Torchwood: Miracle Day is over…shockingly. After 10 episodes of ups and downs of varying quality, the end has come and part of me is thankful. I’m thankful we finally have closure to the series, as it’s all come to an end. But I’m not so thankful it ended flat on its face.
A few weeks ago I talked about how much I’m loving the new series. I wish I could continue to say the same. Most of that was based on the idea that they were setting up questions that would be answered in the final episodes, and while some of these questions were answered, the answers weren’t very satisfying.
Beginning where we left off with the ninth episode, which is essentially a lead in for the finale. It opens with Gwen crashing her car into a pharmacy and robbing the place. Subtlety is not her strong suit. Turns out she’s selling drugs in a local black market because either the pharmaceutical companies are charging too much or the government just won’t let them have the meds. The latter doesn’t make much sense considering how hard said companies were lobbying the government in earlier episodes to allow the public to have unrestricted access to drugs. So it’s likely the former, but it would be nice if we got some exposition or some hint regarding their motivations.
Meanwhile Esther and Jack are in Scotland on the run, and Ester is harvesting Jack’s blood because she believes it’s their best chance at ending the Miracle. What bugs me is the bags of blood look fresh and it’s presumed Ester’s been harvesting them continually for the past two months. It’s likely the blood would go bad by then. Not only that, humans don’t regenerate their blood that fast, and considering Jack is a normal human…just…it doesn’t make sense.
Eventually, Oswald Danes visits Gwen Cooper in a quite invasive way, and after getting his ass beat, gives her a lead regarding the Miracle. The team reunites and they are lead to both Shanghai and Buenos Aires. Rhys makes the discovery that the two locations are at opposite ends of the globe. They figure the Blessing, the object which caused the Miracle, is at both sides of the planet. The team splits in two with the American half in Buenos Aires, and the classic half in Shanghai with Oswald Danes. Why Danes? Because Gwen didn’t trust him alone, so she drags his ass to Shanghai.
In the finale the team realizes Jack’s blood, which they have a case of in Buenos Aires, and a body of in Shanghai, is being drawn to the Blessing like a magnet. Which is weird, but whatever. Rex and Ester call in the CIA for backup, and unfortunately, the mole within the CIA decides to have them killed. The duo are forced to fake their deaths and visit the Blessing on foot. Both groups find the Blessing and confront the Families, who orchestrated the Miracle.
Meanwhile in the CIA, Allen Shapiro, played by John de Lancie, decides it’s about time they find that mole, by running a trace program. Unfortunately said mole overhears them and decides to place a bomb next to them while they work to solve the problem. They die in the cheapest possible way, and said mole gets off scott free. But I digress because I really don’t care. I’m just pissed that they killed Q. Actually, this is bugging me, because there is a giant plot hole. Aren’t there security cameras in the CIA!? Wouldn’t someone notice that the mole put down her purse next to Q 30 seconds before he looked at said purse, said fuck, and the purse blew up!? I think she just blew her cover quite dramatically, all to prevent her cover from being blown…bit counter-productive.
Anyway, as the group confronts the Families, we witness Dane’s finest moment, as wraps himself in explosives and basically creates a mexican standoff on opposite sides of the world. Advantage Torchwood in Shanghai, and advantage Families in Buenos Aires, because the American team is being held hostage. So who’s move? During this whole event the Families reveal what they did. The Blessing basically calibrates the morphic field of the human race. So when they gave it Jack’s blood, which they acquired decades earlier (BLOOD EXPIRES PEOPLE!!!), the Blessing accepted the blood of an immortal as the new default.
Last time I said there is definitely something bigger going on and that was keeping me interested. Yeah, now it turns out there wasn’t and I’m pissed. For you see, also during the confrontation, the families reveal their plot, which is basically this:
- Make humanity immortal.
- Wait for society to collapse.
- Profit/World Domination
It’s the most low rent evil genius plot since the seventh season of 24. I expected more. Primarily because the same plot could have been executed with a few strategically placed nuclear weapons. Doing something this complex is more ridiculous than…the fourth season of 24. Okay, nuclear weapons are difficult to get your hands on, but considering you are a worldwide organization who can apparently bypass border controls, I think you can smuggle in a few nukes. It worked for the bad guys in Jericho. Fucking good show by the way. Also, it couldn’t just be undone.
So, anyway after all that, they reveal they can make everyone mortal again, by giving the Blessing the blood of a mortal. Like that of the now mortal Jack Harkness. Finally, this point has major plot significance. I was waiting for this. Unfortunately it needs to be administered at both ends of the Blessing at the same time and the spare blood bags were destroyed. Then they reveal a final twist. Rex fully replaced his blood with Jack’s. They didn’t blow up Jack’s blood, they blew up Rex’s. So both men are ready to release Jack’s blood into the Blessing, when Ester is shot for a very stupid reason: because the man in charge thinks that will stop Rex from stopping the Miracle. It doesn’t, the Miracle ends. Both men are exsanguinated. But Jack revives thanks to his immortality, which is back, and Rex is saved by soldiers arriving on the scene.
Then it all ends. The remaining members of Torchwood are at Ester’s funeral, who I think should have survived, but shit happens. Rex receives a message on his smart phone. Apparently the results of Q’s trace to find the mole was saved, and Rex is able to access it because he was the only one left alive who knew the password. He discovers who the mole is. It was his friend who was at the funeral. So he confronts her and gets shot in the process. Though so did the mole, so I guess it’s all right. Then, as Jack declares Rex dead, Rex revives Jack-Harkness-style. Somehow, he gained Jack’s immortality. Okay, who saw that coming!? *raises hand*
I saw it coming when, after being exsanguinated, Rex gets up and throws the man who shot Ester off a ledge, likely killing him. Even with the Miracle, he shouldn’t have had the strength to do that, after losing all his blood. So that was our first hint that Jack’s blood changed Rex. I like this twist. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s used next season. Oh there had better be a fucking next season.
But there are a few more questions. We still don’t know exactly why Colosanto used a null field to kill himself, what the family’s “plan B” is, nor do we know what Jilly’s role is in this whole thing.
I mention Jilly now because she did virtually nothing in the main plot. They could have killed her off halfway through episode nine and it would have had no impact on the plot and I wouldn’t have cared. Her only role seems to be to connect Danes to the Families. So she really has very little purpose and I personally don’t give two shits about the character. Same with Gwen’s dad. I get he was supposed to motivate her or something. But I’m not sure what for. However the story involving Gwen’s dad was interesting, and it acted like a microcosm of all the Category Ones on Earth, as they tried to hide him from the authorities.
There are a few more questions. Such as: How does this fit into the Doctor Who continuity? Some fans have argued that because Rory and Amy don’t mention the Miracle to the Doctor at any point this season, it means it didn’t happen. But I disagree. It could have happened while they were travelling with the Doctor, or while they were on Earth, but it ended by the time they joined him again, and they didn’t bother bringing it up because it was unnecessary. Oh, you know, every man woman and child on Earth became immortal, no big deal. They might assume he already knows, or maybe they did mention it, off-screen.
Anyway, while we’re talking about Doctor Who, the show’s 50th anniversary is coming up in two years, and John Barrowman has said he would love to appear as Jack Harkness in the anniversary special. I’ve already said I want to see the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Doctors to make an appearance, and having Jack there would certainly be interesting, as long as he’s not shoehorned in. But I will be sorely disappointed if he’s not joined by the rest of the Torchwood team, especially Rex, because then the Doctor could scold Jack for spreading his immortality around, or confused because of how that was possible.
So let’s be honest. Torchwood peaked last season with Children of Earth. I hope they manage to do better next season, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.