Touch Recap: Safety In Numbers

28 05 2012

(A bit behind so I’ll keep these brief so I can be current before the season finale). I thought I’d try writing this up in arcs, but since they are interconnected, it makes that difficult. Also thought I would maybe sum up the last 6 episodes but that was not going to work, so back to the old format.

This episode’s important number was 3287 and what is up with door #6 at the Board and Care?

The opening starts with a reflective thought of evolution, “If a species wants to survive, it has to prove it deserves to.” Jake (David Mazouz) talks about how fire ants can hold onto each other like a living raft waiting for the water to recede and how did that all begin that they knew to do that?

At The Claremont, address 3287, a man (Rob Benedict) places a paper at the door. Another man picks it up. Jake is sitting at the door with the number 6 on it (room 122 on the placard). Jake narrating the dialogue lines: “What if you were the one who knew what needed to be done but you had no words? How do you make the others understand? How do you call for help? ”

We’ve been experiencing this with my son. He is nonverbal. We try a communication system. He seems to have this burst of learning. Then he refuses to use it, and it leaves him. First it was sign language, then others in between, and last year, it was with a program called Proloquo2go (pronounced PRO-LOW-QUO-TWO-GO) for the IPhone/IPad. He seemed to just excel in it, and now he gets agitated whenever we ask him to use it to communicate. He can’t ask for help. All he can do is communicate through behavior. Let’s just say he has been VERY LOUD the last few months.

Back to Touch, Jake places a call to Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) who hears static on the phone but knows Jake needs him. Like a Bat Signal. Martin opens the door to Jake’s room, but he’s gone. They find Jake at door 6. Jake stuffs the paper into Martin’s coat and returns to his room, but gives him direct, sustained eye contact (something Jake does not do). The picture is a dragon.

Martin visits Professor Arthur Teller (Danny Glover). Martin asked if he would spend his life chasing down numbers for Jake. Teller reminded Martin that Jake feels the pain of these threads, real physical pain. The professor warns that Jake has a higher purpose and he won’t be the only one that notices (foreshadow for future episodes).

Meanwhile in Soweto, South Africa, Grace (user name Grace22) (actress Yetide Badaki) takes a career aptitude and placement test (Version 1.6) in her village. Her ID to complete the test is 3287. Baruti (Darrell Luke) tells Grace she needs to leave her friend, Sauda (Khanya Mkhize), and take a job in the city. A young boy watches from the window. The two boys, Thabo (Dante Brown) and Farai (Kwesi Boakye) put a bottle cap in the window. I’m guessing they intend to go back later.

Grace and Sauda in Soweto

The Worldwide Dance Battle is on the TV at the Center and Jake focuses in on it. The audience would be picking a winner.

A woman in a red dress (Olesya Rulin) goes through security at the dance battle. She is supposed to meet someone outside a tent. The security guy (Brett Wagner) is very kind to her.

A taxi hits a homeless woman who we are led to think is Clea’s mom (Taxi 4R21) in front of Martin. The man from the beginning of the show steals a book she has. A nurse comes to attend to the woman (Marci Michelle). Martin runs after him.

It’s Marci Michelle!

Meanwhile the Beastmaster (Stephen “tWitch’ Boss) is on the stage, dancing to “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” I adore tWitch from So You Think You Can Dance. He is among my top 20 favorite dances ever on the show (especially the one with Alex). I digress.

Twitch from So You Think You Can Dance.

Back in Soweto, a violent man named Fumbe (Ike Onuoha) is with Grace’s friend Sauda. Fumbe has beaten her. Grace wants her to leave. Fumbe freaks and strikes Grace to the ground.

Martin catches up with “The Invisible Prince.” He shows Martin that the book is his; the woman stole it from him. The book is similar to what Jake gave Martin in his pocket. The Prince is just like Jake but he can speak and is an adult. He tells Martin, “The dragon is loose.” Was Martin looking at this man concerned that Jake would go insane as he aged?

Martin and The Invisible Prince. Is this Jake’s future fate?

Jake is playing with the red car again. Clea (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is doing RFFC’s with him (applied behavior analysis term for receptive by feature, function, class). She takes the car to try to get Jake to give her eye contact. He grabs the car, giving her a side glance only, and walks downstairs to door 6 again. He slides the car under the door.

The kids in South Africa have aspirations. They want to compete in this internet dance battle.

The Prince is upset that he almost missed changing a light at a corner for a woman to cross without waiting (Kate Fuglei). He then goes and buys a red flower and puts it on the bus bench for a different woman (Janeline Hayes). The Prince pauses in front of The Claremont for a moment before moving on. He tells Martin that he tried to slay the dragon with a magic sword but failed. He offered it to The King and he buried it deep within the Mountain of Clare (I’m guessing The Claremont) behind a wall of stones. The final battle was tonight. Then the two women arrive at their destination together in a building with a red dragon sign on the outside: Morton Starling Finances.

Izumi (Satomi Okuno) and Miyoko (May Miyata) from Japan are at the Coachella Valley festival because The Morticians will be playing. They’ve been in the running thread since the pilot. They converse with the girl in the red dress using a translator app on 2 phones (one translating to English what they said in Japanese; the other translating her English to Japanese). Clever! Apparently the red-dressed girl got stood up by a guy she met online (imagine that). The Morticians will be playing in 15 minutes, so they leave, but one phone is left behind. This is the phone that has been roaming the world since the pilot episode in January.

Izumi and Miyoko from Japan here for the Morticians, and the girl in the red dress.

The women who the Prince was connecting had a conversation at the elevator to which Martin listens. They are plaintiffs in some class-action suit and they are about to settle. They talk about “Roger King” and Martin knows that name. Martin pretends he is representing Roger King to go to the meeting. A journalist, Rush Middleton (Graham Hamilton), who was a former colleague that Martin would request bring him coffee, saw Martin and thought he was there in a journalistic capacity. Martin thinks he can get Roger King to talk, so Rush gives him the address: 3287 Avondale (Just FYI, The Claremont’s real address in NYC is 229 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003).

Clea asks Sheri (Roxana Brusso) about room 6; Sheri says it is empty. A phone call from 212-920-6922 (reverse white pages says this is a phone number, a landline in the Bronx) comes in to Clea’s phone. It is her mother. When she answers, she is told her mother is in the hospital.

Martin goes to The Claremont. Charlie King (Vince Grant) Roger’s son, tells him Roger is dead. When Martin says, “The Invisible Prince” an open door awaits. The Invisible Prince was a bedtime story that Roger used to tell. The Invisible Prince had to do good deeds in secret or they would not count. Charles says Walt (the Prince) was a genius at numbers and produced a financial system that made Morton Starling billions. Charlie’s son Matt (Elijah Nelson) is also watching the internet dance battle. He was “The Domin8tor”. Because he bowed out of the competition so Charlie and Martin could do some internet research, it led to an opening for 4Soweto. But I’m getting ahead of myself. (Just FYI, the web address on the computer is not a real site). From the “Invisible Prince” story, Charlie says it was the magic sword of truth.

Clea’s mom apparently is schizophrenic (supposedly; I’m wondering if she isn’t like Jake). She asks the nurse if the woman was hit by the taxis near the tracks at Queensboro Plaza. The nurse (Deidrie Henri) says yes. Her mother is in room 5290, but ta-da, it’s not her mother. The woman stole her mother’s phone.

Sheri recognizes Teller at the Board and Care. Teller asks for a tour because he is considering placing a patient there. She obliges a short tour.

Martin finds a box requiring a combination, but Charlie does not know it. The audience knows 3287 will open that lockbox. Documents that were never previously opened are in there–the magic sword of truth. It’s now 5:43 p.m. and Martin has to RUN to get to the New York Herald–16 minutes to go 22 blocks. If this is possible is if this is a north-south street or an east/west avenue in New York City because the lengths are different. A 20-block street equals about a mile. And that’s not counting traffic lights.

Jake begins to hum and catches the attention of Sheri who thinks he is in pain or something. Teller observes. It gets louder. Sauda is being beaten in Soweto and is screaming. Martin is running. Grace rhythmically drugs on a pot. Jake is screaming (to what Clea previously described about her mother screaming when the trains rushed by that scared the crap out of her). The women in Soweto come out with their pots and rhythmically drum in solidarity to support Sauda.

Thabo did not show up, so Farai dances instead. The crowd goes wild. They show room 6 again. The red car gets pushed back out into the hallway. Sheri lied about it being empty.

Walt King wrote a memo showing Morton Starling the flaws in his financial model design and the company exploited it to make millions. Rush does not understand Martin’s intention. Martin replies that it was the same reason he told him to get him coffee everyday–because he knew Rush would be a great reporter. Rush offers Martin a by-line, but Martin refuses, saying it would be their little secret, otherwise it would not count.

The girl in the red dress meets the Beastmaster who just lost to the 10-year-old in the dance competition. They bond over the videos from the cell phone that has traveled the world.

Martin meets up with Walt and tells him they fixed the thread. The Invisible Prince then knights Martin as the Invisible Knight. Martin relays a message that Charlie and his family welcome him to come home any time he wants.

A montage begins: Clea sees the red car in the hallway and knows Sheri lied. Teller creates a file on Jake. The reporter on TV (Craig Stepp) shows that Main Street won out over Wall Street. The 2 women from the lawsuit toast their victory.

The Invisible Prince watches his brother and his family come home to the Mountain of Clare, his face showing the longing to be with them but knowing he has a greater purpose to fulfill. Sauda is taking a computer test to be able to move to the city with Grace and rise above the domestic violence. Martin tucks Jake into his bed donned with red sheets and a comforter of red with white circles (patterns). Clea returns Jake’s red car to him. Clea sees herself in Martin’s actions and promises to be more understanding.

Martin starts a bedtime story for Jake about The Invisible Knight who served The Silent King and together they helped people they did not even know were there. And The Silent King closed his eyes and went to Dreamland.

Jake listens to the The Silent King story.

What I adore about this show is the thoughtfulness they put into providing clues for us. Like the eye contact Jake gave Martin to communicate how important this task was. The running theme of the color red–the car, the flower, the dress, Jake’s sheets/comforter, the red dragon logo on the company’s building. When we were first working with Patrick, we noticed he stopped on the color red of his One Fish, Two Fish book. The group of people working with him asked, “How can we use the color red to help him?” They came up with these thoughts: Use red lipstick so that he will look at your lips when you are speaking. Eat something red (popsicle or lollypop) so he can see movement of the tongue. Use red to put near your eyes so he will give greater eye contact. But I think the show is emphasizing the red string of fate. I wonder if Jakes gets any peace from the pain in the dream state. What I think they can improve upon is uberfans who adored Lost for the same reason: The clues, trying to figure out the larger story. Perhaps they can put more real-life clues into the show. For example, on “24” one of the times they had a cell phone number, fans from 24 actually called the number and got a message from the actors. What if one of the numbers could provide the uberfan with additional exclusive clues that they would not get anywhere else. Lost created a whole web presence built about its mythos. I think the producers of Touch should do the same. It helps us to experience the show on a different level than just viewing. It is about participating and making the global connections.





Touch Recap: 1+1=3

29 03 2012

By Hilda Clark Bowen

When does 1+1=3? It is a mathematical fallacy, but for some, it means synergy. Synergy, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “the working together of two things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.”

When we left off in the pilot, Jake (David Mazouz) had made a connection with his father, Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland), for the first time, indeed not only giving him his first hug ever, but also a clue to his next red thread to untangle, the phone number: 718-673-5296. Trying to see if there was a clue in that phone number, I dialed it. It is an actual landline in the Greater New York area, but the phone number is not programmed to take messages.

The new show opens in what looks to be a country in India perhaps, with a young man (Karan Soni) on a bench with a pottery statue, and continues with short clips of all the people involved in tonight’s episode. Clea (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) returns to the Bohm’s home to take Jake back to the facility for an assessment. Despite what she witnessed, she still has to follow her job’s mandate, but reassures Martin she is on his side–she wants Jake home with Martin for good. When he politely refuses to cooperate, she politely informs him she’ll need to call the police. He reconsiders and walks over to explain things to Jake. Jake writes the phone number he wants his father to follow in the palm of his hand and leaves with Clea.

Martin looks up the phone number on his reverse directory and it belongs to Arnie’s Pawn Shop, 318 East Fordham Road, New York, New York. East Fordham is actually a street in the Bronx (I lived in the Bronx for a short time), but 318 does not exist (316 does), although I do like the call back to the first episode where 318 was important (the school bus, the fireman’s badge number, the number of the street address of the Teller Institute on West Tesla Street in the Bronx, the date and time to run into the fireman).

At the JFK Airport where Martin works, his path crosses with Lyov, a dog going to Moscow. Upstairs in the passenger area, flight attendant, Becca Klepper (Amy Sloan) is rushing and runs directly into the young man from India, scattering the ashes of his dead father that were contained within the pottery piece on the terminal’s ground. Becca meets up with Martin on the tarmac. She is supposed to escort Lyov to Moscow. While putting the dog on the truck, Martin accidentally pops the crate open and Lyov takes off.

At the assessment center, Jake repetitively writes 5296. Not understanding that he cannot just pop random numbers that have no connectivity out of his head, Clea asks him to use popcorn kernels to “guess” her phone number or address. Instead, he creates a smiley face for her. When she tries to get Jake to use paint to express his numbers, he uses it to paint his hand instead. Clea looks defeated. While getting him a wipe to clean up his hand, Jake has bolted from the room already but not before writing 5296 for her. Jake puts his orange handprint on a door with the number 6 on it in the basement. When Clea notices all the doors are locked, she subsequently notices the keypad at the exit door. She puts in 5296 and the door opens. In a beautiful scene, as the door opens, the sunlight shines on Clea faces, a light that is leading her to take another step in believing that nothing Jake does is random.

The young ladies from Japan from the pilot episode, Miyoko (May Miyata) and Izumi (Satomi Okuno) arrive at JFK Airport on their way to Los Angeles to the Coastabella Music Festival. They are fans of the group “The Morticians.” Their physical path crosses with Becca, the flight attendant, at the terminal. Becca runs into the young man she bumped into earlier, as she missed her flight chasing after the dog, and he keeps trying to get to New York Stadium but the bus keeps dropping him back at the terminal. They discover both their fathers love baseball. He is trying to get his father’s ashes at center field. Becca admires him, saying “some of us will never get the chance.” Seeing how lost he looks trying to navigate just to get to the cab, she offers to assist him in getting to the stadium.

Martin enters the pawn shop. He overhears the man say, “I’m ready.” Martin does not understand. He explains to Arnie Klepper (Jude Ciccolella) that he was the guy who phoned him. Arnie still thinks he is crazy. A man walks in to rob the store (Blake Shields). The way the exchange goes between the masked man and Arnie, and the fact that he was surprised to see Martin there, I think Arnie wanted the man with the gun to shoot him (the opening having revealed that Arnie has cancer). Martin rushes him, the gun goes off, but Arnie only receives a shoulder wound. Martin pulls the mask off the man, now being able to identify him. A baseball lands at the young man’s eye level and he seems to recognize what it is. As the man flees, Martin turns over and sees a number at the top of the doorway where the chime is:  318. Obviously 318 is playing a significant role in now two episodes of Touch.

The young man meets Yuri Andreev (Mark Ivanir) in an alley, showing him a bunch of jewelry. The young man owes Yuri $10,000, but “the deal fell apart.” He tries to offer him a baseball that he says belonged to “Patrick McGrath’s home run in game 7 of the 2009 League Championship” that is worth $50,000. He tries to appeal to Yuri to give him a second chance. Yuri throws the ball out of the alley and says he has 3 hours to get him his money.

On the bus, Becca discovers that the young man carrying his father’s ashes has not made prior arrangements at the stadium and warns him that it may not happen. He says he must do this because he made a promise. His father was greatly disappointed in him as a son. Despite that, he feels he must do this because it is his duty as a son to show his father respect. Becca begins to cry. The young man comforts her.

Martin shares what has happened with Dr. Arthur Teller (Danny Glover). He offers Martin another orange soda (like in the first episode). Martin is trying to figure out what he is supposed to or not supposed to do in these situations. When there is cosmic pain that needs to be healed, Jake sees and feels that. Martin receives a phone call from Clea that Jake is gone, but when he looks up and out the window, he sees Jake there. But a bus pulls up (number 36) and Jake gets on. Martin runs after the bus and gets on (wait a minute–he didn’t pay his fare!)

In Moscow, Pavel Andreev (Daniel Polo) and his mom (Tatiana Chekhova) talk in the car before a talent show at school. Most of the other children do not seem to like him, and he hoped to impress them with magic. Only a young girl (Alex Peters) who adores him claps for him. Pavel is in emotional pain when the kids laugh as he tries to exit the stage and breaks a glass. Returning to the magic shop, Pavel demands the product did not live up to the advertising. The man (Eugene Alper) insists there are no bad products, only bad magicians. On the way out, Pavel spots the young girl from the audience. When inquiring why everyone hates him, she tells him they are afraid of his father (Yuri) because he is Solntsevskaya, or part of the Russian mob, not just a businessman, using a Tony Soprano reference.

Jake gets off the bus at W 132nd Street and Creston Avenue (an actual Bronx road) and winds up at the pawn shop. Martin notices the phone number is not the correct one Jake gave him–off by one number–5297 instead of 5296. When he dials, it is coming from above the store. Jake tries the door; it opens and he walks in, followed by Martin. He sees a letter addressed to Becca offering up apologies for mistakes “he” (her father) has made and reassures her that he loves her, with some of the words, “something has happened in my life”, “that our time here is precious”, and “I have left thinking…” and “forgive me” visible to the audience. Jake picks up a bat in the apartment that has the number 5296 on it. Martin sees a prescription for chlorambucil. (Chlorambucil is a chemotherapeutic medication used to treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s disease). A young man interrupts him.

The character who stole the baseball continues to try to sell it, but has no takers even at $10,000. He sees a picture on the wall about the catch he made, “Peanut Vendor Makes Lucky Catch.”

Becca and the man from India arrive at the stadium. However, the guard (Shane Blades) will not let them in. She encourages him that he did not fail as he had gotten this far, has gotten closure and not many people could say that. Becca says Lyov, the dog. When she runs to get him, he bolts and she chases him. Running in heels is never a fun thing to do.

The young man in the apartment returns with cash for Martin. Martin looks confused. The young man is going to hurt Martin, but Martin grabs the bat that Jake left near the couch (and Martin does see the number 5296). He scoops Jake up (which leads to Jake screaming) and carries him out to a cab. The driver (Tom Riordan) asks, “Where to” and Jake drops the prescription bottle on the seat. They are off to Victory Memorial Hospital. (Note: This is an actual hospital in Brooklyn that was noted for his delivering of babies that was closed. It sat just blocks from the Verrazano Bridge. They used to deliver a large number of babies of Italian and Irish descent, now it was more of Chinese and Russian descent).

Once at the hospital, Arnie happens to be in Room 5296, but not right now. Out the window, Martin and Jake see a hospital-gowned Arnie walking towards the bridge (it does not really look like the Verrazano Bridge to my memory).

The peanut vendor talks to Patrick McGrath, (Randall Batinkoff), the player whose ball he caught. McGrath mentions something about a “lawsuit” that allowed the peanut vendor to keep the ball. He shares a story that after he tried to sell his childhood dream (catching the ball), things in his life went from bad to worse. He just wanted to put things back right. He feels that in order to fix that karma, he needed to give the player his ball back. As the peanut vendor walks out, he leaves the door open for the man from India to go in. I’m sure the peanut vendor did not know he was to become part of a chain of events for this man either. The peanut vendor drives to where Yuri is waiting for him in a parking lot. Yuri realizes that he is going to have to beat him up for nonpayment. The peanut vendor reminds him that choices are cause and effect. Yuri gets a phone call from his son. He wonders if Pavel received the dog (Lyov) he sent him. Pavel confronts Yuri–does he not have friends because Yuri hurts people? He lies and tells Pavel no, and that “people change.” He will help his friends see that. Yuri turns to the peanut vendor and tells him he will give him his second chance.

Arnie stands on the side of the bridge looking down on traffic. (This definitely is not the Verrazano Bridge because that bridge goes over water). Martin tells him he knows everything–about his cancer, about the $10,000 he gave to the man to rob his store and kill him. Arnie does not know why Martin keeps “doing this to me.” Martin says he was meant to find him and help him. Arnie says he is dying. Martin says he does not know that as he has not even gone through the treatment yet. Arnie says he has no one who cares either way. Martin says he read the letter to Becca. His plan was to be able to leave her insurance money (if were killed in a robbery), but he could not even get that plan right. He plans to leave as he came in–alone. Martin says he’s there and he is not alone. Arnie, not convinced, prepares himself to jump as Martin rushes in and grabs him under the shoulders and pulls him over. Martin reassures him that he wants to be his friend and that he does care. A dog barks. It has to be Lyov (which will be followed by Becca). Martin is in further disbelief when he sees Becca.

An ending montage is played to the song by Alexi Murdoch, “Someday Soon.” (I love my father and I love him well…I hope to see my father soon…). The orange handprint being washed off the door. Arnie and Becca in the hospital room holding hands. The man from India spreading his father’s ashes at the pitcher’s mound and cries for the first time after his father’s death. Yuri arriving home on the plane to his son and wife. It becomes clear this was an episode mostly about fathers, including Martin and Jake. However, the montage then shows the girls from Japan. The peanut vendor is seen with a spring in his steps and burden lighter.

It closes with Martin saying, “There are so many things I wanted to teach you….” and goes into what he thought a father should do and be. “Now it turns out, you teaching me, and I want you to know I’m okay with that.” There is a hint of smile in Jake’s face for another thread healed in the world.

My thoughts about the episode: I’m enjoying the recurrent threads of the 318 numbers (which I’m not quite sure what it means yet although I keep looking). I’m curious where the threads will lead again with the girls from Japan. It was nice to see actors I have not seen in awhile: Amy Sloan whose work I had become familiar with on “Call Me Fitz”, Jude Ciccolella with his connections to Kiefer’s old show “24”, and Blake Shields who had been in “Sleeper Cell” and Tim Kring’s “Heroes.” That Jake feels cosmic pain does not surprise me. Oftentimes children with special needs have heightened senses. For example, my Patrick knows when there is someone around him who is uncomfortable with his behavior even though they do not speak a single word (and rarely does he). Tim Kring obviously takes that to the next level. My son, Patrick, is my life’s greatest teacher.  He has taught me how to live in the moment, a rare gift in a crazy world.  He has taught me patience.  He has taught me the beauty of eye contact, the joy of shaking a head up and down or right to left to respond to a simple question, and so much more.  My world is more about possibilities than absolutes.  Whether Yuri will leave the mob is doubtful, but at least for that one man on that one day, Yuri gave someone he never gave before a second chance. The show’s theme that concentrated on mostly fathers seemed to be more about second chances for everyone.





Touch — Review and Synopsis

26 01 2012

Touch

It has been a long time since I have been profoundly moved by a television show that has left me feeling hopeful regarding the interconnectedness of humanity. For anyone who believes things happen for a reason, this will be your new favorite show. Having previewed their new baby on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, Fox will enjoy seeing news about this series spread in the coming months. When it debuts on March 19, 2012, it will be seen around the globe in more than 100 countries within 3 days’ period of time and try to achieve a level of connectedness by the fan-base as never before. Arguably it has been something people have been complaining about for quite some time about the US or Canada having exclusive access to a show, and other countries having to wait to see it, sometimes many weeks, sometimes many months, sometimes never, which leads to seeking access on torrent sites which ultimately results in the demise of a show because no one is live-viewing it anymore.

The story centers around Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) and his son, Jake Bohm (David Mazouz). Labeled “severely autistic”, Martin never believed in the diagnosis given to his child and seems to be just trying to do whatever he could to make a connection with his son, yet fully accepting and loving his child at whatever place he was (very Son-Rise-esque).

I am a mother with a child with severe autism. In the weeks leading up to the show, I seemed to be getting a lot of negative feedback about that–not ANOTHER show about another kid with autism–as if autism is the célèbre-du-jour of Hollywood. Indeed kids or adults with autism were turning up everywhere on every show either as part of the main cast or as a guest star. There are a few shows that got it right, but most did not. Most people with autism are not savants (only about 10%). While parents with autism appreciate the desire to bring awareness to the spectrum disorder, when it is depicted incorrectly, it hurts our cause. The general population has grown tired of hearing “My child has autism.” They scoff at you like you are just part of the misguided parents who need to have a diagnosis for their child. Or, you have the medical community trying to reclassify the spectrum of autism to water it down so it does not appear to be an epidemic (a blog for a later time). Even I started viewing this show with a bias.

From this point forward, there will be spoilers:

The show opens with a narrative from Jake about numbers very similar to the a belief borne from the red string of fate, a Chinese legend that said the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those that are destined to be soul mates and will one day marry each other. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break, a concept very similar to soul mates. But Tim Kring, the creator of Touch, twists this idea even further to tie a group of individuals together.

Fans of Jericho (or Three Rivers or Hawaii-Five-O) will be thrilled to see that Carol Barbee is executive producer on this pilot. Executive producer Peter Chernin now has another hit on his hands after enjoying great success with Terra Nova and New Girl, also on Fox. Also sharing executive producer co-credits are Katherine Pope (also of Terra Nova and New Girl), Kiefer Sutherland, and producers, Neal Ahern, Jr., (Terra Nova, Parenthood), and Dennis Hammer (Heroes, Crossing Jordan).

The show opens with Martin at his job at the JFK airport in New York where he is gathering a bunch of cell phones, that were left in the lost and found and unclaimed, for his son who is fascinated by them. One of them rings as he is walking away. Apparently it is the owner of one of the phones trying to get the phone back after losing it at Heathrow Airport in London 2 days previously. He is not looking to get back the phone itself, but rather photographs within the phone. Apparently it is her birthday “tomorrow” but he is now in Mumbai. And he seems to be in great emotional distress. Martin’s phone is ringing so he places the man’s phone down in a bin. His son is in trouble. “I pay your school good money to keep my son safe. Are you grasping me?” Oh yes, I was relating to this character very much.

He’s off to talk his son down off an electricity tower, and I mean that literally. Meanwhile, the cell phone gets mixed up on top of some luggage. Jack Bauer is scared of heights? What? Oh wait, wrong show. It is hard NOT to put Kiefer automatically into the role of Jack. The workers want to know if the numbers 318 have any special meaning to Jake but Martin shrugs it off. A report to child services is going to need to be made.

On the way home, they stop at a gas station. Martin gazes at his son in the rear-view mirror while gazing over at the school bus filled with children talking and acting like normally developed children. My heart sinks. I know EXACTLY what this character is feeling. How many times have I done this with Patrick, just for a brief second wondering what life would be like? Martin and I share a common bond in addition to the fact that they are our only living child so we know really no other kind of life. He looks into the rear-view mirror and his son is gone, having taken off to go over towards the bus. Another similarity to autism–so I’m still very hesitant. How many of us turn away for a second and our kids with autism take off? Martin talks to his son like one would talk to their loved one in a coma, hoping that something they say will jar their loved one to respond in some way, desperately longing for that contact. I have been in this place, too, where Patrick was seemingly catatonic (but very noisy, unlike Martin’s Jake). Martin notices the number on the bus: District No 318. In the store, the TV is showing a story on “The Children of 9/11” and the struggles they endure. A man is trying to buy a Lotto ticket. Jake looks up as the man calls out the numbers: 87 1 9 20 31 11. Jake grabs the Lotto ticket and runs to the car, locking the doors. He writes down these numbers on pages of numbers he already wrote previously and hands the ticket back. The man says, “You ought to keep that kid in a cage.” Oh yes, that is something we’ve had to endure hearing before.  But this is actor Titus Welliver from “Lost” so I expect dark mystery to surround him.

Then we see a beautiful young singer, Kayla Graham (Karen David) on stage, surrounded by her fans, recording her performance on a cell phone that looks very similar to the one found at JFK. She does not believe she’ll ever be a big star. Her co-worker, Niles Borne, (Simon Delaney), tries to encourage her, saying half the company was there to support her tonight. He tells her that we all have a destiny, and hers is to be a big star. The cell phone, he believes, is the key. He found that the cell phone had traveled all around the world and now her recording was on it. The phone apparently right now is in Dublin, Ireland. He sticks the cell phone into the luggage of someone headed to Japan and away the cell phone goes.

An alarm set for 3:18 goes off at Martin’s computer. He goes in to put Jake to bed. Jake has apparently lined up cell phones. He mentions that the doctor said he was going to grow up bigger than him and how was that going to work? I’m already living that. I’m 5’3″ and my 16-year-old son is now 6 feet tall, and has seizures. The cell phones go off. Jake has all of them programmed to show the numbers 87, 1, 9, 20, 31, 11.

A family in the Middle East, Baghdad, is the next bunch introduced. The son is trying to imitate Chris Rock and wants to be a comedian. They need an oven to keep their bakery. It will cost 800,000 dinar (about $687 US dollars). The only way to make that kind of money is with shady characters who make people blow themselves up. His friend suggests they check out Hassam’s place.

Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) from family services shows up at Martin’s door the next morning. One reality disconnect: They do not show up that quickly. I already dislike this woman, so she did a great job as an actress. She lists his inadequacies as a parent, supposing that the state could do a better job. Another reality disconnect: The writers did not Google: State facilities, Texas, fight clubs, Department of Justice report, Corpus Christi. “The financial challenges will only increase as your son gets older.” I can relate to that statement, but do you know what the first thing is to get cut when state budgets are on the line? Yep, people with disabilities. Good thing Martin lives in New York versus, let’s say, Texas.

Martin shares that his wife died in the 9/11 tragedy (making Jake a child of 9/11–see above).  While Clea is trying to “talk” with the silent Jake, Martin sees the numbers in the newspaper: The numbers belong to the new Lotto winner. The man (Randall) who bought the ticket realizes he is a winner and places a phone call to a woman. He says he wants to come home now.

Simon (the owner of the cell phone now off to Japan) is on a plane and calls a woman. He is on his way to Tokyo. He wants to be there for “her” birthday (the child) but the woman is short on conversation. She also appears to be in emotional pain. My first thought was a divorce. He asks her if they took any photographs of Lily while they were on vacation besides for the ones on his phone; a tear streams down her face as she says no.

Clea tries to explain the strange coincidence off as it being part of Jake’s autism, which Martin insists is NOT his diagnosis. Martin said that for all he knows Jake does not speak because he has nothing to say. Martin says he is trying to communicate; Clea belittles his thought to wish fulfillment. Her character then starts softening up, trying to say no one is judging him (but they are).

A young Japanese woman goes through the bag of the man who came from Ireland, the one with the cell phone in his bag. She and her friend, Izumi, are in a fan club of a group called “The Morticians” who are from Ireland (actually a band based out of Waco, Texas). The man lives in Tokyo but wants to have some fun with the young girl before going home. She grabs the cell phone in his bag and leaves.

Back in New York, Martin is leaving Jake at the boarding facility. Obviously no research has been done here either. These state facilities do NOT look like this gorgeous facility. My heart wrenches for Martin not only for having to leave his son in one of these places, but also that he cannot even hug him to say goodbye. Personally, I’d skip the country and run. No one is ever taking my kid from me. Martin then goes to visit the grave of his wife, Sarah. He says, “They say God never gives you more than you can handle. But I think he has this time.” Oh dear, the tears start streaming from my eyes. How many times have I felt and said the exact same words, or felt extreme anger at people who have said that to me, not having the slightest clue what our lives are like. He looks down to find a FDNY badge with the numbers 318 on them.

The Japanese girls see Kayla Graham’s video and decide to start up a fan club as they believe she is probably already a big star in Ireland. They are going to enlist the talents of their friend, Takezo, who runs the Jumbotron at Shibuya. They will get him to download “everything” on that phone and put it up on the Jumbotron (you can see where this is going). They’ll pass the phone to another client at 4:00 p.m. , who is catching a plane to Kuwait in 3 hours.

A search for mutism and cell phones leads Martin to the door of The Teller Institute that lists the following: Mysticism, Mythology and New Age interpretation; a rise in diagnosing behavioral disorders; for a select few, mutism is a false diagnosis; this is a beginning in a shift of consciousness. (Okay, now I’m thinking Mayan 2012 theories here). We are witnessing an evolutionary step (I’m thinking Alphas here). We must listen to their message. How string theory and quantum entanglement…. (I’m thinking Fringe). The geek that I am (and conditioned Lost fan) looked up the link to http://www.tellerinstitute/electromagnetism.html but it does not exist. He gets an address to this institute: 318 West Tesla Street, Bronx, NY. SWEET. It would have been really great if the address actually existed. A bath-robed Professor Arthur Dewitt (Danny Glover) answers the door. He talks about electromagnetism and that some kids (mostly) are just tuned into the right frequency. Interestingly, he gets Martin an orange soda, the same kind Jake drinks. Apparently Jake has discovered the Fibonacci mathematical sequence on his own. He shows him pictures of the curve, similar to how Jake lined up the cell phones. “The universe is made up of precise ratios and patterns. You and I–we don’t see them. But if we could, life would be magical beyond our wildest dreams, a quantum entanglement of cause and effect where everything and everyone reflects on each other. Every action, every breath, every conscious thought connected. Imagine the unspeakable beauty of the universe he sees. No wonder he doesn’t talk. ” Martin, excited, responds, “My son sees all that?” The professor continues, “Your son sees everything–the past, the present, the future. He sees how it’s all connected.” Martin responds, “You’re telling me my son can predict the future?” The professor adds, “I’m telling you, it’s a roadmap. And your job now, your purpose, is to follow it for him. It’s your fate, Mr. Bohm. It’s your destiny.” I now have complete chills. I see the parallels of my own life being reflected in this story. My Patrick has accomplished a great deal in his 16 years on this earth; my purpose is for him to fulfill his destiny. I have often felt like his conduit.

Back at the school, Clea becomes a believer when Jake uses popcorn to make the numbers 2, 1, 2, 9, 2, 0, 6, 9, 2, 2, the numbers which was her mother’s phone number. And then her cell phone rings with that number. He goes over to circle 18 on the March calendar.

The Lotto winner is headed to Lynchburg, Virginia.

Martin looks at Jake’s numbers again and gets a phone number. Using modern technology, he puts it into the reverse phone numbers feature of a web site and it comes up as Grand Central Station at 87 East 42nd Street. Eighty-seven is the first number of the Lotto sequence. Clea knocks on his door; 3/18 is “today.” Martin is not sure if he is supposed to stop something from happening or make something happen, not only to happen on 3/18 but AT 3:18. Twenty-two minutes to Grand Central Station? Yeah, right. He better live close-by. When he locates the phone, there is a man talking on it. When he turns him around, he realizes it is the man from the store, the one who punched him. Now Martin punches back. The police break up the fight. It’s now 3:19 and Martin thinks he has failed.

Back in Iraq, a group of men walk in on the young boy at Hassam’s and they hide. They have a bunch of cell phones, including the one with Kayla Graham’s recording on it. A little girl sees them, but does not appear to give them away, but one of the terrorists comes back in. They catch him. He tells them about the oven and you can see the evil in their eyes. You know they are going to make him do something bad.

Back at Martin’s the 3:18 alarm goes off again on his computer; he notices there is a message on his answering machine. Randall Meade is calling him. Randall Meade who won Lotto; Randall Meade who was on the phone at Grand Central Station leaving Martin a message on his answering machine. He was a fire fighter on duty who tried to save his wife that tragic day. He was part of Ladder Company 318 on 9/11. He went to the 87th floor of the North Tower. His wife was alive, barely conscious and bleeding pretty badly. He carried her down 31 flights of stairs, but could not carry her any further. He convinced himself that she was dead, but the truth was he was not sure if she really was. He had been thinking about her for 10 years and had been playing the same lotto numbers every week for 10 years. 9, 11, 2001, 87th floor, 31 flights of stairs. He had wanted to try to make the numbers come out right. He was going to give all the money away. Then Martin hears himself on the phone answering machine, the encounter that happened at Grand Central Station. Then he hears Randall Meade’s name on the TV. Apparently the bus from the gas station had overturned in a bad rain storm. He pulled the kids from a burning bus. He said to the reporter if he had not missed his train, he would not have been there. Martin heads out to see his son, but his son escaped the state facility. Martin still does not know the further repercussions of this red thread.

Flash over to the Jumbotron where Simon, who is now in Tokyo, tries to call his phone: 44, 077, 0090, 0488. He gets Kayla Graham who is back at her day job. He wants her to find out where his phone is, but it is in “an invalid territory.” Kayla appears on the Jumbotron. He pleads with Kayla to please help him. Lily’s picture is in there, his daughter who died a year ago. Simon looks up at the Jumbotron and sees Lily’s pictures. It brings some peace to a grieving father. In Iraq, Simon’s phone rings. It is hooked up to a bomb that is now attached to our character’s chest. He pleads with Kayla to tell the world he was not a bad person; she tries to help him not explode. With all these wonderful connections, my heart was hoping this young man wouldn’t be blown up, that he would get his happy ending, too. Kayla tells him there is always a choice. They bond over Chris Rock. She asks him what would make him not do this. He tells her, “An oven.” She knows a guy (Simon) in restaurant supplies.

Martin and Clea find Jake at the tower. Jake narrates again: “The ratio is always the same: 1 to 1.618 over and over.”  Kayla’s co-worker sees her video on YouTube with 1,621,318 views. Simon makes it home to his wife. Martin overcomes his fear of heights and climbs the tower to talk to Jake. Jake says, “Will these words be used to hurt or to heal?” Randall gets on a bus to Virginia. Martin tells Jake that he followed the numbers and people were saved. “I don’t know if you can even hear me, but I can hear you, Jake?” I’m sobbing at this point. How many times have I said this to my nonverbal son? Jake crawls over to him and for the first time in Martin’s life, gave Martin a hug. I have raccoon eyes by now; my mascara is flowing everywhere. I remember the first time my child gave me what I call a half-hug. My dear friend who I shared my glee with said to me that she appreciated me sharing these things with her because it made her appreciate her neurotypical child even more. She never realized the things she took for granted, the comment that made me realize that Patrick’s purpose was for people to appreciate the people in their own lives and not take even simple things as eye contact for granted.

Jake grabbed Martin’s cell phone and pointed him on his next mission: 718-673-5296

Where I end my belief is this: How does Martin’s phone still work in that monster rainstorm?

My message to Tim Kring: Season 1 of Heroes was awesome. Touch has the possibility of great things that may start people thinking more about the ripple effect of their own actions, and acting more kind to each other. Don’t screw it up, okay? Save Touch, Save the world.