So far, Touch is coming together pretty nicely, with its intriguing pilot and solid second episode. This third one begins with Martin getting a call from the board and care facility, and he shows up much to the annoyance of Clea, who warns him to be careful. Both of them are surprised to find that Jake has escaped from his room again, and he's writing a new number: 3287.
As Clea's leading him back to his room, Jake slips a clipping of a dragon with the number on it into his father's jacket. Martin takes the number to our wise old guy, Teller (Danny Glover), who warns him to keep his eyes open because "your son has a higher purpose, and believe me, we won't be the only ones who notice it."
Later that day, Martin witnesses someone being hit by a car, and in the aftermath pursues a guy (that's Supernatural's Rob Benedict) who swipes something from her purse. He eventually collars the guy, who thinks he's invisible and claims the woman stole the book from him in the first place. It's another book with the number 3287 written throughout it. "It means the dragon is loose. We have to stop it," he tells Martin. That's right, this guy sees the world the same way that Jake does.
Martin decides to follow the guy, but has no real idea what he's doing as they travel through the city, although he sees the number outside the Claremont building. After a moment, he sees how the guy's hitting a crosswalk button enabled a random woman to cross the street and meet a man inside a financial office. Martin goes into the building and overhears two women talking about a lawsuit against the company. When he tries to poke around, one of his ex-colleagues spots him and it's not a pleasant reunion. However, the guy does give him some very useful information: the name Roger King and the man's address - which happens to be at the Claremont. Oh, and Roger King happens to be dead.
However, Roger's son talks to Martin about how his brother was "a genius with numbers." Yes, the random guy Martin's been following is Walter King. Searching the apartment, Martin finds a safe with the access code 3287, and inside is an envelope that's the smoking gun that proves the financial company was participating in intentional fraud. He hands it to his ex-colleague, then goes to tell Walter what's happened. He encourages Walter to reunite with his brother, but the guy disappears.
Back at the facility, Clea asks her supervisor about the room that Jake keeps going outside of, Room 6, but is told the room is empty. Moments later, she gets a phone call that clearly shocks her. Her schizophrenic mother, whom she's not heard from in years, is in the hospital - or so she thinks until she gets there and sees the woman in the room. It's not Clea's mother, but the woman Martin saw being hit by the car earlier.
Arthur shows up at the boarding facility to check the place out, and happens to know Clea's boss. That means he's there to see that Jake is there - and there when the kid starts screaming at the top of his lungs until the red car he once played with comes sliding out from under the door of the allegedly empty Room 6. Clea finds it on the floor and wonders how it got there.
Meanwhile, somewhere in South Africa, a woman named Grace is urged to go to the city to start her life. She returns home, only to find that her sister is being beaten by her boyfriend, who subsequently attacks Grace as well. After hearing her sister get attacked one more time, Grace decides she's had enough and, joined by the other women in the village, gets the boyfriend to back down. Grace's sister goes to take her computer test and hopefully start her new life.
And at a "dance battle" competition, a young woman in a red dress is supposed to meet a guy named Rick. Rick stands her up, though, but this does introduce her to the two Asian girls we saw arrive at the airport last week. One of them leaves behind the phone that made its way around the world in the pilot. And one of the kids from Grace's village is also participating in the competition via Internet, and he beats the reigning champion, who then goes and meets the girl in the red dress.
Clea comes to see Martin and Jake at home to return the red car, and apologizes to Martin for her words at the beginning of the episode, saying she'll try to be a little more understanding. After she leaves, Martin starts telling the King family's story of the invisible knight to Jake. Aw, peaceful ending! It's kinda cute.
Touch is proving itself to be a keeper, if the audience can keep up. As I mentioned previously, sometimes I wonder if the intertwining storylines are just a touch too complicated, because I'm almost tempted to start taking notes just to make sure I have everything right. However, at the same time, I can't help the smile that I get on my face when I see all those lines come together, thus far largely for the better. I wouldn't mind if things were just a bit simpler, but I can't deny that the show is working regardless.
It's the preview for next week that has me curious. Keeping in mind that previews can be edited in ways that look nothing like the actual episode, it seems like we might get some serious answers or at least big chunks of backstory next week. That's not the kind of stuff I'd expect for the fourth episode of a show. It makes me wonder what the pace of the show will be, as far as when it reveals things and how long the overall plots are going to be. I suspect even if we don't get substantial info from next week, we'll learn a lot about the show's long-term outlook from the episode.
If you have the time and brainpower to invest (because this is not a show to watch halfway), Touch is a worthwhile investment of an hour. Between that and being able to turn over afterward and catch Awake on NBC, there's a great block of mind-bending entertainment on Thursday nights.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.