Touch 2.02 “Closer” REVIEW

Touch 2.02 “Closer” TV REVIEW

Episode 2.02
Written by: Carol Barbee
Directed by: Michael Waxman

THE ONE WHERE The hunt for Amelia continues, Jake makes a friend, Calvin Norburg finds out about Martin, and Ortiz the assassin nearly charms the pants off a lady by talking a lot of bullshit.

VERDICT Last episode we wondered if Touch was abandoning its “global interconnections” plotting in favour of more standard stories, and “Closer” seems to indicate that this is, indeed, the case. In fact, its only “connection” that doesn’t seem to tie straight into the main storyline is the retirement of a librarian to the consternation of her lover, and even this works as a surprise reveal at the end. As much as Touch had fun last season with its weaving of seemingly unrelated stories, it must have been a nightmare to write (and film – faking several foreign countries each episode can’t have been easy). Without all that to worry about, Touch feels a lot fresher.

Saying that, however, this is a pretty standard story… but it’s given a glorious sense of wonder by a sculpture created by a homeless man which throws a giant shadow of Amelia once the sun hits it. Not only a clever idea, but very, very pretty!

NAUGHTY ORTIZ The assassin on the prowl through Europe is named Ortiz and he’s shaping up to be a real nutjob, not only tattooing numbers on his bicep but also babbling about God and sinning and blasphemy. Oh, and also murdering the victim of the week.

BEAUTIFUL DREAMERS Last week’s victim was a composer whose music was revered; this week an architect who designs sublime buildings. Both have Jake’s gift, which begs the question: if these guys have overcome challenges to become great artists in their own right, will he ever be able to do the same? Or is the fact he’s autistic going to make him into something else? I also love the fact that these people have used their gift with numbers to create beautiful things…

THAT’S QUITE A HANDFUL This touching kiss between the librarian and her lover is slightly undermined by his big giant hand. Look at the size of that thing!

BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND Two scenes feature white cloths billowing in the wind – is this signifying the winds of change? Or just a production designer with an abundance of cotton?

NUMBERS GAME The number 500 turns up several times: first written by Jake on the fridge, then everything from the video time-stamp of the moment when Calvin makes a deal with Nayar, to the time Martin receives a phonecall at 5.00am. Have to say it’s a bit weird, though, that Martin says “five zero zero” all the time instead of five hundred, which would be the natural thing to say when you see “500”.

CHARMING MAN The scenes which feature Ortiz getting close to his next victim, architect Rosemary Mathis, are hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Ortiz chooses to woo her by praising her work – comparing it to all sorts of religious wonders – and his compliments are so stupendously and earnestly over-the-top that by the end you can’t help but laugh. Yet she laps up every word, getting visibly flustered the more he says. By the time she gets called away and turns to ask, “Will you stay?” it’s clear that she’s really saying “Please remain here and praise me all night!” What a silly lady. Not that she deserved to get her throat cut, mind you…

DID YOU KNOW? The architect is played by Ayelet Zurer, soon to be seen as Superman’s Kryptonian mum in Man Of Steel.

WELL, THAT’S CREEP-TASTIC When we see Amelia she’s freaking out because she wants to see her mum again. The Aster Corp employee in charge of her tells his boss, “The results are no better in the house than they were in the lab. She knows the difference.” How creepy is that? Also, a shout-out to Saxon Sharbino as Amelia, who throws the best screaming teenage strop we’ve seen in years!

KIDDING AROUND Jake befriends a girl at the pier who is quite possibly the most over-excitable child in the history of US television. Even our screengrab couldn’t catch her standing still.

CHESS MOVES Last episode Jake found a knight from a chessboard buried on the beach by Amelia, and now Martin is using the surname “Bishop” to avoid Aster Corp. Next up: an episode set in a “pawn” shop and another in a Dairy “Queen”. Possibly.

DODGY TECH Martin takes a photo of the kidnappers using Lucy’s camera, saying he can “enlarge it over 100 times”. Well, yes, but the picture quality would be mere pixels. He’d need a lens attachment to take a better quality photograph to begin with – smartphones only have tiny zoom functions. Additionally, elsewhere in the episode someone zooms in on a video recording and does that famous Blade Runner “let’s make a blurry image clear” trick which is complete and utter balderdash, even in 2013.

BEST (or possibly worst) LINE
Ortiz: “You’re invoking the Nativity. The Star of David bathing the common man.”

Jayne Nelson

Touch season 2 will air in the UK shortly on Sky

Read our other Touch reviews