TOUCH (S2E1) “Event Horizon” Recap

12 02 2013

“There are infinite ways to communicate.”

And so begins season 2 of TOUCH. After meeting Amelia’s mom, Lucy, (Maria Bello) at the pier at the end of season 1, Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) and Jake (David Mazouz) begin a new adventure: The Search for Amelia (Saxon Sharbino). Guillermo (Said Taghmaoui), a shadowy figure, kisses the tree of life, a pendant around his neck.

Pic1Guillermo

Martin gets Lucy up to speed. Jake plays with the crystal paperweight he got from his aunt in New York, the aunt who works for the evil Aster Corps. Jake looks at the map of the area. Martin tells Lucy Aster Corps staged Amelia’s death.

Jake stops Lucy to look at his notebook that shows the numbers 24, the next numbers in the sequence. The paperweight lights the spot on the map; 24 is translated also as 2-D.

Pic2

Once at the spot, Jake jumps out of the car and Martin and Lucy follow as Martin says, “Welcome to my world.” They see the hotel sign pointing to room 2-D. The man behind the door is told they are looking for someone. Then they hear a young girl scream who takes the opportunity to jump out of the window. After a scuffle, the guy runs out of the room. He gets into the car, license plate 9NBW742.

Pic3

Martin urges caution to Lucy and convinces her to do things his way. A journalist friend in Los Angeles can help them.

Guillermo is searching for a musician named Frederick LeMay. According to Guillermo, “Some same it’s like hearing the voice of angels” but he never wrote another. The waiter admires his pendant who Guillermo says is “perfection of the universe.” “Each has their own path to God, destiny preordained. It’s a mortal sin to deny it.” The waiter (Anthony Debaeck) is creeped out, especially when Guillermo admires his attire.

Pic 4Waiter

At Aster Corps, Calvin Norburg (Lukas Haas) is having a meltdown. He, too, has the next sequence in the Amelia equation. He wants out of the project and asks his friend, Tony (Adam Campbell) to help him get out of his contract. Calvin tells him that eventually the number will wrap around to the beginning. “This is the God sequence. It’s going to change humanity forever.” He cannot let Aster Corps have it.

Pic5GodSequence

Martin’s friend, Trevor (Greg Ellis), started a news organization similar to Huffington Post called “BreakWire.” Ruben Santiago (Ray Santiago) is their resident hacker who traced the license plate to a private investigator (Kirk B. R. Woller). The PI deposited cash into his bank account the same day he had an appointment with Lawrence J. Pearl (John Prosky), senior partner, of Lesser, Rasmussen and Howe, whose primary client is Aster Corps.

Pic6

Frederick LeMay (Ray Proscia) is making bread. Guillermo turns the sign to “closed” and locks the door. Bread of Life: Meet the Tree of Life. Guillermo puts on the vinyl album. Frederick says from time to time people find him. Guillermo is not just seeking his autograph! He tells Frederick he has quit on God. Time to snuff him out: “You are in HIS way.” After giving him a cut that is similar to Guillermo’s neck wound, he says to a dying Frederick: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” At the moment of Frederick’s death, Jake lets out a gasp.

Pic7

Jake passes the time playing video games and lands on 5227 every time. Meanwhile Trevor and Lucy play ping pong as Lucy gets background on Martin.

Pic8

Meanwhile, Martin heads to the building where Pearl is to plant a sniffer program for Ruben, posing as a worker and heads to office # 5227. Norburg and Tony ever the elevator with Martin to meet with the law firm.

Pic9

Norburg cannot get out of his contract. Pearl takes a call out in the hallway saying, “You LOST HER?” Martin and Pearl run into each other as Pearl heads back to his office to get a file and Martin is leaving his office. Martin knocks him over and bolts, just missing the elevator down with Calvin and Tony. As Martin passes the car they are in, Calvin opens the door and knocks out the security guy, ensuring Martin’s escape.

Guillermo discovers the sheet music and starts writing numbers for the notes, which, of course, are the God sequence.

Pic11

Santiago finds lots of great information, including an address that Lucy connects to Jake’s scores on all the video machines, a place where they might find Amelia, 5227 Lindera, zip code 90046 [not a real address–bummer].

Pic12

It leads to a crack house and find someone who they think is Amelia. Jakes come into the building. The PI hits Martin. Lucy and the PI search the house. “What is it with you people?” Martin knocks him out. This is not Amelia. While walking outside, Jake drops her backpack and a map falls out. Nicole (Madison Leisle) tells them some girl gave her the backpack near the pier (Amelia). Pearl apparently is her real father. Lucy makes her call home.

Pic13

Norburg loses it as a stakeholder’s meeting. He says they are using this algorithm to program machines to be smarter than people. Then these machines will create new machines who are more intelligent than them. The human brain will become obsolete. It will be a “dystopian nightmare” brought to you by Aster Corps. “Evolution of the species in numerical form.” Tony tells him to prepare for the mother of all lawsuits, but someone in the audience is intrigued. Vikash Nayar (Dileep Rao) approaches. He has money, something Calvin needs, and no questions asked.

Pic14

Guillermo is in a cab and when it jerks, pictures fall out of it, including one of Jake. Jake now has targets on his back, Aster Corps and Guillermo.

Pic15

At the beach, Jake finds a knight chess piece after running and creating a circle in the sand.

Pic16

Pic17

The pattern resembles the tides and the scene shifts over to Amelia who sits at a table. IN WALKS NORBURG who says he heard she went to the beach that day. He tells her, “Your parents gave you away.” A knight piece is missing from her chess set. She is communicating with Jake!

Pic18

Avram’s cousin (Harvey J. Alperin) gives Martin, Lucy and Jake a nice place to stay. Lucy says to Martin, “Nine hours and we’re already leaving together.” A record even for her.

Martin gets a call from Santiago. He discovered a death certificate on Jake, with the date issued blank, that says, “Injuries sustained in a car crash with 1 other fatality, his father, Martin Bohm. Funeral home is undisclosed. The certificate number is S0195520 (not sure if that is significant, but wrote it down anyway).

Pic19

MY COMMENTS

I like the new changes. There are easter eggs if you look for them. An “aster” in biology is “a cellular structure shaped like a star, formed around each centrosome during mitosis.”  If you look closely, you can see the star references. Another example is on Ruben’s desk. One of the puzzle toys on his desk are like Dr. Teller’s, the ones the boarding house tested Jake, the shape that is identical to the crystal he carries. Also, Ruben is using a screensaver on his computer that is full of stars. There are two stars that are on either side of the address at 5227 Lindera. That swirl pattern is in the gate of the crack house. The star of David on the door to Avram’s cousin’s house.

Jake needed out of the boarding house and to be with Martin as they find more pieces to the puzzle. A Los Angeles shoot provides them with access to more diverse scenery. At this point we are unsure of Calvin Norburg’s true intentions. My gut tells me that Amelia may have been feeding him the sequence and his math skills are what they appear. I 100% believe that Guillermo thinks he is doing God’s work and that is totally creepy. It adds an element of evil and explores the world of religious zealots. Going off the grid will be difficult for Martin. While Clea (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) was a great character to play off, it was something that was getting stale. Lucy and Martin understand each other and complement each other. There is potential for romance between them. Instead of having the “A” plot and “B” plot and Martin never seeing the connection between them, it looks, so far, as if the “A” plot and “B” plot have individualized stories that will eventually meet somewhere down the road. Season 1 was about Martin helping individuals reconnect while discovering what the danger was underneath. The wound Guillermo is creating on the 36 Righteous Ones is similar to the one on his own neck, so I am eager to see this episode with his backstory. This year the danger is brought to the forefront which propels the story forward.





Chatting With Marci Michelle from “TOUCH”

8 02 2013

MarciMichelle1Not only does Marci Michelle Peters-Keirn help other actors learn their lines and sometimes perform their scenes during takes, she also can be found as several different characters in the “24” world, and also in the premiere episode, “Event Horizon” on TOUCH which premieres Friday, February 8, 2013 at 8/7 central on FOX. Look for her in the news staff scenes.

From her website, “Marci Michelle grew up surrounded by the stage and screen. Her grandmother, Charlotte Peters, starred in a variety show from 1947 to 1969 and was dubbed the First Woman of St. Louis Television. Her father, Mike Peters, is a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist and creator of the comic strip, Mother Goose & Grimm. Sunday afternoons were regularly devoted to black and white movies and she claims “The Women” as one of her favorite films.

After graduating from Ringling School of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Marci found her way to CA by way of a family friend and immediately fell back in love with being on set and all of the processes of filmmaking. Starting out as a background actor and stand-in, she quickly became a member of the SAG Union and fittingly her first SAG job was as on the movie “Looney Toons: Back In Action” which was endearing to her as the late cartoonist Chuck Jones had been her father’s mentor.”

How did you become a dialogue coach?

I don’t really coach, it’s more of a ‘dialogue consultant’ job and it started back on “24”. That show had copious amounts of scenes where actors were delivering most their dialogue on the phone, on comm, into a walkie, speaker, etc. so instead of figuring out complicated scheduling for actors to come in and deliver their off-camera lines to the actor on camera, it just became easier for me to deliver the lines to them. Especially for Kiefer [Sutherland}. Kiefer had such a heavy load of technical dialogue to get through in every scene that it worked well for us to run the lines thus getting the fast-paced rhythm down. And then, on rare occasion, when he was unavailable, I could deliver his rapid-fire lines to the other actors when they performed on camera.

What are the attributes that make a dialogue consultant outstanding in their field?

From what I have been told by the actors I have worked with, to deliver lines to actors with enough of a “heart-beat” without verbally dictating where the scene should go emotionally seems to be my forte. If, on occasion, an actor asks for the scene to be read with more life I can do that, but most of the time, reading the dialogue with just enough inflection to enable them to make their own artistic choices works best.

What is one memorable moment (a positive memory or a valuable lesson) that you can share with us?

Memorable moment: Kiefer’s uncanny ability to read the nerve level of young actors and instantly and subtly figure out a way of taking their mind off their nerves thus allowing them to give excellent performances. This virtue of his has helped numerous times he has worked in scenes with children especially. He’ll break out coloring books and get down on their level, running the scene with them while keeping them occupied with crayons.

What surprises have you encountered being a dialogue consultant that you did not expect when you entered the industry?

What surprises me and what I adore about my job is seeing the way different actors prepare for their scenes. I’m dyslexic–no joke–so it fascinates me to see the way people memorize anything! Kiefer is an auditory learner. He just needs to hear the words out loud and it locks into that sponge of a brain of his. Some need to run the lines continuously, others need to run them fast just a couple times before a take, and some need lots of props within a scene to play with. Just fascinating.

Besides your parents, who have been great influencers in your life?

Probably my husband of 22 years for being such an incredibly hard worker all the time and my paternal grandmother for being such an outspoken strong woman.

Are there any set differences between working on “24” and working on “TOUCH?”  For example, the pace, the tone, the location, your interaction with the actors or extras in your capacity on set?

The biggest difference between the two series, especially in the first season of “TOUCH” was the pace of the show. Season 2, you will find, picks up pace in a GRAND way. The dialogue is, of course, different as well, not as much technical military vocabulary happening. And the emotional range of where Kiefer’s character, Martin Bohm, has had to go is much broader than that of Jack Bauer I think.

MarciMichelle2

Marci Michelle & Kiefer Sutherland in TOUCH, Season 1, “Safety In Numbers”

The premise of “TOUCH” expands the Chinese legend of the red string of fate of soul mates into a larger theme of tying the destiny of people together. Do you believe in destiny?

I believe in the connectivity of life. I believe that we are connected on a vibrational level and that when you tap into that idea you can see glimmers of those connections.

Do you have your own “TOUCH” story?

You have no idea. SO MANY! Here’s one: When I first moved to Los Angeles I worked as a Massage Therapist. My car had recently gotten broken into, and while finishing up paperwork at the spa I worked in, I was telling the receptionist this crazy story of how when I went to the car dealer to have my CD changer replaced. He told me to head to the parts department. I went over to the parts department and told the man that I needed a new CD changer. He went into the back and said they were out. He said “Write your name down with your number and I’ll call you when it comes in.” I write my maiden name down, Marci Peters. He looks at me and asks “Are you related to Mike and Marian Peters?” I dumbfoundedly replied, “YES?! How would you know that?” He said “I was stationed with your dad in Okinawa. You look like your parents.” I said “So you’ve kept in contact with them?” He replied “Nope. Haven’t talked to them in 30 years!” WHAT!! Now while I’m telling this story to the receptionist, there is a man that I had worked on [therapy], sitting in the lobby of the spa hearing all this, waiting for his wife. He interrupted and said “Your dad is Mike Peters, the cartoonist?” I said, “Yes”, to which he replied, “My sister used to babysit you and your sisters back in Ohio!” I KID YOU NOT!!

Do you believe in karma? Do you have examples from your own life of a positive or negative karmic experience?

Definitely. I’m a pay-it-forward-type person and definitely live my life with much respect to KARMA. My life is proof of positive energy begetting positive energy.

RAPID-FIRE QUESTIONS

I really wish I knew...how to sing better, play the guitar, and speak fluent French.

I’d love to spend a lazy Sunday... with my family watching old black and white movies.

My secret talent is… I’m a book binder, yogi, and massage therapist.

Best spontaneous decision was… moving to LA.

The best advice someone gave you was… to do what I love and the money will follow (my father).

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Marci for stopping by today to give us some insight into how things work behind the scenes. Tune in to TOUCH on Friday nights, starting Friday, February 8, 2013 at 8/7 central on FOX.

You can follow Marci on Twitter:   @MarciMichelle





“TOUCH” Season 2 Premiere Preview

6 02 2013

TouchLogo3

During the last season of TOUCH, we learned that Jake (David Mazouz) is one of the 36 Righteous Ones (Lamed Vav Tzadikim in Judaism mysticism). According to the Talmud, “as a mystical concept, the number 36 is even more intriguing. It is said that at all times there are 36 special people in the world, and that were it not for them, all of them, if even one of them was missing, the world would come to an end.” The sequence Professor Teller was working on he called “The Amelia Sequence” also known as the “mind of God.” We learned that Aster Corps, the corporation that Abigail (Martin’s sister in law) works, is interested in knowing the Amelia sequence for their own greed. (Note: an “aster” is a cellular structure shaped like a star, formed around each centrosome during mitosis, although their corporate logo is not represented by a star which may or may not be an important symbol in the show. I did see several stars during the season 2 premiere episode). Jake was part of their bigger plan. Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) taps into people he helped in season 1 to help him break Jake out of the boarding facility and try to disappear. The numbers lead them to Los Angeles which lead them to finding Amelia’s mother (Maria Bello) at the pier.

TouchJakeKieferMaria

Jake, Martin and Lucy

Last season, TOUCH ran into problems having Jake at a boarding facility (lack of mobility in the world), having Clea (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) as the adult Martin played off of (who was often tied to the boarding facility), and Martin who goes out on these quests for Jake. Clea, being the outsider, took awhile before she began to believe that the numbers Jake was showing the world were significant. Her dialogue lines almost became cliché, like Jack Bauer’s “We’re running out of time.” After a few episodes, while the thought was intriguing about the interconnectedness of everyone, a deeper mythos needed to emerge in order for the show to remain viable. As it was true with the shows “Alias” and “Lost,” TOUCH now moves into that realm.

TOUCH also had an image to get past. Unfortunately, it was not made clear that Jake did NOT have autism. Many media outlets reported it like that, and indeed on Netflix, they still describe season 1 as just that:

TouchNetflixDescription

Even though during the episode, Martin Bohm says that he was diagnosed with many things, including autism, he never bought into any of those diagnoses, but he is curious about Jake’s mutism. Mutism is NOT autism. Because of this, there were strong reactions from families with kids with autism. Having a character with autism is tricky enough. If the creators get it wrong, the backlash is horrible. I cannot tell you how many people have said, “Well, they say the kid has autism but that character is all the misconceptions of autism in one child.” And I have to still correct them. Kiefer Sutherland was on Ellen this past week saying Jake had supernatural abilities and not autism.

At the end of season 1, with the mysticism of the 36 Righteous Ones, coupled with an evil player (Aster Corp), coupled with several unknown characters of good and/or evil, you begin to develop a path where good and evil will collide. TOUCH adds the elements of hidden clues within the episodes that Lost so perfectly executed. Often I have to watch the episodes several times to see the subtle hints, like in this new episode of season 2, “Event Horizon.” It took my second viewing to see the object on the hacker’s desk.

TouchGuillermo

Guillermo Ortiz

While Gugu Mbatha-Raw was a great actress, the chemistry between her character and Martin Bohm could never become romantic. Thus, Maria Bello was added to the cast this season as Amelia’s mother, Lucy Robbins. This gives Martin another parent who understands exactly what he is going through, and gives way to the mission of season 2: Finding Amelia (Saxon Sharbino).

Added to the cast in this episode are Lukas Haas (24, Inception), as Calvin Norburg, who is part of Aster Corps. Actor Said Taghmaoui plays the character Guillermo Ortiz who has his own agenda. Fans of “24” will be pleased to see Greg Ellis (who played Michael Amador in the show “24”) as Jack’s former colleague, Trevor. Ray Santiago joins the cast as the hacker named Ruben Santiago. Dileep Rao (from Inception) joins the show for at least these 2 episodes. The episode also features another “24” and “Fringe” character actor, John Prosky, and “Date Movie” star Adam Campbell.

TouchClavin

Calvin Norburg

The episode of “Closer” was written by Carol Barbee (Jericho, Three Rivers). Everything she touches turns to gold and this episode is no exception. “Event Horizon” was written by Tim Kring. David Eick adds a producing credit and we know the quality we can expect from his productions.

Some people we see in “Closer” are Ayelet Zurer, Linda Gehringer, Randy Oglesby (Argo), John Boyd (of 24 & Argo), Isabella Acres (as Soleil, which means sun, which is the brightest star in our galaxy).

After watching the two episodes, I think the show has improved a great deal. There is an element of danger that was elusive in season 1. Instead of the numbers pushing the path for Martin to find the clues, the numbers serve as markers for Martin and Lucy that they are on the right path. There are other signs given along the way as well. Jake undergoes dramatic character changes. While it is recommended you watch season 1 to understand the base story, a new viewer can easily jump into season 2 with the explanation of important plot points given in the narration and the first episode. There are several targets on Jake’s back so danger is all around and you have to be careful who you trust. The change of location shoot opens up the scenery which is also a refreshing change.  I feel they make a joke within the dialogue:  Lucy:  “Maybe he’s ready for something new.”  Martin:  Aren’t we all?

I wish to thank FOX Broadcasting and the FOX VIP program for allowing me the privilege of the preview.

The special two-hour Season Two premiere episode of TOUCH, “Event Horizon/Closer,” airs Friday, Feb. 8 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Join us on Twitter for a tweet up.

TouchLogo1

TouchLogo