We learn more this week about the forces behind Miracle Day, though the revelations pose new mysteries of their own. Flaws in the series, however, have grown and, despite some good moments, this episode left me disappointed.

Title: “Escape to L.A.”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Bill Gierhart
Written by Jim Danger Gray and John Shiban

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness
Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper
Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson
Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond
Bill Pullman as Oswald Danes
Mare Winningham as Ellis Hartley Monroe
C. Thomas Howell as Dangerous Guy
Lauren Ambrose as Jilly Kitzinger
Arlene Tur as Dr. Vera Juarez
Kai Owen as Rhys Williams
Randa Walker as Candace Perlmutter
Kevin Yu as Nicholas Frumpkin
Juanita Jennings as Bisme Katusi

Additional cast and crew information may be found
here.

Premise

We’re closer to learning the identity of those behind Miracle Day—but the series may be getting too bogged down by its own ten-episode run-time and some issues with the writing and direction.

High Points

The High Points this week mostly involve what they attempted to do. They did not consistently succeed.

I like that Torchwood addresses social issues, but this week’s satiric and socially relevant moments lacked any sense of subtlety (and referring to Monroe as a “Tea Partier” just seemed silly and gratuitous).

I like that they’ve introduced the religious element, but it feels, for America, less pervasive than it should be. Oswald Dane’s ascension as a Christ figure has potential, though only Pullman’s acting kept his speech in quarantine from going completely over the top. Then again, media displays usually do, so perhaps he was just in character. The fact that Oswald plays the role cynically doesn’t necessarily negate the role. As Vonnegut once wrote, we are who we pretend to be, so we should be careful who we pretend to be.

Low Point

The plot this week involves too many stupid decisions. Esther might check up on her sister, but she wouldn’t follow up during the middle of crucial maneuvers. Gwen wouldn’t take a call while she was performing a delicate operation (the attempt to mix suspense and humour, a Torchwood trademark, fell flat for me this week). More significantly, if Phicorp was shortsighted enough to give only one man access to their key server, he would be protected by more security than the president. They then would double that once Phicorp came under attack in the media.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 4/6

Story: 3/6

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Escape to L.A.” receives 29/42

Lingering Question

1. So, who are our secret villains? They’re anonymous and they say they’re “from everywhere,” but clearly, /b/ couldn’t pull this off on their own. The mystery villains hired the assassin– he discusses their identity, and he knows Jack– and Phicorp is involved with our villains, but the assassin had to break into Phicorp. Clearly, some distance exists between Phicorp and the mysterious puppetmasters.

2. What will we do with all those old and sick survivors in the next century?