Touch: Sloppy Seconds

Touch S01E10: “Tessellations ”

Okay, so I was wrong about Auntie Abigail. Hopefully. I think. I mean, she looked pretty crushed there when Clea was all fierce and confrontational about her company’s involvement with Teller’s research. The opening scene between Abigail and Martin was sweet. I felt like quite a bit of progress was made between the two of them as individuals who both have an interest in Jake, as well as with Abigail as a character. I have a lot of dislike invested in Sinister Sheri; please, Touch, don’t make me divide it up.

Of course, we won’t know anything for sure for another two weeks because the TV gods hate me and know that I hate mini-hiatuses with the sort of venom normally reserved for people who drive below the speed limit and people who abuse the express lane at Target.

In Israel, a Jewish boy named Tomer prepared to propose to his Palestinian girlfriend. Pretty much everyone he knew was less than enthusiastic about his intentions, including the jeweler who sold him the ring, and who just so happened to be friends with our mysterious jeweler in New York City. Turns out our NYC jeweler's name is is Avram, and Avram and Tomer are cousins. It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after—okay, I’ll stop.

Tomer’s girlfriend’s brother was arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist and claimed to have a message for her, and only her. She, being Palestinian, wasn’t allowed to visit him, so she asked Tomer to go. Tomer immediately assumed that her brother was a terrorist for real, and refused. Smooth move, Romeo.

Back in New York, the magic number of the week was 2545. Martin followed the number to a dock full of shipping containers and a posse of would-be thieves—dock workers hoping to make some extra cash by busting into one of the containers, number 9808. The plan was to liberate some of the electronics rumored to be inside. Martin wasn’t too thrilled about the illegal implications of Jake’s trail, but he got over it quickly because the universe doesn’t bow to the laws of man.

Meanwhile, Clea walked in on Sinister Sheri giving Jake some sort of psychic aptitude test and he wasn’t looking too hot. I can’t help but wonder why, if it was stressing him out so much, he didn’t just stop participating. All season long, no one has really been able to get Jake to do anything he didn’t want to do. Why is Sheri so special?

Well, for one thing, she was Skyping with a dude whose face was all blacked out and hidden in shadow. On a video chat. Anonymity overkill, sure, but maybe Touch was worried that the audience would forget that AsterCorp is supposed to be EVIL in the weeks between episodes.

Sheri had Jake working with dodecahedron blocks covered with numbers. The dodecahedron is one of the 5 Platonic Solids in Euclidean geometry; the others include the cube and the tetrahedron, and each solid corresponds with an element, such as fire or water. After crashing lab-rat playtime, Clea went back to Teller’s research nook and found similar dodecahedron blocks in his belongings. Avram helpfully explained that out of all the solids, the dodecahedron was thought to be special. It corresponded with “ether,” which was believed to be the material that Heaven is made out of. Gee Avram, I’m glad you’re here to provide helpful exposition, otherwise we’d be screwed.

Back in Israel, Tomer had a change of heart and went to see his ladyfriend’s brother in prison. His message was cryptic, unless you hadn’t been paying any attention to the preceding 30 minutes of “Tessellations,” which is understandable because this episode had a lot of issues. Avram the magic exposition machine is...well, he’s awesome and I like him, but I’m sad that he never gets to do anything but, uh, exposit. I was glad to learn that he’s actually people and he has a cousin named Tomer who lives in Israel. Jake allowing himself to be pushed so far in psychic boot camp was another head-scratcher, especially when later, we saw him manipulate a computer program to get Sheri out of his and Clea’s hair, allowing Clea to snoop in her boss’s computer. Jake isn’t some poor helpless kid, unless he allows himself to be some poor helpless kid. Maybe later we’ll see some reason behind why he chose to stick it out with Sheri, but for now, I’m just side-eyeing the whole affair.

ANYWAY, the brother told Tomer to contact his uncle, Mike, to wish him a happy birthday and tell him that “9808 is now 2545.”

Well, okay then.

Totally touched by his change of heart, Tomer’s girlfriend whipped out her phone to call Uncle Mike. On the other side of the world, Martin was chasing down one of the dock workers/would-be criminals, Joey, who had run off with a gun when it turned out that carton 9808 contained nothing more than oranges. Joey's wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he'd been fired due to the high medical costs ticking off his insurance company. He really needed the cash from those stolen electronics.

After wrestling the gun away, Jack Bauer-style, Martin chucked it into the Hudson and tried to talk some sense into Joey, only to be interrupted by the ringing of a cell phone—the cell phone of the man whose place had taken on the crew, Mike.

So, Martin’s Mike and Tomer’s Mike were the same Mike. Martin got the message and headed over to carton 2545 to find it full of starving political refuges.

But the true contents of the container open up a new can of worms, the sloppy kind that I’m not entirely used to getting on Touch.

Apparently, Mike knew what the container really held. The urgency that the Palestinian brother conveyed when handing the information over to Tomer—and the fact that he did it, even though he didn’t particularly like Tomer—implied that it was known that the refugees were waiting for Mike to bust them out, and that since the container had been switched, the delay caused by the ensuing confusion would cause would most certainly prove deadly.

However, Mike had a team assembled to break into the shipping container, and his entire team was under the impression that they were stealing electronics. They were not aware of the precious cargo in the container because repeatedly, they considered ditching the entire mission. First, when Mike didn’t show up. Then when they discovered that Martin, who had been pretending to be Mike, wasn’t Mike at all and Mike had been arrested. And finally, when they learned that the original container only held oranges. I like to think that if they knew they were assembled to break some people out of confinement—starving, dehydrated people—then they would have kept looking.

Why then, would Mike put such a team together and let them believe that they were looking for electronics? Don’t you think that would have ended badly? Or at least POSSIBLY badly? Why risk it?

Unless, of course, Mike didn’t know that the container was full of people. But that...doesn’t really make sense either. After all, when everyone was under the impression that they were looking for electronics, they were willing to admit defeat and walk away after the plan got jumbled. Maybe Mike would have been too. And then where would those poor starving people have ended up?

Touch, really, I expect better of you.

What are your thoughts on last night’s Touch?

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