Created by: Russell T. Davies
Cast: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Kai Owen, Arlene Tur, Bill Pullman, Lauren Ambrose, Wayne Knight, Dichen Lachman
Synopsis: Rex has Jack and Gwen in custody on a plane on the way back to the US. He is unaware that Esther has been framed by the CIA, and it apparently has something to do with her investigations into Torchwood. Dr. Juarez finds out more information on what is happening to the world, with evidence that despite the lack of death, humanity is still aging.
This episode is more thrilling and more gripping than the last. I found myself absolutely enthralled from beginning to end. Whist some new information clarifies factors of what is happening, only more questions are raised as a result. Given that there are still eight episodes to go and as such the end of this episode takes us to the one-fifth mark, this is a perfect dramatic point to be at these early stages.
Rex starts the episode as a true hard-arse company man whom as an audience, as for Jack and Gwen, it is difficult to determine whether he is worthy of trust. It quickly becomes apparent however that he is on the outside of the CIA, with Esther seeing men turn over his office, and with Esther herself having received a mystery investment of $50 000 into her account courtesy of an anonymous account in China. Clearly they are being set up, and their director Friedkin (played as brilliantly sleazy as only Wayne Knight knows how to do) seems to be behind it all.
Friedkin also has his own agent on the plane with Rex and his prisoners, Lyn (Australian actress Lachman, an alumna of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse). She overhears Jack comment on morphic fields, and their possible connection to Miracle Day. Given that whereas everyone else being immortal has led to his own mortality, she arranges to poison him… it seems he may indeed be close to a truth that Friedkin, or at least the mystery superior he has contacted, wants hidden. Rex manages to arrest Lyn, but it leads to an exciting mad dash to assemble a cure with only items available on a plane. Having a doctor on speed dial can be handy sometimes, as Dr. Juarez proves in this section of the episode.
The parallel storyline of Oswald Danes does not yet intersect with other events in the series, but being penned by Russell T. Davies, we can anticipate this happening soon. Pullman puts in an amazing performance however, breaking down in apology for his crimes in national television. This introduces a moral ambiguity into the plot… it is difficult seeing a man in so much anguish and not feel sorry for him, however when one reflects on the crimes he committed, is such sympathy warranted or justified? The Danes thread also serves to introduce PR agent Jilly Kitzinger (Ambrose), whom is all big teeth and big sell. We first see her trying to sign up Danes after his on-air “performance”, and later offers assistance to Dr. Juarez, as it seems she also works for a drug company and can supply pain killers. Given everyone is getting injured and aging, they shall be a valuable commodity.
A lot clearly happened in the episode, and everything I have revealed still leaves elements at the end of the episode yet to be discussed, but as that would be in great big spoiler potential, I will refrain from doing so. I loved this episode, and can’t wait to hit play on my recording of episode 3…
4 stars out of 5
Torchwood Miracle Day – Rendition trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tU6RvnomNU]