Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode 5 – The Categories of Life

Created by: Russell T. Davies

Cast: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Kai Owen, Arlene Tur, Bill Pullman, Lauren Ambrose

Synopsis: The medical panels are disbanded after recommending every person get place in one of three categories of life.   1 represents brain-dead or unconscious, 2 is mortally wounded or infected but healing, and 3 is perfectly healthy.   Categories 1 and 2 get sent to the overflow camps, with category 1 getting sent to mysterious “modules”.   Gwen has returned to Wales in an effort to get her father out of the overflow camp into which he has been placed, fearing PhiCorp’s hidden agenda.   Vera joins Torchwood, and goes undercover to investigate an overflow camp with both Esther and Rex.   Jack has another meeting with Danes, trying to use his celebrity to transmit the truth to the world.

It is almost predictable, but as the end of this episodes marks the half-way point of the Miracle Day serial, there are some big reveals, or, more fittingly, revelations, and the bar is certainly raised with a few unexpected shock moments.   Think of this point in the Children of Earth saga.   It was around the half-way point there that [SPOILER WARNING if you have not seen Torchwood before Miracle Day] we lost fan favourite Ianto Jones (Gareth-David Lloyd) after all.   Though it is impossible to match the level of shock and gravitas that came with that moment, nonetheless this is perhaps the best episode of Miracle Day to date.

A big element of that is the fact that with this episode I finally find myself warming to the new recruits.   Caring for the plight of your protagonists is the key to any good drama, and in this episode to a certain degree Rex’s brashness is addressed, and he has some very humanising moments.   Also, Esther acknowledges her field agent deficiencies and does start to address them.   Adding Juarez to the Torchwood team proper though was great, as she has consistently remained a very strong character.   This is once again on display in her undercover operation, where she discovers that there is a distinct LACK of the care promised occurring in the overflow centres.

Gwen’s story arc is a more emotional one this episode, as she attempts to rescue her father.   Her return to Wales is certainly refreshing, and as this is Torchwood, to a degree it feels a bit like coming back home, back to a comfort zone.   Also, having Rhys and Gwen reunited and working together provides Gwen’s character with a better rhythm, and I would say also gives her a better counterpoint for her acting to really shine.   Her work on this episode is a lot more convincing compared to anything of her work in the US.   Meanwhile, Jack is a bit sidelined in this episode, but the mission he gives himself leads to a moment of great importance.   His interaction with Danes indicates that there is a certain level of understanding between them (also with reference to the events in Children of Earth, the connection here is not so mysterious).   Their ideologies differ greatly though, making it difficult for Jack to garner for himself a potentially powerful ally.

To say more is to talk about the cliffhanger moments in this episode, which I shy away from doing.   As I will be discussing the aftermath in my review for the next episode though, please stay tuned for that to get my thoughts on the big events.

4.5 stars out of 5

 

Torchwood Miracle Day Episode 5 on IMDB

Torchwood Miracle Day Episode 5 trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPVxdNdWyQA]

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