Torchwood Review: “The Gathering”

Miracle Day’s—and maybe Torchwood‘s—penultimate episode takes us to the Blessing.

Title: “The Gathering”

Cast and Crew

Written by John Fay
Directed by Guy Ferland

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness
Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper
Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson
Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond
Kai Owen as Rhys Williams
John de Lancie as Shapiro
Lauren Ambrose as Jilly Kitzinger
Bill Pullman as Oswald Danes
Marina Benedict as Charlotte Wills
William Thomas as Geraint Cooper
Sharon Morgan as Mary Cooper
Tony Strauss as Jonathan Spencer
Constance Dean Brown as Sarah Drummond
Paul James as Noah Vickers
Adam Silver as Cryptic Family Guy Who Kinda Looks Like Clark Kent’s nerdier brother

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.


Six weeks have passed since the last episode, but since the show has improved its pacing, we don’t have to suffer through the boring parts. Mind you, we also miss some important developments along the way, and hear about them later. Anyway, Rex Matheson and Shapiro suspect they have a mole, so Matheson goes “off the grid” to help the others. The rest of Torchwood, meanwhile, with the unwelcome assistance of Oswald Danes, advances on the Blessing.

Through Jilly, we receive our first view—but we still don’t know what, exactly, we’re seeing.

High Points

The Blessing ties together a number of social comments and fantastic concepts explored in this series, and I’m hoping the final explanation won’t disappoint. Crisis breeds dictators, dictators need mythmakers and, apparently, the Blessing has a sanguine regard for Jack’s blood.

BONUS: you really can dig a hole to China.

Low Point

Given the time wasted by previous episodes, why does this one present so many discoveries as straight exposition through dialogue? Couldn’t we have seen a little more of how Jack and Esther made it out of the country? Heard and had a chance to follow the trail that Rex explains to the other CIA agents?

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6 We’re getting to an original-seeming explanation for the Blessing though, of course, much mystery remains.

Effects: 5/6

Story: 5/6 We have here a better-structured episode than most this season, even if it cheats some developments by simply telling us they occurred.

It’s rare someone can make the Super-Secret Global Conspiracy seem credible. Conspiracy Theorists, in particular, fail on that one regularly. Torchwood‘s done a half-decent job of it.

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 4/6 The last few episodes have reawakened my interest.

Production: 5/6. For a television series, this works fairly well, though we’re aware we’re getting globe-trotting International People of Mystery on something of a budget.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “The Gathering” receives 33/42

7 replies on “Torchwood Review: “The Gathering””

    • Well, *I* didn’t see any aliens..
      Did I miss something???

      But I did like the episode….

          • I’ve been critical of many things they got wrong, but taking the traditional “big reveal” approach works here. I don’t know what that thing is, but they have me curious about the explanation this coming weekend.

            It’s clearly alien– we don’t know if, strictly speaking, it’s extra-terrestrial, if you see what I mean.

          • Maybe. Maybe it’s a natural phenomena. Or an unnatural one (;

            We know (kinda) that Jack eventually turns into the Face of Bo. Do we know what the heck happens to the rest of him? (:

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