Aptly titled Entanglement was probably the most complex web we’ve seen from Touch so far, with at least five subplots to keep track of throughout the episode. Unfortunately, in the effort to link all of these stories together, some sense was lost, and a few resolutions seemed unrealistic or forced.
After two weeks of separation, the time has come for Jake’s evaluation and Martin’s assessment as a suitable carer. Frustratingly, Martin never makes it to the assessment and we don’t get to see much of Jake at all – it would have been interesting to see how Jake’s autism was represented in this type of situation. In saying that, Martin had plenty to be distracted with, having been sent on another lengthy mission to decipher Jake’s symbolic clue and save a few lives.
It’s never made clear exactly why Jake decided to use a symbol instead of a number to communicate with his Dad in this instance. From a writer’s point of view though it could be a way to avoid repeating the same types of number clues in subsequent episodes – otherwise ending up at door number x at time xx:xx at some point in each episode could get old pretty quick.
Dr. Arthur Teller interpreted Jake’s pattern, and took it as a sign that his ‘gift’ is progressing. We also had some further insight into Dr. Teller’s background, with the introduction of his daughter Maggie, a nurse at the same hospital Marisol ended up at. It’s clear that Arthur has been down this road before, and from the way his daughter reacted, I’d say his obsession with ‘gifted minds’ has caused some sort of drama in the past.
Whilst on his way to the assessment, Martin is robbed by a Chinese-American man looking for a birthday gift for his teenage daughter. Although only a minor storyline, the dynamic between father, daughter and step-father was both accurate and touching. In chasing down the thief, Martin inadvertently ends up next to a young woman named Marisol, waiting to shoot a man who she believes killed her father and brother in her home country. Not one to shy away from a conflict, Martin gets himself involved and ends up staring down the barrel of a gun urging the desperate Marisol to reconsider, and then following her to the hospital after she gets hit by a truck.
I realise that this is a show built on the patterns of coincidence and chance, and that the links between every person in the world are always there, if not necessarily obvious. It just seemed a little implausible for Martin to have figured out the link between Marisol and the sick boy in Montreal by checking a bible quote and glancing at a hospital computer screen.
Sami, the doctor on his last night in Montreal, waiting to make a move on his crush, was most obviously linked with the hospital in New York through his mission to find a bone marrow donor. It was a surprise however to discover that he was also linked with a young woman in the Middle East.
Across the globe in Saudi Arabia then, we met a young woman named Norah, on the verge of being forced into an arranged marriage. As an act of rebellion, she dresses as a man and steals her father’s car to go joy-riding in the desert with her dubious friend. The pair comes across a woman going into labour and they end up stranded in the middle of nowhere consulting Google on how to deliver a baby. The powerful message to come out of this was the prevailing attitude towards women in Middle Eastern countries, poignantly displayed by the woman’s refusal to ride in the car with her saviours once she discovers they are in fact women breaking the law. There is hope though, for Norah’s would-be fiancé Sami finally pursues the girl he’s been chasing in Montreal, relieving her from the duty of “honouring” her family. Norah’s father recognises her independence and gives her his blessing in the form of New York university brochures, which could be a hint that we’ll see more of her character in coming episodes.
Martin may have missed the assessment but he did make it back in time to open the box sent to Jake by his aunt Abigail. It was sweet to watch the father and son sharing a moment as they listened to Sarah singing them both goodnight, and it seemed just as comforting to Martin as it was to Jake. The episode was left open-ended as to whether Jake and Martin will remain together, though I’d say we can safely hazard a guess that the two won’t be separated any time soon. Having Jake at an institution in another state would make it awfully difficult for Martin to follow his son’s road map from week to week. It could work though, we’ll just have to wait and see.