Left to right: David Mazouz as Jake Bohm and Kiefer Sutherland as Martin Bohm.
A 2012 series produced by Tim Kring and starring Kiefer Sutherland.Since Martin Bohm's wife died in the September 11 New York attacks, he's been raising his mute, number-obsessed son Jacob as best he can. Jacob has a strange ability to see complex patterns in the world, and does his best to help people who need to connect one another for the better. Upon finding his son's ability, Martin tries to help, but since Jacob mostly communicates through scrawling numbers, wandering off into crowds, and apparently making a nuisance of himself, it's not easy for him to work out what he's doing, or why.In addition to Martin's struggles with his son, the show has several characters who seem to be wound up in the patterns Jacob sees, such as two teenagers in occupied Iraq trying to achieve fame in the wartorn country and the fireman who attempted to save Martin's wife, trying to make up for his failure.A severe ratings crash during the show's (delayed) second season led to Fox canceling it only one day before its finale in May 2013. As with Dollhouse, this means the show ended after only two half-length seasons of 13 episodes each.Not to be confused with the manga Touch.
555: Generally averted, but the number 555-0101 appears in one episode.
Ambiguous Disorder: Jake presents like an autistic, but we're never specifically told that. Lampshaded by Martin, who claims that doctors were never able to diagnose Jake's disorder. It seems to be a trait of being a 36, which possibly wanes as you get older, as Amelia seems to a significantly milder version of the same issues, and the adult 36es that we meet are basically normal humans, albeit chronic insomniacs with occasional Cloud Cuckoolander traits
Anti-Villain: In a strange way, Guillermo, though he doesn't really fit into any of the four basic categories, probably coming closest to a type III. He'll stop at nothing to kill all of the 36—ending with himself—but when it became unavoidable for him to kill someone who wasn't one of the 36 in order for his mission to continue, it resulted in him having a severe crisis of faith that was only resolved when he saved the life of a man beggingfordeath.
Calvin. He keeps Amelia away from her mother to study her brain to found a cure for neurological diseases, like brain damage, which is the case of William, his brother.
Arc Number: Each episode has a different Arc Number which Martin must follow. For example, the pilot episode has 318, which is both the time at which Martin encounters a former firefighter and inadvertently fights with (causing him to miss his train) AND the number on the bus whose passengers said ex-firefighter saves because he happened to miss his train.
There seems to be an arc number for every episode, given how Jake sees things in numbers. However, the arc numbers seem to be becoming more than just numbers, but also symbols and names associated with the numbers.
Something about Room 6 has definitely caught Jake's attention. It looks like somebody is in there, despite a statement from the intstitute's director saying otherwise - though whether that's a lie or something far more sinister remains to be seen.
It turns out the room was where Amelia, a child who has abilities similar to Jake, was being kept by the sinister organization that's trying to exploit her and Jake's abilities.
The Arc Numbers are revealed to all be part of a sequence that governs the connection between people's lives.
Arranged Marriage: In the episode "Entanglement", Norah and Sami are arranged to be married. Neither is too thrilled about the prospect.
The Atoner: Many of the characters have this as their main motive, particularly Randall, a fireman who ended up leaving Martin's wife behind when trying to carry her out of one of the World Trade Center buildings.
Season 2 gives us Calvin Norberg, who's trying to atone for accidentally putting his brother in a vegetative state by using Amelia and trying to use Jake to fix the brain damage. Ironically, this turns him into a Well-Intentioned Extremist, causing him to do even worse things to accomplish his goal.
The Chosen One: Jake is one of 36 individuals who can see the pattern of the whole life (The pattern of God) in numbers. A legend says that this 36 persons' presence prevents God from destroying the Earth, a direct reference to the Jewish concept of the Tzadikim Nistarim).
Darker and Edgier: The first two episodes of season 2 are moving in this direction, particularly during scenes involving Guillermo, the religious zealot who appears to be on a mission to hunt down and kill all those who, like Jake, can see the patterns in the numbers.
In the first episode Martin is forced to scoop Jake up and carry him to a taxi to escape another man who figured out Martin was tricking him. Jake screams and writhes the whole way, and the first thing Martin says to him after tossing him in the taxi is, "I'm sorry, Jake, I had to! I'm sorry!"
Hope Spot: Jake and Amelia contact each other and both managed to escape from their guardians to meet. Martin and Lucy, following Jake's messages to Amelia and viceversa, found the meeting point. Lucy starts looking for Amelia and then she saw her at the distance, starts running to her...and then Amelia's taken away again in front of her.
Reunions contains 2 instances.
Calvin, with Jake's willing help (though in Jake's case, he plugged himself into Calvin's rig without consent in order to communicate with Amelia), manages to unlock the key to finally begin the healing process of his vegetative brother, William. When he tries it, the treatment appears to work, and the two brothers get to talk with each other for the first time in years. After Calvin decides to get a bit of rest, he's woken up by the volunteer nurse and discovers, to his horror, that all his work was undone, as his brother had regressed back into a vegetative state while he was sleeping.
Left Hanging: Most plot threads were neatly wrapped up in the second season (and by extension, series) finale - Aster Corps is brought down as Nicole Farington's plot is leaked to the world, and Amelia loses her powers. However, there were some mild Sequel Hooks left in place - Avram telling Martin that he is now the protector of the 36 as long as Jake is still a child, the final shot showing the cipher clicking all by itself.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Season 1 has characters all over the world. Season 2 stays fairly confined to the Los Angeles area, and has a slightly smaller cast of primary characters
Made of Iron: Guillermo, apparently, as of "Ghosts." He gets shot by Martin repeatedly and, despite wearing a bulletproof vest, he still got knocked off the edge of the roof, onto a car several stories below - and he still walked away anyway. Bear in mind, too, that he'd already had his leg slashed by Lucy.
Mama Bear: Lucy, Amelia's mother. She finds out an evil corporation kidnapped her daughter and faked her death. Lucy is desperate and not going to let anyone come between her and her daughter. This culminates with her hitting Calvin Norberg with her car.
Matchmaker Crush: Natalie gets a version of this, trying to reunite two people who have already met but who have been separated. It becomes clearly fairly early on that she's fallen in love with Paolo, the man in the pair, but she still soldiers on to reunite him with Celeste. she is unsuccessful in reuniting Paolo and Celeste, but in the intervening time Paolo has discovered her videos about her quest to do so and fallen in love with her
Meaningful Name: Bohm, arguably. David Bohm was a physicist who came up with the Hidden Variable interpretation of quantum physics, which sort of fits the premise of the show.
Mental World: In Ghosts, Amelia is revealed to be in one. In the next episode, Jake meets her there and she reveals it is the result of an experiment Calvin does on her and that Jake does on himself.
Once an Episode: A pair of Japanese teenage girls in the first season are shown in numerous spots as they travel the world and vlog about their experiences. They rarely affect or are affected by the long-running plot but are shown either in locations for that episode or interacting with characters from that episode.
Pac Man Fever: A variant. Episode 2x01 has Jake playing Donkey Kong, with actual sound effects from the game. However, in the next scene of him playing, the sound is the death sound, followed by the level start music, which doesn't match what's happening on the screen (Mario completing the stage). Also, the "Bonus" number, which in the game counts down and serves as the timer, is here counting up so that an Arc Number can be seen.
Pride: Martin had all money from his wife and her family put into a trust for Jake to stop them from thinking him a Gold Digger.
Red String of Fate: Jake references a Chinese variant where your red string is attached to everyone you will affect in your life.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Subverted. Lucy, Martin, and Jake all succeed in rescuing Amelia from Aster Corps after spending half of Season 2 looking for her, but shortly afterwards, Lucy is killed, not Amelia.
Telepathy: As of "Ghosts", the 36 display the ability to communicate with each other this way.
Unbelievable Source Plot: Jake communicates through numbers, and Martin has to follow up on his son's prescient abilities to prevent bad things from happening, or to make good things happen. In order to accomplish this, he needs help from various contacts and allies but in order to protect his son, he has to lie to them to cover up how he knows things.
Ungrateful Bastard: One episode has two Saudi girls, Norah and Shada, cross-dressing as boys to go on a road trip. In their travels, they come across a woman going into labor and decide to help her. When the woman discovers that her saviors are, in fact, girls, she berates them for their poor behavior.
"Ghosts". Guillermo finally finds Jake, kills quite a few people in order to get to him, gets in a fight with Martin, and is shot off a roof (but lives). Also, we find out that Jake can communicate telephathically.
"Reunions". Lucy is finally reunited with her daughter Amelia, and Jake and Martin decide to part ways. As soon as they drive off, Aster Corps agents show up. Lucy sacrifices herself in order to give her daughter time to escape.
"Accused" Avram is (seemingly) kidnapped by Aster Corp. when he tries to make contact with one of 36.
The first thing Amelia says during her recorded interview with Teller, though it isn't so much the line itself as what the line implies: That people with Jake's abilities are, in fact, capable of speech. In fact, some of the TV spots for season 2 have Jake narrate that he's going to talk and that doing so will be Wham-y.
In fact, during the season 2 premiere, Jake's opening narration reiterates that he's never spoken a single word, "but that's about to change." During Reunions, Jake ends up speaking with Amelia face-to-face in the latter dream garden.
"Eye to Eye" confirms what had merely been implied about Guillermo in prior episodes: "I'm one of the 36!"
Wholesome Cross Dresser: Norah and Shada, two Saudi girls who dress up as boys so that they can go out and have some fun.
AsterCorps, oh so very much. The season 2 premiere reveals that they've created a death certificate for Jake, and the date is blank.
Guillermo also has Jake marked for death. At one point, he reads a map on which he has drawn a large phi spiral - which happens to go right through Los Angeles, suggesting that Guillermo is heading there eventually to kill him.
Yank the Dog's Chain: Yay! Lucy finally found her daughter! Now they can finally drive away and live in pea—oh shit, are those Aster Corps vehicles coming their way...?