Recap / Torchwood S 4 E 6 The Middle Men

A rape whistle would have done wonders for Esther right about now.

The sixth episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

With Dr. Juarez now burned alive, Torchwood is wondering where the hell she is. They certainly won't be finding much of her now... and Rex Matheson has gone apeshit over helplessly witnessing the unjust "death" of his former lover.

Jack tries to blackmail the CEO of Phicorp by manipulating the secretary that the guy's sleeping with. However, Phicorp has no idea what's going on. They're just middle-men. They knew the Miracle was coming, but they had nothing to do with its implementation. Nobody knows anything, nobody's in charge, nobody's at fault. The medicine surplus had been set in motion years before. The paper trail is endless.

In Wales, Gwen confronts the Overflow Camp's doctors about the Modules. The resident doctor explains that they have no other choice — she's just following orders. She didn't make the rules. Nobody knows anything, nobody's in charge, nobody's at fault. Gwen uses her contact lenses to make contact with Jack, who video tapes everything that's going on through Gwen's eyes.

Rex and Esther are still at the USA module, where Colin Maloney is having a complete nervous breakdown over having burned Dr. Juarez alive. His unwilling accomplice, Ralph, is trying to find a way to morally cope with what happened. Maloney eventually manages to capture Rex, and half-heartedly prods his open chest wound with a pen before realising that torture won't accomplish anything. When he subsequently starts to strangle Esther (who puts up one hell of a fight), Ralph decides that enough is enough, and shoots Maloney. Esther goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D. over having "killed" Maloney, and Rex has to calm her down while he's bleeding profusely from his heart.

Torchwood manages to make the video footage of Dr. Juarez' death and Gwen's adventures in Wales go into Memetic Mutation worldwide. The Modules are closed... for now. But they realise that this is a temporary solution at best.

Gwen travels back to the USA, again using her false passport. Rhys realises that he has to let her go. At the airport, she recieves a message to go put in her lenses... and the text in front of her eyes tells her that Rhys, Mary and Anwen have been kidnapped. Whoever's behind it wants Jack, the only mortal man, as ransom.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Corporal Ralph Coltrane — the one that seems to be cowering in fear all the time — really comes out in spades.
    "This has got to stop!"
  • Broken Masquerade: Does not have the immediate effect one might hope for. Torchwood exposes the true purpose of the Overflow Camps. People are outraged, but the governments don't apologize. They liken the situation to a plague or famine, and burning bodies is how they'd react in those situations.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Esther is not a trained operative, meaning in a life or death struggle she takes any advantage. Going for eyes, groin etc..
  • Driven to Suicide: The "45 Club", intent on getting around the miracle, figured out that the quickest way to Category 1 (complete lack of consciousness) is to jump from a height of at least 45 stories.
    • More true to the trope, Stewart Owens gets a friend to investigate a construction site bought by PhiCorp. Whatever he saw there drove him to demonstrate the above method of suicide.
  • Dumb Blonde: One of the employees at Maloney's camp invokes this when Esther can't sit still.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Esther has one after strangling Colin Maloney. She gets better. Sort of.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • Jack claims to have kidnapped Owens' secretary to get him to cooperate. She's really working with him to get revenge on Owens for ordering her transfer.
    • Gwen's family is kidnapped to coerce her into betraying Jack.
  • Just Following Orders: Everyone in the camps that actually knows what the modules are for.
  • Karmic Death: Colin is strangled by Esther and then shot by one of his own guards who was feeling jittery and remorseful about what his superior did, essentially the closest thing Colin gets to a karmic death. He may have bit it for real when the Miracle was undone, but there's no on-screen confirmation.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Colin Maloney gets this from Esther and Rex.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Cpl Coltrane shoots Maloney to stop him from "killing" Esther.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever made Zheng commit suicide after seeing the Blessing.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Invoked by Rhys.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gwen's camera contacts are hacked.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Don't let an angry Gwen near C4.
  • True Neutral: An In-Universe, Lampshaded example. Stewart Owens would like to point out he is not a good man , nor an evil man. Just a middle man.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Colin Maloney somehow manages to break down even further.