Sunday, 4 September 2011

TV Snark - Torchwood Miracle Day Episode Eight

Torchwood episode eight continues to pad things out to their inevitably underwhelming conclusion. Here's what happened...

Jack and the team are taken by Nana Visitor to Angelo's stately home, Angelo is alive but not really living as he's incredibly ancient. Angelo is in some kind of convenient being-really-old coma. Nana Visitor tries to explains the pointlessness of last episode's kidnap plot but even Gwen says, "bollocks" to it. Episode seven didn't need to happen because really it could have been as simple as Nana calling Jack up and saying, "Hi Jack, remember Angelo your Italian lover from the 1920s? Well, I'm his granddaughter and he'd like to see you. Is Wednesday good for you?"

Nana goes on to explain that the real enemies are The Families. Three names are given:
If you look really closely you can see a transcript of Gwen saying, "bollocks".
Those names are Abelmarch, Casterdane, and Frines and they don't exist as names anywhere (probably according to a quick google search that Rusty made during production). The Families had samples of Jack's blood which could have been used to create the Miracle but that's quickly dismissed as Jack's blood isn't special. Nana Visitor finally mentions that The Families have found The Blessing, presumably behind The Sofa or in The Shed.

Friedkin (or Newman from Seinfeld) arrives with the CIA to interrupt the exposition fest. Friedkin takes Rex into a room for a light beating, he's working for The Families not the CIA. In fact the CIA are on the way so Friedkin has to shoot Rex before they arrive. Friedkin traced Rex's location via his phone when Rex decided to call Dr Juarez's brother to offer his condolences. Rex is wearing the magic contact lenses which means that Friedkin's confession is filmed and broadcast live to his boss, Shapiro.

Alan Shapiro is played by Q (or John De Lancie if you prefer). Shapiro wants to deport Gwen because she's stroppy with him, it's a good decision. He has Friedkin arrested along with Nana Visitor, they're conveniently placed in the same car so that when Friedkin activates his suicide bomb he can take out both guest stars and none of the regular cast. Seems Friedkin had to blow himself up for failing The Families. Or something. I'm not sure how The Families benefit from Friedkin blowing himself up away from everyone else.

Jack then sits with the comatose Angelo and I begin to think that Starz are going to push the sex scene envelope a little too far. Luckily Jack keeps his trousers on and just talks to the elderly Angelo instead. It's a tender scene until there's some comedy pratfalling as Angelo dies and his life support equipment starts to bleep and Jack doesn't know what to do. Jack does his best Frank Spencer routine until he figures out that he can unplug the machine.

Of course the big revelation is that Angelo died and no-one can die. How did this happen? Well let's sit around for the rest of the episode and have a think. Yes, in another cynical move we are forced to sit through another episode padded out with scenes of characters sitting and having a think while spouting unconvincing dialogue. There is no way this story should have been approved to run for ten episodes.

The tertiary CIA characters from the first couple of episodes make a return to stare into screens and basically do the same job that Esther does but with less crying. The female puts Esther in touch with her sister who is still crazy. Esther's sister has now decided to get herself and her children classed as Category Zero which means she can voluntarily sit in an oven. I'm pretty sure that even in the midst of a crisis they wouldn't allow someone mentally ill to volunteer themselves and their family for the ovens. This makes no sense.

Oswald Danes makes his return in another deleted scene from Alan Partridge. He wants Jilly to fetch him a prostitute, a legal aged one. A perky intern appears and offers her services to Jilly. Jilly decides to hire her without checking her details, which is convenient as perky intern is an undercover CIA agent.

Eventually Jack lets on that there are panels underneath Angelo's deathbed that contain tech stolen from the old Torchwood hub (it was blown up in the last series, fact fans). These magic panels made Angelo immune to The Miracle, somehow. Shapiro deports Gwen when Jack won't give him any information on the panels. Great, this means that there'll be more ridiculous accent scenes in Cardiff in the next episode. Jack eventually explains that the magic panels have created a null field which stops The Miracle from working.

Meanwhile Danes decides to take his prostitute on a date but she refuses on moral grounds (seconds after offering to dress as a school girl and have sex with him). The prostitute laughs at Danes' attempt to be 'normal' and she informs him that he's been classed as Category Zero. Seems the government have now decided that they can re-arrest him and burn him, or something. It does not make sense. Surely he'd be in custody already if that was the case. Jilly confirms this and Danes flips out, punches her and then flees into the night.

Worst game of Twister ever.
Jack studies the panels and reconfigures them to create a zone of silence so that the CIA can't hear him talk to Esther and Rex while they unconvincingly fumble around the panels. Jack explains that he doesn't want the CIA to have the null field technology as it will be used for evil by the government. Esther even says, "it's the same thing as the ovens" so there's the moral debate settled then. Jack asks Rex to get him away from the CIA.

Jilly meets the mysterious EVIL CONSPIRACY man from a couple of episodes ago, he shoots the perky intern and offers Jilly a job with The Families. He then calls the female CIA agent from the earlier scenes, she's part of THE EVIL CONSPIRACY. This is just like 24 but with characters we don't care about. At all.

Rex helps Jack to escape by punching out his colleagues and getting Jack shot. Rex bundles Jack into a car with Esther and tells her to go. Esther has no idea where to go and Jack is bleeding to death. Gwen is on a plane and crying (the inflight movie was Old Yeller).

NEXT EPISODE: This scene but in Wales.

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