Torchwood: ‘End of the Road’ is just the beginning

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Minor spoilers for Friday’s episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day, “End of the Road”

Last week, answers began to emerge in the seventh installment of Starz’ Torchwood: Miracle Day, “Immortal Sins,” which largely took us back to Roaring ’20s New York as Jack romanced a young Italian immigrant named Angelo and they dabbled in organized crime. This exposed Jack’s unique abilities, which attracted the attention of some powerful men. Meanwhile, back in the present, Gwen was forced to make a terrible choice when, having rescued her father from a camp in Wales, she returned Stateside only to learn her family in trouble again, and the price for their safety was her betrayal.

All these threads come together in this week’s part eight, “End of the Road,” which introduces some interesting new characters played by Star Trek alumni Nana Visitor and John de Lancie and begins to hint at Torchwood’s own role in the Miracle. Wayne Knight’s despicable character from the early episodes returns briefly.

Jack (John Barrowman) faces a showdown with a man he thought was long since dead. But while Rex (Mekhi Phifer) takes extreme action, is it too late to prevent the collapse of society?

Esther (Alexa Havins) grows tremendously during this part of the arc, developing beyond the timid CIA analyst we saw in the season’s first episode and establishing herself as a field agent and a true member of Torchwood — but by “End of the Road” she is possibly the last hope, and of course she’s totally lost. Rex, once so dismissive of the “old British institute,” also embraces the spirit of Torchwood, proving he can be just as devious and manipulative as Jack ever was. And the world’s creepiest PR woman (which is saying something) gets even creepier.

It will pick up in the ninth episode, “The Gathering”: As the Three Families plunge the world into a recession, the Torchwood team — defeated, powerless, hunted — must strike a bargain with the devil himself.

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