by Emily Gerard
“The Music of the Spheres” builds on the mathematical theme of the previous episode. Jake has been using his new tablet to make musical notes with numbers. Martin is hopeful that the next step might be for him to make words with numbers, and tries to show Jake an app that would let him do so, but Jake is not interested. Telling Sherry he’s taking Jake out for a day in Central Park, Martin calls Clea and tells her to get a head start on sorting through Teller’s research- he and Jake will meet her there. Having been taken off the case, Clea is free to go rogue. Naughty children, you two!
On the way, Jake bumps into a woman (and as we have learned, people don’t bump into each other on this show without a reason) who spills her coffee on them both. Everyone leaves to get a change of clothes. When the woman goes upstairs to the music shop she owns to get a new shirt, she inadvertently interrupts a robbery by an unlikely suspect: a 13 year-old boy. The child pulls a gun on her but flees.
At home changing, Martin tries to press the app on Jake again. Instead, Jake pulls out the gun, which he somehow picked up from the alleyway through which the Robber Boy fled. Martin is not pleased. He makes Jake take him back to the alley, where they find the kid. Martin confronts him, and he fires back, asking what’s “the matter” with Jake. “My son uses numbers to talk,” Martin says. This strikes a chord: “My brother doesn’t talk either. Maybe he could show my brother how to talk with numbers?” the kid asks. Before we know it, they’re all en route back to his house.
Meanwhile, Clea is busy getting the inside scoop about Teller from his former roommate Abram, who also appears to be a researcher. He claims they were best friends, but Abram is jarringly nonchalant about Teller’s death. Martin calls to explain that they have wound up in the Bronx with two kids named Elliot (Robber Boy) and Andre (his disabled older brother) who seem to be completely on their own. After she hangs up, Abram shows her a picture of Amelia (the Amelia of the Amelia Sequence). Clea recognizes the little blonde girl in the photo from the facility! Teller was working with her, Abram explains, but, under pressure to produce results, pushed her too hard and caused some sort of setback. He lost his tenure and blamed himself for hurting Amelia, which sent him into a deep depression.
To temper all the grimness with a little music, we are introduced to Felipe, a mop-haired guitar player in Portugal or Brazil (global locations are anyone’s guess on Touch). He’s singing to Yarah, a classy café-owner. He asks her to run off to the beach with him, and when she demurs he proposes running off to New York instead. The happy times don’t last long: a man arrives who is trying to buy the café, causing Yarah to admit she can no longer pay its mortgage. Still, she’s desperate to hang on to the business: her grandmother built it and after her mother and sister died, it’s all she has left of her family.
OR IS IT? Clea discovers that Elliot and Andre have an aunt who was never contacted when their mother died years ago. Andre and Jake are currently bonding: Jake plays music on his tablet, and Andre uses it to spell out that he’s hungry. It’s a small miracle that we hope Jake will be capable of soon. Elliot tells Martin the story of how he got stuck caring for his older brother all alone: first their mother died, and then their father took off when Andre got shot in the head a year ago, causing permanent brain damage. Just then, Elliot gets a text and abruptly asks them to leave. On their way out, Martin and Jake hear a middle-aged man threatening him about the botched robbery. Martin begs Elliot to let him help. “No one can help me,” the boy sorrowfully replies.
So they finally meet up with Clea, and Abram immediately identifies Jake as “one of the 36” people who are blessed and work to alleviate suffering, “to repair the universe, if you will.” Heavy stuff.
Martin goes to visit Elliot’s probation officer, John Tenney, claiming to be Elliot’s basketball coach. They speak in veiled threats to each other as Martin expresses his concern that someone is harassing Elliot. On his way out, Martin recognizes a guy from the alleyway by the music store. It turns out he and Elliot share the same probation officer. He says he works at the music store, and that he told John about how the owner lets cash pile up in the store throughout the month.
Felipe has resolved to sell his guitar so that he can help Yarah keep her business afloat. His friend tells him about a music shop in New York that will pay “top dollar” for such a fine instrument. It’s the same music store that was almost robbed earlier, and the owner is on her way to the bank with the money that Elliot tried to steal that morning. Elliot intercepts her and gets her purse this time. Martin finds him, crying in the alleyway, as the police arrive.
Felipe gives Yarah all the money he got from selling his guitar and announces that he wants to be her partner. Just as she’s about to decline his offer, she gets a voice message from Martin informing her that she has nephews who need her help. Yarah wisely decides to accept Felipe’s support and money.
Elliot comes back to Tenney with the purse. “What the hell took you so long?” Tenney asks aggressively. Elliot hands over the money and the gun that Tenney gave him. But he’s wearing a wire this time and Tenney is immediately arrested by the police. Phew!
The episode concludes with Felipe and Yarah, who got to New York remarkably quickly, serving a nice dinner to Elliot and Andre. Meanwhile, back at the facility Sherry asks where Jake’s tablet went, and Martin proudly tells her that he gave it away. “How could you do that? He could have used it to talk!” Sherry demands. “Maybe he doesn’t want to talk,” Martin realizes. “Maybe it’s my job as his father to be okay with that.”
Jake and Andre, Martin and Elliott, Felipe and Yarah, Yarah and her long-lost nephews, Tenney and comeuppance.