This Week... Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) comes in contact with a homeless man who has the same obsession with numbers as Jake (David Mazouz).
You got the Touch! This week on Touch, troubled father Martin receives another mysterious number from his mute son Jake - this time, it's 3287. The 'red thread' is pulling tight around a woman in an African village named Grace, a young woman in a red dress looking for a date at a dance contest and a group of young scamps from Grace's home who plan to compete in the dance-off via the magic of the internet...
Given the one-off nature of the stories featured in Touch, the strength of each episode is directly related to how compelling you find each week's characters. Thankfully the protagonists of 'Safety in Numbers' grab the viewer's attention far more rapidly than the sorry bunch from episode two.
There's also fewer plotlines to follow - something we called for last week - which make the pieces of this episode fit together far more neatly. Many of this week's tales have the potential to be really compelling - particularly the story of Grace (Yetide Badaki), who wants to find work in the city but must first rescue her friend Sauda from her abusive lover Fumbe.
But everything falls apart as the episode reaches its climax. Grace's arc comes to a rather ludicrous conclusion - Fumbe is thwarted when the women of the village stand up to him by banging some pots, or something. And it's hard to sympathise with dance guru Beastmaster (played by So You Think You Can Dance star Stephen 'Twitch' Boss) when he's defeated in the contest by the African youths and claims to have had "the worst day of [his] life" - it's only a bit of fun, Beastmaster!
Thankfully, 'Safety in Numbers' has a saving grace. Last week, we complained that the series regulars on Touch weren't getting enough screen-time, but this week's instalment remedies the problem and it's this improvement that saves the episode.
A good portion of the episode follows Kiefer Sutherland as he interacts with a homeless man who refers to himself as the 'Invisible Prince' and becomes involved with a financial lawsuit. Whereas in episode two Martin was basically just a cypher being used to connect the disparate storylines, here he's far more proactive.
Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) also gets her own minor arc, with the reveal of her schizophrenic mother. Though that plotline doesn't really lead anywhere this episode, we're hoping it'll be followed up in future weeks. Even Danny Glover gets to do more than just sit around, offering Martin sage advice. His character Arthur pays Jake's care facility a brief visit and we get a few more hints about his turbulent past.
Yes, the one-off tales are flawed and the show as a whole is still a little too po-faced, but decent character development for our regulars helps save the day - 'Safety in Numbers' doesn't quite have the magic touch, but it's not a bad touch either.
Bauer Power... We know that Kiefer is trying his best to break away from his 24 persona, but sometimes, it's difficult not to be reminded of the great Jack Bauer when watching Touch - 'Safety in Numbers' boasted two Damn It's and even a race against time!
Let us know what you thought of episode three of Touch below!