Stars: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Kai Owen, Sharon Morgan, Nana Visitor, Tom Price, Daniele Favilli
Writer: Jane Espenson
Director: Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Network: Starz, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: August 19, 2011
In the seventh episode of the all-new BBC/Starz co-production of TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY, “Immortal Sins,” no good deed goes unpunished as Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) takes center stage – finally! Gwen (Eve Myles) races to deliver Jack to mysterious parties in exchange for her family, while Jack remembers a former lover and a nightmare involving his immortality back during the heyday of American immigration. Some think he’s a demon, some think he’s a hero, but is his ability to cheat death a curse or a blessing? A sin or a miracle?
Angelo Colasanto (Daniele Favilli) is an excellent addition to the saga, and the bedroom scene between him and Jack is heartfelt and sweet. Once again, though, things seem to skew toward Jack being perhaps more consistent in his attentions in both past and present than he’s ever been in previous stories. To be fair, we get a glimmer when Angelo points out a pretty girl and Jack says “I like a lot of things.” Jack also confesses some activities that could cover a wide range of partners, so OK then.
While we’re talking about continuity, I have to admit that I’m not up on the various details of Jack’s long journey through Earth history. Therefore, I can’t say with authority if the 1920s sequences mesh well, but they are indeed very welcome in this episode, as we finally start to get some of the old TORCHWOOD mood back via more back story about Jack’s long life.
As for Jack and Angelo, even when their relationship takes a dark turn and Jack reveals that he’s on the hunt for an object of unknown origin and power, Angelo’s devotion and conflict comes across very well. After so many long weeks of Jack being a guest star in his own show, this episode goes a long way to restoring the pivotal role of this once-immortal man and giving him something truly substantial to work with. The moment when Jack invokes the Doctor to suggest he wants Angelo to stay by his side should also resonate well with fans; it worked for me.
As if that isn’t enough, the story finally heads firmly back into full-mode science fiction and weaves tightly into modern DOCTOR WHO continuity with the revelation of an earwig-like alien creature being used in 1927 to skew the future of the United States and help Germany win World War II. And behind this plan? The Trickster’s Brigade! A tragic end to Jack and Angelo’s all-too-short adventure proves just a brief respite in their relationship, but when they’re reunited Jack soon has cause to regret ever helping Angelo in the first place. In this compelling look back, we see the ominous beginning of a triad and the birth of…a miracle.
One of the things I forgot to mention last week when discussing the serious pacing issues was the total absence of the Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman) and Jilly (Lauren Ambrose) plot, which seemed so crucial to the story in the previous five episodes. I hadn’t even noticed last time, but this week the absence of Pullman’s name in the opening credits lept out, so I guess he’s taking a break. Danes’ presence is felt in a radio report that reveals he’s advocating support of the medical categories and the use of the camps, but that’s not the same thing. Perhaps the juggling of all these plot threads wasn’t planned as well as it could have been?
But never mind, Barrowman picks up the slack, as does Myles with a brilliantly-written soul-searching speech by Gwen about how much she loved being part of Torchwood. As for guest stars, C. Thomas Howell and Ernie Hudson have made amusing (or perhaps bemusing) one-episode appearances, and this time it’s none other than Major Kira, Nana Visitor, stepping in for a very brief role that might continue next week.
After two episodes that sagged just a bit, this installment re-energizes the story, features a rousing action-packed finale on two fronts, and promises even more exciting twists and turns to come.
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Click on link: TORCHWOOD – “Immortal Sins” – Review #2
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Click on the link for AX’s review of DOCTOR WHO episode “The Rebel Flesh”
CLICK HERE for AX’s List on “THE FIVE QUESTIONS WE HOPE DOCTOR WHO – SERIES 6 ANSWERS”
CLICK HERE for Neil Gaiman talking about scripting his Season 6 DOCTOR WHO episode
CLICK HERE for brand new photos from DOCTOR WHO – Season 6 – including new poster
CLICK HERE to view the new EXTENDED SEASON 6 DOCTOR WHO trailer
CLICK HERE for Actor Mark Sheppard talking about his role in a Season 6 episode of DOCTOR WHO
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Article: Review – TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY – “Immortal Sins”