Torchwood: Miracle Day continues this week with the rather innocently titled “Categories of Life,” but what transpires is anything but. As people continue not dying around planet earth, Phicorp has the response for dealing with the scant supply of hospital beds and scarce medical supplies. And in a plan of which Adolph Hitler and Joseph Mengle would be proud, Phicorp, with the willing—and perhaps desperate—cooperation of most national governments have created so-called “categories of life.”
Category 3 is for healthy people; Category 2 is for folks are ill, but not terminal. But if you’ve been mortally injured or fatally ill, and would have died, you are Category 1.
As hospital facilities burst at the seams, the sick and injured are taken to “overflow” camps that strongly resemble battlefield hospitals. Overworked physicians and other health care practioners triage the incoming and tag them with blue (Category 2) or red (Category 1) clothespins. In agony and needing treatment, the patients await their fate.
Learning about the categorization, the horrified Dr. Vera Juarez (Arlene Tur) joins “the fight,” meeting ex-CIA agent (and non-dead) Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) in Venice Beach, where Torchwood now set up its new base. The government, she relates to the team, now has the power over life and death. But where does this put people like Rex, who was “mortally” wounded in Episode 1, but seems to be slowly healing? Is he a “2” or a “1?” he wonders.
At the end of the last episode, Gwen (Eve Myles) had learned that her father, who’d suffered a heart attack, has now been relocated to an overflow camp in Wales. Leaving Jack and the others in California, she flees back to Cardiff desperate to rescue her father, but frustrated at every turn. However, after infiltrating the camp as a nurse using false papers, Gwen discovers some of the horror of the “overflow camps.”
Back in L.A. the rest of the team try to infiltrate the local overflow facility at San Pedro. Rex is the natural choice to go undercover as a Category 1, since he’d been impaled at the start of Episode 1 (and certainly would have died). But because he is slowly healing, he does not appear to be as badly injured as he is. He’s clearly not an obvious Category 1 at this point, and Esther Drummond (Alex Havins) now working as a clerk in the understaffed and overworked San Pedro camp, hacks the files in order to get him reclassified with the dreaded red pin. Taken to a barracks-like building, Rex quickly pulls out a camera and starts making a video record of the camp—evidence!