With just one episode to go one might expect that the various plot strands would coalesce into a coherent direction leading to a grand finale ... but at the end of The Gathering I'm still not entirely sure what it is all about ...
The Blessing: is it a creation constructed by the Three Families from Jack's essence, a naturally occurring part of the planet that has been discovered and harnessed, a living entity that has been manipulated, or something else entirely? It certainly felt like a nod to Douglas Adams and the Total Perspective Vortex! (Not to mention appearing as a euphemism for Mother Earth?!!)
Why do the Families want Jilly to "write history"? There's already been one reference to such an idea - with the Trickster Brigade subplot from Immortal Sins of altering events in the Second World War - so maybe it's attempt number two (though again what has this to do with Jack, unless he's just the catalyst).
Why was Oswald built up by the Families, just to seemingly be dropped right in it at the turn of a hat (well punch) last week? This week he revealed just how manipulative he can be in the way he handled the Cooper household, so is there a further revelation yet to come? He did have that meeting which hasn't been clarified yet in Dead of Night, after all.
Anyway, I imagine this is all going to resolved in The Blood Line ...
As for the episode itself, like last week it was an unfathomably intriguing and engrossing fifty minutes of television in spite of the lack of momentum exhibited, though some scenes again seemed a bit drawn out (and again only a couple of principal settings). There was a genuine level of fear and frustration over the ruthless and strangely unemotional investigation of Finch, but I really hope that Geraint's fate is resolved positively as otherwise that whole liberation and concealment is just another plot cul-de-sac that has been used simply to exploit the audience's emotions.
Character-wise, it must certainly have preyed on Gwen's mind, otherwise why on earth would she have been so stupid as to pull off her face mask during her ram-raid of the pharmacy? Yes, I know this is to demonstrate that it is her there, but I suspect us viewers would be able to work that out easily enough as she spoke to the passerby and she could easily have dumped the mask as she jogged away afterwards.
Rex was in "intelligent" mode again today, though it seemed to me that Charlotte was blatantly behaving suspiciously - I honestly thought the business with the digital version of the short story was a deliberate trap by Rex as he'd compare versions to see if it was tampered with, but I guess I was giving him too much credit there!
Oswald and Esther continue to be the the focal interest in the show for me. Though I fully expected Bill Pullman to feature strongly, I never suspected that Alexa Havins would be the shining light in the series (I would have placed more money on that being Lauren Ambrose in the lead-up). As I've said previously, I really hope that she outlives Miracle Day - though we're used to the minimal survival rate of popular characters in Torchwood. (My hopes of her and Jack partnering up are still simmering away!)
All-in-all, this episode continues the trend of the better episodes for me, so I have high hopes for the finale. But ... a hole running the diameter of the Earth between Shanghai and Buenos Aires, possibly the biggest piece of hokum this series has ever produced?!!!
Filters: Television Torchwood