Stars: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Lauren Ambrose, Kai Owen, Bill Pullman, Arlene Tur, Wayne Knight
Writer: Jane Espenson
Director:  Billy Gierhart
Network: Starz, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: July 22, 2011

Last week I was speculating how long it would take to have the mysterious group behind “The Miracle” unveiled, and it looks like this week in “The Dead of Night”, the layers have started to peel back to reveal some of the machinations. PhiCorp is a pharmaceutical company that is stock piling so many meds and antibiotics they could keep the planet healthy for years, that or they are gearing up for a war. It’s clear in this episode that whatever PhiCorp is behind the green velvet curtain; it they didn’t create the miracle keeping everyone alive on Earth, they are at the very least one of the major players in the game.

Brian Friedkin (Wayne Knight) gets a cozy visit from former CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer), who offers to find very creative places to shoot him if Friedkin doesn’t offer up whatever he knows about the masterminds determined to stamp out Torchwood, and any kind of CIA involvement in uncovering the truth about the miracle. I admit I was disappointed that Friedkin didn’t alien out into some kind of critter when threatened. I really thought that he might be like a Slitheen (a gassy alien race  from DOCTOR WHO) and be wearing a people suit, but no such luck.

Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) decides since he’s mortal to not only indulge his human side and urges, but to go whole hog. Jack finds himself in a gay bar and goes home with the bartender. There is a hot and heavy sex scene between the two, and there is also an interesting and poignant message in the dialogue about the spread of HIV. Jack’s bartender offers to have sex with him without protection since no one is dying anymore, and Jack tells him that it only means more years of regretting a bad decision. I thought that was a really nice statement. Since HIV and AIDS aren’t killing in the gay community like they were when the epidemic started, and there are all sorts of medications that make HIV less of a death sentence – there has been more of a trend towards unprotected sex. It was kind of nice to see Torchwood make a statement.

I’m sure there is going to be a backlash of some kind because of the gay sex shown during the episode, but it was intercut with a straight sex scene between Rex and Dr. Juarez (Arlene Tur). Hopefully people won’t get too up in arms about it. Also, while on the topic, Jack is omnisexual, but he has always clearly leaned a lot towards men. He has obviously had women in his bed, otherwise how would he have had a daughter and grandson in the last TORCHWOOD series?

One of the best scenes of this episode once again belongs to Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) who gets a drunk dial from Jack, and all he wants to talk about is how they don’t need anyone but each other to survive in this world.  Simultaneous with that Gwen finally gets to Skype with her husband Rhys (Kai Owen) and their baby. The emotion and the dichotomy of Gwen’s conversation with Jack that has vested emotions and the stronger emotions of getting to see that her family is alright are expertly handled and Eve Myles once again knocks it out of the park.

Honestly, that’s one of the reasons I enjoy TORCHWOOD and DOCTOR WHO so much, is even though they are science fiction TV shows, there is always a core of reality and drama to them. The characters act like real people, instead of just two-dimensional stereotypes put there to act as a foil to whatever the SPFX teams throw at them.

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Click on link: TORCHWOOD – “Dead of Night”  – Review #1
Click on link: TORCHWOOD – “Rendition”  – Review #2

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Article: Review – TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY – “Dead of Night” – Review #2

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