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Miracle Day – Sometimes, wheels just need to spin

Sometimes, episodes need to be filled, and wheels need to spin. Thus, alas, was this episode of 'Torchwood: Miracle Day.'

- Season 4, Episode 6 - "The Middle Men"

This episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day seemed a bit off to me. Perhaps it was the lack of Oswald Danes and Jilly Kitzinger (I can tell you it was decidedly not the lack of Dr. Juarez). Or maybe I don’t like the team so completely separated and working independently (even Esther and Rex, on the same base, only spent the last couple of minutes together). Most likely, though, is that this episode was an exercise in wheel spinning.

It was, however, not entirely unexpected. One of the pitfalls that Torchwood has always been tripped up by is the occasional filler episode. The events of this week were like a bridge connecting the discovery of the purpose of the modules, and whatever happens next week. Unfortunately, very little happened in “The Middle Men” until the closing minutes.

The setup for next week, however, looks incredibly good. The question for Gwen will never … well, at least shouldn’t ever be … one between her family and Jack. She has proven in her years in Torchwood, that she can manage the balance better than anyone ever could. Will she go to Jack with her problem, or capitulate to the kidnappers? If you stuck around for the preview for next week’s “Immortal Sins,” then you already know the answer. I have a feeling that I’ll have much to say on her choice.

Some interesting questions were asked, however. What is the Blessing? If PhiCorp isn’t behind the Miracle, then who is? And why is Jack Harkness so important to them?

Ernie Hudson continued the seemingly random parade of guest stars. I think that he will end up the same as all of the others … just around for one episode before moving on. It is a shame, actually, because several of the characters introduced are ones I would have liked to see again (I’m looking at you, Mare Winningham). My guess is that it is the same types of challenges in transition from a five episode serialized story to ten episodes.

Which brings me to Children of Earth. There’s bit quite a bit of criticism around the internets of Miracle Day for not living up to last season. While I’ve had a couple of relatively minor problems with the narrative this season, I’m not sure it is entirely fair to compare it to CoE; because, let’s face it … last season was a pretty much perfect five hours of television. It is difficult to follow something like that under the best of circumstances. Toss in the doubling of episodes, introducing a new cast, and you’ve got some definite challenges. All things considered, I think that Miracle Day has been fun, thought provoking television.

Photo Credit: Starz

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