Review of Torchwood ‘The Gathering’
At last the slack has been picked up and the finale set in motion. The Blessing was revealed to be a red alien life form that ran through the centre of the earth from Shanghai to Buenos Aires.
After several stilted episodes, ‘The Gathering’ felt like it had been given a shot of adrenaline with the pace picking up and the plotlines beginning to intersect. A grudging alliance was formed between Torchwood and Danes. The team then split into two with Gwen, Jack and Danes going to China while Rex and Esther went to Argentina. In the meantime Jilly was taken to see The Blessing and it told her that she “was right”, about what exactly is yet to be discovered.
The biggest twist was right at the end of the episode when droplets of Jack’s blood moved of their own accord towards The Blessing. For the entire series Jack has been saying that his blood is not the reason for his immortality. He was killed by the Daleks and brought back to life when Rose absorbed the energy from the time vortex in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘The Parting of the Ways’, series 27/1. The reason for his immortality has always been ambiguous but next week may reveal the reason why his life is endless.
It was nice to see ‘Torchwood’ return to the UK temporarily with a reunion in Gwen’s kitchen. And it will be interesting to see how a future series of ‘Torchwood’ will justify the constant shift between Europe and America. It may start to appear superfluous and a bit redundant if done too much. Gwen’s constant transatlantic travelling helped ‘Miracle Day’ to keep a foot in Wales but there is only so long that the show can keep doing this. One can only wonder how many air miles Gwen has racked up in this series.
There were again some weak moments in the writing but it was the same issue as before, namely the sudden resolution of a cliff hanger. ‘The Gathering’ picked up two months after the events of last week which meant that Jack was in Scotland and no longer on the verge of death. The audience does not find out either how Esther saved Jack or how they ended up in Scotland. The series has 10 episodes and yet it does not take the time to play out these resolutions fully. Throughout ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’ there has been a lack of connection between the episodes. Although some of the episodes have been brilliant in themselves as a series it has felt quite disjointed.
As a build-up to the end, ‘The Gathering’ was fantastic. It was exciting and it felt as if the story was going somewhere. At times there was an element of information overload with Rex and the CIA following up leads. Yet it was engaging with subtle satire threaded in, there were mentions of the economic turmoil caused by the Miracle which parallel the turbulent state of our own economy.
Next week is the final part of series 4 and it will be intriguing to see just how the show ends. Previous ‘Torchwood’ finales are usually a loaded with tragedy, although the aliens are defeated there is always a loss of life on some scale. At the end of ‘Children of Earth’, Jack sacrificed his grandson to save all the other children in the world. The other casualty of the 456 was Ianto. The conclusion of series 2 saw Tosh and Owen die after they managed to prevent a nuclear meltdown. Therefore, it is safe to assume that there will be at least one victim of ‘Miracle Day’ which may well be Rex or Danes or both.
Image credit: BBCTagged in: doctor who, John Barrowman, torchwood
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