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.





The 2011 Bowen Backyard

26 12 2011

The Bowen Backyard 2011

We hope this letter finds you all well and happy. It’s funny how after Halloween things churn into high-gear. This year has been quite eventful for us.

Patrick’s learning accelerated. It is going to be hard for me to share everything so here are the highlights: He now communicates with an IPad. His verbal communication has increased, too, but it is not as predictable. He greets people with “hi.” Recently we’ve heard a phrase that sounds like “go away” which sometimes is appropriate to the situation and sometimes is echolalia. Patrick is now back to playing soccer and by this fall was working well with a teenage buddy. His basketball throw is improving as well; he has gotten the ball in the hoop, too. He is getting better at pressing the right numbers on the microwave after we give him a verbal prompt of what number he needs to press. He attended a concert at Miller Outdoor Theater & passed out flyers about the school afterwards.

How wonderful it is that our community is becoming sensitive to the needs of our kiddos. He’s attended several sensory-friendly movies, like Rio, The Smurfs, etc. He has also had field trips to Chefs-2-B where he created his own pizza. Jeff and I took him to the planetarium and museum. He did not want to sit in a recliner chair, and fortunately, the museum had regular-backed chairs for those differently-abled. He enjoyed the energy exhibit. When we got to the gem/jewelry exhibit, he helped me try to find the exit very quickly–typical male! You can view some Patrick videos on http://www.youtube.com/user/JadeKirra (my Jedi name–no laughing; geeks rule!)

During spring break, he used his IPad independently to say, “Mom, I need help” and then he verbally said, “I need help” right after it. These are always surreal moments to us. He was playing Connect 4 independently with a peer at school, a child who I can say has actually been as close to a friend to Patrick as he has ever had. It’s fun to see him laughing again. He was shown the “ice” button in a Subway store. He kept pushing the ice button and laughing every time ice came out. He reminds us of the beauty of living in the moment. He enjoys using the self check-out areas of the store with the scanner and knows to scan it & put it in the bag. He helps placing items on a conveyor belt from the basket and adores the debit/credit swipe computer, so we got him a gift card that he can use to make his own purchases. In May, he attended his first wedding. We dressed him up in nice pants, a shirt and a tie; he looked so handsome.

Patrick in his first tie, and not a clip-on

He refused to keep his shirt tucked in, and we gave up the struggle. One must pick the battles to be fought.

During the summer, he went sailing for the very first time and enjoyed it. This fall the school has been working on academics and activities that will lead to employment (office work, stacking cans, etc.). He has begun to understand the concept of talking on the phone and is following simple directions given.

Yeah, I really don't like that hat. Get it off.

While things sound all peaches and creams, we do have our trying moments where we really hate autism. As with all parents, we deal with the “teen attitude.” Patrick will be 16 on December 17. Our baby is almost 6 feet tall.

Mom feels like a hobbit here.

The best news for us and for Patrick came in June when I signed the documents. The school district is now paying for Patrick’s private school tuition, the bus drive, and a private agency to do speech therapy with him. He will get OT through a school-provided individual who will go out to the school. WE WON, WE WON, WE WON! Seven long years of battle. When they went to observe him at school, his progress was undeniable. It was done in a simple meeting; no due process; no mediation. The sense I got from that meeting was that this would be permanent for the rest of Patrick’s school career, even though they have to review it year to year. The burden that lifted off our shoulders was immense.

The year has been busy for us as well. I left the science fiction website I was writing for in January and a month later got an extraordinary opportunity to be part of something called Fox VIP, at the recommendation of our local Fox station. I continued to write and promote shows, and now I was getting all these presents. Out of all the things I received, my favorites were a signed “Fringe” script,

The signed Fringe script. Treasured forever.

my “So You Think You Can Dance” shoes,

So You Think You Can Dance Shoes Thanks for FOXVIP

and my “New Girl” Adorkable T-shirt.

My "New Girl" adorkable T-shirt

I also had an opportunity through this association to fly out in May to Los Angeles to the American Idol finale show (airfare, hotel, spending money all covered). Sadly Jeff could not go with me, so my friend Glicel did.

Delays, delays, delays

We met up with my brother-in-law for lunch & dinner with a friend.

Me and my brother in law.

Robert Meyer Burnett, my friend Glicel, and Me at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant in the hotel.

I think I got about 9 hours of sleep during the 3 days involved.

Between Feb and April, I did a lot of work on the school’s Rock Autism benefit.

My semi-rock look. Kids were going to be there so I had to tone it down.

The week after was our Boots and Bling Gala (April 2011) in which 320 people came out to support Patrick’s school at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center. I was able to help with the event as it approached and afterwards. Being involved with Patrick’s school is deeply gratifying. I would do anything for them. They are the heroes who help hundreds of children.

One half of the people there.

The other side of the room with the dual screens, each for each side.

In October, I went to visit my sister in NC; I had not seen her in at least 5-6 years. Out of all the things we did during the extended weekend, our trip to Cherokee was my favorite. I adore learning about other people’s cultures and history, but most especially their spiritual/religious beliefs.

Oak Grove Inn?

Cherokee, North Carolina

As December beckons, I am in charge of the book fair at InKids and now am the print/promotions chairperson for their Boots & Bling Gala 2012. Being such, I want all my Houston area friends to come. It is so much fun. Save the date: April 14, 2012 at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center on North Millbend in Grogan’s Mill. In June, I attended my first CD release party of local talent who I became familiar with during my efforts of Rock Autism.

I continue to blog at here, tweet http://twitter.com/pbmom, and you can find me at Facebook here:  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1535065933.   For as many joys and blessings that have come into my life this year, sadness also visited in the span of 2 months with the tragic death of a friend’s son, the expected death of another friend, Joe, and the unexpected death of my friend and neighbor of 15 years, Lenie.

Jeff and I did manage some time away in January of 2011 to Dallas to the Women of Sci-Fi Convention where we got to speak to Alaina Huffman,

Alaina Huffman

Katee Sackhoff, and Tricia Helfer for a considerable length of time.

Katee Sackhoff

Tricia Helfer

In addition to their Q&A sessions, we also got to see Q&A sessions from Nichelle Nichols (of Star Trek), and Yvonne Craig (the original Batgirl).  Erin Gray (Buck Rogers) was also there as was Morena Baccarin (Stargate SG-1, V, Homeland). Jeff thought it was funny that when he would come back from going to the bathroom, I would surrounded by a group of male geeks chatting with me about what I thought about this show or that show, how I felt about the female additions to Human Target that season, and into more heavy anthropological and cultural advances that have expanded the once exclusive male areas of geek to women, like the expanding roles of lead female characters in video games.  The male-geek-to-female-geek ratio was 10:1 if not higher. We also got to meet up with another Twitter friend who flew in from Vancouver, British Columbia, and met some other people through him. I also had breakfast with one of my high school friends from New York. She hasn’t changed much at all in all these years.

ScoobyKoo from Vancouver and Me at Women of SciFi Convention, Plano, Jan 2011

Jeff has been extremely busy at work, taking on new responsibilities as a member of his company’s safety team. Since he works for a utility company, the emphasis on safety is extremely important. Some of his duties include conducting monthly safety meetings, bringing in industry speakers, CPR training, blood drives, managing the group’s website and content, and preparing his business unit for safety audits. In addition, his work has picked up significantly in his department as the company is building new power plants. He often states to his coworkers that there are not enough hours in the day! Jeff continues to exercise and has brought Patrick along on his two-mile walks of our dog, Maddie. We think that this and other physical fitness activities have helped Patrick improve. In his spare time Jeff continues read his books and play his videogames.

We would like to close with a request. If you find yourself wanting to give to a charity on or before Christmas Day, please consider helping Patrick’s school. They are a not-for-profit, so your donation is tax-deductible. In August, Patrick’s program was able to double in expansion. Even though parents do pay tuition, not all costs are covered. One hundred percent of the money stays in the school and at least 85% or more goes directly to the children. We have been honored already by the response of my friends on Facebook and Twitter, and have raised our goal twice now. You can make a donation by going on-line to: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/hildabowen/annual-campaign-2011 We wrote a story on there as well (similar to my Rock Autism speech). If you are leery about using Visa/Mastercard, then you can send them a check directly to (just attach a note that it is in honor of Patrick). Allison Boyd, Donor Services, Including Kids, 5364 FM 1960 East, Humble, Texas 77346 Make it payable to Including Kids Thank you for your consideration in this. Even $5 helps.

May we share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven. Peace & blessings are wished to you and your families always.

Happy Holidays!
Hilda, Jeff & Patrick