Torchwood 4.4: Escape to L.A. review

Review

Escape to L.A.

(Ep4 of Torchwood Miracle Day)

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It’s a new look for the Torchwood duo.

Torchwood

twNot just the constant bright sunshine of Los Angeles, (a contrast to Cardiff), but both Jack and Gwen change out of their regular togs (WWII greatcoat and leathers respectively) for new costumes. Jack masquerading as a maintenance man isn’t quite as spectacular as Gwen’s black dress and heels. (She does have a line that points up how impractical heels are – so it doesn’t seem this will be a regular costume.)

Torchwood are still following up their PhiCorp leads as they try to solve the mystery and who created the Miracle Day – there’s a development at the end of the episode though which widens the scope beyond it just being a nefarious pharmaceutical company.

It’s fun to see Jack ‘n Gwen go “Mission Impossible”, in a dark season so far it’s a frothy sequence, before the sinister mans turns up to spoil their plans that is.

The CIA

Rex is trying to keep in contact with Vera, but she has her own plotline this week and can’t meet up with him.

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While Jack ‘n’ Gwen are off on their mission, the CIA/Torchwood guys Esther and Rex each catch up with their families – Esther her sister and nieces, Rex his estranged father. These scenes explore more of what this new “after Miracle Day” world would mean for people – not just no-one dying, but people’s attitudes, how people are changed or unchanged by this new situation.

Vera has her own scenes away from the others, that show more aspects of this new world of healthcare. She’s shown the new “overflow” hospitals.

The Villains

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twKitzinger and Danes are pleased with the media attention the latter is generating. The spotlight seems to be moving away though, thanks to Tea Party politician Ellis Hartley Monroe (who’s speaking for the idea of segregating healthcare, with the dead-if-not-for-Miracle-Day kept well away from “regular folks”).

With the cameras rolling, Oswald Danes makes the gesture of walking amongst the undying people of the “overflow” hospital – not it seems as he cares particularly, but as a way of keeping the limelight on himself.

Later, the politician is stopped from creating anymore media distractions by “The Families” – are these the same as “Them” that the man who interrupts Jack ‘n’ Gwen’s PhiCorp mission?

Before he can explain – he’s silenced by Rex, who saves his Torchwood colleagues.

The theme of how the Miracle Day is affecting the main characters’ lives beyond their mystery-solving club is expanded, with Gwen’s father’s plotline dovetailing with that of the sinister “overflow camps”.

It’s an episode then that’s by gradually sketching in small character moments for each of the five-person Torchwood team actually fills in part of the picture of the bigger plot in a subtle.

So it’s not just PhiCorp, but a more amorphous ultimate villain controlling all this it seems – one with a triangle logo…

Quantity-ratings (click here for guide to rating system):

Wordbuilding  World-mapWorld-mapWorld-map

Gore                Weevil-chompWeevil-chompWeevil-chompWeevil-chomp

Dancing           CarysCarysCarysCarys

Angst               Tear-stained-pizzaTear-stained-pizzaTear-stained-pizzaTear-stained-pizza

Aliens             Philoctetes

Episode Quality-rating: GrinGrinGrinGrin4/5

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The Top 10 Doctor Who monsters countdown continues on Saturday, more Torchwood reviews Tuesday and Thursday of next week.
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(Escape to L.A. on bbc.co.uk/programmes/)

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