Entertainment Magazine

Review #3511: Touch 1.9: “Music of the Spheres”

Posted on the 16 May 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

Written by Rob Fresco
Directed by Michael Waxman

I’ve been very critical of “Touch”, which I find to be a very poorly written show masking its lack of consistency behind its premise. Nothing I’ve seen so far has changed that opinion; however, I must admit that when the writers actually pay attention and make all the story elements intersect in logical ways, it makes for a less cloying episode.

Review #3511: Touch 1.9: “Music of the Spheres”

Part of the reason this episode succeeds where most of the others have failed is its simplicity. There’s really only two plot threads to worry about, and both of them relate to music. Since music and mathematics are, in fact, directly linked, the writers don’t have to stretch the facts to make their case. (OK, the opening monolog is still utter metaphysical tripe, but that’s beside the point.) Because the story elements are believable, and the characters make choices that don’t seem random or overly convenient, the overall effort is strengthened.

Jake finds a gun in an alley, which leads Martin to a young man with a criminal record who is committing crimes for his parole officer, all in the name of taking care of his disabled brother. There are the usual numerical connections, but most of the story is driven by Martin doing a bit of basic detective work. Elliot may accept Martin’s help a bit too readily, but once Jake helps Elliot’s brother communicate by turning numbers/music into words, it doesn’t seem to much of a stretch.

Meanwhile, Elliot’s aunt (the boys’ only surviving relative, if I remember correctly) is in Brazil, and her café is struggling to remain open. Since it’s been in the family for generations, Yarah is focused entirely on keeping it afloat. Felipe, a local busker, is in love with Yarah and tries to woo her with the only thing he has: music from his rare and valuable guitar. When Yarah all but demands a sacrifice from Felipe to prove his intentions, Felipe sells his guitar online to raise money to help Yarah.

Towards the end, while Martin helps bust the corrupt parole officer, Elliot and his brother are still without legal guardians. Just as Felipe offers his money, Yarah gets the call, and suddenly there is a purpose for both the money and for Yarah and Felipe to go to New York (which he always dreamed of doing with her). Even better, Felipe’s guitar had been sold to the music store that Elliot was stealing from for his parole officer. It all ties together very nicely.

Part of my enjoyment was seeing Louis Ferreira, perhaps best remembered by genre fans as Col. Young on “Stargate Universe”, in a decidedly different kind of role as Felipe. If it hadn’t been for the opening credits, I would never have recognized him. There’s also the introduction of Teller’s roommate/best friend, an Jewish man named Abraham.

If Sheri and Martin’s sister-in-law might represent the forces working against Jake and other like him, then Abraham represents the other side of the equation. I liked how Jake and Abraham interacted. Abraham also introduces more of the mystical explanation for Jake (and Amelia, I suppose): at any given time, there are 36 pure and perfect souls on the Earth, working to maintain the order of the universe, an insurance against the need for God to cleanse the world again. It takes the “special snowflake” treatment of Jake to a completely new level, and while I’m sure some will love the notion, it takes things even further away from any logical basis.

While I don’t see this as a sign that the show is improving its storytelling, and it just isn’t earning its intended place as a thoughtful uplifting counterpoint to darker dramas, I will give credit for this episode. It was well-written, and none of the connections were overly forced. At this point, that’s about as much as one can expect to get from “Touch”.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Rating: 7/10

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