Events continue to be mystifying in the strange new world of the Miracle.
Torchwood: Miracle Day “The Middle Men”
“The Middle Men” is the name of the continuation of Torchwood’s Miracle Day. Ernie Hudson joins the cast as another PhiCorp executive, who is trying to track down a strange parcel of land PhiCorp owns in China, which he feels may something to do with the “Miracle” as all records of it end in 1999. The agent he sends to the site in China then does the next best thing to actual suicide in this world of no death, joining the “45 club”- apparently if you jump from 45 stories or higher, you never regain consciousness.
Back at the camp in America, Rex swears vengeance for Vera’s… what, destruction? in the ovens, and Esther gets worried when she can’t reach anyone, and start poking around, dangerously close to the director that panicked and killed (whatever the word is) Vera. The director locks down the entire facility, trapping Esther and Rex inside. In Wales, Gwen confronts the staff of the “overflow” camp, calling it what it is, a concentration camp, desperately trying to save her father from imminent incineration, in a very strong scene.
Doing intelligence work as only Jack Harknes would, he meets Stuart Owens’ (Ernie Hudson) secretary in a bar and turns her against him by showing her hacked e-mails- the boss she’s been having an affair with is about to transfer her away from California to Cincinnati. Jack confronts Stuart in a restaurant to try and learn more about what’s going on. Stuart declares himself “not a good man, not a bad man, I’m something of a middle man.,” (hence the title). They seem to be on the same side, if for very different reasons. Stuart tells Jack that as far as he can tell, PhiCorp is profiting from all this, but not behind it. The only clue Jack picks up here is a mention of an old memo from the 90′, with the key phrase of “they have found the Blessing.”
Rex gets caught and bluffs his way into seeing Director Malloney, the man who “killed” Vera. The director continues his policy of denial, and Rex calls him a “middle man,” as the title recurs. In a truly grim scene, the director tries to kill Rex by stabbing Rex in his chest wound with a pen (not for the faint of heart, this show). Esther tries to rescue Rex and gets into an ugly fight with Malloney. There’s a whole new level of brutality involved when no one can die.
On the Welsh front, they give up on subtle as Rhys steals a truck to rescue Gwen’s dad, but Gwen stays behind to try and stop the camps. She uses the Torchwood contacts to transmit a message about what they are actually doing in the camps, and then blows up the module at the one she just got her father out of. Gwen gets back to America, and is paged at the airport by a mysterious voice that tells her to put her lenses in. She get a message on them that they have her mother, husband, and child, and they want her to bring them Jack.
This is a very interesting spin on things. Almost no one knows about the lenses, one of Torchwood’s few, and best, surviving toys. That to one side, fewer still can hack the signal. Whoever they are, they certainly know how to push Gwen’s buttons. The team’s public reveal of the camps also changes nothing, which is a disturbingly realistic development I could see in the real world.
What I liked and what I didn’t:
Esther has heart, but continues to show her inexperience in the field, which is a nice touch- when she went “under cover” at the camp, she used her real name. The drama is certainly built up here, and the stakes keep going up, especially if what Stuart told Jack is true, and PhiCorp isn’t behind it. Eve Myles turns in another stunning performance as Gwen. The camp director is slime, but the actor portrays him very well.
One thing kind of jumped out at me from this one on the negative side. The camp director, seemingly very Mid-West American, refers to an area as a “car park,” which is a British phrase. Whether the actor slipped up or the script writer did, I have no idea, but it made it through and was a bit jarring to me.
[pros="great drama, Eve Myles is awesome, " cons="the car pick slip up, " score=90]