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Torchwood Episode Recap: A Day in the Death

March 17th, 2008 10:09am EDT
TorchwoodYou know what happens when you die? Well I learned from this week's episode of Torchwood that you become quite chatty and look to help others. This is really ruining my hope for a zombie apocalypse when everyone comes back from the dead a philosopher. So when we left our heroes, Owen was given an undetermined amount of time to "live" while the rest of the gang decides what to do with him. Oh, and Martha Jones is there, but you probably didn't notice her in the background, you know, right to the left of all the actual action.

So this week we have two storylines going on, both involving our dear Owen. The first involves his meeting a woman about to commit suicide via pavement diving. The second story involves Owen's brand new job at Torchwood, being Ianto. You see, as anyone in Torchwood Human Resources will tell you, sleeping with your boss is the sure fire way to get that big promotion you've always wanted. This explains how Ianto is an official, go-out-and-catch-the bad-guys team member. So who is left to get the team coffee? Owen. Not to be prejudiced, but I don't want the dead handling my food. You know, it's a sanitation thing.

Owen and Martha have a nice little conversation that not only reminds us that Martha should be more than just Doctor Exposition, but she also fills us in on Owen's condition. Owen is human and won't grow old. Talk about your fountain of youth! A small issue though is that Owen can't feel a thing, including the scalpel he was playing with cutting his hand. No worries though, getting it sewn up doesn't hurt a bit. I was reminded of Death Becomes Her, if you haven't seen the movie rent it now, it is a trip.

We keep flashing back to the suicidal girl, who is getting awful chatty with Owen. Oh, have you figured it out that this is one talkative episode of "Torchwood?" Not complaining or anything, just stating a fact. We learn that her husband died in a car accident about an hour after they got married, which might win for most depressing marriage story ever.

Speaking of depressing, Tosh takes a moment to visit Owen, which we all know is a huge mistake. She is trying to take care of him, but Owen is having none of it. He says some rather unpleasant things to her and breaks his finger to show her just how not well he is taking his afterlife. He follows up his Tosh-abuse with an attempt to drown himself. After what happened with his liquid intake last week I'd think he would have learned his lesson. He emerges to see Jack, who invites him into the team's new case. Oh, and he makes a joke about waiting by the water to see guys in wet clothes. Sometimes his jokes are funny, sometimes they make him look a bit pervy.

Ok, so the case this week involves a rich old man with an alien artifact that is set to go nuclear any minute. He lives in this high-tech security house, and since Sydney Bristow hasn't joined the team yet, they need someone to infiltrate the grounds. Owen's lack of body heat makes him the perfect candidate to sneak past heat sensors, and he really can become a walking pin cushion if he needs to be. Owen makes it to the old man, and they have a heart to heart about growing old and staving off death. See, the artifact is what is keeping the old man alive, or so he believes. Nope, we learn it's hope and such that keeps him alive. After learning this the old man has a heart attack, which Owen can't really save him from thanks to a lack of breath for CPR. You'd think he'd call for help, but hey, who am I to point out plot holes?

The old man dies, and the artifact is about to go postal. Owen says his last goodbyes to the team, again, and the artifact goes off. Flash forward to the woman and Owen on the roof. We learn that the artifact wasn't exactly a bomb, more like a greeting card from space, an answer to our search for intelligent life. Owen is fine, back on the team in time to say goodbye to a departing Martha who will show up in the second half of the coming season of Doctor Who, I love crossovers. Oh, and the suicidal girl, she doesn't jump. Instead she and Owen watch the artifact-produced light show on the roof. Cute ending to the story arc, but we're sort of left where we started. I'm really hoping they don't save the rest of the "Gray's alive" storyline for the finale. Still though, I enjoy the slower episodes. It's a welcome chance to showcase the characters over the alien-fighting action.

Next Week on "Torchwood":
Gwen is getting married, and boy howdy do things go wrong!

Story by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer


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