By John Keegan
I'm now caught up with "Touch", and I still think that the show has a number of problems. It's nice, though, that they are trying to incorporate a larger story arc to the series. So far, they're being about as subtle as a brick to the face, but at least they seem to be trying.
At the center of the episode is a story about a family split apart by the actions of a obstetrician with a penchant for buying and selling babies. Jake keeps making a shape out of a loop of string while on a trip to a museum. This symbol just happens to be very similar to the logo for his aunt's company, the one donating a ton of money and equipment to the facility that helps Jake. Meanwhile, the head of the facility, Sheri, dodges every question she's asked by Clea with enough sinister glaring to tip off the worst's most dense detective.
It seems rather clear at this point that the organization that was combating Teller's investigation into the numbers, the one interested in controlling and silencing the special snowflake children, is tied into the company that Jake's aunt works for. And as such, Cheri has been bought and sold. If the writers don't go down this road at this point, it's actually going to feel more contrived, because they've been so blatant about it. (Especially taking Clea off Jake's case, which is only going to convince her that something sinister is going on!)
Meanwhile, Martin becomes convinced that he's supposed to run around town to keep Jake happy (and solve this little family reunion/evil doctor problem), even though he knows that he's under more scrutiny than ever. Yes, Jake would have thrown a fit, but that's part of the problem. For a kid who's supposed to see what's important, he sure seems to miss the rather obvious threat to his own well-being. Without his father, the rest doesn't get done. One would think the universal consciousness or whatever would take that into account.
Martin's ability to track down the evil doctor at the airport was a bit hard to swallow. It's not like JFK is a small airport; there are lots of people who would fit the doctor's description. Yes, Martin found one of the people involved in the latest adoption plot, but that presents a different issue. How did he manage to do all of that so quickly? Martin moves at the speed of plot, so I suppose some of those Jack Bauer skills are still intact.
Far more egregious was the entire subplot with the International Space Station. I hope some actual astronauts and support personnel weigh in on this, because I find it extremely hard to believe that Ground Control would take a lack of communication and alarm condition for an astronaut on spacewalk so casually. I get the sense that the "company" was behind the pressure to give the presentation at the museum, but even that doesn't explain why it would have been such a priority.
Worse, I might have forgiven it more if Gio had actually been unconscious and in need of assistance. Instead, he was perfectly fine, and he knew that there was a communications problem. Since he was well aware of the fact that regular checks of his status were mission protocol, why wouldn't he return to the airlock as a precautionary measure? Or was he still thinking about his wife's cleavage?
That the ISS plot thread was only tangentially connected to the main storyline, and in ways that were completely unnecessary for the story to move forward (that triangulation example could have come from anywhere), would have been bad enough. But I can't imagine that the ISS plot elements were reflective of a real situation, and thus it felt contrived to the max. Which, unfortunately, is how I feel about this show.John Keegan is Editor-in-Chief for Critical Myth, a partner site of SciFi Vision.