gwen’s, sneaking into her home disguised as a delivery man.  After a bit of a beat down, he reveals that he needs to speak with Jack because he knows who is behind the miracle.  This brings Jack and Esther in from Scotland, and his information leads the team to the conclusion that the Blessing, and therefore the miracle, can be traced to two cities: Shanghai and Buenos Aires.  The team splits up again, with Jack and Gwen (and Oswald) going to Shanghai while Esther heads to Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, back at CIA headquarters, Rex has a lead, much to Charlotte’s dismay.  Predictably, she is able to block him from finding any information, but at the cost of Rex realizing that there is a mole in the organization.  He asks his supervisor for permission to go off the grid, which is granted.  He then heads off to Buenos Aires to meet with Esther.

Jilly arrives in Shanghai, where she is given a new name and taken to see the Blessing, which appears to be…a rock formation of some sort.  On the one hand, I was relieved that it wasn’t aliens.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with stories about aliens, I just hate it when they’re thrown in at the end of a story as an easy way to explain the unexplainable (don’t get me started on the last Indiana Jones movie).  On the other hand, I was hoping for something more.   Something more supernatural, something more interesting.  There is still one episode left, however, so perhaps there is more to learn.

The Gathering was a vast improvement on Episode 8, which dragged throughout.  One thing I like about Gwen being stuck in Wales is that we got to see more of Rhys, who I have always liked.  He plays a vital role in this episode, figuring out the connection between Shanghai and Buenos Aires: they are antipodes, meaning they are located exactly opposite each other on different sides of the earth.  I have really enjoyed the way he’s been contributing this season, as opposed to previous series where he was just shunted off to the side.

Despite the fact that the show felt like it was in a bit of a slump during the middle of the season, I am looking forward to the finale, which airs tomorrow, September 15th in the UK.

Rating: 3.5/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana



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