California, here we come!
The one constant as time passes, Jake tells us in the opening voice over, is change. What the? Try to wrap your mind around that conundrum, folks! People don’t like change, Jake muses, so they cling to the illusion of stasis. We see poor Martin, who to be fair has never really gotten any illusion of stasis to cling to, crying over a photograph of him and Jake. When he gets a phone call, he rushes around, packing frenetically, and spills other photos of Jake as a baby and toddler on the floor (and my goodness, David Mazouz has been absolutely darling every second of his young life—every millisecond and microsecond, even).
Jake prepares to unleash his Crystal of Doom!
Now, where did that rubber ducky you used to take baths with get to? Chances are it’s probably in the North Pacific Gyre! Okay, not really, but there are rubber ducks in that Gyre, apparently, caught there since 1992 when a shipload of them from China spilled into the Pacific Ocean. Jake tells us items in a gyre typically get stuck there, “doomed to travel the same path.” But chance encounters (you know, a whale with a vendetta against rubber ducks, the bastard, or a storm disrupting the currents while those poor rubber ducks cling to each other, terrified out of their little rubber minds) can change things: “which means it’s possible to break free…it’s possible to find the way to shore.”
Abigail gives Jake a pinwheel. Notice it is blue! And blue is not red. NOT RED, THERE IS EVIL AFOOOOOTTTT!
Jake wants us to know that symmetry is the language of the universe, and geometrical shapes make up its characters. “And when you speak the language, follow the logic you can predict the next step. You just have to trust in where the paths meet.” M.C. Escher fans, rejoice! You know where Jake’s coming from, am I right? Or if you’re a fan of honeycombs (which are big—yeah, yeah, yeah! they’re not small—no, no, no!), go ahead and rejoice also, for not only is honey delicious, it comes from a naturally tesselated (tiled pattern repeating particular shapes) structure.
But you know, symmetry isn’t the most exciting thing. If all the sides and patterns are perfectly proportioned and matching, there’s less complexity to experience or describe. Symmetry can be beautiful, and it can move us greatly. But when we strive to make things symmetrical, we sacrifice detail and surprise. And really, in that way this episode showcases Touch‘s strengths and weaknesses pretty damn well.
Jake, want to use your words? No, Jake wants to use his NUMBERS, okay, Martin?
Jake opens by complaining to us he’s never been so bored in all his life, and that all the other kids got that new Xbox game from their parents, and why can’t we just be cool like Sam’s dad? No, no, I’m just joshing you—Jake taps into another mystical universal truism by intoning the principle that all musical elements can be translated by mathematical ratios; if all ratios could translate into sound, he posits, we’d hear the music of the spheres. Yeah. This kid’s always on.
Let's see, Jake's got red string, a red kite, a red t-shirt, a red notebook. Do you think red is significant on Touch? SIGNS POINT TO YES!
Jake tells us the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. As I reel in shock from this (why did no one TELL ME?), he clarifies if the path gets blocked and direct connection becomes impossible, the universe will find another way. Meanwhile, we see our Characters Whose Lives Will Be Forever Changed by Numbers and Patterns o’ the week: a cabbie, a French guy leaving his partner by slipping a note under a door, a woman breaking a mirror, and Jake creating a cat’s cradle of pattern-ly significance with a red string.