Touch 2.07 "Ghosts" TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: David Eick
Director: Seth Mann
THE ONE WHERE With a nod to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None , Martin, Lucy, Jake and the Breakwire team are locked into their offices on a dark and stormy night by Ortiz, who hunts down Jake and kills those who get in his way.
VERDICT “Ghosts” starts so well. There are a couple of quiet, touching little scenes between Martin and Jake (dad goes to brush his kid's hair; Jake almost lets it happen) and Lucy and Martin (he does get to brush her hair). Then the tension starts to build as we realise that Ortiz is up to no good, chaining shut the doors of the Breakwire office and knocking out the power (notice how the lights go off in the skyscrapers on the horizon, too: imagine how many people's evening meals he ruined, the git). We see Jake starting to rock, affected by the presence of his enemy, and as the torches come out and the lightning flashes, it's a dramatic time for our heroes...
But then it all goes wrong. With the exception of some very well put-together fights during the finale (the reason this episode has an extra star), the middle of the episode is basically “People Walking Down Corridors With Flashlights”. We've seen it in a million horror films and thrillers, so much so that when Martin suggests splitting up and searching the building alone, you want to scream. He's just found two people with their throats slit, but he doesn't think it's a good idea to search for his missing son in a group for safety? Arrrgghhhhh!
Add to this some serious plot clichés and stretches. Ortiz falls off a building and walks away, for instance. He was wearing a vest to cope with Martin's bullets, but a fall that huge would have killed him for sure: does he have superpowers? Is he Jason Voorhees? Lucy says the line, “What is this place?” in two scenes: about the same place, for heaven's sake, and to Jake, who can't reply. There's also a painful exchange when she's told, “Two people's throats have been slashed!” and instead of asking “Who?” like any sane person, she asks, “Where?” Battlestar Galactica 's David Eick wrote this script – we know he can do better than this!
Elsewhere, newcomer Dutch (the legendary Keith David, wasted in this role) seems to have been shoehorned into the plot simply so that he can die heroically while saving Jake. He deserved more. It might have been better if Trevor had died instead; at least we knew him! (Although he's cool, so I'm glad he didn't snuff it.)
Still, complaints aside, the first 10 minutes and the final 10 minutes of this episode are pretty decent, with marvellous fights between Ortiz and just about everybody, and a fascinating reveal: Jake was born on the day that Ortiz's wife and child died.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
NUMBERS GAME 10 26 2000 – the date of Jake's birth, and the date Ortiz lost his wife and child, which we see briefly in flashback. Perhaps because we're seeing it through his eyes, her face is in colour and everything else is in black and white.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
BUTTERFLY FAIL Jake colours in a page of a book to make what is clearly half of a butterfly. Yet Lucy doesn't recognise it until she holds the book up to a mirror, reflecting back the other side of the insect. Does she need glasses? It's obvious! Perhaps this made more sense in the script than on screen.
HIS NAME'S BAUER... JACK BAUER Blam! Blam! Blam! Martin blows Ortiz away like he's a terrorist threatening to blow up Los Angeles/kill the president/kidnap his daughter. Go Jack! Er, Martin.
LEARNING CURVE Jake and Amelia can now talk telepathically, which is pretty cool. Even cooler, Jake talks to Ortiz using his thoughts, almost stopping him dead.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
WHERE IS AMELIA? Throughout the episode, as a lovely counterpoint to its dark and gloomy feel, we see Amelia in a bright, sunny garden. At the end it's revealed that she's actually sitting in a laboratory and the garden is all in her imagination.
Lucy: “What is this place?” [So good she said it twice!] [ You’re taking the piss, aren’t you? – ed ]
Touch season 2 will air in the UK shortly on Sky