Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ten Statements About....TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY Episode Nine 'The Gathering' (2011)

I think Rhys' expression speaks for me...
1) Oh,'s supposedly two months past the point of the previous episode, and still people are talking in factoids Davies gleaned from Google?

2) For the first time in nine hours of television, Davies has finally allowed Mekhi Pfifer to actually act and not run around screaming at everyone. Okay, granted it's to try and make a big ol' chunk of exposition feel somewhere in the neighborhood of natural, but it's the difference between night and day. Sure, it happens far too long after we ceased caring about anyone in this stupid story, but still...honest-to-goodness acting.

3) So since Davies was able to force his Holocaust metaphor back into play, we've now got Gwen's dad playing Anne Frank... Look, I know that science fiction allows us as a culture to address things more frankly than if we addressed them straight on, but surely Davies realizes that copying these things he wants to address so plainly sort of nullifies the whole point of gussying them up as science fiction, right?

"For the last time, I'm not Q, and I don't have the power
to remove this stupid show from your resume, Mekhi.
4) I just want to emphasize this--if this was the Rex we got from episode one, a Rex who was smart and clever and not in everyone's face, who was competent all around (although curiously without the constant pain and suffering Pfifer was forced to mime throughout the earlier episodes), I wouldn't have hated him so much.

5) can't have both a Cooper family who are so on red alert they've got elaborate plans to avoid their patriarch's detection by police and one so oblivious that Oswald Danes just walks in--while they're all under surveillance, no less!--to tease Gwen by playing with her daughter.

6) It's nice to see that Davies still hasn't given up the idea of Danes being here primarily so everyone else in the show can rail about how disgusted they are with, actually, that was sarcasm, and It's not.

7) Okay, here's the fundamental flaw with all the big revelations we're finally getting. Since we had the side trip with the ovens (which went nowhere, as we're told as of this episode that the ovens are back in operation), and the side trip with Angelo (which proved to be a dead end that ate up an episode and a half), any step forward will seem inconsequential. Davies has effectively told us that any success his Torchwood team has is going to be fleeting at best, so we don't care when the big success starts coming together.

8) Okay, now we have Esther herself pointing out that the Three Families changed their name with Oswald Danes in the room. Is Torchwood so thunderingly dumb that they haven't speculated once that maybe the Costerdane family changed their name to the Danes family? And that they've got a member of that family right under their noses, whether Oswald is aware of it or not?

Not content to ruin Mekhi Pfifer's career, this episode sees
Davies try to put the stank of bad television on Frances Fisher 
9) I think I understand why they decided that Rhys gets to come up with the big revelation about The Blessing...but I still marvel at the fact that not one of the superior minds in the room didn't get up and point out that having the civilian truck driver crack a major clue that's been literally staring the Big Bad Detective Types in the face from episode one only makes it clearer how stupid they all are....

10) And once again, we have something that I think Davies thought would look wondrous--namely, the blood being attracted to The Blessing--looking seriously goofy.

Overall...the only reason I haven't gotten as worked up over this episode is because..well, ennui has set in. There's nothing so thoroughly stupid as some of the stuff in the previous episodes here, just a series of stupid moments that I've come to accept as par for the course.

Lord, please let this be the last season.

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