Touch

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Every day we work with numbers. We enter them into the ATM, enter them into our phones, into our computers. We calculate our bills, calculate the miles we’ve driven on a tank of gas, calculate the minutes left on our cell phones. We don’t really pay attention to them. They don’t mean anything. Or do they?

Here there be SPOILERS….

We pan through a room full of musical instruments.

“The chromatic scale consists of 12 tones, arranged in time and sequence. These 12 simple tones create an infinite variety of music.”

A woman stands in a corner near a window playing a violin.

“Harmony and dissonance, tension and resolution, all can be described by the mathematical ratio between tones.”

As we look at the sheet music the woman plays, the notes become stars in space.

“If we could translate all ratios into sound we could hear the music of the spheres; a sound as immense, as powerful, as the universe itself.”

The stars become diamonds on a black cloth.

“As quiet as a single stone.”

A man wearing glasses inspects one of the diamonds.

A black boy, clutching a bag, goes running by while a street performer sings in Portuguese and plays a guitar.

“As beguiling as a human heart.”

The man singing smiles as a tall black woman walks by. She smiles, shakes her head and walks in a cafe.

“For some, music elevates the spirit to a place of transcendent beauty.”

Jake enters the numbers 55124 into his tablet.

“Others simply hear the beauty in the numbers themselves.”

Jake presses play and each number makes a tone. Martin struggles every day to communicate with Jake. He tries to show Jake that he can use the same program to make words out of numbers. But Jake simply goes back to the music/numbers page. Sheri Strepling, the center’s director, tries to muscle Martin into not taking Jake to the park but Martin stands up to her this time and wins. (Way to go Martin!!)

Instead of going to the park they meet Clea. Martin and Clea discuss the shadiness of Ms. Strepling. She MUST be hiding something if she’s going to such lengths (removing Clea from Jake’s case) after being questioned about an empty room. As they walk, the woman violinist bumps into Jake, spilling her coffee all over him. This sends Jake into fits and derails Martin’s plan to show Clea Dr. Teller’s research. Martin gives her the key (1188) and plans to meet her there after he gets Jake cleaned.

The violinist arrives at her shop to find the black boy rummaging through her drawers. He pulls a gun when he sees her. She quietly tells him, “take whatever you want.” For a moment he looks so angry that he may shoot her. Instead, he climbs out the window and down a fire escape, dropping the gun in the alley.

The Portuguese street performer finishes a song and walks over to the black woman as she sets out sugar on tables. Her name is Yarah. He would like for her to spend the day with him. His name is Filipe. He wants to buy her a bottle of wine and sing a song just for her. (Heart melt.) But as the owner of the café she needs to work.  He then asks her to go to New York with him. She teases him about his dreams of becoming an American musician. She also teases that he needs to get back to singing if he wants to buy her that bottle of wine and meet her when work is done at 10. I think she just made him the happiest man alive.

Jake forces Martin to stop in an alley as they head for home. He stares at a man coming out of “Trilogy Music” (There is our weekly nod to the number three.) Once the man is gone Jake continues with his father. Once home, Martin tries one more time to get Jake to use the number/word app on the tablet to communicate. WOAH! Jake pulls out a gun!

Martin struggles with Jake to get the gun. It’s the first time I think we’ve seen Martin get mad and yell at Jake. It’s understandable. As Martin checks to see if the gun is loaded he finds numbers etched into the body of the gun – 55124. He catches the meaning of Jake’s numbers much faster now.

Filipe watches as a man in a suit gives a very unhappy Yarah some papers. The man wants to buy the café. She can’t sell it. Her grandmother originally bought it but now she’s gone. Her mother and sister are dead too.  It’s all she has left of her family. Filipe tries so hard to cheer her up. But now she’s in too foul a mood to meet Filipe for wine.

Clea arrives at 1188. She’s amazed at what she sees. The room is full of books, papers, drawings, and chalkboards of equations. A Jewish man walks in, sets his coat down and dumps out a bag of diamonds. (ah so he’s the one with the diamonds!) Clea says hello but all he does is look at her. She tries to ask him about Teller but all he says is they were roommates. He’s not a very social man. He doesn’t seem at all phased when she tells him that Teller had died, “people live. People die.” He just keeps looking at the diamonds one by one.

Jake takes Martin back to the alley where he found the gun. The black boy is rutting around in the trash looking for something – something like a gun. Seems he needs it back in a bad way. Martin promises the kid he won’t call the cops but he has to tell him why he’s looking for the gun. The kid acts all tough and clams up. After a minute he asks why Jake won’t talk. Martin explains that Jake talks with numbers. The kid softens up. He’s got a brother that doesn’t speak. Maybe Jake can teach him? As Martin is about to say no, Jake looks up into his eyes. This is Jake speak for, “duh dad we gotta go. Why do you think I brought you here?”

The boy takes them the projects where they find his brother siting in a wheelchair in a debilitated condition. Jake walks right up to him, plays the 55124 notes then slides his tablet under the boy’s hand. (Jake you amaze me in every episode!) The boy moves ever so slightly but just enough to press play.

Clea sorts through endless boxes of papers while the “roommate” polishes diamonds. (Clea doesn’t even seem to notice the hundreds of thousands of dollars of diamonds this man has just laying on the desk!) She opens a box that’s full of multicolored giant 20 side dice – except that the sides of each have just one number printed on them. Martin calls. He asks Clea to look up the boys Elliot and Andre Demar with child services. They seem to be living alone. He asks how she’s doing. As she’s telling him what she finds and mentions the name Amelia (as in the Amelia sequence) the diamond man stops looking at his precious diamonds and takes interest in her conversation.

Jake and Andre seem to be communicating with the tablet. Elliot’s not stupid, he knows what lies in their future if their busted – Andre’s sent to a home upstate and he’s bounced in foster care – so he’s not too trusting of Martin. If anyone can sympathize with him it’s Martin. He finally gives in though. His mom died and then his dad took off after his big brother got shot. While they’re talking, Jake’s taught Andre how to use the tablet. Andre lets everyone know he’s hungry. Did Jake almost smile?

Clea asks the man point blank if he knows anything about Amelia. His attitude magically changes. He fetches a box from a back room filled with files and a picture of a girl. It’s the same girl that was on the security footage the day Teller died. Years ago, Teller was pressed to increase his experiments with Amelia. It finally “broke” her. Teller lost his job and it sent him into a spiral of depression.  The diamond man admits he knows all this because Teller was his best friend. Curiouser and curiouser.

Elliot gets a text that disturbs him. He wants Martin and Jake gone. Jake indicates he’s ok with that as he heads for the door. Martin can’t bring himself to leave these boys alone so they hide down the hall.

Filipe visits his friend, Alberto, who owns a shop full of miscellaneous items. Filipe laments about Yarah’s rejection. Alberto knows the perfect remedy – Diamonds! Alas, poor Filipe doesn’t have the money to buy her diamonds. He will write her a song instead – the most beautiful song he’s ever written. (OMG! It JUST hit me! The man playing Filipe is Louis Ferreira from Stargate Universe! He’s hidden behind glasses, thick curly hair and a beard but it’s him!)

A rather angry man in a suit threatens Elliot, “Sorry doesn’t fix this! I want you back there today!” After the man leaves, Martin begs Elliot to tell him what’s going on. But Elliot is adamant that no one can help him and he storms off.

Martin finally meets Clea at 1188. She found out that child services located one relative on their mother’s side but the boys went to their father so she was never contacted. Jake is fixated on the chalkboard equations. Martin calls the relative and leaves a message. Diamond man, Avrahm, comes in carrying bags. Jake begins to add numbers to the Amelia sequence. Avrahm thinks Jake is one of 36. He explains that  the Kabala calls them the 36 righteous ones, Lamed Vav Tzadikim. God will allow mankind to exist as long as there are 36 righteous people in the world. These 36 are hidden but walk among us, feeling the suffering of the entire human race and work to make small changes to repair the universe. While they’re talking, Clea gets a call with more information about Elliot. He’s got a probation officer due to some former shoplifting charges. She gives Martin the address – 42155 Belmont Ave.

55124 is the amount Yarah puts into a calculator as Filipe arrives to serenade her. She tries in vain to ignore him and then erupts in anger. She thinks he’s foolish. He can escape and fly to New York but she has to stay and find a way to get more money. She’s angry because he can’t understand her pain; he’s never had to sacrifice something he loves. (Is this going to be a Gift of the Magi story?) The pain is clear on his face.

Martin goes to speak to Elliot’s probation officer. It’s the man that was threatening him in the hall! Martin quickly alters his story and poses as Elliot’s basket ball coach that’s concerned there are no adults coming to Elliot’s games. Martin subtly threatens that he knows someone is harassing Elliot and if he finds out who it is he won’t let him get away with it. The officer cautions Martin to use digression. A call interrupts their conversation. As Martin walks through the waiting room he sees the man that came out of the Trilogy Music store in the alley. The man has the same probation officer as Elliot. Martin spills everything to this guy. The guy doesn’t seem to want to help at first but then tells Martin that he’s the one that told the officer about the music store lady and her monthly deposit schedule. The probation officer sent Elliot in to get it but he bailed when she walked in on him. The officer wants Elliot to try again today.

Filipe goes back to his friend Alberto and asks to sell his guitar. (Yup, Gift of the Magi.) The guitar that’s been in his family for generations. The guitar that makes him the musician that he is. He wants to make a sacrifice… for Yarah. Alberto tells him that people in America will pay a lot of money for his guitar. In fact he can sell it to the woman that owns the music store in New York. Filipe figures if he can’t go to New York at least his guitar can.

Elliot snags a bag from the violinist as she’s walking down the street. Martin takes off after him. He chases him into an alley where Elliot just stops and takes out a bank bag. Police roll up two seconds later.

Jake watches as Avrahm continues to inspect the diamonds. Clea gets a call from Ms. Strepling wanting to know where Martin and Jake are. Clea questions why she would know. (Call her out Miss Clea!) Meanwhile, Avrahm spills his diamonds on the floor. Jake goes over and helps pick them up. One diamond is missing but Jake finds it under the desk. He touches Avrahm’s hand and places the diamond in it. He TOUCHES Avrahm! That’s HUGE! Jake doesn’t touch anyone! Clea is as shocked as the rest of us.

Filipe gives Yarah the money from the sale of his guitar. She flips out. She won’t take his charity. He pushes that it’s not charity. He loves her and he wants to be with her so they’ll be partners. She asks if he even knows how to run a café. He says no then he walks in the back and proceeds to cut up a mango. Yarah checks her voicemail to find Martins message about her nephews Elliot and Andre. (I LOVE how this show brings all of the threads together!) She then goes over and kisses Filipe! They’re going to New York!

Elliot walks into his probation officers office and hands him the bank bag. The officer gives him some money from the bag to help him out. (What a guy! Not.) Then Elliot hands him the gun. (Oh you mean the gun that Martin still had? Something is afoot in Touchtown!) As Elliot leaves the office a couple guys in suits and a couple officers go in and arrest him. Win for team Martin/Jake!

“The earth, as it rotates, emits a frequency, a musical note, at 7.83 hertz.”

Filipe gets his guitar back from the violinist at Trinity Music. He kisses it like a long lost love.

“But this frequency alters slightly for reasons as yet uncertain.”

Avrahm is polishing a diamond.

Some postulate solar flares as the cause or electrical disturbances in the atmosphere.”

Yarah, Filipe, Elliot, and Andre sit down to diner as a family in a nice clean apartment.

“But maybe there’s a simpler explanation. Maybe the sound of the planet is influenced by the seven billion souls whirling around, each producing their own music, adding their own harmony.”

Jake is writing numbers in his book again. Ms. Strepling freaks just a little when she notices the tablet missing. Martin explains, with pride, that Jake gave it away. Strepling is upset because that’s how Jake will learn to talk. Maybe Jake doesn’t want to talk. Martin’s finally learned that he can be alright with that.

Did you miss an episode? Check out our recap of last week’s ‘Zone of Exclusion‘.