Recap / Torchwood S 4 E 10 The Blood Line
Jilly pulls out a remote and uses it to pause the fifth series of Torchwood in an indefinite hiatus. Oh, you devil in a red dress, we'll getcha for this.

The final episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Currently the last television episode of Torchwood produced, with the Development Hell leading Russell T. Davies to decamp to Big Finish for Series 5, Aliens Among Us, which follows on from Miracle Day and Big Finish's own Torchwoood series.

Now aware that Jack's blood is drawn towards The Blessing, the Torchwood team uses small amounts of the blood to determine headings towards the two sites. Jack explains to Oswald that he's from the future, and he wishes he could share the stars with Oswald — because it would make Oswald realise what a sad little insignificant man he is. Oswald has something almost resembling a Heel Realization at that, but just not quite.

Rex and Esther contact the CIA for assistance in infiltrating the Buenos Aires site of The Blessing, at the same time keeping Jack, Gwen, and Oswald's presence in Shanghai a secret. Director Shapiro agrees to the request and puts his team on the task, including Charlotte, who surreptitiously reports the mission to The Three Families.

The Argentinian Army soon arrives to assist Rex and Esther. But a Three Families double agent detonates a suicide bomb, making the other soldiers Category 1 and destroying Rex and Esther's supply of Jack's blood. Rex tells the captain to report that he and Esther were killed in the blast, in order to better allow them to infiltrate The Blessing site.

Director Shapiro realizes the Three Families mole must be inside his team. Families member Charlotte calmly retrieves a hidden explosive device from a side office, leaves it inside her purse in the main meeting room, and leaves. The resulting explosion destroys Shapiro and the rest of his team, while Charlotte is lightly injured.

Jack, Gwen, and Oswald successfully infiltrate the Shanghai Blessing site and make their way to its exposed face, where they meet a member of The Families, as well as Jilly Kitzinger and several armed guards. Oswald, realising he'd never make it out of Shanghai alive, reveals that he's wearing an explosive vest (at Jack's suggestion). Jack and Gwen deduce that The Blessing generates a morphic field linking the human race. Jack remembers a Silurian mythology the Doctor told him about once and wonders about its connection to the Racnoss Empress, but decides that its origin doesn't matter — only its effects do.

The Miracle was produced by introducing Jack's immortal blood to The Blessing — causing it to disperse immortality to the whole human race as a "defence" to a perceived "attack". It was the first part in a larger plan to assert control of the world. By stopping death and destabilizing the economy, The Families can take control of the banks, thereby influencing the world governments, eventually leading to a fascist oligarchy that can "decide who lives, how long, where, and why." Jilly perks up, quite pleased at that idea, and says that she'll gladly go along with that kind of utopia. Well, Gwen decides, time to die, turn around. Jack agrees and, with a smile, happily waits for Gwen to kill him for good.

But the original effect required Jack's blood to be introduced at both Blessing sites simultaneously. Since Rex and Esther's supply of Jack's blood was destroyed, there's no way to do this. Rex manages to interrupt and claims that he still has some of Jack's blood with him - or rather, in him. Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, Esther helped Rex transfuse almost all of Jack's blood into his body. Normally, this would kill someone, but, well...

Reversing the Miracle would require pretty much all of the blood in both Rex and Jack's bodies, but Rex and Jack don't back down. Esther is shot, however, and Rex has to make a choice between reverting the Miracle or keeping her alive. She tells him to do it. As the series' camp factor makes a sudden and glorious return, Rex commits suicide while Gwen shoots Jack through the heart.

The Miracle reverts almost immediately. All of the world's Category 1 patients regain consciousness for a few seconds, then pass away in the next breath. This includes Gwen's father, who awakens in time to hear his wife wishing him goodbye over the phone. Rhys is there to comfort him in his dying moments before he finally passes on, also witnessing several other victims depart from this life to the next.

Gwen and Jilly leave while Oswald plans to stay behind and make the whole structure explode. But as the exit elevator rises, Jack comes back to life. Gwen and Jilly get into a rather Narmy cat fight until Gwen rescues Jack. Oswald proclaims that he's happy to go to die and go to hell; it's where "all the bad little girls" go. Proving just how deeply fucked up he is to core, he bellows for Susie Cabina, his victim, to start running, as he's coming to get her in Hell, and then blows himself there along with the Mother. Jack and Gwen narrowly escape death, and by a stroke of insane luck, so does Jilly, who all outrun the explosion.

The Buenos Aires team moves to leave as well, but before the local Families member can make it out, Rex regains consciousness long enough to grab him and throw him over the edge of the chasm around The Blessing. Rex falls to the ground next to Esther, the two watching each other die, but are rescued by members of the Argentinian Army. Rex survives, but for poor sweet Esther, this is the end of the road, and she passes away in transit.

Several months later. Jilly Kitzinger has no place to go and no life to live, but The Families offer her a chance to participate in their "Plan B". After all, the Miracle was only a trial run.

Gwen, Rhys, Jack, Charlotte, Rex and Esther's family attend a funeral for Esther. Afterward, as Charlotte is leaving, Rex receives recovered CIA data and discovers that Charlotte was the mole. When Rex tries to stop her from leaving, Charlotte shoots him and is almost immediately gunned down by other agents. Jack and Gwen rush to Rex's side only to find him dead. Two seconds later, Rex gasps and wakes up, and his wounds magically heal, including the one he got right as the Miracle began. He gives Jack a very dirty look.

Tropes in this episode.

  • The Ageless: Everyone loses this, but Jack gets his Resurrective Immortality back. Since Rex was part of the aforementioned Blood Magic, he gets Resurrective Immortality , too, when the Blessing resets.
  • Anyone Can Die: Esther, Oswald, Shapiro, Noah, Geraint, the Cousin, the Mother, Charlotte. Also literally by the end, since the differences of mortality and immortality are restored on Earth with the reversal of the Miracle.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: After the Shanghai site starts collapsing, Jilly races for the exit. Gwen follows, and the two of them hurriedly try to get the elevator going... and then Jack comes back to life. Gwen tries to stop the elevator, Jilly tries to get it going, and they eventually get in a fistfight over it.
  • Batman Gambit: Esther transfuses Rex with all of Jack's extracted blood, which she had been collecting during the two-month timeskip in the last episode, knowing that the Families would likely try to destroy the samples.
  • Blood Magic: The Blessing feeds on blood. By introducing a similar sample on both ends, it can be set to that specific person. The world was made immortal by giving it Jack's blood, and made mortal again by the same.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Jilly has ".. worked for the rich, the powerful and the obese".
  • Camp: Back in full force after a couple of very sober episodes.
  • Cat Fight: Gwen and Jilly. Gwen, naturally, wins - but Jilly still gets in some good punches.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rex's open chest wound.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Jack when his blood is flowing into The Blessing. And Rex.
  • Continuity Nod: Jack makes minor references to Doctor Who inner-earth dwellers, the Silurians and the Racnoss, while rambling about possible explanations for the Blessing before he admits he has no clue in the world about what's going on.
  • Death Seeker: Danes reveals in his last moments of life why he wants to die so badly — so he can chase his murder victim into Hell and torture her for eternity.
  • Disney Villain Death: Rex throws the Cousin into a bottomless pit Darth Vader style.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Gwen after shooting Jack. She just stands there, thinking about how many people she had just killed, oblivious to the facility crumbling around her. Oswald is also in the frame with a much more concerned posture, which gives a nice contrast.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: For Oswald Danes, an incredibly dark, twisted version of this trope plays out- Oswald has the most monstrously unforgivable way of greeting death. He screams with absolute joy that he's going to go to Hell where he can torment Susie Cabina forever, and for her to start running.
  • Flat "What.": The reaction to Rex suddenly waking up from a fatal gunshot wound.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rex and Jack giving their blood, but the would-be sacrifice itself ensures that they survive.
    • Also played with: the Cousin shoots Esther so that Rex and Jack's sacrifice won't just be them dying nobly, which is relatively easy, but will also mean condemning Esther to death. Lampshaded by the Family saying just that. Gwen, who's been facing the knowledge that her father will also die, tells them to do it anyway.
  • Karma Houdini: Oswald Danes, of all people, dies a hero...sort of. He proves he's an even bigger Jerkass than people thought he was in the process. He even gets to pick the conditions of his death, taking a woman with him. Justified in that it happened to match Torchwood's best interests, and the Mother clearly had it coming. Far more blatant is the fact that he died believing he could spend eternity torturing Susie in Hell. Hopefully, Susie went to a better place...
    • It really looked like Charlotte would be one when she was singing hymns next to our heroes in the final minutes. Good thing someone salvaged that hard drive.
    • Jilly qualifies as well. She may be on the run from the CIA, but she gets recruited to work for the Families directly.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Jack and Gwen ignore the Mother's pleas for help, leaving her with an explosive-rigged Oswald Danes.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The beginning of the episode spends a few minutes drawing attention to the fact that nothing should be able to pass through the Earth, and that Buenos Aires and Shanghai aren't actually perfect antipodes.
  • Mood Whiplash: See Dissonant Serenity above. Gwen is thinking, the music is turned down, time seems to have slowed... then she stops thinking and suddenly everything kicks back into a normal rhythm, including Gwen.
  • Never Found the Body: Jilly is separated from Gwen and Jack during the explosion and they are forced to write her off. As it turns out, that was premature.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Families sent out the Torchwood mass email to draw Jack into the open so that they could kill him. They had no way of knowing that he had left the planet, and if they hadn't done that they wouldn't have to worry about him.
  • Not So Different: Gwen makes a speech about how no one should have the ability to decide who lives and dies, having accused Oswald of doing that by killing the little girl. Oswald points out that by canceling the Miracle, which she is pushing for, she will be directly responsible for the deaths of everyone being sustained by it. He finds this "magnificent", and Gwen herself seems to realize it's a bit hypocritical.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Oh fuck."
  • Punctuated Pounding: Gwen to Jilly: "How *punch* much *punch* bloody *punch* lipstick can you wear!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jack gives one to Danes, saying that he's seen so much, and wishes Oswald could see it too, so that he could understand how small he really is.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Subverted with Danes, who not only manages to avoid redemption, but actually proves himself to be about ten times worse simply by sacrificing himself. Simply put, he commits a Heroic Sacrifice for very evil reasons.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Family member at Buenos Aires shoots Esther as a last-ditch attempt to stop Rex from cancelling out the Miracle. Gwen convinces him that it's better to let her die than give the Families power over life and death.
  • Sequel Hook: Two. The Families' Plan B and Rex's immortality.
  • Shout-Out: Right when Rex is shot by Charlotte, and has seemingly died, Jack says the Tenth Doctor's catch phrase of "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry," to Gwen, who is still mourning Esther and can't handle the thought of losing Rex too. Followed by a Flat "What." by him, Gwen, and Rex when Rex wakes up seconds later - three "What!"'s being a trademark of the Tenth Doctor from a few of the specials.
  • Smug Snake: Both the Cousin and the Mother tend to think they have all the bases covered. As does the mole, Charlotte. Makes their comeuppance all the much sweeter.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Jack and Rex pull this on the Families, since any blood spilled might reverse the miracle.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: Rex acquiring Jack's immortality.
  • Take Over the World: The ultimate goal of the Families. The Miracle is their way of weeding out everyone who doesn't fit (the poor, the weak, etc.), making them the dominant power in the process. Their plan wasn't to make everyone live forever, but to take control of life and death. They decide who lives and who dies.
  • Taking You with Me: Danes goes out with a literal bang, taking one of the Family members with him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Mother in Shanghai is fine with facing eternity as a Category 1, but the minute death comes back, she freaks the hell out.
    • Even before that both Cousin and Mother start panicking when Rex and Jack bring death back into the world.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Families don't fully undertstand The Blessing themselves and it is inferred that they did not fully expect the Miracle to turn out the way it did, but they adapted their plans to it. The lady in Shangai, for example, implies that the global recession was an unforseen(ish) consequence, though it gives them the opportunity to take control of the world's governments directly; the Family member who meets Jilly, meanwhile, says not only that there was a Plan B, but that the Miracle was a "trial run", so Plan B was their real plan all along, but was shelved when the Miracle worked out for them better than expected.

You... World War II... What the hell did you do to me!?