Friday, August 26, 2011

Ten Statements About....TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY Episode Seven 'Immortal Sins' (2011)

"And then Jack died, and the show ended, and Tom breathed
a sigh of, that's not it."
1) Oh, look...another character, because this series doesn't have enough...right? Right? And since we haven't had Jack behave in an ickily irresponsible way for about three episodes, let's get him and this new character in a weird sort of seduction scene involving a girl across the street that once again proves that Russell T. Davies--whether writing on his own or through proxies like Jane Espenson--simply doesn't understand how human really interact.

And hey, just for good measure...let's give the audience a glimpse of John Barrowman penis.

You see what happens when you give dodgy creators carte blanche, Starz?

2) You know...even though the whole about face of Ianto in Season Two was kind of abrupt, the relationship between him and Jack felt real, and it served to illuminate both characters--in the case of Ianto, turning him into a character I genuinely liked. I get the impression given all the time we spend with Jack and Angelo's love story that Davies wants us to feel the same way about this romance...and yet it simply doesn't. It feels tacked on, and as Angelo in these scenes, Danielle Favilli (trying to prove he can imitate Gary Oldman with the best of them) comes off as artificial, a piece of plot to make the whole Miracle Day situation personal. I cannot buy this any more than I can buy any of the nineteen other contrivances Davies has tried to float down my windpipe this season.

3) At this late juncture, can we please stop with the inappropriate comedy lines--like, for example, Gwen scolding Jack for forgetting her mother's name--in the middle of supposedly tense sequences? We're somewhere in the third act, Russell, and you've given us maybe a short story's worth of plot here--let's concentrate on that instead of trying to prove you've studied Joss Whedon's body of work.

"No, you signed us up for this, so you get the blame, John.

4) Thank God Jack made reference to recallibrating that wrist-thingie to Gwen's DNA, because for a moment I thought they were actually trying to hint that Jack was Anwyn's father.

5) I wonder if, over in England, Matt Smith suddenly felt dirty when The Doctor's name was evoked.

6) That being said, the little sequence with the 'Deadly Spawn' puppet is arguably the best thing in this misbegotten episode, and perhaps the first time this felt like 'classic' Torchwood and not Russell T. Davies' book report on Science Fiction Tropes of the 70's.

7) Remember how I said Davies is trying to prove he studied Joss Whedon's handiwork? That self-loathing speech of Gwen's is such a marked aping of Buffy circa Season Six it's not funny. And given the glee with which we saw her blow up a camp full of people last episode, it's not getting anywhere near the emotional reaction I suspect he wants it to.

The same goes for Jack's declaration of intent that follows it.

"I know it's supposed to be blood...but all I get is bacon fat."
8) So lemme get this straight--Angelo is able to accept that Jack is from the future, that he's traveled to other worlds, and that some of those other worlds have weird snakey parasite creatures that eat your brains...but he's not able to accept that Jack is able to survive a gunshot to the head? That's just sloppy writing.

Or maybe more precisely forcing a development because you can't think of a more natural way to get your characters to where you want them to go.

9) I will also give you that the scene in the butcher shop is pretty nightmarish--and also, like the scene with the Deadly Spawn parasites, reminiscent of classic Torchwood..but did it need to go on for so long?

No,'s a scene in a Russell T. Davies produced show. Fuck subtlety and tact.

10) Okay, we get that Angelo is either the brains behind this or the key of this masterplan...and yeah it's a shock given how we haven't seen him up until this episode. Swooping in with a 'shock twist' usually fails when the twist isn't set up in amongst all the bloated plotting of the last month and a half.

Overall...this is marginally better than some of the other episodes...but it's not better enough to make me rescind my 'fuck this series' thoughts.

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