Friday, 4 April 2008

Fade to Grey

Episode 2.12 - Exit Wounds
Tx - 4th April 2008


Cardiff! Usual pre-titles montage! Outside government, police, 21st century, changes, Torchwood is ready. Whatevz. Let's go.

We get a recap of last week's gormless staring at bombs and waiting for them to explode, but fortunately only enough to collapse a building and bury the Torchwood team under a few bricks without doing that much damage to them. ["Fortunately"? - Steve] It was all the work of Captain John Hart, who was awesome when he was in episode 1, and was awesome last week also. I fully expect him to be awesome today too.

Team Torchwood reconvene after the explosion to find the SUV gone. Tosh has a broken arm, remember, but everyone else is fine. Even with one arm, Tosh is expected to do good gadgety work, and she's tracking rift activity, which is occurring all over the city. Gwen's phone rings, and it's Steve's favourite, PC Andy, telling her to get the fuck to the police station because all hell has broken loose. Right, that's what I'd do in times of crisis - call the country's most famous incompetent. Gwen says she's on her way, and snits about "Captain John or whatever he calls himself", like her boss and sometime-beloved Jack is entirely innocent of identity theft. Jack is behaving like he's Rhys's boss now, for some reason. Poor long-suffering Rhys is the only one left with a vehicle, so Jack tells him to drop Owen at the hospital, Tosh and Ianto to the central server building, Gwen at the police station, and him at Torchwood. Jack advises everyone to be careful, which has been an excellent plan so far, and announces that he is going to go and try to reason with John, as he was the only one who could ever control him, which was why they were partners at the Time Agency. [Though he didn't seem very good at it last time Captain John showed up - but perhaps that was because he wouldn't bribe him to behave with sexual favours. - Georgi] Rhys: "Did you just say Time Agency? Don't tell me that's based in Cardiff too."

Cardiff! Jack is at the hub. Hark, he can hear music. It is Hot Gossip's I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper. Now, I don't want to generalise about anyone, but I'm guessing that Captain John may have put that on the stereo. And yes, he emerges, telling Jack, "Come on! Sing along! It's our song!" Hee! Jack is unimpressed, denying that it is their song. Frankly, I believe John on this one. He tells Jack that he's no fun. True fact. Jack tells him that everyone survived the explosion, and he needs to be more efficient. Goodness, my irony meter nearly melted with the overload there. John says they were prototypes, and enquires after the team. Jack asks what he wants, and John says he wants him to know that he loves him. And then he massacres him with two machine guns. [Yay! But still: try decapitation. - Georgi] "This is going to get nasty," says John, surveying Jack's corpse-not-corpse.

Titles!

Cardiff! A caption informs us that we're at Cardiff Police HQ at 5.27pm. Gwen and Rhys burst in, and there is blood everywhere. PC Andy tells her that the four most senior officers have been murdered, and that everyone is running round like headless chickens. Well, I can see why you'd call in Gwen for that. PC Andy wants to know what the hell Rhys is doing there at the crime scene; Rhys says he knows lots of secrets, for example a Time Agency being based in Cardiff; PC Andy mocks Rhys's secret-keeping skills. [They totally want each other. - Steve] In the cells, we discover that it was, obviously, weevils carrying out the murders. Gwen pepper-sprays them. [Even though they are already contained in a cell? Also, did Captain John manage to get the weevils to target the "four most senior officers", or are the police just shit? - Georgi]

Cardiff! Tosh and Ianto are at the Central Server Building, and as Tosh gives Gwen their location, she also handily explains what a Central Server Building actually is. [Yeah, as though the police, NHS, etc would all have their servers in the same building. Apart from being a terrible idea to start with, it suggest that they would be that organised. - Georgi] She says that she is on industrial-strength painkillers, so that's why she can carry on working with a smashed arm. They wander round a bit, then a gang of creatures dressed as the Grim Reaper march on them, burbling about heathen gods and suchlike. Tosh and Ianto shoot them. They die. "There we are, then," says Ianto. "Sorted," says Tosh.

Cardiff! Owen is at St Helen's Hospital, and it is 5.39pm. He is talking to a lady doctor who has a doctorly white coat and a voice that sounds a bit like Denise Van Outen. There is a Hoix in a storeroom; it needs to eat, for that is its raison d'etre. Owen throws it some fags and sedates it. "You really are quite stupid, aren't you?" says Owen. What a bizarre interlude. [It's a shame Torchwood don't have a gun that shoots sedatives, rather than having to get close enough to an alien to manually inject them though. I bet Torchwood London would have had that. - Georgi]

Cardiff! Torchwood Hub, 6.03pm. Jack is undead, and chained to the wall. I think we know where our next joke is coming from, don't we, children? John tells him his comms and weapons have been removed. "This is a little extreme, don't you think?" asks Jack. "What? Suddenly you're anti-bondage?" replies John. THERE IT IS! 16 seconds into the scene! "Why are you here?" snarls Jack. "See? Now you're interested in me!" snarks John, and really, these insecure boys falling in love with Jack ought to get some counselling. "It's always the same - nobody cares until you tie them up." John is angry because Jack was rude to him, and because Jack will not spend time with him. Jack wants to know where Grey is. John says that some things are out of his control. Jack tries to shout at him, and get electrocuted for his trouble. John does electronic wiring and stuff. Jack says, "Whatever you're planning, we're going to stop you." John looks faintly amused and says, "Really? Go on then. I hope you can. Really." Jack grimaces, but of course he's chained to a wall and he's sent his team elsewhere, so there's fuck-all he can do, unless Myfanwy suddenly becomes dextrous. "No?" asks John. "All right. Let's go get ourselves a good view."

A good view? Of Cardiff? I think we know what that means too, don't we, children?

Yes, it's some Hot Roof Action!

City centre, 6.28pm, on top of a castle. [Cardiff Castle! - Georgi] John continues to subject Jack to mild torture, and warns him not to struggle. Jack says he can make things right. John is like, no. He assumes control of the comms system, and Gwen interrupts him to ask if Jack's OK. "Jack can't come to the comms right now, but if you leave a message, I'll be sure to pass it along," says John, who really is fabulous. "What have you done to him?" asks Gwen. "Wrong question - you should be asking what am I about to do to you?" he says, and to be fair, Gwen would usually ask that rather than enquiring about someone else. Perhaps she got hit on the head with a brick or something. Ianto demands to speak to Jack, and John welcomes him with a gleeful, "Eye Candy! That was so masterful, so bossy, so basically powerless!" John tells them all to get to the respective roofs of their buildings. They do so. John apologises to Jack, then promptly blows up Beautiful Cardiff, except the major municipal buildings the Torchwood team are in. ZOMG Beautiful Cardiff! "You've destroyed the city!" yells Jack, just in case we hadn't noticed. [Isn't that a standard Friday night in Cardiff? - Georgi] John wants a hug. PC Andy panics; Gwen takes control. Then the rift opens and Jack and John disappear into it. Gwen does more bossiness to the rest of the team, telling Tosh to assess the damage - all the networks are down, people can't get out of the city; Gwen tells Tosh and Ianto to stabilise the nuclear power system as a matter of priority. Owen tells us that all the machines are off in the hospital. Gwen formulates a plan - to fix everything, find Jack and punish John. Excellent thinking, brainiac.

Cardiff, 27AD. Ooh, it is The Past. It is all fields. Jack looks puzzled. John tells him he is safe. Jack punches him and demands to return. John says no, and shows him his arm. He has a big old bomb molecularly bonded to his wrist, so he has to follow his orders otherwise he'll get explodified. "I thought you'd see that, but oh no, you're so self-obsessed, you thought I'd want to blow up your stupid city," complains John. [Oh, I do not like non-villainous Captain John, even if his motive for evil was questionable. - Georgi] Jack turns round, and it's his long-lost little brother, Grey. We have flashbacks of Jack losing him. They hug, Jack apologises, Grey stabs him through the stomach with a big old knife. Jack dies. John surveys the situation, looking very cheekboney. Grey tells him to get a shovel.

Gwen is now apparently queen of fucking everything [she is good at fucking everything, in fairness - Steve], and is giving a staff briefing to the Cardiff police force at 7.39pm. "This is where we find out how good we really are," she says. Rhys and PC Andy look on proudly. "Get out there and do your jobs," she concludes. Everyone nods in agreement. [Though Gwen does seem to think the most important thing the police could do is to reassure people. Yeah, don't worry about, like, fixing things. - Georgi] Rhys thinks his wife is impressive; Andy concurs and calls him a lucky sod.

Central Server Building, 8.01pm, and Ianto and Tosh are having problems. Tosh says they need to restart the servers or the reactor will go into meltdown. They decide to try that for a plan.

Back in 27AD, Jack is handcuffed, John has dug a grave, Grey has something of the SS officer about him. Jack tells Grey that he searched for him for ages; Grey tells him he will not get a loving reunion or absolution because he does not forgive him. Flashback of Jack being incompetent and failing to look after his brother. Grey talks about his traumatic childhood with evil creatures because Jack didn't hold on to his hand. Jack says he would swap with him if he could. Grey says that he always believed he'd come, but obviously he gave up, and he wants him to suffer - he wants his life. [Does Grey remind anyone else of Anakin Skywalker? Whinge, whinge, me, me, me, hate everybody, turned to the Dark Side... - Georgi] [Srsly. It is not your brother's fault that you run like a doughboy and fell down. Perspective, grumpy.-Joel]Jack is crying but pretending he's not. Grey's plan is to bury Jack where Cardiff will be built, so the city will be constructed on his grave, and each time he revives, he'll choke again. Fuck, that's one sick and twisted plan. [I love it. - Steve][It does rely on Captain Jack not having watched Kill Bill 2 and not realising that he could probably scrabble his way out of a six-foot-deep grave, at least after a couple of deaths. - Georgi][Srsly, again. 2000 years to climb six feet through soil? Not so tough. Though at least they didn't go through the route of Jack being worshipped as a god because he was all tall and not wearing woad.-Joel] John tries to stop it, but Grey throws Jack into the grave. He tells John to fill the grave otherwise the detonator will be activated. Jack looks at John and gives him silent approval to do what must be done; John gazes back to check that he really means it; he does; and before the earth is shovelled in, John takes off a signet ring "of sentimental value", kisses it, and throws it to Jack.

Torchwood Vaults, 9.07pm. Grey emerges in a haze of [indifferently CGI-ed - Steve] rift activity and looks at the weevils.

Switch to Gwen sitting on her lazy slut arse at the police station. Rhys comes to find her to discover what the hell she is doing. "I can't do this, Rhys, I'm not up to it!" You said it, girlie. Rhys reassures her, but he is talking nonsense about Gwen being a hero, so I shan't recap it. Tosh beeps in on the comms system to tell her there's rift activity at the hub. Rhys tells Gwen to go if she's needed, and he will see her when it's all over.

Cardiff! The Gwen sirens are going off as she enters the hub. [Although they were going off earlier when Jack arrived, so I think they're malfunctioning. - Georgi] She stalks across the bridge, and John creeps up on her. "You took your time," he says. She screeches at him like a harpy to drop to his knees. He rolls his eyes - "Honestly. It's all sex, sex, sex with you people." He does as he's told, anyway, but looks amused, and tells her where Jack is. He tries to explain what is going on, and Gwen keeps interrupting him. When she sees the arm and he tells her he could have run but chose to come back to Torchwood, she decides that he might be telling the truth. John explains the whole family psychodrama that has ruined Jack and Grey's fraternal relationship, and says that when he found Grey, he thought he would be the rescuing hero, but it took him too long to realise that he was a fruitloop. Don't be too hard on yourself, John; if the Torchwood team had found him, they'd have given him keys to their top-secret facility and at least one of them would have had sex with him before realising that he was off his trolley. [II'm a bit disappointed with Captain John for letting Grey molecularly bond a bomb to his arm though. - Georgi] Suddenly the bomb molecules start unbonding from John's arm. Ew. He reminds Gwen that he could've run and didn't have to come back to Torchwood. Gwen tells him to find Jack or she will shoot him. He talks to Tosh on the comms and asks her to trace the signal which will lead them to Jack.

A BIG NOISE! All the weevils in the world are escaping, and yes, it is all Grey's doing. The weevils run loose across the city, and Ianto and Tosh realise they won't be able to make it across to the Central Server Building in time to prevent the meltdown. Owen, who is doing important doctorly work at the hospital just for the lulz [and because saving people is his raison d'etre - Georgi], reminds them that he is King of the Weevils, and says he'll go on that particular errand. The weevils do indeed cower as Owen runs through the streets.

Back at the police station, and Rhys and Andy have to prevent a weevil invasion. Andy is snarky. End of scene.

Torchwood Hub. Weevils approach Gwen and John [Gwen seems to have forgotten that she has a perfectly good gun that she was threatening to shoot John with a few minutes ago, and cowers uselessly instead - Georgi]; Tosh and Ianto burst in and shoot them, and then Ianto makes to shoot John. Gwen stops him, and John promises he'll make things right. Gwen, Ianto and John drag the injured weevils down to the basement, and go into the cells with them. Oh, Torchwood. You really are shit. And Captain John, I had such high hopes for you, but you seem to have caught the stupid virus. Sure enough, the doors slam behind them. Grey wants to know why John didn't run; "a question of honour," he replies. Gwen unconvincingly tells Grey that they can help him; Ianto begs to know where Jack is. He gets no answer.

Nuclear power station, 9.42pm. A lady scientist in a WHITE COAT is doing gadgetry, and Owen sends her home, burbling babble about his plans to prevent the meltdown, which satisfies her enough to leave her post. [To be fair, he doesn't actually explain how he is going to fix the impending meltdown, just what will happen. Just because he knows that doesn't mean he can fix it. Stupid, selfish nuclear power station employee. - Georgi] He gives her anti-weevil spray and she pisses off. Owen tells Tosh via the comms that he doesn't have a bloody clue what he's doing. Heh. Basically the thing's going to meltdown, and Owen asks Tosh if she can fix it. "Of course I can, I'm brilliant!" she answers. Tosh is doing a running commentary of her hypothesis when Grey shoots her through the stomach. I gasp. Tosh falls to the floor. Owen is whimpering, "Tosh, Tosh?" over the comms. Grey does generic villainous lines about death and kicks her gadgetry downstairs. There's a banging noise, and Grey breaks off from his torture to investigate. Tosh is clutching her abdomen in a vain attempt to retain her innards [Well, staunch the bleeding - Georgi]. Owen shouts, "Tosh! Talk to me! I need your help here, babe!"

Vaults. John has an idea, which is more than the rest of team Torchwood do half the time.

Upstairs, Tosh is dragging herself across the floor to re-appropriate her gadgetry.

More banging. Grey goes into the morgue and opens the drawer whence the banging originates. I was really hoping this would be Suzie [me too! - Steve], but it's not, it's Captain Jack, telling Grey that he forgives him.

Flashback - Torchwood 1901. They've located the signal from Jack's grave, and go and dig him up. They are really confused with all the time-travelling, but he manages to convince them to stick him in the morgue ready to defrost 107 years in the future, ready to save his minions. [1,874 years buried underground, dying again and again and again, and Jack's not even a little bit psychologically scarred? Also, no-one looked in the morgue in the past 107 years? Not even, like, an annual stock-take?-Joel]

Present day - Jack forgives Grey again, and strides off. Grey is not happy. Jack forgives him again and asks him to do the same for him. Grey says he prayed for death, because of him, "the favourite son, the one who lived, who'll always live". Jack says he didn't realise until it was too late. Grey says he begrudges him everything and will never absolve him because it is ALL HIS FAULT. Jack hugs him and cries and says sorry, and then chloroforms him. Jack cries and hugs him some more.

John is being generally awesome in the vaults, and manages to do gadgetry to release a weevil-recall signal. Rhys and Andy are on a roof. Rhys: "Where have they all gone?" Andy: "Abergavenny?"

Owen is still in the nuclear power station trying to get hold of Tosh, who continues to bleed to death on the floor of the hub. However, she has dragged herself over to her gadgetry and restores power to the muclear server room. Owen suspects something is wrong, but Tosh tells him it's just her arm hurting her, which he accepts, because he is not there in person to demonstrate his fierce doctoring skillz. In the meantime, she stabs herself with more painkillers. One-handed, she does more gadgetry, but realises the meltdown is too far gone to stop, meaning the only option now is to divert the flow channels internally, ie to the server room, ie where Owen is, which is a great plan as long as Owen gets out in time. [Srsly, nuclear power stations have that option? - Georgi] He's down with that. He says, "Tosh? Thank you." She smiles, and whispers, "That's what I'm here for." She then surveys her wounds, and presumably like me is torn by the irony that if she were in Owen's place right now the science-gadgetry would be being done more efficiently, and if he was injured back at the hub, he'd fix himself so that his intestines wouldn't be visible to the world.

Torchwood Vaults. Jack releases them from the cells, and Gwen throws herself at him. Ianto makes do with a side-on cuddle, and John feels left out because of the "queue for the hugs." Jack tells him, "Always has been, always will be. Nice use of the ring," which really made me laugh, but then I have a filthy mind. [And with Chris Chibnall off to helm Law & Order, there's a vacancy for head writer on this show - you'd be a natural. - Steve]

Switch to Owen. He is excited because the flow channels have been diverted. Tosh tells Owen to get the fuck out because there is going to be a power surge and then he will be locked in. Just as last week, he stands there for a bit before deciding to leg it. Too little, too late, and the door closes. Owen shouts a lot, begging Tosh to get him out, and then asking in a little voice, "Where's Jack?" like that'll help. Tosh asks him to stay calm, but he continues to rage, and asks her why he should go quietly, and she sobs, "Because you're breaking my heart." That quietens him down, and incidentally, if anyone's keeping track, this is the point at which I began to weep quietly and texted Steve to tell him so. [I refuse to cry at fucking Torchwood of all things, but it's true that Naoko Mori is acting her socks off right here. - Steve][Thank fuck they gave the proper storylines to people who can actually Act. - Georgi] Owen regains some self-control, and apologises to Tosh, who claims it is her fault. He says it isn't, and that she did good, and apologises again. He asks her to tell him what will happen to him; she explains that the chamber will be flooded with irradiated stuff, and he comprehends - his body will decompose. Tosh gives herself grief for not being able to stop it. Owen talks her down, and reminds her that she's saved him so many times in the past. Tosh is weeping and smiling at the reminiscing - in Owen's second week she had to pretend to be a medic because Owen was hungover and unreachable. Ah, those crazy times when they were fighting space pigs. (I sound flip - really, I'm not; this is an amazing scene, and it's a credit to Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori that they can talk about space pigs and still make me cry with the tenderness of the delivery.) "We never did get that date, did we, you and me?" asks Owen. Tosh's smile freezes, and the tears continue to flow. "We sort of missed each other. It was my fault. I didn't notice till it was too late. I'm sorry." Tosh says in a little voice, "Me too." Bleeping - the meltdown is starting. Owen stands up, and tells Tosh, "It's all right. Really, Tosh, it's all right." Everything goes white.

Tosh whispers, "Owen." But it's too late for them, and for him, and for her. Jack has remembered that he has another team member, and follows the entrails to find her. He hugs her, and Gwen starts to ready herself with injections. [Fat lot of good that'll do the GUNSHOT WOUND. Stupid bloody Gwen. - Steve] Tosh tells them Owen is sealed in at the nuclear power plant and she couldn't save him. Tosh smiles at Jack, who is crying. And then she dies. Gwen sobs. As do I. [I hate to bring up Quentin Tarantino twice in one blog, but if Reservoir Dogs is anything to go by (and I don't see why I should base my medical knowledge on anything else), it takes AGES to die from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Take her to bloody A&E! - Georgi][Noooo! Not Tosh! The most interesting character and best actress gone, along with a kind of rapey and hateful character, who can act. Much as I love Ianto stun-gunning people, I'm not sure it compensate.-Joel

Cardiff! [Of course, only Beautiful Cardiff can bring us solace in our hour of need. - Steve] Rhys and Gwen at home, watching telly. Torchwood hub, Jack putting Grey in the freezer. John suggests that killing him would be a good idea because he's not going to be better in 100 years. Jack says there has been enough death, and that he didn't struggle when he was buried because it was his penance. John tells him it is not his fault. Jack kisses his brother's forehead, and locks him away. John tells Jack that he thinks he might investigate this planet further because he likes it so much, and gives him a kiss goodbye. "Sorry...for your losses," he says, and then he leaves.

Ianto is logging Owen out of the Torchwood computer system for the final time, and Jack is packing up his belongings, including his white doctorly coat. Gwen is packing up Tosh's things, and Ianto logs her off too. Then, instead of everything being deleted, a little window pops up on screen. It's Tosh, recording her final message to her remaining colleagues [Who does that?! - Georgi], who gather round the screen: "OK. If you're seeing this, it means I'm, well, dead. I hope it was impressive, not crossing the road, or an incident with a toaster. I just wanted to say it's OK. It really is. Jack, you saved me. You showed me all the wonders of the universe and all those possibilities, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Thank you. And Owen, you never knew. I love you. All of you. And I hope I did good." [You were fine up until you used an adjective instead of an adverb, Tosh. Sorry, but that's a major pet peeve of mine. - Steve] [But! It's an echo of what Owen said to her before he died! It's, like, a premonition! - Carrie][I'm with Steve on this one. - Georgi] [She CLEARLY means 'good' as a noun, not an adjective. 'I hope I did good.' Good deeds. Helping people. That's my argument and I'm sticking to it.-Joel]She nods, switches the camera off, and the screen goes black.

Jack looks nobly into the middle distance and proclaims, "Now we carry on." Gwen doesn't think she can. "You can," he says. "We all can. The end is where we start from."

Well, children, I never thought I'd see the day when I cried at Torchwood. For all the stilted dialogue, the inconsistent characterisation (including Jack's occasional descent into becoming a more loathsome individual than Gwen), the lack of logic, this has been a fun series, with some brilliant guest stars. More pertinently to this final episode, much as I didn't want Owen or Tosh to go, I suspect only those actors could have brought such a degree of emotion to their scripts and those death scenes (Burn Gorman in particular has been fabulous this series), so kudos to them. [I, on the other hand, am wondering what I did to hurt the writers of this show so much that they've now killed off the only three members of Torchwood staff that I gave a toss about, and yet fucking Gwen lives to fuck up another day. - Steve] Anyway, what will happen? Who will be the team's new geek? Who will assume medical duties? Will Captain John come back? Will PC Andy achieve his dream of joining Team Torchwood? Join us for Series 3...sometime in the 21st century.

4 comments:

el-dot said...

Much as I would have loved to see Gwen shot in the stomach and then drowned in irradiated coolant, I'd have to agree that these two were the two to pull it off. I never believed Torchwood could bring me to tears until this - all credit to them.

And thanks, you guys - you've made this series great. Looking forward to next year!

gummygobbler said...

No-one ever really dies in these shows. Some Alien technology or something will ensure that they are back next series. Especially now that Miss Jones has defected to ITV and cannot film the replacement part. Pity!
Bring on the next spin-off...The Doctors' Daughter. Hope it doesn't show up on CeeBeeBees

Cathy W said...

Just stumbled upon your blog in the past few weeks and it's brilliant! Please go back and blog about the first series and then my life will be complete.

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