At the beginning of each episode of the original Torchwood series, Captain Jack Harkness proclaimed, “Torchwood: outside the government, beyond the police. Fighting for the future on behalf of the human race. The 21st Century is when everything changes and Torchwood is ready.” This statement captured the excitement and allure of the original series, hinting at the significance of the rift in time and space that just happened to be located in Cardiff, Wales.
Likewise, the seventh episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day, “Immortal Sins” is when everything changes and the various threads of the season are gathered together in a simply masterful and superb manner. Any doubts that I might have had up to this point simply dissipated in what is possibly the best Torchwood episode I have seen to date.
“Immortal Sins” opens up at Ellis Island, New York City, 1927. A man responds to the call of the immigration inspector for a ‘Jack Harkness’. Seconds later, Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) comes barrelling through, toppling the man and accusing him of stealing his visa. I would refer to him as the ‘real’ Jack Harkness but we all know that is not true.
And so we meet Angelo Colasanto (Daniele Favilli), an Italian immigrant that Jack ultimately assists in entering the United States and with whom he falls in love. Much of the episode focuses on their tender and passionate love affair as Jack helps Angelo to come to terms with his sexuality.
Meanwhile, in present day, Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) tases Jack and bundles him into a car. In the first of several powerful scenes featuring Gwen and Jack, Gwen explains that the lenses are in her eyes, that she is being monitored and that they have her husband, mother and child. As we weave in and out of the story of Jack and Angelo, Jack offers himself in place of Gwen’s family but no further communication is offered through the lenses. Jack tries to negotiate with Gwen to untie him and very nearly succeeds, only to be met at the last minute with the full extent of Gwen’s rage. She explains that she loves him but would not hesitate to sacrifice him to save her daughter.