I suspected it was only going to be a matter of time before an episode like this came along. Why? Well, RTD has created plotlines where people have to do behave irrational and stupid in order to move the show in a direction that he wants. He’s also delighted in cartoon characters that annoy more than anything else. Miracle Day episode 5 has no shortage in that.
Maloney (the administrator of the San Pedro Overflow Center) and his interaction with Dr. Juarez is part of what may have taken a sharp negative direction. Now. while he is an apparent drop in from Madmen (at least the era), presented as racist, sexist and incompetent, I did manage to feel sorry for him. He’s clearly way over his head. Dr. Juarez, however, engages in a cliche I have encountered numerous times in bad sci-fi: the woman provokes the man to kill her. Juarez threatens to destroy him. In fact she practically quotes Gwen’s verbal assault on Rex from Rendition. What was the point of this? To get video evidence for Rex? Speaking of ‘rendition’, i did praise it because it was about people acting intelligently. How times have changed.
On the other hand, Captain Jack is feeling way out of his depth. Gwen is trying to rescue her multiple heart attack suffering father. All are resolved poorly due to our team handling what they are doing incompetently. Jack completely misreads Danes, and Gwen doesn’t think about the condition her father is actually in.
The most compelling thing here is how death is now become a human responsibility. We no longer have the out that forces us to control our endlife. We hear a character rail against the Government being able to decide who is dead. And this is deemed horrible. Seriously, the government declares people are dead all the time. The Modules are, effectively ,cremation facilities. how else are you going to deal with people who are, effectively, dead? I considered that as early as episode one.
The thing is, the world has limited resources. Choices have to be made. here is it presented as being monstrous. But is it? Is it really? It seems the writers want to have their cake, morally, and eat it too. It’s OK for her to judge nonviable babies not fit to live and then to demand that unviable adults must live? Dr. Juarez has now become a pot calling the kettle black. Are the writers laughing at their own jokes? perhaps. Maybe this is a bizarro attempt to support the right-to-die community.
And, as for Torchwood, why have they stopped investigating Phicorp? And who owns it? And who is behind it? Even Danes knows that is the question.
Has the series jumped the shark with it’s irrational heavy handedness in this ep? Quite possibly. I certainly won’t be looking at it with a serious eye anymore. Perverse, I don’t mind. Irrational and glaringly manipulative, not so much.
Rating: 2 out of 5