Remember that Buffy
episode from season 4 where Jonathan used a spell to become Sunnydale's biggest star? Well this weeks episode of Torchwood
borrows this little trope right down to inserting the new character into the show's opening montage. Does Torchwood take this plot and make it its own, or are we left feeling like we're stuck in a world without shrimp?
So we know something is up from the start of the episode when Gwen walks into the clubhouse and Adam is there. He makes it clear that he has been part of the team for the past three years, which is all well and good aside from the fact that Gwen has no idea who the hell he is. Adam solves this by touching Gwen's shoulder and saying "remember" and guess what she does? Yup, she remembers him. Meanwhile the rest of the team is already under his memory manipulation game.
While Adam isn't necessarily bent on world domination, his memory manipulation comes at a price. In order to insert himself into the memories of the team, they tend to forget fairly important events in their lives. Tosh apparently forgets that she's a mousy genius and instead turns into the rather bitchy girlfriend of Adam. Owen slides into Tosh's old role complete with glasses and what I assume was supposed to be geeky clothes, which looked more like he was going for that ironic hipster look more than anything. Gwen apparently forgets Rhys entirely and when she is at home and he shows up the first thing she does is assume he's evil and trying to kill her. Jack comes by to save the day and then wonders why everyone is pointing a gun and Rhys who just looks rather annoyed by his fiance's new attitude.
So while Gwen is busy relearning her love for Ryhs, Jack is investigating a weevil on the loose which quickly turns into hallucination junction and a trip to Jack's childhood. In an effort to keep himself alive, Adam has unlocked memories in Jack he would hope would allow Jack to be happy. This includes the final memory Jack has of his father as well as his brother, Gray. Apparently Jack lived on Tatooine, because there was nothing but sand and sand colored buildings. Oh and something was invading, we never saw what it was, but it sure did kill Jack's dad and swiped Gray.
All is not well though at Torchwood, Ianto has discovered that Adam doesn't appear in any of his diaries which are pretty thorough ( we learn later that measurements are taken, yes those kind of measurements). Adam decides that rather than telling Ianto to remember that Adam is part of the team, or maybe have his remember that he is a grown man who shouldn't be keeping a diary, he feeds in the memory that Ianto is a serial killer with a thing for offing pretty girls. Ianto of course goes nutty and it isn't until Jack arrives that anyone checks the security feed to realize Adam has been fracking with their minds.
So they throw Adam in the vault, who pleads his case about wanting to make them all happy, and take away all the memories that have turned them into the most dysfunctional group of people ever gathered together in one place. Jack tells him to shove it and leads the team in what can only be described as really awkward hypnosis. Everyone begins to remember that they have crappy lives, and then they take an amnesia pill that'll make them forget Adam. Jack goes to see Adam one last time, and even though Adam tells him that by forgetting Adam, he will forget his father, Jack takes his pill and loses his only memory of his childhood.
The episode ends with everyone forgetting the last 2 days with security feeds wiped and everything, not that it seems to really bother anyone. We're left with Jack opening a box that had no real value the entire episode, it belonged to Adam but didn't open, and nobody seemed all that worried about it. Apparently they didn't use the key that came with it, because Jack did and the box opened up for him. It was filled with….sand!!!
So overall, a really weak episode. Sure we learned who Gray is/was, but that meant sitting through a really poorly disguised Buffy rip-off. The Adam plot was filled with serious holes, such as how an amnesia pill would make them remember the memories Adam took away, it wasn't a go back in time pill. With the strength of the episodes this season, this week's can be forgiven. Though next week better be back to either the comedic drama or the dramatic comedy, and not the just plain awkward.
Story by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer