Touch

Touch is the new television series starring Kiefer Sutherland that aired last Thursday.  I find there are a lot of complex one hour dramas to keep track of that all seem to be on Thursdays.  I’m sure you’ve seen several commercials for Touch by now.  I know I saw the same one over and over again which made me sick of it before it even began.  But I decided to watch it anyway.

The premise of Touch is that Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Martin Bohm, has trouble connecting with his 11-year old son Jake, played by David Mazouz.  Jake never speaks and doesn’t let anyone touch him.  He’s constantly preoccupied with writing down numbers and no one knows why.  But in the beginning of the show, Jake explains the the viewers about some ancient theory that we are all connected and there are certain connections between people who’s lives were meant to touch.  And apparently for some reason it’s his job to keep track of them all.  I think that would be an awesome role for an actor to play, just having to look upset and disturbed, and never having to memorize any lines.

Martin goes to see a man named Arthur Teller, played by Danny Glover, who tells him that his son can see all these connections and patterns in the world that the rest of us can’t, and that the numbers mean something, and it’s up to Martin to follow these connections and figure it all out.  Or something like that.  But how does he know that without having even met the kid?  He also says that his son sees so much beauty in the world, no wonder he doesn’t talk.  I don’t see the connection there.  Why would being overwhelmed with the world’s beauty make a person not talk ever?  And if he’s seeing all this beauty, then why does he look angry all the time?

Jake climbs the cell tower three times in a span of three weeks while he’s at school, causing a social worker, Clea Hopkins, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw to have to intervene and take him in for assessments.  Martin tries to tell her that there are patterns in what Jake is writing down and showing them, but she refuses to believe there is any meaning behind them.  But then Jake arranges popcorn kernels in groups of numbers, which are the same as her mother’s phone number, and she receives a call from her right after.  It must be incredibly annoying for them that Jake can’t talk, and that they have to follow his indications and clues in order to figure out what the hell he’s trying to tell them.

There are also worldwide connections shown throughout the show, ones which don’t seem to have anything to do with Jake.  A man loses his cell phone, and it consequently ends up being passed around the world and connecting the people who come across it.  The man who loses it needs it back, as it has pictures of his daughter who died a year ago.  Because of the way the phone is passed around, he ends up seeing these pictures on a jumbo tron in Japan, because someone put a video of a girl singing, in hopes that the next person to find the phone would discover her.  Then, a girl in Japan made sure everything on the phone was put onto the jumbo tron because she wanted to start a fan club for the singer.

Meanwhile a boy in the middle east tries to steal an oven for his family who is in need, gets caught, and ends up with a bomb strapped to him, with the phone attached to it.  The original owner of the phone had made a request to get it back, and so the boy gets a call from the call centre on that phone.  Coincidentally, the woman at the call centre is the same woman who was recorded singing on the phone.  When she realizes he has a bomb strapped to him, she convinces him to take out the battery and not go through with it.  He says the only thing that would get him to stop would be an oven for his family.  Conveniently, the original owner of the phone is a restaurant supplies salesman, so the call centre woman is able to acquire an oven for the boy.  She also realizes the video of her singing has received many hits on youtube.

I don’t know why her friend couldn’t have just put the video on youtube to begin with, as opposed to sending it off on a phone.  And I also wonder why the cell phone owner’s only pictures of his daughter were on his cell phone.  Did he not own a camera?  And did he not ever upload the pictures to his computer?  And as for the boy in the middle east, the men he tried to steal from still know who and where he is, so wouldn’t he still be in trouble, even if he was able to get an oven for his family?  And what does any of this have to do with the mute boy writing down numbers?

My mom mentioned they didn’t really need the boy, they could have just called the series “Phone” and focused on how it was randomly passed around and connecting people.  The part that does have to do with the kid, is that he is preoccupied with the numbers 318, and tries to indicate to his dad that there’s something he needs to do.  What Martin ends up doing, is going to the terminal at 3:18, and trying to use the payphone.  He gets in a fight with the guy at the payphone, causing him to miss his train.  Later on the news, we find out this same man was able to save a bus full of children, something he wouldn’t have been able to do if he hadn’t missed his train.

Coincidentally, this man had been on the phone leaving a message for Martin at the time, informing him that he had been a fireman who had tried to save his wife when she was killed at the world trade centre on 9/11, but had left her not knowing whether or not she was really dead.  He had played lottery numbers significant to that date ever since, and had just won.  I think they would have called this show “Numbers“, if the title hasn’t already been used previously.

My mom remarked that this show may even be more confusing than Awake, if that’s possible.  And I remarked how we’re only dealing with one reality here.  I don’t know, I suppose the connections and everything are interesting.  But do I really care that much?  I guess the show will progress with the kid trying to predict other various things and getting his dad to do certain things in order to make connections.  It would be funny if he just showed him random numbers that didn’t mean anything for fun.  But I guess he takes his job seriously.  But I still don’t get why it’s up to him and why this prevents him from talking.

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