Sunday, 24 July 2011

TV Snark - Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode Two

Hello again. Join me as I describe what happened in the second episode of Miracle Day. JOIN ME.

First of all, the opening titles now read: "One Day - No One Dies" and then "Next Day - No One Dies". This reminds me of The Day Today (again):

Anyway, the show begins where it left off at the end of last episode with Gwen and Jack in CIA custody and about to be extradited to America. Rhys spells out the situation for the people back home and reminds them about Jack's mortality (although we don't know if he can actually die, just that he can be hurt and not instantly heal the injury). Gwen rightly objects that she's a British citizen and can't be extradited by the CIA but Rhys uses the writer's hand-wavy excuse of "...the Americans have been getting away with this sort of thing for ages." Oh well now it makes sense. Before it sounded like bullshit but now, well, it's the Americans so that's settled that. Rhys is then bundled off back to Wales along with baby Anwyn so he doesn't have to appear in the next few episodes.

Jack, Gwen, Rex and woman from Dollhouse who was also in Neighbours whose character name I didn't catch, get aboard a secret CIA jet. Rex immediately decides to offer the male steward a chance to feel him up if he fetches him a vodka. I think it was supposed to be funny but it sounded like a line no human being would ever say. It was also delivered by Meki Phifer who is quite possibly the worst actor they have ever had on this show.

Meanwhile back in the CIA offices, the staff are watching a YouTube video of Oswald Danes being executed. It is supposed to be a viral, comedy video but there is nothing funny about it but the actors have to react as if it's hilarious. Esther Drummond then explains to a colleague that India and Pakistan are no longer at war as due to the undying epidemic, no one can be reincarnated. Esther then decides to hassle her boss about Torchwood. Her boss is Wayne Knight - you may remember him from Jurassic Park, Third Rock From the Sun, or Seinfeld.

Wayne Knight has a hidden agenda and an evil red mobile phone. He is also in direct contact (well, via text message which seems somewhat inefficient) with the Dollhouse woman on Gwen and Jack's plane...

Back on the plane, Rex hassles Jack about his magic Time Agent wrist band. You know, the wrist band that only ever does anything useful when Jack appears in an episode of Doctor Who. Jack tells Rex that it measures sodium levels. Jack explains his theory about morphic fields to Rex, basically if a monkey on one side of the world learns to use a knife, then all monkeys learn to use a knife. This insane theory is texted to Wayne Knight by Dollhouse woman and he replies back with:

Oswald Danes is going to be on TV and he's preparing for his appearance by stealing all of the catering food backstage. This is because he's an idiot. He reasons it's because the world will run out of food and a mob of people will follow him wherever he goes from now on. But, no one will die of starvation will they? Okay, I presume they'd have the symptoms of starvation which would not be pleasant but then if I wanted to store up food, I'd choose stuff that would last longer than a day and not some tiny sandwiches and pastries from a catering trolley. Maybe he hopes to use the food to placate the angry mob that follows him around?

Then there's some Rex-being-dumb-with-Dr Juarez-on-the-phone stuff. It also sounds like Rex called Dr Juarez, Dr Walrus, which provided a rare moment of mirth for me during this episode.

Jack and Gwen want a drink so woman from Dollhouse makes them and adds some poison to Jack's. Jack's crazy morphic field theory (which he stole from Rupert Sheldrake) must never reach America!

Oswald Danes cries on TV so people begin to forgive him for being a murdering paedophile. Yeah. This part of the plot is both stupid and offensive. I know they're trying to introduce moral complexity to Torchwood (is it possible to forgive someone for such a terrible crime and how do you rehabilitate someone like that?) but it's like the characters of In The Night Garden suddenly having a discussion about global economics. Then there's a scene that introduces new, annoying character, Jilly Kitzinger. She offers to act as Danes' showbiz agent. She also mentions that there's a Twitter hashtag about Danes. If I catch you using that hashtag, I will find you. Jilly is really, really, annoying.

Dr Juarez attends a government think tank about the undying epidemic. We find out that animals are still dying so it's only humans that are undying. There's also a joke where the men mistake Dr Juarez for the coffee girl. BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN AND COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE A DOCTOR. AM I RIGHT? BLOODY HELL. SOMEONE GOT PAID TO WRITE THOSE LINES. ACTUAL MONEY THAT YOU CAN SPEND IN A SHOP.

Back in the CIA offices, Drummond's PC is stripped of its information by CIA operatives who decide to do it by physically going to Drummond's PC and taking the info via datastick and then changing her password while at her desk, rather than doing all of this remotely. This allows Drummond to see the deed and then when the agents leave her desk, she has time to check her password has been changed, receive a phonecallpasscard. Wayne Knight asks his minions if they have arrested Drummond, they reply in the negative because she wasn't at her desk. Oh come on. They couldn't wait at her desk for her to show up?

Drummond then escapes from the CIA building by passing one checkpoint with her stolen card. She clumsily flirts with the guard and escapes. The CIA are actually worse than Torchwood. Hell, CTU in 24 were never this bad.

Back on the CIA plane Jack is dying from arsenic poisoning. It's time for a team building exercise - cure arsenic poisoning using only the ingredients and objects available on a plane. Rex calls Dr Juarez and she gives a list of chemicals needed to cure the poisoning. Gwen solves this problem by shouting at everyone and finding a laptop battery, silver, ammonia, some de-greaser, and a bit of cyanide. She puts it in a kettle and heats it up for a bit and then injects it into Jack. It works. It's stupid. Oh and Gwen punches out the woman from Dollhouse while declaring her nationality.

Back in the think tank, Dr Juarez and co realise that everyone is still aging despite being undying. I don't think anyone in this show is in danger of aging to death. Dr Juarez reasons that hospitals are now in need of vast quantities of painkillers and drugs. Jilly Kitzinger conveniently turns up and tries to become Dr Juarez's pharmacy supplier. Jilly is still really annoying.

Rex and co arrive in America and Drummond calls Rex to tip him off to the whole being-kicked-out-of-the-CIA problem. Rex then helps Jack and Gwen escape from custody by beating up some CIA agents, and Rex snaps the neck of the woman from Dollhouse.

Jack, Rex and Gwen make their escape in Drummond's Mini. As they drive away they are confronted by this:

Gwen then welcomes Drummond and Rex into Torchwood.

NEXT EPISODE: The Torchwood team bicker and argue about who orders the pizza and makes the tea because Ianto is still dead.

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