You got the Touch! Talking about geometric shapes in his traditional opening spiel, Jake (David Mazouz) notes how they're "rotated and reflected, infinitely repeated". Sure, he's talking geometric shapes, but he could be referring to the plot-lines in Touch - the show's sense of repetition is one of the things preventing it from becoming great television.
We kick off this week with Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) reaching out to his late wife's sister Abigail (Catherine Dent), who's decidedly less one-dimensional and evil this week, acting more like a human being for a change. She and Martin decide to team up to prevent the state from taking custody of Jake...
Martin's also busy with the latest number - 2545 - and now that he and Clea have a quest, following Teller's research, Touch has more of a sense of direction. Our interest was piqued as Martin began conducting an investigation at a local harbour, but we were disappointed to see events quickly spiral into ludicrousness...
You see, poor Martin unwittingly becomes caught up in a crime at the docks. We could forgive this kind of thing happening to 24's Jack Bauer but when it happens to 'regular joe' Martin, it seems just that little bit more ridiculous.
Rather bizarrely, Martin plays along rather than escaping from these dangerous thieves at the first opportunity - we know he's keen to follow Jake's numbers, but *really*?
"You had a chance, why didn't you run?" asks one of the crooks. It's because in Touch, it turns out pretty much everyone is good deep down - thief Joey is pulling the heist for his sick wife. In fact, all three of the crooks are decent folk, really.
Exposed, Martin has to convince the thieves to let him help with their heist, and when he's backed into a corner, the character has a worrying tendency to start spouting inspirational nonsense - "Sometimes in life, you're just supposed to take a leap of faith and hope you land on your feet!"
Eventually, the thieves are hailed as heroes when they unwittingly open a special canister and uncover a human trafficking ring. Despite the flaws in the plot, Martin's story - convoluted as it might be - is the most interesting and compelling part of the episode. Sutherland's performance is as strong as ever and the guest actors playing the crooks do a good job too. The reference back to Martin's journalist past and the improbably-named Rush Middleton is a nice touch too.
The docks storyline certainly holds together better than the episode's secondary plot - another tiresome troubled romance-of-the-week, which this time involves a Palestinian girl and her Jewish boyfriend - definitely not an ill-advised storyline at all....
Soon enough, their political differences and the Israel/Palestine conflict put a strain on their relationship. How many more times is Touch going to feed up the same story of a romance suffering a crisis but coming good in the end? Branch out, try new things!
The third major thread of 'Tessellations' has Clea (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) fulfilling her new regular role of looking into Teller's research. Sneaky care worker Sheri (Roxana Brusso) appears to be testing Jake's abilities - does she know more about the '36 Righteous Ones' than she's letting on?
Clea's investigations eventually uncover the truth - Jake's aunt Abigail isn't nice after all, she's precisely as one-dimensional and villainous as she first appeared and her company AsterCorp is after Jake!
Like Sutherland, Mbatha-Raw continues to deliver the goods and it's great that Clea has been given more to do, but the writer who came up with this exchange - "Can I get you anything? Water? Coffee?" "Answers!" - deserves a stern reprimand.
Touch still has its flaws - constant repetition, ludicrous twists - but the show did effectively counter some of its early weaknesses - too many extraneous storylines, lack of a solid story arc - so hopefully with time the show will continue to improve. With a second season on the way, it certainly has the opportunity to grow and develop - let's hope Tim Kring and his writers don't squander it.
Bauer Power... An embarrassment of riches this week - four separate instances of 'Dammit' throughout the episode, at (roughly) 5.30, 7.45, 19.44 and 36.45.
Let us know what you thought of episode ten of Touch below!