Torchwood – They Keep Killing Suzie, episode review

I’m catching an old episode of Torchwood tonight, one in which Cardiff’s version of Men In Black arrive at the scene of a double murder to discover that the word Torchwood has been daubed in blood above the couple’s butchered corpses.

After being more or less blamed for the couple’s deaths by Detective Swanson, Torchwood feel compelled to investigate the deaths, and their research leads them up a blind alley. So…Gwen suggests they use the Resurrection Gauntlet in order to reanimate one of the victims. The more seasoned members of Torchwood balk at this idea, but Gwen uses an old-fashioned female guilt-trip to persuade them.

And so, moments later, a previous victim is laid out in the Torchwood morgue. Cap’n Jack gives it a go, but fails miserably, eventually conceding that his lack of empathy might be responsible for the experiment failing. So he gives it to Gwen, who we all know has an overactive empathy gland anyway. After a disasterous first attempt, thankfully there are plenty of dead bodies lying around to practice on.

They pull in one of the dead couple, and interrogate the man, finding out that the killer was called Max, and that someone named Suzie was constantly talking to him. Hold on – Suzie? Ah, so that’s why they went to ridiculous lengths to include footage of former Torchwood member Suzie at the start of the episode! You remember Suzie, the one who kind of got taken over by the Gauntlet and ended up dead, leaving a convenient vacancy for Gwen?

And so they go to a lockup with all of Suzie’s belongings in it and discover a link to ‘Pilgrim’. They decide to bring Suzie back from the dead to question her, but they discover they need to combine the Gauntlet with a dagger made of the same material to make it work. After an almost slapstick revival, they manage to bring Suzie back for questionning, but – ooops – she doesn’t die whenever the Gauntlet is removed again.

She sends them to a nightclub in search of a girl named Lucy. But while there, they’re jumped by a big guy with a knife. They take him back to Torchwood, but discover he’s unable to answer questions, but flies into a rage whenever "Torchwood" is mentioned.

Meanwhile, Gwen is getting closer to Suzie: they talk about Suzie’s father, and how Gwen has replaced Suzie at Torchwood. Unfortunately, Owen has discovered that by resurrecting Suzie, Gwen is having her life-force absorbed by Suzie. Unknown to Gwen, it is slowly killing her. Owen shows this to Jack, but as Jack goes off to find and kill Suzie, he discovers that both Gwen and Suzie have disappeared.

But cheeky old Suzie has used her knowledge of Torchwood to put the place in total lockdown. Trapped within Torchwood, the team discover that Suzie has planned the whole thing well before her death, forcing Torchwood to resurrect Suzie.

Jack is forced to phone Detective Swanson for assistance, but not before she humiliates him first. He asks her to get a book of poems which will revserse the lockdown code, and they eventually escape using the ISBN number from the book.

Suzie takes Gwen to visit her father who is dying of cancer in hospital, and it is in the hospital that Gwen begins to feel weak. Suzie reveals that Gwen is slowly taking on the fatal gunshot wound that killed Suzie, and Gwen discovers that her head is bleeding. Before leaving the room, Suzie pulls out the life support equipment keeping her father alive. They go back to their car and a chase between Suzie and Torchwood ensues, culminating in a chase along a pier.

Gwen finally falls down, and Suzie leaves her behind. Jack catches up and shoots at Suzie several times, but the shots don’t kill her. Eventually, they realise that the Gauntlet is the link between Suzie and Gwen. Jack orders Toshiko to destroy the Gauntlet, and when she does, Suzie dies instantly (but not before warning Jack of a coming darkness!) and Gwen jerks back to life in Owen’s arms.

Ah, so everything returns to normal and the Torchwood team are a little wiser than before. Jack obviously need to do something about employee morale before they all go bonkers. I mean, virtually everybody in Torchwood went a bit do-lally in that series at one point or another. Maybe some brighter decoration would cheer them up – the Torchwood lair is quite grim, isn’t it?

It’s funny watching the first series of Torchwood, because it in no way matches up to the second series. The storylines are quite flimsy, and you find little things out of place, like the opening scene in this episode where the entire crew get out of their Torchwood-mobile wearing sunglasses – who knew Cardiff was so sunny and glamorous?

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