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3 March 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.8: They Keep Killing Suzie

We kick-start this episode in true Torchwood style as they walk onto a crime scene already being investigated by the police. They’re met by Detective Swanson (Yasmin Bannerman), who her and her team think Torchwood’s approach to situations are a little unorthodox and quite rightly so. As the team enter an average looking suburban house, a horrendous murder has taken place with a slightly more unusual clue to the suspect. In huge blood soaked words on the wall, “TORCHWOOD” takes central place, which immediately alarms Captain Jack, with a true heroic ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhanger camera zoom to the face… Titles roll!

 

Tosh examines the DNA evidence left at the murder site which the analysis reveals that the murderer had an unknown compound, “B67.” Owen immediately identifies it as the RetCon drug, which was also the same drug Jack used on Gwen. Gwen in a state of panic becomes incredibly worried as to the implications and side effects of the drug, as the Torchwood team themselves realised they’ve screwed up massively. I mean an organisation who drugs not just one but 2008 people, is slightly problematic in itself… again. Not only that, but the team are now questioning if the drug can cause violent tendencies. Jack quickly jokes that Gwen shouldn’t go near sharp objects however, the joke doesn’t sit well with me.

 

But with no time to wait, as in true Torchwood style we’re off, as Gwen suggests using the Resurrection Gauntlet from ‘Everything Changes’ to question the murdered people to find out if they saw anything. Jack and Owen quickly disapprove of the idea, with their closed body expressions as they try to turn away from Gwen; the pain of Suzie’s death still haunts them, even now. Gwen being the determined police officer she is, suggests they have a duty of care following the murder victims death; they have responsibility for their actions in respect of drugging people, which is a very just cause in my opinion.

 

Captain Jack tries the glove on their first murder victim, however this instantly fails. Owen immediately passes up the opportunity to try the glove again, stating only Suzie was the one who managed to get the glove to work. Gwen being the badass she is, volunteers to wear the glove as a cautious glance is exchanged between Jack and Owen, stepping up to the role to try it on with immediate success. The first victim, Alex Arwen, screams out. Gwen trying to show some humanity as Jack shouts at him trying to get a clue, immediately dies again. The rage shows in Gwen’s face as she is determined to use the glove not to just use the murdered victims but to get justice for them. It’s a true showmanship to her police training and her character. The next victim Mark, gives an emotional performance which is beautifully accompanied by Murray Golds’ music, as he tries to help the team with clues as to who the killer could be but also just wanting to see his wife one last time. Mark reveals a couple of names Pilgrim, Max and in a shocking twist, Suzie. Coincidence? I think not!

 

The Torchwood team dig up some more evidence related to Suzie and Pilgrim, which turns out to be a a religious support group. Tosh and Owen are completely dismissive of the idea that Suzie would join a group like this, when Gwen questions how much do the team really know each other? It’s a true testament to their characters about how they all get so wrapped up in fighting aliens and the unknown, that they forget the fundamental point of sitting down and talking. Jack accepts the fact he messed up and makes the ultimate decision, they need to wake Suzie up.

 

The Torchwood crew gather around a frozen Suzie as they assess the situation as to what they’re about to do. Tosh who can’t bare to look her former colleague in the eye quickly departs the room. The others braving their fears of Suzie herself, gear themselves up ready to get their last clue and to leave Suzie to rest. This is what is amazing about Torchwood, alien monsters can be frightening, but a person who has been dead for 3 months can still send a shiver down your spine from their past actions and this is what makes for a great villain for a story. After a few false starts and a life knife through the heart in a completely brutal fashion, the camera circles around them all;, Suzie is back from the dead. It’s a brilliant scene that builds up the confusion and frustration of everyone in the room, as they desperately want to stop the killing and settle their difficulties once and for all. Gwen using the glove for too long is shot back across the room, as Jack very angrily shouts at her for getting hooked on the glove as well. Jack has a tendency of learning from his mistakes and almost plays a father figure to the team, however his younger team mates want to prove themselves and almost get killed in the process. We soon learn that there are consequences which become a reality for unfortunate Gwen. They think it’s all over until Ianto claims that Suzie’s heart is still beating.

 

The Torchwood fam (yes I’ve used it) wanting to give Suzie the benefit of the doubt about her past incriminating life, ask for her help to catch the killer who is after them. They go to a club where one of the members from Pilgrim works before she becomes the next victim. After a brief punch up and Gwen getting hit again, goodness me does Gwen take some punches, they catch the killer.

 

All of this seems simple and straight forward, a very typical Torchwood episode until Gwen is suckered in by Suzie’s guilty charm and her own revelations of the team not being sympathetic towards other members and decides to take Suzie to see her dying father. Now this is when the tangled web of evil and villainy comes into force. Owen to his horror, discovers why Suzie isn’t dead again. She’s draining the life force away from Gwen. This is where the differences lies between Gwen being a part of the team rather than Suzie; the team actually spring into action to help her. They've been fooled twice; shame on them.

 

I love Torchwood, it always seems to be the most bonkers plot to cram into a 50 minute story. So here’s a break down of Suzie’s plot, Shaun of the Dead style:

 

Gwen takes her car, drives over to Suzie’s dad, Suzie kills her dad. Gwen immediately starts getting a headache because the gun shot wound that killed Suzie is being exchanged and she gains her energy back. Suzie then drives to the docks to get rid of Gwen’s body. Torchwood calls on Detective Swanson who breaks them out using a secret code to counteract the other secret code announced by the original killer who Suzie drugged to help her get back from the dead. They get to the docks before Suzie gets away on a boat to live forever.

 

I tip my hat off to the writers, Paul Tomalin and Dan McCulloch for getting in so much plot without the story feeling too fast.

 

The final stand off between Jack and Suzie resulted in me making the most satisfying air punch I’ve ever done. The part where Jack finally takes Suzie down and Tosh takes the glove out with one final shot to break the tie between Suzie and Gwen, was just so perfect in tying up the elephant in the room of everyone feeling sorry that Suzie killed herself, when actually she was the real monster all this time.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

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[Source:
DWO]

Ivan Crafton United States
3/25/2020 7:22:45 AM #

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