Torchwood: Miracle Day (Episode Four: Escape to L.A.) (Starz, Fridays, 10/9 Central) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Torchwood: Miracle Day (Episode Four: Escape to L.A.)

Starz, Fridays, 10/9 Central

Jul 29, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The pace (thankfully) picks back up with Escape to L.A., episode four of Torchwood: Miracle Day, after last week’s chat fest. Both Torchwood operative Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), and CIA analyst Ester Drummond (Alexa Havins) continue to struggle with the emotion repercussions of leaving behind loved ones to fend for themselves. But while the former’s attachments back in Wales make for a comedic foil to the action (refusing to take a call mid-mission—much to her husband and daughter’s dismay), the latter allows her emotional connections to cloud her judgment, making a series of rookie mistakes that will inevitably come back to haunt the team.

In an attempt to avoid the unnamed forces chasing them, the team transports the action from the dreary D.C. backdrop to Los Angeles. While the logic of their cross-country joy ride is never completely explained, it’s a fun moment to see Captain Jack (John Barrowman)—ubiquitous military jacket and all—take to the colorful sights of Venice Beach, CA.

While the particular “mission” of the episode feels less Torchwood and more Alias (including multiple disguises and—quite possibly—the world’s worst American accent), the moral implications of Miracle Day become a larger center of debate—thanks to a Tea Party-style candidate Ellis Hartley Monroe (Mare Winningham) who declares that all fatally ill or wounded people should be quarantined in separate facilities. It’s a line of reasoning that hits home for both Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer)—who should have died in the season opener after a pole went through his chest, and Dr. Vera Juarez (Arlene Tur), who’s trying to help keep the medial system afloat by any means necessary.

The highlight continues to be Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman). A burgeoning messianic figure with some very earthly concerns, his expanding role is—without a doubt—the series’ most creeptastic revelation. The public’s blanket acceptance of him is suspect (as even in a crisis we don’t really want a convicted rapist holding our children), but the panache in which he sells his new role is downright astounding. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for his conniving publicist Jilly Kitzinger (Lauren Ambrose), whose slippery persona blows hot and cold depending on the needs of the script.

A more energetic offering (complete with another engrossing ending) than the last episode, it’s more than enough to captivate fans. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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