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Touch: Space Race

Touch S01E08: “Zone of Exclusion”

Despite the connotation of isolation in the episode title, “Zone of Exclusion” was full of reunions, courtesy of Jake, Martin, and the universe. The terrific trio bought a pair of long lost twins back together and helped the International Space Station get one of its own safely back to Earth. In a less literal interpretation of the term “reunion,” the cab dispatcher who relayed messages for the ISS found himself embraced by the drivers who previously ignored him after he shared his unlikely story of space heroics.

It seemed that everyone was coming together... except Jake and Martin, of course. Sheri Strapling is downright determined to keep Jake under her increasingly watchful eye, isn’t she?

At a special exhibit sponsored by AsterCorps, the company Jake’s aunt works for, a video wall let passersby in New York City interact with people in Paris. While Jack checked out the exhibit with Clea and Martin, a young woman in a red coat caught his eye. While Martin watched in awe, Jake reached out to touch the wall, and remained oddly serene as the woman in Paris returned the gesture. Jake freaked when someone pressed a button to change the city on the wall, making the woman disappear, only to instantly calm when the Paris screen was reestablished, the woman in the red coat brought back.

Since the wall worked both ways, the woman on the other side clearly saw Jake, Martin, and Clea and behind them, a woman who bore a striking resemblance to her supposedly dead mother. Since the woman in New York took off running as soon as the woman in Paris spotted her, it was safe to assume that she was indeed the formerly deceased mother.

Meanwhile, way up in Earth’s orbit, a spacewalk at the International Space Station was underway. The astronaut outside was testing a new suit and, unbeknownst to him, had lost contact with both Houston and his partner in the space station. Due to a malfunction, the CO2 levels in his suit began to rise dangerously, and no one had any way to contact him...except by simple ham radio. The crisis interrupted a broadcast from the ISS to the exhibit that Jake, Clea and Martin were attending—a lesson about triangulation in space—and in the back, the Sinister Sheila watched in delight as Martin made a hasty exit during one of Jake’s missions.

Later, when she confronted Clea about Martin bailing on the program, insinuating that, once again, Martin was the Worst Dad Ever, Clea countered with her knowledge of Amelia and promptly got herself kicked off of Jake’s case. I kind of saw that coming as soon as she opened her mouth, though in a way, this could place her in a more beneficial position to help Martin and Jake out, since she no longer has to pretend to side with The Man or Big Brother or whoever wants to get their hands on Jake so badly.

But in the meantime, it’s probably going to screw the Bohms over. Somehow.

We didn’t make a great deal of progress on the main storyline this week, only reaffirming connections we already knew were there: Sheri is Bad, Jake’s aunt is in on it, Big Brother is watching you. The stories that took place outside the nucleus of Jake, Clea, and Martin were pleasantly complementary, though. Plus, I’m always happy to see Anne Dudek on my TV, even if it’s just by way of a small guest spot.


What do you think Clea’s removal from Jake’s case means for him and Martin?

Comments (9)
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They really need to come up with another plot device than Jake constantly running away... Yelling JAAAAKE, JAAAAAKE twenty times per episode has gotten real old...
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Don't forget Martin constantly saying, "This is going to sound crazy, but--!"
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Still a great show! Dont complain about the "overall" main story when were only 8 episodes in. Most shows has a week-to-week based episode the first season (Just look at Fringe, f.e) and then pieces fits together later. I think Touch needs a season to establish some points and then it can move forward. The beauty of a Tv-show is that it can take a long time (compared to a movie) for character and story to develop into something deeper.
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I don't know what is going on with this show. It's nor bad, but nothing is really happening. Maybe it is because we are used to Sutherland playing a more clever character.



How long will it take before he finds out that yelling "Jake" doesn't achieve anything? We are at episode 8. Why hasn't Martin (or the more than useless social worker Clea) think of writing down everything that has happened with Jake so he can have a stronger case before the review board? Yes, he doesn't know about the "fill-up stories" but it doesn't matter. He has plenty of stuff on his own. And the "fill-up stories" are just that: boring irrelevant to the main story line fill-ups. And why did they "killed" a great actor in Danny Glover? His character, Arthur Teller, was bringing an interesting dimension to the whole plot. Or was it that Glover got bored by the series and asked to "leave"?



Some people seem to like it and I respect that. But, if they don't concentrate on the main story line and bring more great (known) actors and get rid of the poor one (Yes, there is only one: Gugu Mbatha-Raw and her character is useless. I've worked many years with autistic children and adults and she doesn't have a clue. With much less screen time, Arthur brought more intensity and motion to the story that she has.) the show will not have a big enough audience to last. They seem to keep some "conspiracy" back-story in reserve but that won't be enough to bring viewers back.
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I had planned on giving up on Touch but thought I'd stick around for another episode. Kind of disappointed I did though because this was actually a pretty good episode and now I'm hesitant to completely take it out of my rotation. It seems to be one of those shows that's not good enough for me to really enjoy watching, but isn't bad enough to really disgust me.



I still get annoyed by Kiefer though. His constant 3 phrases: "Jake!", "I'm sorry about my son", and his under-the-breath "Oh my God" get on my nerves. Unless he's yelling "Bomb!" or narrating a Ford commercial, I guess I don't like his voice too much.
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This show continues to be fantastic. This is the best kind of serialised procedural., where the procedure part is fresh and innovative and not familiar from thousands of shows before. It's always a thrill to see how Jake's subtle implications have such wide reaching consequences, and the show has a heart. Even if the logical basis for it's science-fictiony machinations are becoming increasingly implausible. And I just know the serialised aspect is going to pay off big time.
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I loved the Pilot.



After that it went downhill. I stopped watching at episode 5, and I won't be coming back.



Too bad, I really love Kiefer and the concept had something for it, but it just didn't work. I'm sorry, but as far as renewals go I think this one is unlikely.
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I liked this one a lot better. The stakes were higher, they were more touching and realistic than last week's ludicrous blogger love theme, and we got to see a bigger confrontation between Sheri and Jake's team. It was also nice to see the barriers of the universe extend beyond the confines of the Earth. This episode had a whole nicer flow to the story, and now that Clea is off Jake's case, perhaps they'll focus on how Martin will win Jake's custody. And I hadn't realized, but I was really tired of Arthur Teller's ramblings about patterns, numbers and miracle children. I'm glad he's out of the picture. I'm anxious to see what happens next.
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I enjoyed the first few episodes, but I'm getting tired of Jack running away with Martin chasing him screaming in his whispering rasp "Jake!" Some of the moments in the last two episodes were a bit too neat and cheesy, though I really do enjoy the connection concept.
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