Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ten Statements About....TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY Episode Four 'Escape To LA' (2011)

Noooo!  Mare Winingham--Run!  Run or you'll be Davies-ized!
"George Elliot wrote this chapter in Middlemarch. She said that if you take a piece of metal with random scratches on it, and hold a flame up to the metal, the scratches look like they're forming patterns circling around the light...and that's Oswald. He's blazing away. The patterns are starting to revolve around him and all we have to do is keep watching."
1) I suspect that the opening scene with Esther and her sister is supposed to make us have some form of sympathy for her...never mind that we already have sympathy for her be the sheer dint of her being one of the only people we don't want to punch in the face. But given how Russell T. Davies has never shown any conception of how people actually interact with each other coupled with her damned intention of showing how he thoroughly researched his premise, the scene just. falls. flat.

2) I can understand why C. Thomas Howell was dragged into this...but Mare Winningham, playing a shrewish mayor demanding that the people who should have died be isolated? WHY? She actually, you know, still has a career and stuff.

Noooo!  They shot Soul Man!
3) Okay...after that icky phone exchange with Rex, I now want to punch Dr. Juarez in the face.

4) Thank the Lord for Kai 'The Jason Segal of Wales' Owen. Rys' scenes with Gwen actually brings some genuine lightness--as opposed to forced cutesy-poo romantic comedy dialogue or lame-ass gender-bending barbs--into what is a dour, lifeless series.

5) I'm sorry...but you can't keep hinting that Lauren Ambrose is part of some greater power manipulating things, hinting at her being something sinister...and then have her turn around and give this self-righteous speech about how she can't stand the sight of Oswald Danes' hands. It doesn't give her any dimension. It doesn't drive home how loathsome Danes is, because it already figured that out. The scene just lies there inert, something we're suppose to think is significant, but can't because of all the argle-bargle that happened before.

6) It occurs to me that the majority of this episode is designed to make us understand the motivations of our new characters better. But these scenes fail because by this episode, we should care about them enough to want to understand them and the time we should have spent getting to know them has been taken up by Russell T. Davies proving he knows how to Google. We don't care about Rex at all, so knowing he has a destitute father means nothing to us. While we do care about Esther, finding out she has a mentally ill sister doesn't add anything to her character. This deep into the season is not the time to start going 'hey, we need to fill out these guys.'

Eve Myles tries to get her agent to remove her from this
sinking ship....
7) I'm with much as I love her, Eve Myles should never, ever attempt an American accent again. She prolly shouldn't ever have her hair up, either.

8) This whole new angle of Danes literally trying to pass himself off as some modern-day Christ for the Miracle Day afflicted is stomach churning--not because it's blasphemous, but because it's 'what the fuck?' level stupid. I simply cannot believe Davies intended this to be a major plot point.

9) LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS???? What, did Davies just raid his Brat Pack database?

10) Alyssa from the Big Red Podcast was right; the scene with Rex wheezing and huffing up 66 flight of stairs was ridiculous..especially since to make it work, we had to have Professional Killer In Black C. Thomas Howell go all Bond Villain on Jack and Gwen and start spouting soliloquizes...

Overall...I'm beginning to wonder if Davies is actively daring us to get through this increasingly ludicrous story. We have another script by someone who knows how to write effective television, James Shiban, which sounds exactly like a Davies script. There is a level of sheer awfulness to this that I am afraid I may not last until the end before taking an axe to my laptop.

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