Recap / Torchwood S 4 E 8 End Of The Road

Q decides to pester the CIA.

The eighth episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

The kidnapping woman turns out to be Olivia Colasanto, Angelo's granddaughter, who knows all about Jack. Angelo's been watching Jack for decades, and kept himself alive with natural medicine, hoping to discover the secret of immortality. Olivia reveals that the ones responsible for the Miracle are called "The Families", the three mob bosses who bought Jack when he was captured in 1928. They were able to create the miracle using Jack's blood. Angelo initially tried to join the alliance with The Families due to their common goal, but was rejected because of the whole "gay romance with the Devil" thing.

Brian Friedkin shows up with the CIA and captures everyone in Angelo's mansion. Friedkin is trying to cover up both The Families and his own treason. Rex explains that he set Friedkin up, so that he could expose him to the CIA at large. Using the I-5 contact lenses, he transmits Friedkin gloating straight onto a monitor in front of their superior, Reasonable Authority Figure Allen Shapiro. With their names now cleared, Jack and Gwen decide to work with the CIA in order to find the whereabouts of The Families and stop the Miracle. But Friedkin destroys himself with a bomb, along with Olivia.

When Jack takes a moment to kiss the comatose Angelo goodbye, Angelo's medical alarms go off. Jack pulls out the plug to shut off the noise. This kills Angelo. As in, really, properly kills. Angelo was mortal.

In Dallas, Oswald Danes and Jilly are having trouble. Oswald wants a nice red-headed prostitute. One of legal age, to celebrate the new life he's trying to lead now. Jilly wants Oswald to shut up and become someone else's problem. She delegates the prostitute thing (and a sandwich) to a nervous young Japanese girl, who of course turns out to be a CIA undercover agent. The agent, however, is revealed by Charlotte Wills — Esther's co-worker — who appears to have some link to the Families.

The prostitute is freaked out when it turns out that Oswald wants a date instead of sex, and she reveals to him that he'll soon be "Category 0" anyway: the scum of society, ready to be burned alive no matter how healthy they are. Oswald punches Jilly in the mouth and runs off. Jilly's approached by a representative of the Families, asking her to come work for them instead.

Esther finds out to her horror that her sister wants to volunteer herself and her children to become "Category 1". In desperation, Esther ignores Jack and reveals something she's noticed: Angelo's floor contains a alien panel. After Shapiro orders Gwen to be deported, Jack explains it's a null field transmitter, which interferes with the morphic field he previously postulated was behind the Miracle. It kept Angelo mortal. He's is forced to help disable it so it can be taken to Langley. Instead, he modifies the null field to target sound, so he can converse with Rex and Esther without being overheard.

Jack explains the reason for his reticence: he is trying to protect humanity from technology they should not have access to, due to the damage to the timeline. He also explains that the tech is alien, and that it came from the destroyed Torchwood Hub. Angelo had people salvage the transmitter, preparing for the Miracle. Jack takes a critical piece of the technology so nobody can replicate it. But on the way out, an agent shoots Jack and sees Esther helping him. Rex knocks the agent unconscious, and Esther drives a wounded Jack away, crying and not knowing where to go.

Tropes in this episode.

  • Asshole Victim: The whole point to the new "Category 0", which is basically the death penalty by a new name, except now convicts on death row can join the Category 1's in being burned alive.
  • Batman Gambit: Rex pulls one to get Friedkin to incriminate himself.
  • Call-Back: "Did you see him? Did you see Ianto? You'd have liked him. Or maybe not. You'd have been jealous."
  • Determinator: Angelo kept himself alive until the Miracle could happen. This would put him around the age of 110-120 by that time.
  • Engineered Public Confession
  • Exact Words: One of the agents of the Families says "Family Business" in response to a question to who she was on the phone with.
    • Immediately before that a man also says he's recruiting for a "Family Business".
  • From Bad to Worse: For several people. Jack reunites with Angelo, who is basically a Category 1 who soon becomes the only natural death corpse on the planet. Oswald Danes found out his new lease on life is merely a brief intermission before the government institutes "Category 0". The whole world is going back to the days of the Great Depression, Gwen got deported, and the episode ends with Jack (suffering from a bullet to the gut) and Esther on the run while a Ancient Conspiracy that seems to have new agents popping out of the woodwork every five minutes tries to capture him.
  • Ironic Echo: When Friedkin is getting ready to shoot Rex, he echos Rex's lines to him when threatening him in an earlier episode.
  • The Mole: One of Esther's CIA Watch friends.
    • Also, Shawnie was the good version of this by posing as Jilly's intern. Until the above Mole ratted her out.
  • Mood Whiplash: Cheesy music and an emotional conversation between Jack and his comatose ex. Then a slapstickish number on the machines he's hooked to when they start beeping. Then there's the realization that Angelo is Killed Off for Real, and commence the angst. It's all in the same scene, by the way, and plays out in five minutes tops.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Rex briefly contemplates what would happen if the Miracle were to suddenly end. Would he just drop dead due to his chest injury? What would happen to all of the patients in the Category system?
  • Oh, Crap!: Jack's reaction when he realizes that Angelo is actually dying.
  • Power Nullifier: Angelo managed to salvage a null field generator from the Torchwood Hub, which he uses to nullify the morphic field creating the Miracle. This allows him to die once Jack triggers it unknowingly.
  • Red Herring: Discovering that neither the CIA, or Angelo or even Phicorp is behind the Miracle leads to Gwen to mention how she could use a strong beer.
  • Shout-Out: Shapiro, played by Q.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Angelo's a more benign example than most, since his stalking of Jack is genuinely well-meaning.
  • Taking You with Me: Friedkin blows himself up after being captured, taking the only source of information on the Miracle with him.
  • The Unreveal: The names of the Three Families are revealed... but any information on them has been deleted and the one woman who could have provided further help is blown up.
    • And the CIA agent tasked with finding out more information is a member of the Family
  • The World Is Not Ready: Jack says this of the null field generator, since mankind's possession of such technology in the early 21st century would cause them to destroy themselves.