Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Torchwood 'Greeks Bearing Gifts':Rating B

Before I begin, I would first like to offer my heartfelt apologies to all fans of the brothers Winchester who were furious at my insinuation that Supernatural is anywhere near as bad as Torchwood. I meant only that it is not the greatest show ever made and would certainly never imply that it’s not superior. In fact, after watching an episode of Torchwood I’d almost go so far as to say that SuperHotties is Shakespearian in comparison. That is, if any of Shakespeare’s characters had tight jeans and puppy-dog eyes.

So, on to episode 7. After I accused Torchwood of being derivative last week, the writers were determined to prove me wrong by coming up with a truly original storyline. Unfortunately, Buffy already did it and it was called Earshot. But if you don’t have a copy of Earshot, this’ll do as a recapper for you.

It’s night in the woods around Cardiff, 1812, and a blonde prostitute is leading an officer of the British army to a nice secluded spot for a tête-à-tête. She’s prattling on about how business has improved since they’ve been billeted in the area. She says her name’s Mary. A name in the first 10 seconds of the show. Thank you writers.

Anyway, Mary’s all down to business but Mr Officer proves he’s not an officer and a gentleman by promptly smacking her one. She looks for a second like she’s enjoying it (and I wouldn’t put Torchwood past that, let me tell you) but it’s all an act to distract him so she can scrape her nails down his face and then run off into the forest. I think Mary’s seen a bit too much violence in her life and isn’t up for any more.

He chases her and she runs into a clearing where there’s a sudden bright pulsating light. She runs toward it and he stops and grabs his gun. The light goes out and he moves forward, pistol cocked, and finds her standing there looking a bit confused. This scene is redolent of a historical flashback in Angel and Daniela Denby-Ashe is very Darla in this scene.

“Do whores have prayers,” asks Officer but not a Gentleman and we get a close up of her face, smiling and vacuously sinister (I think she was cast for this look alone) before we cut in a flash of light.

Daylight in the modern day. The VOC screeches into a quarry in its usual covert way and the gang pile out. It’s obviously a crime scene, covered with police cars, crime scene investigators, yellow tape and tents. The gang (sans Ianto who I guess has decided that last week was enough field work, thank you very much, and if he’s going to be eaten by something he’ll be happy with the pterodactyl) enter one of the tents. We pan over and behind the yellow tape we see a blonde woman in modern dress. As we close in on her face we see it’s Mary from the previous scene. And…flick flick flick. Torchwood.

That whole scene was done in a single shot btw, which is unusual for Torchwood and really looks good. I know that short sharp flick flick flick is supposed to build tension but single shots make a scene more realistic because it contextualises it.

Inside the tent Jack is saying something pointless, on par with his ‘contraceptive rain’ speech from the pilot. This episode was written by Toby Whithouse who can write a cracker episode of television (see School Reunion). Mind you, Chris Chibnall wrote the highly-acclaimed Life on Mars and Russell himself wrote The Second Coming. Maybe there’s just something going wrong with the Torchwood formula.

So the gang are gathered round a skeleton and a device that is apparently alien. Jack uses his wrist device to scan the artefact, which looks like a rusty anchor, and he says he can pick up ‘ilminite pyroxine and even dark matter’. He doesn’t use his sonic screwdriver anymore. It’s very sad.
Gwen asks if he knows what it is and he says it “could be a weapon or a really big stapler”.

Jack asks Owen about the skeleton and Owen says she’s dead. Oh, prat Owen again. Yay. Owen says that judging by the size of the skull, the skeleton is female. Jack asks Tosh how long the body has been there and she says that based on the depth at which they were buried “196 years, 11 to 11 and a half months”. She deadpans that the earth has been disturbed so she can’t be more accurate.
Oh my God, was that a joke? A Torchwood joke? Fantastic! More humour, people.

Owen says his preliminary analysis is that she was shot and Jack says they need to get her back to the Hub. Owen and Gwen flirt, something that Tosh sees quite clearly.

In the Hub, Owen and Gwen are still flirting like crazy. Owen tells Tosh that in the all the playfullness, he accidentally kicked out one of Tosh’s power chords and now her computer’s dead. Tosh is rightfully pissed and says she was running a translation program she’d written that took all the information they have on alien languages and was breaking them down into binary code to see if they had a common derivation. And can I just say, that that sounds absolutely fascinating. I wish the program had run and we could see the results. I wonder if the Daleks are actually like related to the Slitheen or something? They could have a common ancestor. Or we could find out that Timelords seeded life on Earth and shaped our evolution, kind of like the Ancients in Stargate. Sorry, sorry, enough of my inner geek. Onward and upward.

Owen turns to Gwen and says that Tosh’s technobabble was a ‘bit of a mouthful’. Gwen giggles and then says it’s a private joke. Oh, ergh. I hope that joke isn’t what I think that joke is. If it is, it really isn’t funny. Gwen quickly exits stage right as Tosh says that they’re supposed to be professionals and that they have a job to do. Oh Tosh, never a truer word was spoken on heaven or Earth.

Gwen apologises and, to her credit, seems genuinely chastened, but Owen, who truly is in prat mode this evening, says that sometimes he thinks the stick up Tosh’s ass has a stick up its ass. I’d take her, stick and all, over your nasty little ass any day Owen. He storms off and Gwen looks guilty but leaves as well, taking her down to his level in the process. Tosh is left to reboot her computer and try not to cry.

It’s later and Tosh is in a bar having a drink. Why do TV people go to bars by themselves when they’re depressed? Wouldn’t sitting in a bar all alone make you feel worse, not to mention making your lonely miserable life humiliatingly public?

As she’s sitting there, head in hand, a blonde girl approaches her and starts to ramble on about how a guy is staring at her and if she doesn’t distract herself soon she’s going to punch him and get barred. It’s Mary from 1812 (the year, not the overture) so we know she’s evil. However, just in case we hadn’t worked it out, she starts smoking like a chimney. Only evil people smoke, and chain smokers are demons from the pits of hell. Just ask Buffy.

For some reason, Mary then totally proves she’s evil, and a stalker, by letting slip that she knows who Tosh is. She gives us Tosh’s personal history: born in London, 1975 (if this is 2007, this makes her 32); lived in Osaka for a while and then moved back to England in 1986; parents in the RAF; “University blah blah”, Grandfather worked at Bletchley Park, snapped up to a Government think tank when she was 20 and recruited to Torchwood 3 years ago. Actually, the ‘blah blah’ was the bit I was interested in. What degree does Tosh have? It’d have to be an advanced one. Is she a doctor as was implied in Doctor Who or a technical specialist; because in Torchwood she seems to be both.

Mary says she saw Tosh at the building site this morning, and at this point I would be edging away quietly, not making any sudden moves. Tosh is wary but she’s too vulnerable at the moment and her guard is down.

“How do you know about Torchwood?” asks Tosh (insert joke about secret organisation with their name written on their car here) and Mary says there’s loads of information on the internet if you know where to look. She says she’s one of many scavengers; collectors of alien artefacts. Tosh asks who they are and Mary says they’re just a disparate bunch of IT guys who live with their mothers. Tosh rather unconvincingly says she shouldn’t talk to Mary and Mary totally calls her bluff and tells her to go. Ooh, Tosh is hooked. I guess Mary picked her victim well.

Hee, I just stopped the tape for a moment and I got the Simpson’s rendition of the Betty Ford Clinic musical. Bloody hysterical. Apropos of absolutely nothing, did anyone see the Ugly Betty season finale? That was exceptional. I cried.

So we’re still in the bar: Tosh and Mary have moved to a booth and Tosh is outlining her philosophy of alien life. You know, this storyline about isolation and loneliness is far more effective when it’s based on Tosh rather than Gwen. Three years with Torchwood and she now has no other life. No wonder she has a crush on Owen; he’s the only eligible male she sees on a regular basis. As this scene unfolds we see how desperate she is to have somebody to talk to and confide in. Basically all that stuff that Gwen said last week but coming from someone for whom it actually applies. For this reason, I’m going to forgive her for not seeing through Mary’s rather obvious lies and manipulation.

“What’s most amazing is the similarities with our own culture,” says Tosh. “We find lots of weapons and it just makes you think, my God, everyone wages war. It’s not a trait of ours but a trait of existence. It makes you feel so hopeless.” This dialogue is positively gushing out of her, as though a dam she didn’t even know existed has finally burst. “But then there are times…” she begins and she excitedly tells a story about an object she found that she spent three months deciphering before realising it was a letter from someone to their family. “It just made me cry because I thought, even across these unimaginable distances there are fundamentals that stay exactly the same and there’s no one to talk to about this.” She says the rest of the team don’t see things the way she does. She sounds like Suzie and let’s all remember that Suzie was crazy. She also hasn’t noticed that Mary has spent this entire monologue staring at her appraisingly, obviously waiting to make her move.

“I could be fired,” says Tosh, putting her drink down and turning away. Mary sees her opportunity. She leans forward and grabs a small case. “I want to show you something,” she says and she pulls out a kind of pendant, gives it to Tosh and asks her to put it on. And Tosh just…does.

As Tosh puts the pendant round her neck, she is suddenly deluged by sensations, overwhelmed by sensory input as she begins to hear the thoughts of the people around her. Again with the flick flick flick of the quick camera shots and all the time Mary is watching her reaction with amusement more than anything else.

“They’re people’s thoughts,” says Mary, “they’re people’s thoughts, Toshiko”. Toshiko is still overwhelmed as Mary tries to talk her down. Toshiko doesn’t seem to notice that in all of this she can’t hear Mary’s thoughts.

Mary tells Tosh to hone in on her voice and to shut everything else out. She starts speaking to her telepathically and Tosh nods that she can hear her. Mary continues to tell her to hone in on Mary’s voice only and that it takes practice but that Tosh can learn to control it. “What am I thinking…” she mind speaks to her and, as Tosh finally blocks out the other minds, “…that I want to kiss you”. Tosh, freaked out now, pulls the pendant off her neck and throws it onto the table.

Mary apologises and says that sometimes you can’t control your thoughts. Tosh says she understands.
“Where did you get it?” she asks and Mary says that it’s been in her family a long time. Tosh picks it up again and says it’s incredible and that she’s never seen anything like it.
“It’s more than incredible,” says Mary, “with this you can read people’s minds, you can level the pitch between Man and God.”
Man and God? Wha…never mind.
Then Mary says she wants Tosh to keep it. Really odd behaviour all round, but Tosh still hasn’t twigged that she has an agenda. Mary says she’s had the device too long and that after a while you don’t want to use it anymore because you hear too much.

Tosh says she’ll have to show it to the others and Mary says that she won’t. Tosh disagrees and Mary sticks to her guns. She says she knows the pendant and that Tosh won’t tell.

It’s the next day and Tosh is arriving at work as Ianto is coming up for his stint in the tourist information office. He very politely but kind of sadly says good morning and she waits for him to go in before putting the pendant on.

As she walks in the door, she’s confronted straight away with everyone’s thoughts. Owen is thinking about his autopsy and wondering what caused such a perfect hole in the victim’s chest. Tosh opens her mouth to tell them about the pendant but she keeps getting distracted by their thoughts. Owen is thinking she’s boring and Gwen is criticising her outfit. Then Buffy finds out that her mother slept with Giles, on the hood of a police car. Twice. I mean, Tosh finds out that Gwen and Owen are having an affair. Tosh is shocked by this, although I don’t know why. These two have been running around with ‘we’re shagging’ tattooed on their foreheads all episode.

As Gwen wonders if she could get Owen to come down to the vault, but that she couldn’t do it in front of a Weevil (thank God for that) Tosh decides not to tell.

Later, as Tosh is sitting at her desk, Ianto walks in and begins cleaning up. He thinks “Pain’s so constant, like my stomach’s full of rats. Feels like this is all I am now. There isn’t an inch of me that doesn’t hurt.” But when he opens his mouth he says as if he’s trying so hard to be happy “I’m about to brew some of Jack’s industrial-strength coffee. Would you like a cup?”
“I’m fine,” says Tosh. She thanks him and pulls off the pendant, having seen too much.

As she walks home, Tosh finds Mary smoking in an evil, stalker way outside her house. How does Mary not freak Tosh out? This is not too much of a criticism, see previous. Mary asks Tosh if she told them about the pendant and Tosh, still upset by the experience, says “No, I didn’t” and clumps off inside. Mary follows her in.
“What made you change your mind?” asks Mary and then expresses surprise that Tosh listened to her co-workers using the pendant. Ooh, this girl’s manipulative.
“See I told you,” she says, “isn’t it incredible, some of the stuff you hear?”
Tosh holds up the pendant and throws it on the ground, asking Mary why she gave it to her. Good question, Tosh.

“The things I heard,” says Tosh, “what they thought of me.” She says they’re supposed to be her friends, they’re supposed to like her. Mary says they do like her. “People are complicated,” she explains and says that the pendant picks up people’s deepest thoughts, stuff they’re not even aware they’re thinking. As she’s saying this, she’s doing a quick scan of Tosh’s photographs and life, noting the photo of Owen on the fridge. Tosh says you think you know somebody but inside they’re just bastard little kids. So true; aren’t we all just little kids kicking and screaming at the world?

Mary goes into seduction mode and brings the pendant over to Tosh telling her that not everyone is that way. “They pity me,” says Tosh and she’s almost crying. “You don’t pity me.”

“Why would I?” asks Mary. There’s some very odd dialogue here about whose thoughts are whose and that Mary wants to have sex with her. For some reason, Tosh decides she feels the same way. Actually, I might decide to buy this as an abusive relationship in a microcosm. Mary has systematically created a world that only Tosh and she can share and has undermined her relationship with her friends so that she seems to be the only one Tosh can rely on. It just would have been more effective over several weeks rather than 20 minutes.

Later, Tosh lies in bed, covered in only a sheet, feeling lost and confused at where her life has gone in just one day. Mary comes back into the room and says Tosh has no ashtrays and that she’s using an egg cup instead. Tosh turns away from her and Mary quite patronisingly asks her if she’s ok; if she’s freaking out a little.

Mary sees a birthday card from Owen, still on Tosh’s dresser despite the fact that her birthday was apparently months ago. She connects the card with Owen from work and the photo and thinks she’s a rebound shag. Tosh says she’s not, there’s nothing between her and Owen and she now knows there never will be thanks to the “bloody pendant”. Tosh gets into a robe and hops back into bed, pulling the covers over her head like a little girl.

Mary gets out of bed and grabs the pendant. There’s some really annoying camerawork in this episode. They keep slowing down and then speeding up bits of the film, interspersed with white flashes. She holds the pendant up and tells Tosh that truly extraordinary things can come of using it. Tosh is sceptical so Mary tells her to wear it in a crowded, public place.

We see Tosh walking into just such a place but then cut back to Tosh’s place where she’s moved on to angry. “I’m sick of these riddles, what’s going on,” asks Tosh. “I told you,” says Mary and Tosh asks her why she’s really there and if Mary is even her real name. Man I like Tosh’s character way more than Gwen. She has some brains and some natural scepticism.

“Here’s another name,” says Mary. Philoctetes. She laughs. I’m Philoctetes.

In a square somewhere in Cardiff, Tosh is putting on the pendant and bearing the brunt of the emotional onslaught. This scene is straight out of Earshot, you know, when Buffy’s in the cafeteria? It has the same confused babble of voices, the physical affect on our hero from the assault of other people’s thoughts and, finally, the lone voice of hate and rage bursting through. “I’m gonna kill ‘em, I’m gonna kill ‘em, I’m gonna kill em” over and over.

In this case though, Tosh knows where the voice came from. It’s a man and Tosh follows him through the streets to his house. He’s there to kill his ex-wife and his son but before he can do it, Tosh bursts in and stops him by whacking him over the head with a golf club.

Back at the Hub, Tosh walks in to find Gwen and Owen running around yelling “we’re having sex, we’re having sex.” Well, not really. But seriously, these two are so painful in this episode.

Anyway, it turns out that Owen’s initial analysis of the skeleton found at the building site was incorrect. Instead of being a woman killed by a single gunshot, it’s actually a man killed by a large object moving into his chest at high velocity. The only thing they know is that it wasn’t a gunshot wound.
“Was there in fact any part of (your) prognosis that was right?” asks Gwen in tease mode and Owen says he was right that it was a skeleton and doesn’t correct her on the incorrect use of the word prognosis.
Then they go back to having a pillow fight and tickling each other in their pyjamas.

Jack moves into the other room and starts making a call on his phone to the Prime Minister. I thought that Torchwood was ‘outside the Government’. Tosh follows him in and asks him about Philoctetes. He says Philoctetes was an archer recruited to fight in the Trojan War who got into an argument and was marooned on the island of Lemnos for ten years.

“Hey,” Jack calls after her as she turns to leave, “what’s happening with that list for UNIT?” Oh, UNIT, we miss you!
Tosh says she’s getting to it and Jack very subtlety points out that sooner would be better than later. He then gets back to his call and starts asking the Prime Minister why Torchwood operations has started to be included in security briefings to the Opposition Leader. Who’s Prime Minister at this point? Harriet Jones or ? Just nearly gave away a Doctor Who spoiler. Sorry!

Having coffee, Tosh tells Mary about how she used the pendant to save the family’s life and that she can see now how it can be used for good. Mary embarrasses her by saying that she’s done something very brave and sexy and now she has to kiss her. They do. Mary asks Tosh about what she told everyone at work and Tosh says she didn’t tell them anything. This seems to fit into Mary’s plan because she says she thinks it’s wise and looks pleased. Then she asks about the technology found at the building site. Ah ha! That’s what she’s after. Tosh says Jack is dealing with it and Mary nearly gives the game away by saying “but I thought you did all the technological stuff?”

Tosh says she’s doing an admin task at the moment and that Jack hasn’t said anything about what the artefact is. Mary then makes it seem as though Tosh isn’t getting any respect at work by saying that “if he’s keeping stuff from you I’m sure there’s a reason”. Tosh looks pensive and we know she’s going back to Torchwood with the pendant to find out what Jack knows. What was that quote from that show? “Flatter ‘em, doubt ‘em, challenge ‘em. Works every time.” I think Mary watches Press Gang.

Back in the Hub, Owen is still examining the skeleton and Gwen is thankfully nowhere to be seen. Tosh asks why he’s still working on it and Owen says he thinks it might be a ritualistic killing. Tosh hands him a coffee and he tells her she’s gorgeous. Sans pendant, she takes his words at face value, which is how they were intended. Owen says he’s investigated satanic rituals of the time and found nothing about cutting out people’s hearts.

“They ate eyeballs, they drank blood, they had sex with animals, but they did not pluck out each other’s hearts ‘cause obviously that would have been weird,” he says. Hee.

Tosh asks why he’s worried since whatever did this can’t hurt anyone anymore and Owen asks her if the chest wound reminds her of anything. She says it looks like Alien, when the creature bursts out of John Hurt’s chest.

“I’m sorry, I should have been more specific,” he says, “Does that remind you of anything helpful.” They laugh and Tosh apologises.
“Go over there and do your computer stuff and think about shoes, will you?” says Owen. This is a nice little scene. Human relationships as they’re meant to be.

Tosh goes to leave but stops and asks about the artefact that was found with the skeleton. Owen says Jack hasn’t said anything to him about it. Looking thoughtful, Tosh gets the pendant out of her bag and puts it on. As she does, Gwen enters and their thoughts inevitably turn to sex and insecurity. Owen’s determined not to look at her and Gwen varies between thinking that’s a good thing and being hurt that he won’t. Tosh has had enough, as have all of us really, and she storms off, presumably to find Jack.

Tosh walks into the room where the device is lying on the table, still looking like an intergalactic rusty anchor. Jack comes down the stairs and says he’s just had an interesting conversation with a DI Henderson who has enormous hands and who told Jack about Tosh saving the child and his mother from being murdered.

“I was going to tell you about that,” says Tosh and Jack asks why she didn’t. They’re circling each other in this scene and it seems as though Tosh is trying to read his mind but can’t.
“Stuff happens all the time that’s not pertinent to here,” notes Tosh and Jack asks if she goes around randomly saving people’s lives all the time.

“You secretly fight crime, is that it Tosh,” asks Jack and Tosh says she just didn’t want to seem as though she was showing off. Jack questions her about the details; it seems Tosh told the police he was muttering to himself as he was walking along and that’s what tipped her off. Jack says it’s a bit strange as when he’s planning to murder somebody he doesn’t talk to himself about it in the street. See, if I was Tosh at this point I’d ask how often he’d done this murdering people thing.

While they’re having this conversation, Jack starts cuddling the device having obviously already bought it dinner and a movie. Tosh asks him if he’s found out anything about the artefact. Jack looks at her suspiciously and says his analysis is ongoing.

Buffy turns away and as she tries to probe Angel 's mindshe realises she can’t hear any of his thoughts. Angel says Buffy can’t read his thoughts because he’s a vampire and can never die and the thoughts create no reflection in her. Or perhaps it’s Tosh trying to probe Jack and he stands up quickly and looks at her as though he could tell she was trying to read his thoughts. As she leaves he tells her that it was a good save, referring once again to the family.

Back home again, Mary is unpacking groceries that apparently contain wine and coffee, and Tosh is once again turned away and looking pensive. She’s got a lovely red shirt on in this scene and looks really pretty. Not that that has anything to do with the plot. So anyhoo, Tosh says she’s giving Torchwood the pendant. “You’re right,” she says, “it’s not like reading someone’s diary, it’s so much worse, and it makes me feel dirty and ashamed and now I’ve been spying on my friends.”
“Some friends,” says Mary, “they pity you, they exclude you, they’ve got you doing bloody admin.” Tosh says “so what” and I really hope she’s realised that Mary has totally changed her tune from earlier.

Tosh says Torchwood will just want to ask Mary a few questions and Mary starts pacing around the room as she says that if she goes into Torchwood she won’t come out again. “What are you talking about,” asks Tosh, “they’re not the Stasi.”
Tosh says she’s going to call Jack and Mary goes all psycho alien voice on her as she tells her to put the phone down. With a voice like that, do you think she’s a Goa'uld? Mary closes her eyes and transforms into an alien. She’s tall and slim and emits a blue light and has tentacles coming out of her face and head. She floats above the ground toward Tosh, who is fascinated.

“This is why you can’t tell them,” says Mary. Tosh asks who she is and Mary non-answers her by saying she’s still the person Tosh kissed and caressed. Then she morphs back into her human form. She looks at Tosh and asks her to say something. Tosh says she’s shagging both a woman and an alien and Mary asks her which is worse. “I know what my parents would say,” says Tosh. Deadpanned. Hee. Another joke.

Tosh twigs that she read Mary’s thoughts and never saw this in them. Mary starts to give Tosh her sob story about being a political dissident from a planet of enforced worship and execution squads. She was exiled to Earth for her beliefs. Mary says the pendant is how her people communicate. She says that speaking orally is so archaic.
She lights up a cigarette of evilness and manipulation and tells Tosh that the machine they found with the body is a transporter. She says it can send her back home and that she needs to use it before it’s dismantled. Tosh asks how she can return home and Mary says 200 years have passed and there’ll be a new government in power.

“Then why hasn’t someone come back for you,” asks Tosh and Mary says she’s been forgotten, like Philoctetes on Lemnos. Tosh asks Mary to come to Torchwood so they can help her. Mary says if she goes to Torchwood they’ll examine her and then lock her in a cell. She says humans aren’t interested in discovering alien cultures and she’s glad we haven’t been able to reach other planets yet as we are a culture of invasion. “Do you really think I’m going to walk, hands raised in surrender into that?” asks Mary.

Tosh goes for a walk around Cardiff Bay with the pendant on, hearing everyone’s little secrets until she finally pulls the pendant off.

Back in the Hub, Owen is still mystified by the skeleton with the hole in its chest. He starts searching hospital records. Tosh is lying on her bed at home talking about how using the pendant has changed her, that she can’t forget the things she’s heard. Jack is standing on another bloody roof. We flick back and forth between the three of them as Owen finds similar cases in the archives about bodies being found with their hearts removed and Tosh saying the pendant must have been sent to drive people mad.

Mary is smoking in one of Tosh’s armchairs listening to her slowly going crazy and Owen keeps going back through unsolved murders where the heart was removed..

Should I mention at this point that Buffy also took to her bed because she was going crazy and heart removal (albeit of a demon) was a part of Earshot? No? Ok then.

“This is completely impossible,” says Owen and as Tosh says that Mary was right with everything she said about humans, Owen rings Jack and tells him to come to the Hub.

Tosh says she can’t be a part of it any longer and as the crazy crazy camera zooms in on her and she asks Mary to tell her what to do, Mary says “Get me into Torchwood.” Which is the exact opposite of what she was saying 10 minutes ago but I think we’re supposed to buy that Tosh is so far gone now that she’s not thinking straight. It’s all a bit sudden really.

Mary walks into the Hub and she’s all crazy evil alien, while Tosh notices that the transportation device is gone. “So where is it, lover?” Mary asks Tosh and Tosh goes to find it. Mary says she should be quick as she has a long journey ahead and “might need something to eat before she goes.”

“Is this what you’re looking for?” asks Jack, appearing at the upstairs landing with the device in his hand. As he slowly comes downstairs, he starts telling one of his painful stories, about a friend called Vincent who disappeared for a few months and came back Vanessa. He says that ever since then he starts to get a bit worried when a friend acts out of character.

He introduces himself to Mary and says he’s guessing she’s “not from around these parts”. He holds up the device and says it’s incredible. Tosh says it’s a transporter and that Mary is a political exile. And at this point my tape runs out. Damn you Channel 10! I mean, ‘Seriously’ how could Big Brother run over by an HOUR. However, thanks to the wonder that is my work’s geek network, I now know how this episode ends. Thanks guys!

Anyway, Tosh is still buying this whole innocent political exile act but Jack interrupts to say that the transporter is made for two, a prisoner and a guard. He says, hee, that for all he knows Mary’s people are squids and it’s a “two squid transporter”. Once again, not exactly ‘Champagne Comedy’ but at least this episode is trying to inject a little irony.

So, Jack asks Mary about the guard and Mary smirks and says she killed him but was disturbed by the real Mary. We flash back to the woods from the beginning and see her take over Mary’s body. Back in the present, the door of the hub rolls back and Gwen walks in, then we’re back in the forest where the soldier is coming to shoot Mary. He fires but Mary rams her arm into his chest and pulls out his heart. Then we have a very silly shot of her maniacally bringing the bloodied heart to her mouth.

Owen is there too now, where’d he come from? Anyway, Owen says she’s been plucking out people’s hearts for a long time now and Mary says “this form needs to be fed”. Since people don't usually survive on raw offal alone, this statement also makes no sense but since it's not as ludicrous as 'Day One' or 'Cyberwoman' we'll just accept and move on.

Owen says she’s killed lots of people and she starts on in about how much she loves the human form. Ianto’s there now too. What is there, a secret passage into the Hub? Anyway, Mary says she knew the device was buried under the city and that she was safe. But when it was unearthed she could feel it. Tosh puts the pendant on (why?) and as she listens to everyone thinking that it’ll all be ok if they just keep Mary talking, Mary suddenly moves swiftly across the Hub floor, grabs Tosh and puts a knife to her throat.

Mary says she wants the transporter and she’ll swap Tosh for it. Ianto is thinking “God, not again, not again.” Mary decides to really turn the knife in Tosh by telling Owen that she’ll swap Tosh for Gwen. Owen of course thinks “No, not Gwen” and Mary says that Tosh can see what her so-called friends really think of her.
“She read my thoughts,” thinks Owen, “she actually read my thoughts.”

“It’s not true, Tosh,” says Owen but Mary’s saying that whatever she’s done it doesn’t change the way she feels about Tosh. Which would be more convincing if she didn’t have a great big knife to her throat.

“Toshiko,” Jack thinks at her, “don’t do anything until I say.” Out loud he says that he thinks the transporter for Toshiko is a good swap. Mary lets go of Tosh and moves toward the transporter. As she puts her hands in each side of the transporter she says that Jack smells different and asks him what he is. “I don’t know,” says Jack.

As they’re flirting or threatening each other or something, the transport activates and Jack says he reprogrammed it. As they watch open-mouthed, Mary is transported away. Jack tells Tosh he reset the co-ordinates and Mary has been sent to the centre of the sun.

Tosh is a bit upset and asks Jack if he killed her. “Yes,” says Jack emphatically and walks away.

Night in the Hub and Owen and Gwen are having a pow wow about how they need to talk to Tosh. Tosh, still upset, leaves the briefing room and walks toward them. Owen abuses her for eavesdropping on their private thoughts and storms away. God he’s a prat. Gwen stays behind and tells Tosh that she and Owen can’t really take the moral high ground. Glad she realises that. Tosh says that what she did was an invasion and that she has to live now with what she heard and what she did to Gwen.

Gwen says she knows she should stop sleeping with Owen but that she’s not going to. She asks what that says about her and Tosh says she’s hardly in a position to make judgements. “That what I’m saying, Tosh,” says Gwen, “neither am I.” Nice. Then she says that in the last couple of days Tosh has had a ‘look about her’ and that ‘love suited her’. Really? ‘Cause all I saw was her mooning about the place looking sad and overwhelmed. Nice thing for Gwen to say though. I’ve never liked her so much.

Tosh leaves and Gwen looks sad.

Night over Cardiff, Jack and Tosh are standing in the Roald Dahl Plass, having a loud conversation about a piece of alien technology. I hope their confidentiality agreement doesn’t have penalties that are too harsh or else these people are going down. Anyway, Tosh holds up the pendant and says it could be the most powerful thing on Earth, capable of bringing down government and armies. She then smashes it under her feet. I like her boots.

Tosh then asks Jack why she couldn’t read his mind and Jack says that he doesn’t know but that he could feel her ‘scrabbling around in there’. Tosh says it was like he was dead. Jack smiles and then tells Tosh he wants the list for UNIT on his desk tomorrow.

“What do regular bosses get to do in situations like these?” asks Jack and there’s some nice banter.

“Something Mary said,” starts Tosh, "probably the only honest thing she ever did say, when I asked her why she gave it to me, she said that after a while it gets to you, it changes how you see people. How can I live with it?”

Jack takes her hand and tells her that there are some things we’re not supposed to know.
“You got a snapshot, nothing more,” he says. Jack wipes her tears and walks away. I’ve never liked him so much either. We pan over a silent Cardiff at night to finish.

Well done Toby Whithouse, if only the producers didn’t insist on inserting a lesbian sex scene into everything it would have been good. Oh well. See you next week at the civilised time of 12am Wednesday morning.

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