Blogtor has reviewed Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode Three over at our chums, Cult Box – you can read it HERE. PLEASE NOTE: It is spoiler~free.
Torchwood: Miracle Day Ep 2 audio commentary
Torchwood: Miracle Day Ep 3 Teasers
Torchwood: Miracle Day Ep 3 more promo pics
Torchwood: Miracle Day Ep 2 preview
Torchwood: Miracle Day Ep 1 audio commentary
Just watched it then read your review…spot on. I'm tempted to fault Jane Espenson (although I've loved most of her work), but know that RTD's penchant for crafting the totality of the arc of the story (see The Writer's Tale) doesn't let him off the hook either. Ie., he wanted episode 3 to be what it was, and although the clumsy UK v. US stuff may have been down to Jane, the clumsy "now let's have a sex break" was probably down to him.
No matter…as you concluded, the humour and life (erm, such as it is) carry the day, and the actors (and their characters) are thoroughly mesmeric. I'm guessing that this is one of those episodes that's a "break in the action" despite the revelations therein, and we'll be back on form next time round. Although there'll probably be another one like this in the remaining seven…wish they'd gone for the "Children of Earth" format", with five two-hour episodes spread out over a week…the deficiencies in any one episode wouldn't stand out so much.
All in all, though, I'm loving this much more than Moffat's DW (with the exception of "The Doctor's Wife")…it's wonderful to actually have a reason to care about the characters, something that RTD knows how to do beautifully.
In defence of Esther, she is an analyst, not a field agent. She has not been trained in undercover techniques. So she makes the sort of basic mistakes a field agent would not dream of making. True, in normal circumstances, it would get her killed, but in her case, that just isn't possible.