Every day we enter numbers – enter then into the ATM, enter them into our phones, into our computers. They don’t mean anything. Or do they?
Here there be SPOILERS….
So much happens on Touch. Every color, every person, item, action means something. It’s the most difficult show on the planet to recap because to do it justice I’d have to describe everything.
Opera music is playing.
Martin’s on a bus full of people.
“They say the shortest path between two points is a straight line.”
Small hands (Jakes) are unwinding red yarn.
“But what happens if that path gets blocked? When sediment impedes the flow of a river it redirects”
A man is driving a cab.
“Zigging and zagging instead of following a straight course.”
A man stands at a door reading a note that’s written in French. It’s a note that says good bye. He slips it under the door and leaves.
“What looks to the crow as meandering, is to the water the most efficient route from source to outlet.”
A man stands waiting.
A woman opens a shower curtain and knocks a compact to the floor, shattering the mirror into pieces. She mumbles something (a prayer? A superstitious ward?)
“Nature finds a detour.”
A man sits on the bus with headphones playing the opera. As he gets up at his stop, a tube drops from his ham radio. Martin picks up the tube and flags him down. “Ham radio has what 3 working parts? I told ‘em the tube was loose but nobody listens. But thank you.” Martin returns to his seat.
“When two points are destined to touch but a direct connection is impossible, the universe will always find another way.”
Jake sits in the hall of the center using the red yarn to make a “cat’s cradle.” (I would sit and do this same string configuring for hours when I was young. I’ll admit – I paused the video, stopped typing and got some yarn. There’s something comforting about it.)
The center is taking a field trip to the New York Science and Aerospace Museum. Martin didn’t have a great experience the last time he took Jake to a museum. Clea warns Martin that Jakes needs these experiences to help show progress to fight his sister-in-law. As they get Jake ready to leave he stops on the final pattern of the cat’s cradle – 8 lines intersecting in the middle to form a diamond shape. Clea recognizes it from Abigail’s business card.
Just after unloading the bus at the museum, Jake takes off down the street. Martin bumps into a woman spilling her purse. Unnoticed, Jake picks up the woman’s cell phone and puts it in his dad’s pocket then walks into the museum. Once inside they come across a display projecting live interactive footage from Paris, Tokyo and Berlin. The woman’s cell phone rings. Martin answers it. It’s the owner. Martin apologizes with a, “my son must have picked it up.” As they talk, Jake locks eyes on a dark hair woman wearing a red coat being projected from Paris. She stares back at him. This is an amazing development for Jake. He has shown no human interaction thus far. He walks up to the wall and reaches out his hand. The woman does the same. His dad and Clea are awestruck. Just as all is going well, someone changes the projection to Tokyo. Jake collapses in a fit of anxiety, rocking and groaning. Clea rushes to ruturn the image back to Paris. A girl nearby is talking to someone in the Paris projection via cell phone. Martin asks the girl to get her friend in Paris to retrieve the lady in the red coat. The boy heads off and retrieves the woman. Jake calms and stands up. The woman in red recognizes someone in the NYC crowd. She asks to talk to her. She has an almost terrified look on her face. Clea translates and gets the woman’s attention. The woman she’s referring to is the owner of the phone that’s arrived to retrieve it. She looks at the woman in red and cries, “I’m sorry this can’t be happening. I’m so sorry.” The woman in red thinks that was her mother but her mother died 21 years ago.
Jake returns to his cat’s cradle.
And that was only the opening 5 minutes.
The woman in red assures them that Simran is not a common Indian name. She also had a birthmark on her cheek and is the right age. Martin assures Clea that nothing random ever happens when Jake is involved. (amen to that) As Martin pleads with Jake that today is not a good day to run after threads Jake looks him in the eye. (translation – seriously dad? This is a woman’s long lost birth mother!) Martin gets the hint and heads off to find her.
At the cab – the cabby listens to his dispatcher going on about his breakfast and how a nice person stopped to help him this morning – yup that’s our ham radio, opera listening guy from the bus.
Outside the museum Martin runs around frantically.
Inside the museum – Clea asks the woman in red about her family growing up. All she knows is the orphanage told her parents that her birth mother had died and didn’t know her father. As Clea listens she sees a sign on the wall “Exhibit provided through the generosity of Aster Corps,” Abigail Kelsey’s company. (Curiouser and curiouser.) One more bomb falls, the woman in red tells Clea that her husband left her today (the man that left the note under the door I bet). He wants a family but she can’t do it, not knowing her birth mother died during birth; but finding her changes everything.
In a hotel room, a woman in a robe – well sort of in a robe – makes sure just enough robe is open as she logs into a web call. Her name is Ipolita and she’s calling Gio. AAAAW he’s an astronaut! (There’s a special place in my heart for astronauts!) Seems these two are love birds. She designed the communication device they’re using for their space walk today – using fiber optics, FM frequency and ham radio (See! Everything is important!) She’s the one that broke the mirror and yup she’s superstitious! And these love birds are married. Before signing off, they look at the moon together.
Martin is still searching the streets for Simran. He finds Jake has snuck outside on his own. He tries to get him to go back in the museum but Jake has other plans – he steps in front of a cab. Not just any cab, the one with the cabby introduced in the opening. The man that was waiting earlier cuts in front of Jake and Martin rather rudely and proclaims, “you will make two stops before dropping me off at JFK.” The cabby calls it in and takes off. Jake returns to cat’s cradle. Martin and Clea try to remember the phone number Simran called from. It’s the Hotel Trio. (triangles are important – they have three sides – trio = three)
In the hotel Jake takes off but stops on a floor where a maid is working. He begins the cat’s cradle again. The maid looks remarkably like the woman in red.
On the space station – the space walk is going well but then the communications goes out.
At the hotel – The maid’s name is Nunvu (at least I think that’s what she said). He tells the maid that he may have just met his twin sister Veronique that lives in Paris. She doesn’t believe him. She has no sister. She was born in India and moved when she was one. He mentions Simran called him from this hotel. Her mother’s name is also Simran. Martin thinks that his mission is to reunite them.
At the museum – Clea covers when Ms. Strepling comes checking. Clea points out that the video exhibit was funded by Abigail’s company. Strepling brushes it off with a “I hadn’t noticed.” Martin has 20 minutes to get his butt back to the museum with Jake. Speaking of Martin, he calls to ask more about Veronique’s family history. She was born in a town called Alkatara – so was Nunvu. Her birthday day is May 1, 1991 – so is Nunvu. She’s allergic to strawberries – we don’t know about Nunvu because she bolts in fear.
In the cab – a blond woman has joined the rude Dr. Knox. She tells him he’s a miracle worker and hands him a stuffed envelope. (full of cash?) He says, “this time next week, you’ll be a different woman.” The dispatcher starts to sing over the radio telling them their shift is up. Every time he broadcasts he asks for a response. No one ever does. “Nobody listens.”
At the museum – as Martin tells Clea to apologize to Veronique for striking out, Nunvu walks up behind him and says she’s allergic to strawberries. She sees Veronique on the projection. They stare at each other in amazement.
In the cab – the cabby asks if they’ve met. Dr. Knox, an obstetrician, declares that he avoids the city like a plague. The cabby tries to strike up a nice conversation about family but Mr. Rudeness tells him in his own eloquent way to shut up.
At the center – Clea warns Martin that she was able to cover for him but he’s got to stay there the rest of the day. Strepling is watching him. Jake sits in the hall forming the cat’s cradle insistently. Martin can’t catch the message this time. He doesn’t know what to do.
In the cab – a man has joined Dr. Knox. The man is unsure of this “thing” that they are doing but Dr. Knox assures him that they are helping people. The cabby is now interested in what Dr. Rude is up to so he turns off his dispatch radio. The man hands Dr. Knox a fat envelope.
On the space station – Allegra has lost communication with Gio as well as visual. Control advises her to continue with schedule rendezvous. She doesn’t like the idea but follows orders.
At the center – Strepling has a surprise for everyone. They have a video chat with Allegra. She introduces herself and explains a little of what they do on the ISS. Gio would love to talk to them but his com is out kind of like the “Zone Exclusion” they experience each day. She then goes on to explain the communication system. She is orbiting 400 km above the earth. She is simultaneously speaking to capsule communicator in Houston and a webcaster server in New York. Three distinct individual points connected to form a triangle two by 5,191 miles – she holds up a triangle to illustrate. Martin remembers that Veronique and Nunvu were born on May 1, 1991. allegro asks if anyone can figure out the missing distance. Jake picks up his tablet and figures out 1,604. Jake is about to go into another fit so Martin risks Strepling noticing his leaving. Jake calms immediately. A red light begins to flash indicating elevated Co2 so she cuts her web cast short. Gio is still MIA.
Martin calls Nunvu to see if the number 1604 has any connection. She tells him that her father’s taxi number. (and the circle … or rather triangle is complete) The cabby finally recognizes Dr. Knox. He did something very bad to his family and he won’t let him get away with it. Dr. Knox, “you can’t put spilled milk back in its bottle brother.” The doctor made him give up his child. When the cab stops at a red light, Dr. Rude jumps the ride.
Martin catches up with the cabby at the taxi company. He tells him all about his daughters and their meeting. The cabby explains they were 18 when Simran learned she was pregnant. They hitchhiked to a free clinic. Nunvu was born first. They had no idea they were having twins. They could barely support one child definitely not two. The doctor said he could give the baby a better life. They moved to New York with the money he gave them. He took their child for profit and is doing it again. He tells Martin where he dropped off Dr. Knox.
On the ISS – Allegra pleads with control to allow her to use Ipolita’s new com system. They disagree. Allegra loses her link to control.
At the airport – Martin bumps someone and a coin goes rolling on the ground. It lands at the feet of… Ipolita! It’s the lucky piece she lost.
Jake is still playing cat’s cradle. Strepling knows Martin and Jake were MIA during the museum visit and she’s taking it to the review board. Clea makes her own threats in return. She knows something is going on regarding room 6. She knows Strepling is hiding something. (Go Clea!)
At the airport – Ipolita and Dr. Knox collide.
At the cab company – the dispatcher is picking up a mayday from Allegra on his ham radio. The signal is weak but he remembers the tube that fell out on the bus and replaces it. The connection is made.
At the airport – Martin finds Dr. Knox.
At the ISS and cab company – the dispatcher is able to make a connection with Gio but he’s not responding at first. He then makes connection. He’s advised to head to the airlock immediately due to high Co2 levels. Affirmative. Heading to airlock.
At the airport – Martin was able to find the man that gave Dr. Knox the altered adoption papers so turns him over to the police. (he kind of gets a little Jack Bauer on Knox when he tries to bolt)
At the cab company – the dispatcher crows about saving the astronaut’s life. This time all the cabbies reply.
“If two points are destined to touch the universe will always find a way to make the connection.”
Ipolita and Gio walk up to a fountain where Ipolita kisses her lucky coin and tosses it into a fountain.
“Even when all hope seems lost. Certain ties cannot be broken”
Veronique and Nunvu hug at the airport.
“They define who we are and who we can become.”
Their parents join the hug to welcome Veronique to the family. Veronique’s husband has come with her.
“Across space. Across time. Along paths we cannot predict. “
The dispatcher walls outside and looks at the moon.
“Nature always finds a way.”
Jake sits in the center playing cat’s cradle. Martin lets him know everything worked out. (I think he knows Martin.) Jake turns to Martin holding the cat’s cradle up to him and lets Martin make the next move. Clea comes in with a worried look. She’s been removed from Jake’s case.
On a personal note (and this may sound all kinds of koo koo) – things like this have happened to me all my life. The one that I remember most was meeting my first husband. I lived in Pittsburgh and took the city bus to art school each day. I always saw a sweet man sitting near the back. I was too shy to every say hi. One day I was sitting at home with my roommates. When friends of theirs arrived, the same sweet man from the bus walked in the door behind them. I think I may have fallen out of my chair. There he was; the man that I was too shy to say hi to. The story continued and made many twists and turns (like that river Jake mentions), mistakes were made, decisions, repercussions… life happened. The sweet man and I parted ways.
Many years later I was living in Atlanta, far away from Pittsburgh and the past. My Ex was living somewhere on the west coast. Out of the blue he sent me an email letting me know he was attending a convention in Atlanta. This made me all kinds of nervous. I hadn’t seen nor spoken to him in almost 15 years. My friends assured me that there was no way I would bump into this man. We were attending a convention that spanned 5 major hotels with over 40,000 attendees. The odds of bumping into him were astronomical. I finally saw the logic. I put it out of my mind. I wouldn’t worry about it any longer. As I walked out of my hotel room I ran smack dab into someone. I begin to laugh and apologize but it got stuck in my throat as I looked up into the face of the man I knew so long ago. We laughed. We hugged. It was awkward in the extreme. We chatted for a bit. We parted ways at registration. I never saw him again.
“If two points are destined to touch the universe will always find a way to make the connection.”
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Touch: Noosphere Rising’ recap to catch up.