“The ratio is always the same. 1:1.618 over and over and over again. Patterns are hidden in plain sight – you just have to know where to look.”
Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) has had his share of tragedy. He lost his wife in 9/11, and his highly autistic and mute son Jake (David Mazouz) displays increasingly erratic behaviour, climbing cell phone towers and constantly writing patterns of numbers in his book. Martin was a respected journalist before he became a single parent and now eeks out an existence as a baggage handler at JFK airport. His life is not made any easier when after a recent tower climbing Child Services take Jake into care to assess him and his needs. Life seems bleak.
He’s searching for a way to communicate with his son, to interpret just how he sees numbers. It’s just another random event when his son takes a man’s lottery ticket to write down the numbers. How his son interprets those numbers though will change his life and the lives of many around him, some without even knowing it. A misplaced cell phone. A reluctant hero. A struggling single dad. The proof we are all connected through some kind of Touch.
Keifer Sutherland plays against the strong characters he’s established himself in on TV of late. Martin is vulnerable, alone, and scared of heights – not great when you have a 11 year old son who has a penchant for climbing towers. It’s his portrayal of a broken Martin is sensitive but not overdone. The permanently furrowed brow will be familiar to fans of 24 though it may be only through muscle memory that it makes a return appearance. Mazouz is good though it’s an interesting role to deliver given no lines. Danny Glover’s turn as Arthur Teller, a form of accidental guide to Martin, is minor in the early episodes but develops as the series progresses.
Creator Tim Kring (Heroes) has defined a unique relationship between father and son and extrapolated it to connect a planetful of people through what some may consider to be happenstance. Jake as the savant is a good grounding and the connections to patterns and sequences are well thought out though may become predictable in future episodes (“oh, that number is the phone number for such and such who does something. The end.”), but let’s hope not. Some dialogue may seem kitschy but rings true in the context of the show.
Touch looks to be a strong addition to Ch10’s Super Sunday line up, and a great follow up to Homeland in the 8:30pm anchor spot.