Touch Season 2 Review “Clockwork”

This episode of Touch was one of the better ones this season. I thought we were going to deal mostly with the fallout of Lucy’s death, but they chose not to go there. At least for now. Also, there was a device introduced that could be a pretty big game changer.

A few thoughts about “Clockwork”:

This episode picked up pretty much right where the last one left off. Amelia was still running from the Aster Corp. jerks and Martin was trying to find information on the man in the picture Jake gave him. Abraham showed up because he’d heard about Guillermo’s murders at Breakwire, so Martin left Jake with Abraham and went to Breakwire to try to find out more about the man in the picture. When he got there, the place was pretty much a ghost town. Most of the employees had quit because they were traumatized by Guillermo’s killing spree, and Trevor was just trying to keep the business afloat. I thought Trevor’s response to Martin and all of the horrible events that happened because of him (well, sort of happened because of him) was pretty admirable. Martin and Jake pretty much brought all this trouble on Trevor and his employees, but he didn’t seem to hold it against Martin at all. That says a lot about the kind of person Trevor is and the kind of friend that he is. Perhaps he still feels a sense of obligation to Martin for saving his life all those years ago, but I think it’s more than that. Martin is his friend and he just wants to help.

Martin also wanted to help Trevor out, so he agreed to work on a story for him. As it turns out, the story that Trevor needed covered was the very same man in the picture that Jake had given Martin. The man, Phillip Green, was on death row and about to executed for a triple murder he committed during a robbery 15 years earlier. Martin knew that Jake wanted him to save the man, so he got a meeting with Phillip’s attorney who then arranged for Martin to meet Phillip. Phillip asked Martin to bring his daughter Kate to see him, but when Martin found her and asked her she refused. She was angry, hurt, and confused by her father’s actions all those years ago, and she told Martin that unless her father planned to explain to her why he’d done what he did, she would not see him. Martin continued investigating Phillip’s case and found a number of things that didn’t add up. Namely, Phillip wasn’t robbing the store. He was retrieving a device that he’d build himself and stored in the company safe. The device he’d built was designed for him to be able to contact the other 36. Furthermore, the 3 innocent bystanders Phillips supposedly murdered during the fake robbery were actually 3 Aster Corp. employees. It looks like Aster Corp. was trying to procure the device and Phillip killed those 3 people to protect the other 36 from Aster Corp. Ultimately, Martin wasn’t able to stop the execution, but I don’t think that was really his mission anyway. He needed to do two things. First, he needed to find the cypher and get it to Jake. Second, and most importantly, he needed to give Phillip and Kate a chance to say goodbye. She had been so angry at him for so long, but the truth is, she loved him and she needed to be reminded of that. She needed to understand why he did what he did all those years ago and she needed to understand what he was doing now. In the end, Kate finally understood everything and in a language only they could understand, Phillip and Kate were able to say ‘I love you.’ Martin was able to help make that happen.

The was also a side story going on of a prison guard who was going to kill Phillip in retaliation for his father’s death. Although Phillip didn’t actually murder the guard’s father, he felt like this was his chance to make someone pay for it. However, he backed out when Martin and Kate got to the prison because Kate was the therapist who helped the prison guard’s son. Apparently, the son had witnessed his grandfather’s murder, and was (understandably) having a hard time coping. After the guard realized what he was about to do, he changed his mind. His decision to back out of the execution gave Martin enough time to reunite Phillip and Kate so they could say their goodbyes. This side story didn’t really make very much sense to me and it seemed rather superfluous. It didn’t really add much to the overall story and ultimately the guard, his wife, and his son were really kind of throwaway characters. I suppose the fact that we spent a little bit of time focusing on the guard’s pain and his realization that vengeance wasn’t the answer was supposed to make the ending scene a bit more meaningful. But I don’t think it achieved that goal. It also didn’t make sense why the guard was go gung-ho to kill a man who had absolutely nothing to do with his father’s death. This just felt like filler in an otherwise pretty engaging story.

I have to stop here and give kudos to Paul Vincent O’Connor, the actor who played Phillip Green. He didn’t say anything at all, but he gave one of the most powerful and nuanced performances of the entire episode. His body language and facial expressions conveyed so much that I think it would’ve been a disservice to give him actual dialog to say. It would’ve taken away the power and emotional impact of his performance. During the first meeting with Martin and the last meeting with Kate, he didn’t say a word but his eyes told you everything that you needed to know. He conveyed so much pain, hope, and love with just a look. Excellent work.

Martin also found out about Lucy. He seemed to take it pretty hard, and I can’t really tell whether that’s because he cared so much about Lucy or because he’s now frightened for Jake and Amelia. I suppose it would make sense that he cared about Lucy, but the truth is, he really didn’t know anything about her. Neither did we. The only thing she really did, besides not follow directions, is search for Amelia. We didn’t really get very much backstory on her or anything. I think Martin even mentioned at one point that after all the stuff they’d been through, he still didn’t know very much about Lucy. That’s kind of why her death, while tragic, didn’t really get an emotional response from me. She was a one dimensional character that, for the most part, didn’t really add much to the overall story. Amelia seems to have found her way to Jake and Martin though, so it’ll be interesting to see how the trio moves forward.

This was perhaps my favorite episode of the season. Aside from the guard story that was pretty much unnecessary, this was a very solid hour with a very good story. I kind of like that we only focused on one story because it allowed the action to unfold a bit more slowly thus allowing the characters to be a bit more fleshed out than we normally get. It was very much enhanced by the wonderful performance of O’Connor as Phillip Green and Annie Wersching as his daughter Kate. They both brought depth and nuance to what could have otherwise been cookie cutter roles. So what did y’all think of this episode of Touch?