TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY: 'Escape to LA' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


July 31, 2011 by  

Friday’s episode of TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY had a lot of good spying … and a lot of bad spying. As the Torchwood team relocated from Washington to Los Angeles, they had to tie up loose ends and start fresh on the west coast. Unfortunately, the cross-country trip was mired in danger after Esther made some bad decisions, and it was one close call after another for the team.

We started the episode with Esther trying to visit her sister and nieces before leaving DC; unfortunately, her shut-in sister has locked herself and the girls inside of their boarded-up house. It’s bad news for Esther’s family, but it’s even worse news for Esther, who is unknowingly being tailed by PhiCorp henchmen. Bad guys follow the team to LA, who continue to traipse around the city not knowing they’re in the shadow of the enemy.

Most of the episode is a lot of set-up, as the team establishes their west coast base. They get an apartment and plot to invade the PhiCorp headquarters. The mission involves buying a server, then sneaking it into HQ and switching it out for a secret sever loaded up with classified PhiCorp intelligence. To gain access, they need biometrics from a Mr. Nicholas Frumkin, a PhiCorp employee with top security clearance. In the episode’s high point, Jack and Gwen go undercover as an American couple gushing over Frumkin’s baby when they “run into” the family at a park. Gwen’s American accent is hilariously horrible (“Sure thing, hot diggity!” had me in stitches), and Jack’s “John Smith” alias was another sneaky DOCTOR WHO reference that I loved.

Although the set-up of the plan was perfectly executed, it all went wrong when the PhiCorp baddie followed them on the mission and turned the tables on Gwen and Jack. While he had our heroes tied up, the unnamed henchmen spilled some information about the Miracle: cryptic, confusing information, but information nonetheless.

“What did you give them so long ago?” he asks Jack. “They are everywhere. They are always. They are no one. They have been waiting for such a long time.”

And then Rex comes in and shoots him in the neck, leaving us to wonder who’s calling the Miracle Day shots — and what is their relationship to Jack.

Honestly, it sounds a lot like TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH. I won’t spoil it for the newcomers who haven’t watched the last standout TORCHWOOD series, but “What did you give them so long ago?” was the overall question asked of Jack. If the answer is half as terrifying as it was back then, we can count on a thrilling conclusion to MIRACLE DAY, but right now, it’s feeling a little repetitive.

Meanwhile, Oswald Danes is feeling some competition in the PR department, when Ellis Hartley Monroe (Mare Winningham), a tea party politician, starts the “Dead is Dead” movement, a campaign to isolate the should-be-deads and treat them as if they had already perished. Some carefully orchestrated optics put Danes back in the spotlight, hugging an abandoned baby at a hospital and promising the sick that he’ll watch out for them. This is only the second-worst thing to happen to Mrs. Monroe today, because after leaving a press conference, she’s kidnapped by PhiCorp, who takes her and her car to a junkyard, loads them into a car crusher, and compacts them into near-nothing. (A zoom-in to the innermost corner of the mangled wreckage assures us that, crushed or not, she’s still alive in there, as evidenced by one blinking, spine-tingling eye.)

Back at Torchwood HQ (currently an apartment near the beach), Esther is recovering information off the stolen server and finds one scary reality — PhiCorp is part of a plan to quarantine the sick in overflow camps. It’s precisely what Monroe was proposing, she just used rhetoric that PhiCorp found unpalatable. Even more frightening is the news Gwen gets from Rhys — her father is being moved to an overflow camp.

So, PhiCorp is definitely bad news, but they may just be fronting an even more terrifying enemy. But who?

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