s episode was also strong, but moreso in characters than in plot. Plot-wise, the mystery continues to be revealed tantalizingly a piece at a time, and this episode didnt reveal enough to satisfy my curiosity. Very little was explained about the plot - only that PhiCorp is being run by some invisible force and creating overflow camps for the undead who wont heal. Because the plot of the episode mostly focused around a mission that ended with a cop-out shot-just-before-he-could-say-the-name-of-the-bad-guys moment, the episode felt like filler.
Thankfully Danes storyline saved the day and continued its progression from disturbing to extremely disturbing. The entire Dead Is Dead campaign was a fascinating example of the perspective people could take to the Miracle. Danes choice to go into the hospital and set himself up as a messiah-like figure for the despondent injured and ill was a perfect counter to Ellis Monroes campaign and values. Watching him inspire hope in people was downright creepy. I cant wait to see his role as the messiah of the Miracle unfold.
Jillys sheer joy at his actions was fun comic relief - she knows PR, and true to her profession, she loves it when someone pull a good PR play. Her scene where she tells Danes how much she cant stand him, especially to even look at his hands, was a great piece of character development for her. Up until now shes just been this agent with no soul or personal opinion and completely focused on the job. That moment reminded the audience that though shes working for PhiCorp and on the ground level of the Miracle, shes still just a puppet and not at the top of the foodchain, a very human puppet who knows exactly what shes doing. Though she might be the devil walking the earth, she still has some morals, just ones she sets aside for her job.
As an American, Id like to make note that mayor Monroe was part of the Tea Party. Oh Russell T. Davies. That man loves to knock on Americas right side of politics and glorify its left. Cases in point: the stupidity of President Winters in the season 3 finale of Doctor Who (granted, everyone mocks him) and President Obamas plan that would have saved the world from financial crisis in the final David Tennant Doctor Who specials. Though it makes a lot of sense for someone of the Tea Party to come up with a campaign like Dead Is Dead since it relies on a fairly religious fundamentalist view of the world, I just find it funny to see Davies ongoing biases in his TV writing. Im completely fine with his bias - hes not a journalist, and since I love his writing that means I want to see his biases since those are quintessentially a part of his writing. I just find them funny since theyre so blatant and dont actually need to be in Doctor Who and Torchwood at all for the sake of the stories.
Going back to the episode, I also loved the character development we gained with Rex and Esther, especially because the focus was on family. Rex visited his father because hes scared, though he wont show the rest of Torchwood. He should have died and he knows it, and he wanted to hear, I love you son and everything is going to be okay. Instead his father was still just angry, refusing the olive branch and hammering another nail into the coffin of his relationship with Rex. Rex tells his father that he died, and his father doesnt care - Rexs expression after that moment was just so sad. And Esthers decision to report her sister, Sarah, to child services was equally heart wrenching, especially when it led to her sisters children being taken away. It was a hard choice with unexpected repercussions, and the actress and the writers portrayed this very well.
These back stories are continuing a running theme in this season of Torchwood - family. Along with Rexs father and Esthers sister, Gwen is willing for Rhys to put himself and Anwen in danger to protect her father, and then her father becomes tied into the plot as hes sent to one of the overflow camps. This family life even extends into the mission, with Esther placing the whole Torchwood team in danger by visiting her sisters house in person and then becoming an emotional wreck due to her phone call to child services, and Gwen actually talking to Rhys on the phone in the middle of the mission. All this presence of family brings the Miracle and the nature of Torchwood home - though all this is a big picture issue ultimately it affects people, and though the Torchwood team might have to act like spies and super heroes, theyre still people who at the end of the day have families.
But this presence of family also highlights Jacks lack thereof, made even more jarring in the hilarious but also bittersweet scene where Jack and Gwen pretend to be an obnoxious couple to gain the biometrics of Nicolas Frumkin, the PhiCorp engineer. Watching them hold hands was a sad moment of what might have been. Jack has no personal stake left in this world, except Gwen. This focus on family is again showing Jacks isolation. Its setting up whether or not he wants to die.