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Death, Alien Larva & More On 'Torchwood'

March 3rd, 2008 9:05am EST
TorchwoodAfter last week's disappointing episode, Torchwood makes a triumphant return to form in the episode "Reset," which may not be the funniest episode this season, but it sure was the best. Torchwood working as a team, an alien mystery to solve, and one hell of a cliffhanger. Oh, and a little guest star in the form of Ms. Martha Jones, or should I say, Doctor Jones? (Freema Ageyman).

So we open with a medical mystery where unrelated murders are taking place, only nobody knows how exactly the victims are getting murdered, as there are no murder weapons and no apparent cause of death. Torchwood is baffled and call the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, or UNIT for short. UNIT sends one of their top medical officers, a woman named Martha Jones who we learn has a past with Jack. No, not that kind of past, the kosher kind. They saved the world together. Oh, and you only learn this if you're not a fan of Doctor Who, as Martha is taking a break from her travels with The Doctor to guest star on "Torchwood." Crossover! Side note, if you haven't already, pick up the second and third seasons of the modern "Doctor Who" series; the first one isn't that good.

Of course Martha fits into the team really well, possibly because she is so freaking hot that she's prettier than Captain Jack! Owen, of course, flirts with her; Gwen and Martha becomes best buddies in about five seconds after Martha says she never had a thing for Jack and Gwen agreed, clearly lying her ass off. Nothing like starting a friendship based on a lie. Ianto and Martha have a really awkward conversation about Jack's bedroom style, which apparently can be described as avant garde. I just imagine it involves lots of mirrors. Tosh, of course, sees Owen flirting with Martha and gets jealous, but we'll find out that it was for the best. So basically Martha accomplished in five minutes what Adam tried to do all last episode - you know, be a part of the team.

So here comes my only complaint for the entire episode, are you ready? Martha's medical skills when examining the bodies are apparently made up of suggesting Owen perform tests that Owen should have already performed. Nobody thought to check the bodies for foreign substances? Really? Aside from that bit of plot-induced stupidity, we're going to have smooth sailing for the rest of the episode.

Owen and Martha discover that the victims had been injected in their eyes with something that apparently kills them. I don't quite recall the name of the drug, so we'll just assume it isn't good. We learn that the victims were healthy, like uber healthy. Martha and Owen then interview a new victim who survived the attack. It is from this woman that we are introduced to the episode's villain, a drug research center called The Pharm, which is injecting patients with alien larva. The upside is the larva gets rid of all diseases, from diabetes to HIV. The downside is when the larva decides to become full grown, people get all disemboweled. So The Pharm sends an agent to assassinate the patients before this happens. Someone mentions it being odd that a pharmaceutical company would have trained killers on the payroll. I pretty much assume all corporations do; I'm not a trusting person though.

Jack goes to meet with the head of The Pharm, who we learn is Mr. Meade, founder of Meade Publications and their flagship magazine, Mode. Apparently after dying, Mr. Meade moved to Wales and started The Pharm. He also happens to be Penny's dad, and not a fan of Desmond. Alan Dale sure gets around as an actor! Ok, so he stonewalls Jack, which of course pisses him off, so Jack comes up with the bright idea of sending someone to The Pharm as a patient. Martha volunteers because she's Martha Jones, and she can take care of herself! She did save the world, have I mentioned that already?

Martha is sent in under the guise of Samantha Jones and is quickly taken on as a test subject to be treated for hepatitis. Maybe she should have stayed away from Ashton Kutcher's party (Look it up!). So while Martha is on the inside the team monitors her using these nifty camera contact lenses that they can send text messages to.

Meanwhile remember how Toshiko was sort of jealous of Owen's flirting? Well she finally gets the courage to ask him out on a date, to which he says yes. This was my first clue that something was amiss. Any fan of melodramatic sci-fi knows that when two characters look to be making healthy progress in their relationship, something is going to go horribly wrong. Oh it will, trust me it will.

Gwen and Ianto track find and catch The Pharm's assassin who reveals what he was doing, basically covering up the whole alien gestating issue with the companies new cure-all. Apparently the assassin has the alien in him as well because it sure does burst from his stomach in a way that pays homage to a certain film about aliens. Oh, and there is a tool Owen keeps trying to use that zaps a specific target that is able to pass through walls and skin and stuff. This will be important in a few minutes.

So Martha goes exploring and learns what we already know, alien harvesting and all that jazz. She gets caught and tranquilized, waking up strapped to a surgery table with Mr. Meade (I really don't know the character's name, so Mr. Meade will have to do). Martha has some really wacky blood - blood affected by trips through time and space. He'd like to use her as a new drug and proceeds to inject her with the alien larva, twice as much as what tends to kill a normal patient.

Torchwood to the rescue! Pulling a Weekend at Bernie's move with the assassin, the team gets into The Pharm and head off to save the Martha's life. Owen and Jack find Martha and Owen uses the zapping tool he has, which kills the alien and saves Martha. Toshiko crashes The Pharm's computer system and shuts the facility down for good. Everything is going to be ok, nothing can possibly go wrong now. Oh, except for Mr. Meade pulling a gun on Martha. Owen tries to reason with him and what happens? Mr. Meade shoots Owen in the chest, and Jack shoots Mr. Meade in the head. Everyone is at Owen's side, he'll be ok, everyone knows he'll be ok. Tosh is, of course, beside herself, probably because this is going to delay their date. Well delay is not quite the right word. The episode ends with Martha stating that Owen is dead.

Next Week On "Torchwood":

Oh I know what happens, but I'm not going to ruin it for you guys!

Recap by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer