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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Torchwood: Miracle Day: Episode 9: “The Gathering” (review)

Torchwood Miracle Day John Barrowman and Bill Pullman

Previous: Episode 8: “End of the Road”
The story so far: Jack’s been shot and is bleeding to death and this is bad because he’s the only person who can die and Esther doesn’t know what to do so she’s crying again. Gwen’s been deported back to the U.K. and back to her little baby whom she never calls by name, and to Rhys, whom she only ever seems to reference with a sigh of despair in her voice. Rex is back working with the CIA after Wayne Knight blew himself up. Oswald is a fugitive with the most famous face on the planet. Jilly is working for the three families… the Three Families, the ones responsible for the Miracle! Wowwee! Gotta be some exciting stuff to come!

Torchwood Miracle Day two months later

You gotta be kiddin’ me.

They’re just gonna skip over all the cool stuff?

Shit.

So: Gwen is being watched in Swansea, but only as she enters and leaves her house. No one follows her so she can knock over pharmacies with impunity. And good thing no one is watching the pharmacies, which couldn’t possibly be, like, prime targets for robberies these days, what with so many people needing painkillers. That’s why Gwen can take her mask off after shooting out one little measly security camera. It’s not like there will be any others around anywhere in a nation blanketed with CCTV.

Torchwood Miracle Day Gwen's pizza boxes of drugs

Wait: Gwen drives a car into a shop to end up with two small pizza boxes of drugs? When she could have cleared out the store? *facepalm*

(Who is this useless guy watching Gwen working for? Not the three families: they’d hire someone much more competent.)

So: Esther and Jack are in Scotland! Because there’s simply no problem traveling the world in the middle of a global crisis of numerous dimensions when you’re among the most-wanted. Just get some “men” to “smuggle” you into the country. Easy peasy! And danged if they won’t “keep running for as long as it takes,” Esther says. Takes to do what? Who knows? Fill up an even larger fridge with Jack’s blood, just because?

They’re just making this up as they go, aren’t they? Hoorah for Gwen, for saying, “Yeah, but what is the plan? What’s it all for?” One episode left, and we still have no idea.

Rex wants to track the three families via a bit of blood on a knife from 1927. Because everyone gets their DNA tested and registered, and has been doing so for nearly a century. It’s a no-brainer line of investigation. *facepalm* You hardly need Charlotte-the-three-families-CIA-plant to ruin that line of inquiry.

“This conspiracy spans the whole of the 20th century,” Charlotte helpfully notes. Gee, that might be a cool idea for a science fiction miniseries, mightn’t it?

“Every passing day, we are taking one step closer to a dictatorship, and we don’t even know who the real dictators are,” says John de Lancie. Gee, that might be a cool idea for a science fiction miniseries, mightn’t it?

Jilly’s PR manipulations are like Wag the Dog times a million, on a global scale. Gee, that might be a cool idea for a science fiction miniseries, mightn’t it?

So: Jilly’s going to Shanghai to see the thing that made the Phicorp guy there commit suicide (or as close to as possible).

Torchwood Miracle Day Lauren Ambrose

Torchwood Miracle Day Lauren Ambrose and Frances Fisher

You gotta be kiddin’ me.

The Blessing facility that the Phicorp guy just walked into now has guards. And a staff. Or is, like, the Blessing closed on Sundays or something?

Torchwood Miracle Day Bill Pullman and baby

You gotta be kiddin’ me.

Oswald Danes, the man with “the most recognizable face on the planet,” shows up in Wales. Because “men” “smuggled” him in.

*headdesk*

The what-the-hellness of Oswald Danes grows tediously larger.

Torchwood Miracle Day the Blessing

You gotta be kiddin’ me.

The Blessing is a giant tongue. That can endure the molten center of the planet. And it makes you feel terrible. But only if you have something vile to hide.

I think I see where the Danes thing is going. Danes is gonna have to look upon the Blessing and… well, it’ll be something anticlimactic and/or contradictory, anyway. Because Danes does not hide his vileness.

This will all turn out to be the most idiotic way to get Danes in front of the Blessing. Mark my words.

Other deep thoughts upon the occasion of this episode:

What’s the point of the Welsh cop’s crack about Gwen and Rhys not sharing a surname? Seriously: What. Is. The. Point. Is this some sort of required-by-American-entertainment-law antifeminist thing the same way that homophobic “humor” is a must?

Torchwood Miracle Day John de Lancie

Rex sharing all his secrets, talking about a mole, etc, with John de Lancie. De Lancie’s with the families too, isn’t he? De Lancie is the mole? De Lancie is gonna pull his human face off and be a lizard. Isn’t he? Damn.

Torchwood Miracle Day three families triangle

It’s nice that the three families have their own evil overlord logo, and that they use it on their phones to remind themselves of who they are. Shows a nice familial spirit.

*facepalm*

Next: Episode 10: “The Blood Line”



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