"Torchwood: Miracle Day" Episode 9 "The Gathering" Review #1
So, where is everybody now? Well, the world is now in a full-on depression and governments are closing borders and imposing draconian austerity measures on the people. Gwen is in Wales, robbing pharmacies and dealing medicine to the immortal populace on the black market. She’s also stashing her father in the basement to keep him from being carted away as a Category One. Jack somehow managed to survive his gunshot wound with only Esther to nurse him back to health. They are on the run from the CIA and holed up in Scotland. While Jack is recovering, Esther is systematically draining and storing his blood, because the Three Families seem to find it a threat. Rex is still with the CIA, and he is running the Three Families task force along with Shapiro. Charlotte, the analyst revealed to be the mole for the Three Families last week, is still working under the radar.
Everybody seems to be scraping along as best they can until they finally get a break in their respective investigations of the Three Families. For Gwen, the break comes when Oswald Dane suddenly shows up on her doorstep, claiming to have information on the people who created the Miracle. Jack and Esther are called back to Wales to interrogate him. Rex, suspicious about how every lead in their investigation is met with a dead end, asks Shapiro to look up his own leads without it getting out to the team. He is investigating short stories that relate to Jack’s incident in the basement in New York in 1928.
Meanwhile, Jilly is invited to Shanghai by the Three Families to see the mysterious Blessing. She has been working to cover up subtle clues about the Blessing in the media, and now she is being rewarded by being brought into their inner circle. Danes, having been on the run since he discovered that he was classified as Category Zero and living on borrowed time, has also been hacking and tracing Jilly’s laptop. When Jilly was taken by the Three Families to Shanghai, she disappeared. This triggered Danes to finally come out of hiding and bring his information to Torchwood.
What they discover is that there are strange things going on in both Shanghai and Buenos Aires, and that they are somehow related to the Families. These two cities also happen to be on precise opposite ends of the world. The team, recently reunited, now splits up again to investigate both cities.
So what is this Blessing? It’s something huge at the center of the world, and it is what created the miracle. There is a large fissure reaching between Shanghai and Buenos Aires, and somewhere in it is the Blessing. If you look in it, you can see your soul reflected back to you. It’s not exactly what I was expecting. And while I like when something unexpected happens, this just left me feeling cold.
In fact, this entire episode left me feeling cold. Jumping ahead in time always creates a disconnect, and the story needs to be both retold, and the gaps filled in. To do this in the penultimate episode is very disappointing. I also found it disappointing that, after two months, not only has Rex’s team not discovered Charlotte as a mole, they haven’t even really suspected there was a mole until just recently.
Then there is the issue of Danes. Throughout this entire series, we’ve been told that he is a heinous and unrepentant criminal who has been working with PhiCorp to either chase death or to seize fame and power. To make him an ally, however dubious it may be, I felt was a disservice to the development of his character. More than that, by making him a fugitive on the run like most of Torchwood, he is made slightly sympathetic. Again, this is something that I feel that this character does not deserve.
With only one episode to go, there are so many unanswered questions about the Blessing, not the least of which is how it is related to Jack’s blood. And if it is, did that cause the Miracle in spite of the fact that it isn’t Jack’s blood that made him immortal? For all the buildup with the Miracle and its implications, I feel that we are heading toward a very trite and unsatisfying ending.