You got the Touch! This week's episode of Touch - as the title implies - is all about the music of the spheres, an ancient philosophical concept that considers the movements of celestial bodies to be a kind of tuneful composition. Or as Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) helpfully simplifies, "Wow - you can use numbers to make music!"
We've made the point previously that this show works best when the Martin character is proactive, but at first it appears that 'Music of the Spheres' will fall back into the trap of having the flustered father run round aimlessly after his son, yelling "JAKE!" at every given opportunity.
But matters improve when Martin meets 13-year-old Elliot (Malachi Smith) and inserts himself into his life. At first, the troubled youth is reluctant to accept Martin's help, but eventually backs down - Elliot may be a tough street kid, but even he doesn't have the stones to stand up to Jack frickin' Bauer.
Elliot is being forced to commit crimes by his probation worker Officer John Tenney (Scott Michael Campbell). After exchanging veiled threats with the corrupt cop, Martin appeals to the innate goodness of another probationee - well, it is Touch after all - and eventually catches Tenney out when Elliot wears a wire. As usual, a strong performance from Kiefer Sutherland boosts the rather flat material.
Meanwhile, Clea (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) gets the most interesting part to play this week - kicked off Jake's case, she launches a rogue investigation into Teller's research and the Amelia sequence…
Teller's enigmatic roommate Abram heaps a pile of exposition on Clea, revealing all about poor Amelia, Teller's experiments and Jake's role as 'one of the 36' - whatever that may mean. Touch is still feeling the loss of Danny Glover pretty keenly, but it's great to have his character's arc still ongoing.
The final major plot thread in 'Music of the Spheres' follows musician Felipe (Louis Ferreira) as he romances cafe owner Yarah. Unfortunately,after thankfully avoiding the stereotype for a few weeks, Touch falls back on its standard character type of a 'foreigner' obsessed with US culture - Felipe wants to make it big in New York.
But Yarah has her own problems, involving her floundering family business. She's understandably irritated by Felipe serenading her as she works to save her livelihood. "I have real problems that music can't fix," she barks.
But as soon as Yarah complains that her suitor has never sacrificed anything in his life, it's obvious that he's going to sell his beloved guitar to keep her business afloat. This is the episode's weakest plot thread by some way - predictable and trite.
Oh, and a minor point, but what was the relevance of the diamonds this week? Abram had a stash and Felipe's pal Alberto tries to convince him to woo Yarah with diamonds too...
Overall, 'Music of the Spheres' is one of this show's stronger offerings, but the episode's strength only makes Touch as a whole feel even more frustrating. I mean, congratulations to Kiefer Sutherland, Tim Kring and co on the show's recent renewal, but the series still needs work if it's going to flourish...
Some episodes, such as this, work for the most part, while others continue to flounder badly. Touch remains far too inconsistent to really love and that's a real shame.
Let us know what you thought of episode nine of Touch below!