Series Finale for Touch on Fox

11 05 2013

On Thursday, May 9, 2013, Fox Broadcasting confirmed what we all had been expecting: Touch would not receive a season 3 renewal. Friday, May 10, 2013 would be the series finale.

I think we could see the writing on the wall from the beginning of season 2. It was supposed to be aired in October 2012. Then it got bumped to January of 2013. Then it was pushed to Friday, February 1, 2013. Then it was changed to Friday, February 8, 2013. People in the science fiction community believe the Friday night slot is the place where shows go to get the final nail in the coffin. It was true for Fringe.

There was very sparse advertising for the show’s premiere. The shows the network had more faith in, like The Following, The Mindy Project, Ben and Kate, and New Girl got far more advertising both on-air and with the use of social media.

The first season struggled. Although 12 million viewers tuned in to watch it on Monday, a sweet day in the past for Kiefer Sutherland when he was on “24”, viewership quickly declined and it was moved to Thursday night after Idol, hoping to give it an American Idol bump. Fringe had that same progression. Monday to Thursday to Friday. For years now, people have been critical of the antiquated Nielsen structure to determine number of viewers and to target 18- to 49-year-old men. As a woman, that is really insulting to me. I have as much buying power as my husband, if not more. People have new viewing habits. The days of an actual TV in a home are limited as people go to the internet to watch TV shows now. But the methods advertisers base their rates are still built on the old model. In February, it was reported that Nielsen was going to roll out a new system. It would include people who watch over broadband, XBox, Playstation. Then next phase of the program would include any type of video viewing. It is also adding a new viewing measurement for social media to include people participating in tweeting and those exposed to those tweets (I am thinking this sounds similar to Klout). But it is too late for many of our cult favorites. Fringe would have benefited greatly from the massive fan support on social media.

The story also struggled. The biggest mistake was calling Jake autistic. After the first episode, many of my friends tuned out, turned off by the unrealistic portrayal by Hollywood AGAIN of their beloved children. At first, the show was about finding people who were hurting and help restoring happiness and wholeness to their lives. Shows are often a reflection of the times we live in. I think this is why The Following has had tremendous success–it is a very dark show. Then mid-season, Touch started building into it a mythos that sounded promising but moved a little bit too slow for an audience who needs to be on the edge of their seat an entire show to go out and convert others to watch it. When season 2 was introduced, people who gave up by the end of season 1 did not care to tune back in to see all the wonderful changes that were made. The story pace was quicker. It was building the mythos quicker, resolving things (like finding Amelia) in a timely manner, introducing an element of evil vs. good in the plot. Without a massive campaign saying, “Come try the show out again.”

Shows struggle in their first year to find their footing. I know this is true of Stargate Universe. It came from a franchise that had phenomenal fans and a lengthy history of good ratings, 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1, 5 years of Stargate Atlantis, 2 Stargate DVD movies. With the success of Battlestar Galactica, they wanted to try a storyline they had really wished to pursue on Stargate Atlantis but could not–the heroes were trapped without any way to contact Earth or the original SG-1 team for help. By the end of season 1, Stargate Atlantis knew it needed to connect back to Earth. In Stargate Universe, they used a unique way to do this. There was an active campaign from within the Stargate community to boycott the show and point out all the flaws. Free speech still governs our society and they had the complete freedom to express their opinion. Whether it played as a factor in the ultimate demise of Stargate Universe remains unclear. I do know season 2 of Stargate Universe was better than season 1. Season 2 of Touch was better than season 1.

I was concerned for the finale. In the last episode, Amelia and Jake had been kidnapped after Martin’s car was hit. Would we have a finale where someone’s life hung in the balance, and the viewers would not have resolved whether or not a character would live or die? Would they be endings that would leave us at peace? Would the people in season 2 who were evil or sometimes evil and sometimes good receive justice? Would a new threat be introduced? Would Avram be found or locked away somewhere that we will never know if he is freed?

After watching the show, I have a feeling Tim Kring saw the possibility that this show would not get a season 3, and he decided to write the final episode, giving emotionally invested fans a story to leave in peace. He gave us just that. And the ending was a sweet acknowledgement of the first episode with the same narratives. I did cry at the end. However, it was not like the finale of Farscape where I was so disgusted with the abrupt cancellation and the inability of the writers to give fans a proper ending that I talked about it for years and, in fact, boycotted the network (in my narcissistic narrow world, I thought it would matter) for years, missing out on Stargate SG-1 for quite awhile.

Coming on the heels of hearing of Touch’s demise was the immediate rumors that Fox Broadcasting is now in talks with Kiefer Sutherland about reviving “24” in a “limited fashion.” Some on the internet think it might be a 13-episode series. Some think it might be the movie he was hoping for. For others, they are speculating that a miniseries might work. With the number 13 episodes, I now wonder if they plan for this to be tied in with The Following next year given its phenomenal ratings as that would be about the number of episodes. The first episode could give us background for the new story and then the episodes could still be in a full-day fashion with each episode being: “The following takes place between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.” which would be more realistic in Los Angeles or New York traveling times (or wherever they plan for it to take place). Twelve episodes of 2-hour increments would give us “24”.

And so it goes….another well-written show that goes into our history. I want to thank the cast and crew for producing a type of show I was craving, something I cared deeply about. But in the end, thank you for giving us a happy ending.

TouchbutterflyThankYou





Touch (S2E10) Two of a Kind Recap

26 04 2013

I was pleased to see two characters in the pilot who were also in “The Road Not Taken” reappear in this episode. We find out Dr. Nell Plimpton (Samantha Whittaker) is one of the 36. Please read Touch pilot episode I wrote for details. What I was not expecting was the ending which I won’t say until the recap is at that point.

As Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) and Trevor (Greg Ellis) sort out their grief and details of Lucy’s death, Martin realizes Amelia (Saxon Sharbino) was not in the car.

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Martin and Trevor grieve.

Meanwhile a creepy man (David Ury) listens in to the conversation and then heads over to Guillermo (Saïd Taghmaoui) who is looking at Dr. Nell Plimpton who is coming to Los Angeles today bringing over an ancient artifact. After the homeless guy wants to get paid, Guillermo kills him. That is going to be some mess to clean up!

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Homeless man blood splatter

And meanwhile Amelia is with Jake (David Mazouz) in his room. She wants to stay but can’t yet. Guillermo is coming to get them this date. The numbers are 10262000 (Jake’s date of birth and the day Guillermo’s family died.

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Cipher number for tonight.

Over in England, Dr. Plimpton is an insomniac and since “The Road Not Taken” they have had another child. It was Simon’s (David de Lautour) cell phone that made it around the world and helped people find each other. She is going to a clinic for insomnia suffers while in the States [why do I think evil Aster Corps has something in the works.]

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The Plimptons

Jake is feverish. He gets Martin to look at the cipher, the number and ultimately he speaks to Martin. “Find him.” Music to Martin’s ears. When Martin sees Avram (Bodhi Elfman) they discussed what happened with Jake and the “he” he has to find is Guillermo Ortiz.

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Jake talks!!!!

Jake writes in his notebook the 10262000 but then there is dash for the first time: 10262000 1026 2013-1026 2013-1026.

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More numbers. They are changing. The future is in constant motion, isn’t it? I learned that from Star Wars.

Calvin (Lukas Haas) sees a news report on Aster Corps given by Mrs. Nicole Farington (Frances Fisher) to the public trying to reassure them the bad parts of their company which completely denies knowing about have been taken away.

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Mrs. Farington of Aster Corps

Trevor was able to discover a body at the morgue.

The building manager (Ravil Isyanov) goes to collect the rent and thinks Guillermo’s room smells “funny” [like death perhaps?]. The number on the door is 27.

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You know when someone exaggerates and says “it smells like death in here.” For Guillermo it usually does.

Simon reads the book “Colors” to his daughter, red being on e cover. Nell calls from Chicago where her plane to stop and she was bumped. She wants him to make sure her package is picked up since it will arrive before her. Simon asks her what she sees. She starts saying the things in her surroundings. He asks again and describes the people who once were living on the land, a Potawatomi Indian Village where Chicago O’Hare is now.

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Nell’s power. She can visualize history.

Her flight 1026 to Los Angeles was now boarding so she says good-bye.

Avram talks out loud his theories on how the cipher is working. Baruch HaShem (thank God). Jake’s looking at a real map the whole time he is talking. He sees 2013 schedule LAXTrans: Take the 1026 bus to the airport. With Avram kicking the whole way, Jake is ready to take off and Avram has no choice.

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Take the bus to the plane (wait, I think the jingle was take the train to the plane).

Down at the morgue, Trevor and Martin see Guillermo’s work. His toe-tag number is 2013-1026.

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I hope I’m more than a number on a slab when I die.

When Jake and Avram get on bus 1026, they see a very exhausted Amelia.

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Bus 1026 and a waiting Amelia.

Mrs. Farington pays Calvin a visit. She is looking for Tony Rigby (Adam Campbell). She offers Calvin a job. They are running a “sleep clinic”. They have 6 of the 36 [and I bet Nell will make 7 once she checks in]. Calvin looks like he just got a dose of the drug of his choice–a cure for William–and after talking to him, he will be more motivated and convicted to achieve his goal.

Avram tells Martin he has Jake and Amelia. Amelia says today he must find Guillermo or innocent people will die.

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Jake, Amelia and Avram

The hotel was at 167 5th Street. The manager lets them in. They see the blood on the floor. Trevor hands Martin some trash.

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You can always find great clues in the trash.

They arrive at LAX and Jake sees flight 1026 had arrived. The box is going to St. Matthew University, 2013 West Adams Blvd, Room 1026. Jake writes on a piece of paper and hands it to Avram. They are symbols. He needs to call Martin but there is no cell service. Famous last words “Don’t move!”

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Another 2013-1026 connection

A man comes and takes the box away. Jake and Amelia follow. Avram and Martin talk via phone about the hieroglyphics. Nell bumps into Avram. She is wearing a blue shirt. After she gets in the car, Guillermo is right behind her. Guillermo sees a car, and stabs the man to get it.

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Nell bumps into Avram at the airport.

Jake and Amelia get into the van going to St. Matthew University.

Avram goes inside and does not see Jake or Amelia.

Mrs. Farington gives Calvin a tour of what they are doing. Aster Corps has their own quantum computer now. They have an almost 90-digit sequence. Calvin accepts the job offer. Mrs. Farington asks Calvin if he knows where Martin Bohm is and he says no. So he is holding out on Aster Corps should they do something he does not like. Or as a backup plan to help his brother in case things go wrong.

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I don’t know any Jake or Martin Bohm.

The package arrives. The kids get out.

Trevor tells Martin about the hieroglyphs and gets Martin connected with Simon. Simon says she is in Los Angeles. He asks what hotel she might be staying at. Simon has to think about whether to give this information out, saying “I can lose my job.” But deeper I think Simon recognizes Martin’s voice but cannot place where.

Martin and Avram update their situations. Martin says he thinks he knows where they have gone.

Amelia and Jake use 318 [the beginning number of the sequence] to open the security and then opened the box. Jake tries to leave her the numbers on the crate of what the hieroglyphs say. He does it with a red marker.

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Code 318 — back to the beginning.

Dr. Nell arrives in cab 287 [three numbers in the God sequence]. Guillermo pulls up as well. Jake realizes he is there. After going into the building Guillermo follows Nell and attacks her.

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I’m gonna kill you, but we have to wait.

Martin drives up. Nell asks Guillermo if he is going to kill her. He replies, “Yes but not until he arrives?” Jake talks telepathically to him, “She’s not the one.” It distracts him enough for Nell to escape.

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Jake speaks telepathically through the floor to him.

Nell runs into Martin. Martin tells her to leave and then he calls 911. He then pulls the fire alarm. Guillermo comes out of nowhere and attacks Martin. They stumble into the church sanctuary. [At this point I think Guillermo will not be able to kill in a church.]

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Martin and Guillermo struggle for the knife.

Martin has developed some fighting skillz that killz. Martin tells him it’s over. Guillermo breaks down sobbing. He says that today he is going to rid the world of another one of the 36. [I always knew he was going to, in the end, take his own life.

True to the character, however, Guillermo apologizes to God for not being able to complete his mission. He says, “I never found the nest of seven.” [Hmmmm. Now that Martin has found Amelia, I guess this is the quest for season 3, if they get a season 3]. Guillermo then slits his own throat.

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Guillermo slits his own throat. He was such a great bad guy. Sad to see him go.

Jake comes in. He rips the Tree of Life necklace off Guillermo’s body. Amelia follows and Martin and Amelia hug.

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Jake takes the Tree of Life off of him.

The police officer (Mykelti Williamson) questions Martin. He does not believe Martin. He tells him he needs to come down to the station tomorrow.

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I really don’t believe anything you’re saying Martin “Bishop”

Martin talks with Nell. Jake goes to Nell and grabs her hand. Martin tells Nell he thinks Jake wants to show her something.

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Jake wants to show you something.

Jake takes her to the artifact. Nell is very excited Jake cracked the code.

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The gift of numbers.

Amelia and Jake play chess at the house. Martin asks Avram about the nest of seven. Avram shrugs it off as ravings of a madman. [And I think Avram just lied to Martin].

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Avram lies to Martin.

Martin tells Amelia they are going to have to find her father. Amelia tells him he can try, but he won’t.

[There is a book on the table called “Aloft” by Chang-rae Lee; I looked it up and it does not seem to pertain to anything related to Touch…yet].

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The book on the table doesn’t appear to mean anything.

Martin tells Jake that Amelia is part of their family now. Jake gives him a small smile with direct eye contact. Jake likes the sound of that indeed.

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Jake smiles at Martin.