Torchwood 4.9: The Gathering review

Review

The Gathering

(Ep9 of Torchwood Miracle Day)

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It’s the beginning of the end.

The Villains

After the last episode’s reappearance of Kitzinger and Danes, it’s still the new status quo for this duo that was established: they’ve parted company and she’s no longer providing PR for him. Kitzinger’s new venture though is an intriguing story-twist – she’s shown by the puppet-master villains The Families what Torchwood deduce caused Miracle Day: the axis that runs from Shanghai to Buenos Aires. tw

There’s something hilarious about the calculating nonchalance that Lauren Ambrose imbues the role of Julie Kitzinger with – what would be scenes of long exposition told to her character are made into great scenes by her presence. She’s really made the role into a higlight of the season.

The CIA

Rex is happy to fall back into the arms of the CIA now that he’s no longer on the run from them. Esther though is happier globetrotting, first accompanying Jack to Scotland, then joining Rex in Buenos Aires.tw

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John de Lancie brings a lot of fun to Torchwood for these episodes, something which should be a vital element of Torchwood amongst the omnipresent death and destruction. He’s a good foil for Mekhi Phifer, as both their characters can wisecrack with flair. As this story has had the “triangle” as a symbol almost from the start, it’s been interesting to see how the three opposing organisations (Torchwood, CIA, the shadowy villains) have helped or hindered one another, though of course the triangle symbol is literally symbolic of the villains, there’s been quite a few triangles (love triangles being a Torchwood speciality).

Torchwood

Gwen was deported at the end of the previous episode. Her storyline in this episode – continuing in Cardiff – expands on the Science Fiction “new world” strand of the story, and there’s more on the banality of evil, with the people “only following orders” are the ones Gwen is trying to save her father from.

The two-month gap (in the story, not the broadcast) between this ep and the last makes the spectacle of Gwen shuttling between continents slightly less frenetic, though she travels from Wales to Shanghai this episode, and is joined by Jack and – bizarrely – Oswald Danes.

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So the stage, or rather stages (Buenos Aires and Shanghai) are set for the final episode.

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

Wordbuilding  World-mapWorld-map

Gore                Weevil-chompWeevil-chompWeevil-chomp

Dancing           CarysCarys

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

Aliens             Philoctetes

Episode Quality-rating: GrinGrinGrinGrin4/5

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Torchwood reviews conclude this Thursday and the Top 10 Doctor Who monsters countdown concludes this weekend with number 1.
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(The Gathering on bbc.co.uk/programmes/)

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