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Torchwood: Miracle Day – The End is Near

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Three families: one at the center world’s economy; one managing the world’s political landscape, and the third contolling the media. This is at the core of The Miracle surrounding Torchwood: Miracle Day as it draws to its season finale later this week. A plan likely in the making for decades, simmering just below the surface, it is a plan for world domination. A plan only made possible—or perhaps made easier—by something called The Blessing.

A would-be assassin tells Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) early in the series that it’s “about geography.” And so it is. We finally meet up with The Blessing in the latest Torchwood episode, the penultimate of this season—if not the series. (We don’t know if it’s the end of the entire series, since nothing has yet been indicated about future seasons.)

So, what is The Blessing and how does it connect with various strands of the show’s narrative thus far? Running all the way through the earth from Buenos Aires to Shanghai—two major population centers—The Blessing is an immense, red organic structure, matter swirling about it. The Phicorp logo, the symbol for the Greek letter Phi is a graphic representation of The Blessing, a subtle message suggesting both the splitting of the world and its interconnection.

It draws people in psychically, sometimes making them crazy—like looking upon the face of God. It seems to be drawing the blood of Jack Harkness in a much more physical way—calling to him. But why?

The Families, behind The Miracle, and the likely discoverers (and likely enhancement) of The Blessing, plan to rule the world by first by fracturing the it into chaos and then unifying it under their own set of rules. The Blessing is both modus operandi and avatar for the evil being carried out by The Families.

Dictatorships often emerge from the chaos and the void created in financial, political and social security. And as each of the families hone in on their part of the conspiracy, they will secure their place as saviors of the world—while Earth’s population gladly accepts whatever will bring it back to a state of normalcy. Order from the chaos. It’s a diabolical plan.

But what has this to do with Captain Jack? How is it connected to his blood or his bloodline—to his immortality? Is Jack’s blood, merged with the Blessing and spread around the planet through the morphic field it produces the cause of The Miracle? Did his blood, combined with the energy of The Blessing, cause a reversal of polarity in a sense between Captain Jack Harkness and the rest of Earth’s inhabitants? And if so, how is it stopped?

In my opinion, the rest of the story and its many threads, while important are simply threads that hold together the story of the conspiracy and its triumvirate of tentacles. Politically, The Families have their tentacles weaving right up into the highest levels of government. Everything has been co-opted, even the CIA in the U.S. and governments all over the world. Phicorp has the way to address the political and societal issues The Miracle has created—from massive chronic illness to disposing of the undesirables through “overflow camps.” Phicorp is Blackwater—only much bigger and better hidden. The categories are but a means to an end, and perhaps ultimately a way to squelch dissent and destroy enemies. They are used to create fear and a compliant public, especially when combined with a powerful and well crafted message.

Where does Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman in his creepiest role) come into the picture—and why? Danes, I think, is a guinea pig. He is the ultimate test of The Families’ ability to message—and control the media. If Danes’ reputation can be rehabilitated, his story made compelling and not repulsive, then the media can be used to make the world’s inhabitants believe anything about anyone.

The biggest challenge to Danes comes from a Tea Party politician whose “Dead is Dead” campaign, running counter to Phicorp’s message. But Danes steps up, squelching her voice. And the politician? She’s crushed, politically—and physically in the most gruesome way.

Standing behind Danes is public relations whiz kid Jilly Kitzinger (Lauren Ambrose, who I’m liking better and better as the series has progressed), encouraging him crafting his message, repulsed by Danes as she is drawn to him. She makes him articulate and with Danes’ own latent charm, he becomes a media darling—loved by the media despite the disgust of the public. The experiment is successful; arm number two is in place. But eventually no longer required by The Families, Danes becomes expendable. Jilly, however, proving herself as a master of messaging, moves up the ladder to rewrite history. And with the medium so easily manipulated, the message—the revisionist message—however The Families will rewrite recent history will be put in place easily. No muss, no fuss.

The final arm of the conspiracy is economic control. The Miracle itself has taken care of that. Overpopulation, incredible stress on the health care system, food and energy shortages all conspire to collapse the world’s economic stability. By last week’s “The Gathering,” taking place a few months into the future, the world is in the throes of a Great Depression with the economy in tatters. The stage is set for easy takeover by any group promising a resumption of normalcy and stability. Voila.

And as we approach the final episode airing this Friday on Starz, it really comes down to Jack and Gwen (Eve Myles) of the original Torchwood Cardiff team. Since the beginning of Miracle Day, Jack has been targeted by The Families for death. And it’s understandable. Jack holds more than one key to the conspiracy and he has always been the person most poised to unravel it.

And in the season finale, with the world at stake (Okay Torchwood fans, how many times have we been here before?), I rather have no one other than Captain Jack ready to save it. The season finale of Torchwood: Miracle Day airs Friday evening at 10:00 p.m. on Starz.

So, agree or disagree? What’s your take on the series so far?

 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • http://www.georgevassallo.com George Vassallo

    I’ve enjoyed all of the new Torchwood. It has evolved in new and different ways but there is plenty of the real essence of the show to savor. Jack and Gwen still stir the drink. Bill Pullman was simply magnificent as Oswald Danes. Please – More Torchwood!

  • http://www.thiscouldbegood.co.uk ianjolley

    Nice read. This series has been far different to any other and it has been a successful transition from national treasure to international acclaim.
    The story has evolved and I dare anyone to claim its predictability. Clever artful writing has produced a masterpiece for TV which will definately bleed into Dr Who at some point in the near future.
    if Torchwood doesn’t continue after this superb season rest ashured the character of Captain Jack will be around on the BBC for some years yet.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Thanks, Ianjolley! I’d never really seen Torchwood until this series (my friends had been hounding me about Doctor Who for years (and years) to watch it). I’m glad I found it. It made me a fan not only of Torchwood, but of Doctor Who as well!