Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Mazouz
Writer:
 Part 1: Teleplay by Carol Barbee & Robert Levine, Story by Jonathan I. Kidd and Sonya Wilson; Part 2: Tim Kring and Rob Fresco
Director: Part 1: Nelson McCormick; Part 2: Greg Beeman
Network: Fox, airs Thursday nights
Original Telecast: May 31, 2012

The thing about TOUCH is that you get the feeling that this is the show HEROES could have been if Tim Kring (and/or his writers) hadn’t hooked into their darker sides. There’s a dark side to this show, what with the big, bad conspiracy by Aster Corps. to use Jake for its own purposes (another shade of Heroes). But ultimately, TOUCH is filled with hope and the belief that good really can come out of tragedy. “Gyre”, Parts 1 and 2 are all about that. Not only that, we get to reconnect with some familiar characters in a way that sets everything up for Season 2.

Part 1 is brought to us by the number 2217, and we are introduced to it via Jake’s (David Mazouz) description of the Great Pacific Gyre, a huge eddy current also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Most of the debris caught in the eddy stays there, but every now and then, stuff breaks loose. Yes, I googled it because I had heard about the Gyre and when Jake mentioned the rubber ducks in the early episode narration, I had to check. It’s on Wikipedia.

But more to the point, Abigail (Catherine Dent) and Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) are going back and forth about Abigail’s bosses at Aster Corps. Turns out Abigail’s sister Sarah had been approached when Jake was born. Jake, however, starts playing with the crystal dodecahedron on Abigail’s desk and goes and tosses it onto a cop’s car. Then while Martin gets him off with the cops, Jake wedges the dodecahedron into a password locked door that just happens to lead to the Medical Examiner’s Archives, which turns up the file on Amelia Robbins. Yeah, that Amelia. Turns out her thing is ocean tides and currents and she drew all kinds of maps of them.

Then we head back to the beach where Lucy (Maria Bello) is strolling along, checking the countdown on her her phone. She finds a tent staked out and Wade (Ian Gomez, who knocks it out of the park in a very touching dramatic role). Wade, who is more than a little touchy, is collecting debris that washes up on shore and putting it on the Internet. Lucy realizes the debris is probably from last year’s tsunami, gets fried and accuses Wade of trying to make money on other people’s tragedy.

And speaking of the tsunami, in Japan, a young boy Seiji, is trying to break the world record for dribbling a soccer ball and has even attracted the interest of the local news station. Turns out he and his parents have been living in government housing since surviving the tsunami and his father Tatsoro (Junichi Yanagita) is hoping to find out if he will be able to go back to work finally. Tatsoro, more than a little stressed out, isn’t thrilled about his son’s attempt, snarling that the kid is descended from a samurai and now he’s doing this?

Martin, however, is researching Amelia’s autopsy report and – how odd – the pictures and many other parts of the autopsy record are missing. So Martin calls her father Frank Robbins, who is not interested and snarls that his ex-wife insists on believing Amelia is alive and she’s nuts.

Back on the beach, Lucy challenges Wade accusing him of having no shame. “I’ve got nothing but shame,” Wade shoots back. Ouch.

And where’s Clea (Gugu Mbatha-Raw)? Back at the center, trying to keep things together for Jake, even though Sheri (Roxanna Brusso) is threatening her.

And in Teller’s room, Avram’s (Bodhi Elfman) Hasidic colleagues are arguing with him about Martin – it’s something about the Kaballah and mysticism and the fact that Jake is probably one of the 36 Righteous Ones (and you have to figure something isn’t quite translating there, but then I don’t know much about Kaballah). So Martin does some digging and it turns out that Amelia did speak on camera and mentions that she had her appendix out. Funny, there’s an appendix listed on the autopsy. Ah-hah! Proof the dead kid in the autopsy report was not Amelia. Alas, Martin get clubbed before he can get the info to Clea.

Back to the beach, Wade finally spills his story. He was in a mall when the tsunami hit and managed to hold onto something. And there was a woman there (any guesses as to who?). He tried to help her, telling jokes and encouraging her, but she still slipped away about an hour before Wade was rescued. Wade isn’t selling the debris – he’s putting it online so people can claim it.

Turns out, there is no job for Tatsoro and he messes up Seiji’s attempt at the world record and in a fit of anger, the kid kicks the soccer ball right into the rack where the family’s samurai sword should have been. Except it was lost in the tsunami. Guess where we’re going with this, cause like we’ve already seen a samurai sword in Wade’s tent with the number 2217 on it.

Lucy sees Seiji’s Mom, Mrs. Osugi (Tamlyn Tomita) on the news playing on Wade’s laptop and sure enough the symbol on the sword matches the broken rack and, shock, shock, she is the woman that Wade tried to help. But it gets more interesting, after Martin escapes getting dumped on the subway tracks, we find out what Lucy was counting down for. Her daughter Amelia was obsessed with ocean tides and currents. Lucy had fed the numbers into some computer program and they sent her to that beach at that time. But no Amelia. However, Wade points out that the currents have changed and shows her how.

Back at the care center, the Review Board (bought and paid for by Aster Corps) has given the state custody of Jake and when Martin seeks out Clea’s help, she seems to be supporting the Board.

Which brings us to Part 2, which features most of our familiar characters, in particular Randall (Titus Welliver), the lottery winner from the pilot who it turns out had carried Sarah Bohm partway down the towers on 9/11, but had to leave her for dead. Well, he’s finishing painting the church he set out to rebuild with a young kid Colin (Charles Henry Wyson) who just received a sextant from a pawn shop in New York City, where Martin has just bought a gun, but no bullets.

Oh, and there’s this young man looking for brothers Jamar and Thomas Becko to bring them back together as part of a project that will result in singers from all over the world singing the same song together. He catches up with Lucy when his car breaks down and Lucy agrees to let him ride with her.

Ah, but as Martin heads for the care center with gun in hand to get Jake, turns out Clea wasn’t working for the bad guys – she was helping Jake escape. But when Martin goes home, Jake isn’t there, but has left the clue 4370. That’s his mom’s birthday and sure enough, Jake’s hanging at the cemetery, courtesy of Walter King (Robert Patrick Benedict), the Invisible Prince who writes numbers, too.

Randall and Colin start playing with the sextant and it turns up the numbers that Randall won the lottery with, so in spite of the fact that he’s taking a shine to Colin and his mother, he decides to take off and deliver a message.

The bad guys have taken all of Teller’s work, which has Avram a little non-plussed, but he agrees that Martin and Jake must be helped and arranges for bus tickets for the two of them. Oh yeah, it’s the wrong bus. Jake wants to take bus 4370 to Los Angeles. The only problem is the bad guys find them – good thing Martin forgot to buy bullets.

Our musical friend does find Thomas Becko (Sundra Oakley) in L.A., only he’s now a she. And Randall’s GPS leads him under a bridge with nothing there. Frustrated, he pulls out. Martin and Jake take off running between buses, Martin goes one way, but Jake, as usual, goes the other and nearly gets hit by Randall’s car. Randall recognizes them from the pilot and realizes they’re Sarah Bohm’s family and he tells them about her death and how she wasn’t afraid and that she loved them very, very much. Oh, and Randall gives them the car so that they can escape to Los Angeles, specifically the Santa Monica Pier, where a map flies away from a woman nearby, which, of course, is Lucy and sure enough, she tells them about Amelia and they all realize, looking out at the ocean, that this was meant to be. And Jake takes Martin’s hand.

So, I’m guessing the show is going to be set in L.A. now, which works since they’ve been shooting here all along (it’s always fun when we spot local landmarks standing in for New York and elsewhere). And you’ve got to love the great sense of hope that the show ends with. Let’s hope the same thing that tripped up HEROES in Season 2, doesn’t happen with TOUCH.

Related: Exclusive Interview with TOUCH creator Tim Kring on Season 2 and what HEROES Season 5 would have been

Related Article: Exclusive Interview with TOUCH star Kiefer Sutherland on his new series and the 24 movie

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with TOUCH creator Tim Kring

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Related Link: Exclusive Interview with TOUCH guest star Bodhi Elfman

Related LinkTV Review: TOUCH –Season 1 – “Noosphere Rising”

Related Link: TV Review: TOUCH –Season 1 – “Entanglement”

Related Link: TV Review: TOUCH –Season 1 – “Safety in Numbers”

Related LinkTV Review: TOUCH –Season 1 – “1+1=3″

Related Link: TV Review: TOUCH –Season 1 – “Pilot” – Season Premiere 

Related Link: Kiefer Sutherland says his TOUCH role is different from 24′s Jack Bauer

Related Link: Kiefer Sutherland says 24 movie will shoot this Spring

Related Link: AX’s Exclusive Interview with Howard Gordon on 24 movie

Related Link: Review of 24 – THE COMPLETE FINAL SEASON DVD

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Article: TV Review – TOUCH – Season 1 finale – “Gyre” – Pt. 1 and 2

 

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