5 December 2018: It Takes You Away review added.
26 November 2018: The Witchfinders review added.
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MIRACLE DAY: END OF THE ROAD
Ah, if only it were the end of the road. But we’re eight in, so that’s something.
And what a long way we’ve come. Remember the first episode? All splashy budget-busting helicopters and action? Now here we are, in a room. Still in a room. Still in a room. With lots and lots of yapping.
Still, it could be worse. There’s more Nana Visitor, for a start, although she does get stuck with the lengthy infodump. Then they wheel her off only to wheel on John de Lancie. Yes, it’s a Trekfest! Which is fine by us, as de Lancie is by far the best thing about this episode. Chewing the scenery, being killingly funny (“Can we deport her? Let’s deport her”) - oh yeah, he’s still got it.
Alas, that’s pretty much the end of the good stuff. Angelo, promising much at the end of the previous episode, turns out to be the dampest of damp squibs, lying there looking wrinkly just long enough for Captain Jack to ask him insensitive questions about Ianto and then kicking the bucket. We mean honestly. We’re sure it brought a tear to the eye of the Ianto brigade, but on being reunited with a lover after many decades, are you really going to ask him if he’s seen your other lover? Charming. No wonder Angelo checked out. Not that he had much choice, given that Jack gives up on resuscitation after about three half-hearted shoves at Angelo’s chest. Puts a whole new spin on Jack’s “I’ll take care of you”.
And gah, lots of clunky stuff with Esther staying outside, for some vague and spurious reason, with her magical transcription software recording Gwen’s words before she actually says them and then throwing in the towel altogether. (Thanks to Tom Hickey for pointing this out.) Because after all that effort to get away from the CIA, suddenly we’re in the fold again. Great.
But of course, some of them aren’t CIA at all. You can tell by the way Rex and Newman spend ages explaining everything to each other, prior to Newman taunting Rex about how he’s going to shoot him. Followed by even more splainin’ from Rex about the contact lenses. The contact lenses he nicked from Gwen and put in his own eyes, which is by far the most horrifying thing in here.
Meanwhile, Danes is going straight, as it were. Instead of asking a prostitute to dress up as a little kid, he wants her to behave like an adult. Mystifyingly, although the prostitute is perfectly willing to indulge the paedophiliac leanings of a child murderer, she balks at him trying to take the more socially approved road. And as revenge, she spills that he’s about to be barbecued.
Danes then asks Jilly to confirm this. Call us lily-livered, but we wouldn’t tell a murderer he’s about to die in a fit, let alone in a closed hotel room with no backup. She does, though, and unsurprisingly gets smacked around for her trouble. Apparently, this is enough for her to be recruited into the ranks of the bad guys. Um, yay?
Back at the ranch, Jack creates a cone of silence and begs the other two not to let this tech get out. After all, “it’s control over life and death!”. Not at all, then, like a bomb, or the death penalty, or a gun? Jack explains he has to get out with the alien tech, but unless Rex has surreptitiously smuggled it out to the car under his jacket in a scene left on the cutting room floor, as far as we can see he and Esther are leaving plus bullet but minus tech. Oh, well.
Esther, definitely a person you would not want by your side in a first aid emergency, responds to Jack’s leaking blood everywhere by glancing at him occasionally and pleading for him to talk to her. Hint: when it comes to stopping bleeding, this technique is unlikely to be effective.
And poor old Gwen’s leaving on a jet plane. Again. We know they’re supposed to keep up the link with Wales, but Gwen racking up frequent flyer miles is about the stupidest way we can think of to do it.
Escape, recapture, escape, and talking, talking, talking. Please let something that actually makes sense happen soon.
MAKE IT STOP
Nana says about Angelo’s measures to extend life: “No one’s worked out how to make a profit out of it so it’s not advertised.” Bollocks. It’s actually because nobody wants to live like that. Being cold and hungry all the time? Great way to make life feel a thousand years long.
“Basically she’s made up of positive thinking and colostomy bags.” Ooh, that’s black for this show. Best line in here.
Esther’s understandably not a fan of the idea that her sister has volunteered her children for Category One, but we’re gobsmacked that she clearly doesn’t plan to try and do anything about it. What. The. Hell?
WE’LL BE HERE ALL WEEK
“Saying it’s a morphic field is as vague as saying it’s radiation.” It's amorphous, you might say. Ahahaha.
PUPPET ON A STRING
“They need me and Esther, we can help”. What, Rex is making all Esther’s decisions for her now? She doesn’t even open her mouth!