My opinions about Touch have varied over the run of the first season. I thought the pilot was a brilliant bit of television, but a few weeks later I was asking if there was anywhere the series could really go. This week saw ‘Gyre (part 1 and 2), the final two episodes of the season, air and we were treated to…well, I’m not sure what we were treated to, actually. It all seemed a bit pointless.
The crux of the story was Martin learning that his custody of Jake had been taken away, leading him to attempt to get his son out of the city before the planned move to a care facility upstate. This was accomplished through help from Avram (a particularly nice touch) and three characters from the past, Walt, Arnie and Randall. While Walt was well-used (I love that character), the latter two seemed quite pointless — was it heartwarming that Martin was reminded me has a friend, or that Randall finally found peace? Sure, but to be honest, the gun was essentially useless and I’d already assumed that Randall had found peace the last time he appeared.
Still, their appearances weren’t as confusing as some others; take those two annoying Japanese girls, for example. Has anyone figured out what purpose they serve, other than to be squeaky and bouncy and pink? And their inclusion isn’t even as confusing as the exclusion of others; I absolutely loved the footage of actual musicians from around the world joining in with ‘Three Little Birds’, but why wasn’t the character of Kayla Graham featured? If the purpose of this show is for plotlines to be linked, wouldn’t it have made sense for Zack to track down Kayla and get her to be one of his 50 musicians?
And what about that ending? Martin isn’t exactly subtle. (Someone needs to compile a video of every time he’s said an exasperated ‘Jake‘ or, during a moment of realisation, ‘Oh, my god‘.) Why didn’t he look at the map, hear the name ‘Amelia’ and instantly start on his whole ‘I think your daughter is alive, my son is like her, I can help you’ spiel? It would have served for a slightly more interesting ending. Hell, why not end on them being drawn to something featuring the same numbers, an object or maybe a piece of Jake’s writing that had fallen and that Lucy had found? Anything aside from that lacklustre final scene. The only good part of it was Jake taking his father’s hand, but after seeing the video of Amelia, I was waiting for him to actually speak.
I understand that Touch works really well for some viewers. I think it’s a Marmite show — you either love it or, perhaps not hate it, but feel bored by it. I’m in the latter camp. It’s a beautifully shot show, has an awesomely global scope, and it has had genuinely good episodes. But I feel like the gimmick (for lack of a better word) of connecting plotlines has put a strain on the series, and it’s all too easy to see the messy stitches where the proper story arc (the company who wants to study the 36 ‘righteous ones’) has been tacked on. For me, Touch is essentially a good looking suit that, on closer inspection, is coming apart at the seams.
What did you think of ‘Gyre (part 1 and 2)’ and Touch‘s first season overall? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!