EPISODE REVIEW: Torchwood Miracle Day: “The Categories of Life” (Season 4, Episode 5)

Charles H
Charles H's picture

Death panels to the extreme.

Dr. Vera Juarez is looking for the medical board meetings. A secretary tells her that the proposal has moved forward and that the meetings are no longer needed. Dr. Juarez asks what proposal. The secretary says there is no longer just life and death; there are now three categories of life. These categories are based on an idea Dr. Juarez had for emergencies, treat the less serious cases first and then get to the more severe.

Gwen flies, under alias, back to Wales in order to find and free her father. She arrives at her mom’s house and wonders why the baby is wearing so much pink. Gwen’s mom has been following the overflow camps in the news and has a board with news clippings, maps, etc attached to it. Gwen and Rhys go to the camp to free her father only to be blocked by a lot of red tape and military personnel. Gwen decides to come back at night to free him.

Jack and Esther have a walk on the beach. He tells her she is good at what she does it is just this is all new to her. She asks Jack where he is from and Rex texts them both before he can answer. Duty calls.

Dr. Juarez shows up in LA. She joins the rest as they investigate the miracle. She notices Jack is looking at morphic fields. From the Tardis Index file, a morphic field says all living things have this filed and it defines their form. He thinks there might be a connection. They learn what the categories of life are. Category 3s are normal people with no ailments. Category 2s are those that have an injury but continue to function. Category 1s are those without any brain function or should be deceased, the living dead. Rex says he should be dead but he can still function so where would he fall. That is the problem, the government and PhiCorp should not be allowed to decide such things. Dr. Juarez becomes part of Torchwood with a fist bump from Jack.

Esther finds plans for the camps in the PhiCorp files they took in the previous episode. All of the plans show a central building, a module, on them. However, aerial photographs do not show the module. They are being clocked from surveillance. Torchwood decides to break into the camp in Southern California.

Rex goes as a patient to into the camp. Dr. Juarez uses her medical credentials. Esther goes in as clerical help. Since Rex is functioning, he is given a blue clothes pin. The blue represents category two patients (blue rhymes with two). Esther works he way to the front office where she changes Rex’s paperwork to classify him as a 1 instead of a 2. She gets the paperwork to Rex and he changes his pin from blue to red (red rhymes with dead). Rex is taken to the module and laid amongst several others and the door shuts. He gets up, takes his camera, and documents all that he sees.

Dr. Juarez is taken on a tour by the local administrator in charge of the camp. He shows her around making crude comments as he goes, “You’re a woman and a doctor. Wow.” She starts to get upset that he is only showing her certain areas. She goes into a building and finds patients stacked in horrible conditions. He says they have been overwhelmed and these people don’t have insurance. She gets mad and threatens him with prosecution. He tells her to stop and she continues to press, so he shoots her. He takes her to the module and locks her inside. The administrator goes to a control panel and starts pushing buttons, lights and warning sirens go off. Rex comes back to the module and hears Dr. Juarez screaming inside. He tries to open it but can’t. Fire ignites and fills the container. Rex is helpless to do anything.

In Wales, Gwen and Rhys, posing medical personnel, infiltrate the overflow camp there. She finds her dad and tries to free him. However, in his weakened condition, he has another cardiac episode and Gwen is forced to have the staff there help him. He is classified from a 2 to a 1 and is scheduled to be hauled off to the module in the morning.

Captain Jack goes to visit Oswald Danes, who is preparing to give a speech at Miracle Rally. Jilly has given Oswald a speech with the word ‘revelation’ used several times. Each time Oswald says ‘revelation’, lights will flash and the PhiCorp logo will appear on the screen. As Jilly leaves Oswald with security, she is approached by a stranger that says they have been watching her and will be in touch.

Jack leads Oswald away from his handlers and gives him a different speech. Jack wants Oswald to tell everyone that PhiCorp is behind all of this. If Oswald helps Jack, Jack will give him what he wants. Jack says Oswald wants to die since he already had the highlight of his life, murdering that little girl. Jack says he will make sure Oswald gets that. Jilly comes to Oswald and says it’s time. She asks Jack what he is doing. Jack tells Oswald to do the right thing. Jilly snaps a picture of Jack on her iPhone.

Oswald goes on stage with both speeches. Oswald, instead of giving either speech, gives his own. He says that man has evolved from animal to man and now to… angels. He uses the word ‘revelation’, the logo flashes, Jilly is happy, and the crowd is ecstatic.


- You would think someone would be watching Gwen’s relative’s house in case she returned there.
- When the ambulance picks up Rex to take him to the camp, Jack tells the paramedics to take care of him, they are much on love. Rex flips Jack the number 1 with his middle most finger.
- Category 3 patients got white clothes pins, maybe white rhymes with all right.
- I hear Phil Collins may be at the Miracle Rally.
- We never saw what happened with Dr. Juarez. We saw her in the module and the module filled with fire, but people can’t die. Will she somehow be back or did she get the Owen treatment?
- What are they doing with the ashes from the burned category 1s? Is it still alive?
- 5 episodes down and 5 to go.


Maybe, it does show the evil that death panels can lead to. Who decides who is worth saving and who isn’t? Obviously the government is not capable to make these decisions.