Touch: A Peek Behind the Veil

Touch S01E09: “Music of the Spheres”

Musica universalis—the music of the spheres. It’s the philosophical concept that when the celestial bodies (the sun, moon, stars, etc.) are properly revolving around each other, they create a sort of musical harmony that influences the quality of life on Earth. It’s probably why the saying “the stars were aligned” came to describe good fortune, because theoretically, if the sun and moon are NOT properly revolving around one another, the music of the spheres is dissonant rather than harmonious, and everyone suffers.

Like any piece of music, sometimes the arrangement needs to be tweaked before perfection is attained, and apparently, in the Touch universe, Jake is one of the few individuals in the world who can accomplish that task. A Hasidic jeweler who happened to occupy the apartment where Arthur stashed his research—and who also seemed VERY familiar with it, including the Amelia Sequence—called Jake “Lamed Vav Tzadikim,” one of 36 righteous people who justify humankind’s existence in the eyes of God. “God will allow humankind to exist as long as there are 36 righteous people.”

The jeweler himself wasn’t entirely sure that he believed in the concept, but went on to explain that if those people existed, their roles were to basically keep everything running smoothly, heal the world—you know, everything we’ve seen Jake do all season long.

We got quite a bit of backstory in “Music of the Spheres.” It was a long time coming and I appreciated it. With only three episodes left in Season 1 and news of renewal, I’m not expecting everything to make sense, but I appreciated getting a glimpse at the bigger picture. We’re a little more adept at storytelling over here than Ringer was, right? (Sorry. It was just too easy.)

So, once upon a time, before his career was in the toilet and his reputation downgraded from “genius” to “crackpot,” Arthur Teller met Amelia and apparently, Amelia was “like Jake.” Cool. The people Arthur worked for (whom I’m willing to bet are the same people Sinister Sheri shills for) pushed him for more results, and more, and more, and yet more, until poor Amelia was damaged by the constant pressure and experiments. Not cool.

The experience was the catalyst for Arthur to ditch the lucrative child-torture gig, and who knows how much time has passed since then, but here we are. Clea (I TOLD you she would start helping out with the research!) asked the jeweler how he knew all of this and he called himself Arthur’s best friend, but he said it with one of those awkward theatrical pauses that let us know there’s probably more to the story than that. When he dropped the bag of diamonds he was examining, scattering them all over the floor, Jake helped him pick the mess up. After a brief panic when the last diamond couldn’t be found, Jake took the jeweler's hand in his own and placed the last diamond square in his palm. Yeah, there’s definitely more to that guy than BFF status.

Meanwhile, Martin worked his way through one of Jake’s missions (I can’t help but wonder if he ever goes to his day job anymore) involving a pair of brothers orphaned by their mother and abandoned by their father. The eldest was handicapped as the result of a shooting and the youngest had resorted to petty theft to pay the bills and avoid being separated from his sibling in the foster system. Everything worked out in the end—I’m still holding out for an episode where that DOESN’T happen (maybe the finale)—but there was one exchange that stuck with me during the brothers’ storyline, between Elliot and Martin.

Rendered mute by the shooting, the eldest brother, Andres, had difficulty communicating with his brother, Elliot. After being intercepted by Jake and Martin while looking for the gun he lost during his last robbery and noticing that even though Jake didn’t speak, he and Martin still communicated, Elliot asked if Jake could try to work with Andres. This was preceded by a scene where Martin showed Jake an app on that fancypants tablet his aunt gave him that translated numbers into letters, encouraging him to make words on the screen. Jake ignored the program and Martin assumed that he didn’t understand how to use it.

However, he managed to show Andres how to use the program just fine and the elder brother wrote out “hungry,” much to Elliot’s delight. The disappointment was all over Martin’s face until Elliot pointed out, “Maybe he just doesn’t want to talk and maybe you just gotta be okay with that.”

Martin decided that he WAS okay with that and didn’t argue when Jake decided to leave the tablet with Andres and Elliot.

But you know who really wasn’t okay with it? Sinister Sheri. She was pretty bent out of shape over losing the computer. She also seemed to pick up on Clea’s continued involvement with the Bohms pretty fast. I think she (and/or the organization pulling the strings behind her) is going to up her game in the coming weeks. How about you?

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