Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Torchwood 'Random Shoes': Rating B+

Meet Eugene. Eugene is an armchair philosopher so we start the episode with his musings on the meaning of life. He’s not speaking into a video camera so the episode is already better than the Doctor Who episode from which it drew its inspiration (see, I’m avoiding the word ‘rip off’ this week; that’s maturity, that is).

Oh, Eugene is also dead. As the camera comes into focus and zooms down on Eugene in a lovely crane shot, he finishes his speech about the speed of the universe. “As for life,” he says as we move in on his body lying prone in the middle of a long, straight road, “that just bloody whizzes by.”

Eugene opens his eyes, blinks a few time and moves his head to the side. “This is me,” says Eugene’s voiceover as he lifts his head off the road and looks confused. We hear the sounds of traffic and of sheep in the background as he slowly raises himself off the road.

He gets up and as the camera twists and pulls back he moves over to a police cordon. The police officer lifts the cordon as he moves through; but is she letting him in or letting the other police officer out?

“Hey Gwen, Jack,” says Eugene as he moves through the crime scene. “Tosh,” he says as he comes across the whole team gathered around a body lying on the embankment by the side of the road. As though he’s apologising, Eugene says the guys on the rope just let him through. So dead Eugene knows them all but isn’t accepted by them . Jack explains that the victim was hit and killed by a car.

Eugene looks down and stammers that the guy lying dead and bloody in the grass looks like him.
“Couldn’t even cross the road without messing it up,” says Tosh. That’s too mean a comment for Tosh. It sounds like an Owen statement. Not that Torchwood would ever write a script and then substitute another character instead. Never. If they did that their characterisations would sometimes not make sense and we can't have that. Gwen asks what he was doing here and Jack gives her a look like he actually doesn’t care. Gwen says it’s possible he was hit deliberately.

“Maybe he really did have something important,” she asks, “he was always trying to talk to us, perhaps we shouldn’t have been so…”
Tosh interrupts and says she thinks it’s just an ordinary RTA. Jack interrupts her interruption, sounding incredibly excited about the fact the car was red. Eugene has red paint under his fingernails.

“Am I dead?” asks Eugene, suddenly twigging that the body on the side of the road is his. He tries to touch Tosh’s shoulder but his hand goes right through it. He backs away slowly. “Am I dead?” he’s still asking as he scans the police and paramedics and everyone gathered around, realising for the first time that they can’t hear him so there’s no one to ask.

“Am I dead?”

Flick, flick, flick, Torchwood.

Eugene’s phone rings in the grass. Man, that’s the worst. Like that train wreck a journalist friend of mind told me they saw a few years ago. All the bodies were apparently still strewn across the ground when the broadcast went out that the accident had happened. They said that all of a sudden all the mobiles started to ring. The living still desperately trying to phone the dead. Bloody tragic.

Tosh picks it up, looks uncertain but then answers it. It’s Eugene’s Mum wanting to know some ordinary everyday thing. Tosh panics and hands the phone off to Gwen who simply states that something’s happened and they need to talk to her.

Pan back to Eugene who’s still having trouble with the whole being dead thing. He wonders how he ended up there so his memory must be playing up.

“Am I a ghost,” he asks, as he follows Gwen back to the car, “or a zombie,” he thinks thereby establishing that Eugene’s not the brightest star in the sky. He leaps into the car with the rest of the team, seemingly thrilled to be there.
“This is Torchwood,” he thinks, “it’s going to be ok. Then he looks in the rearview mirror and realises he has no reflection. He’s a bit freaked out by this and looks around a bit wildly as Gwen takes out his phone and looks through it. Jack asks her if there’s anything on it from today and she says, “just some pictures of random shoes.”

As Gwen looks pensively toward invisible Eugene as though perhaps she too can hear his internal monologue, Eugene tells us that regardless of everything that’s happened, he’s somewhere he’s also wanted to be.

As the VOC screeches off, Eugene tells us to back up a bit because every story’s got a beginning. Man, this is such a…a…a…homage…to Love and Monsters it isn’t funny. Love and Monsters also um, ah…drew on elements from…a Buffy episode called Storyteller. Luckily for Random Shoes, Love and Monsters was god awful so in the overall scheme of things this episode is much much better.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the plot.

So we fade into the white mist of events recalled from memory and we see Eugene being humiliated in an inter-school maths competition. Apparently he was a maths whiz but panicked in the heat of battle and everyone blamed him for the loss. His Dad was in the audience, filming his son’s humiliation and it’s that, more than anything, that Eugene remembers. His father’s brutal, honest, open scorn and disappointment.

We cut to a classroom where a really nice science teacher tries to cheer him up by showing him a marble-like eye that allegedly fell from the sky while he was playing golf. Eugene is instantly diverted as nice science teacher notes how amazing it was that something could fall from the sky like that. Seeing Eugene’s hooked, and more importantly not worrying about his loss, nice science teacher gives him the eye as a present and Eugene stares at is in wonder.

“Where the bloody hell have you been?” asks the voice of Eugene’s Dad who we already can’t stand. Nice science teacher tells him to correct his attitude, just not in so many words, and they leave.

At home, Eugene is still pondering the eye while his parents brawl in the background. As they scream and his father slams the front door on his way out of his life forever, Eugene decides an obsession is something that should distract him nicely and we see his room with a poster of the solar system on it as he decides the eye has to belong to an alien. It’s ok his Dad’s left because one day he’ll meet the alien.

“God I wanted that alien to come back and claim the eye more than I wanted anything in my whole life,” says voice-over Eugene as young Eugene looks through a telescope at the moon, imagining a Universe of possibilities, waiting for his real life to begin.

As voiceover Eugene explains how he increasingly got interested in extra-terrestrial things, we see an older version of himself hanging out at crime scenes trying to get Torchwood, or more particularly Gwen, to notice him.

Back from the white mist of events recalled from memory, Gwen is in Eugene’s home breaking the new of his death to his mother. As Gwen tells her they’re sure he’s dead, she starts crying and points to a plate saying, “but that’s his tea there.” I don’t know who this actress is but she absolutely breaks my heart in this episode.

In Eugene’s room, Owen is half-heartedly looking around and making a mess, while Eugene is watching. He picks up a flyer to a lecture about ‘Black Holes and the Uncertainty Principle’ at Aberystwyth University's Science and Natural History Museum and asks Ianto what they’re doing here. Ianto finds a shrine to all things alien and we cut back to the loungeroom where Gwen is asking Eugene’s brother if he understands what’s happened to his brother. Eugene’s brother is a teenager so he’s pretending he doesn’t care. He tells Gwen their Dad works for some big corporation in America.

Owen calls Gwen up to Eugene’s room where they’re going through Eugene’s ‘collection’, all of which turns out to be fake. Gwen notices there’s something missing and asks Eugene’s Mum if she knew what it was. Mum can’t answer such trivia at the moment, she just shakes and asks why the car didn’t stop after it hit her son. They realise this is not the best time for questioning so they pack up some of Eugene’s stuff and leave. As he leaves with them, Eugene stops to try and tell his mother that the best team is working on it and she shouldn’t worry. He thinks there’s been some kind of mistake but she’s just standing in the hallway looking out the front door and sobbing.

Later, the gang walk into the Hub. Gwen is saying she wants to find out everything about Eugene’s last movements and Eugene is in awe to finally see the secret underground base. I must admit, the Hub is pretty cool, water feature notwithstanding. Eugene’s all ‘christ almighty’ as he comes across some of the artefacts. He sees the Doctor’s hand and he thinks “wow, a…hand…in a…jar” as though it’s a bit strange but must be cool because it’s Torchwood’s. Hee. Man I hope they explain the hand thing soon, getting tired of it just sitting there.

“What was he doing out in that road?” asks Gwen as she puts down some of Eugene’s things. “Oh, fuck knows,” says Owen who already sounds as though he’s sick of her going on about it. He puts down more of Eugene’s things and says that Eugene was a geek so he was probably categorising Chevrons.

Gwen moves down into the autopsy room and Owen follows her saying that Eugene had a bit of a thing for her and now she’s feeling guilty because she always blew him off. Very true.

You know, the fact that the autopsy room is incapable of becoming a sterile environment has always really annoyed me. Owen regularly pokes around alien remains without a mask on as well. Oh well, better not start one of my Torchwood and professionalism rants. We’ll be here all week.

Gwen tells Owen to sod off because no one is allowed to tell people uncomfortable truths except her. They have a small tiff that results in Gwen agreeing to do the autopsy. And…what?? You can’t just start doing autopsies. She’s a former Cardiff beat cop who mysteriously only just learnt to fire a gun but I’m supposed to believe she’s suddenly gained medical qualifications? Oh sorry, there’s that rant. My apologies.

Anyway, Owen’s off to do paperwork while Gwen saws pieces off a human body and as he pan back to Eugene looking around the Hub in wonder he says “I’m in heaven”. Then, and this is kind of sad, he starts to wonder if maybe he is in heaven. That is until he walks down into the autopsy room to find Gwen unzipping him from a body bag. He braces himself to watch her cut him up but faints instead (How can a ghost faint?) Before she can mutilate the remains of a innocent road victim, Ianto walks in and says they’ve found their perp. A drunk driver has just admitted hitting someone fitting Eugene’s description. Owen says it’s very sad and can they get on with some proper work now?

The autopsy is postponed and they move on to other work.

"Hope There’s Someone" by Antony and the Johnsons plays as Eugene wakes up looking down on his own corpse in the autopsy room. He leaves Torchwood and goes to see his Mum who’s still crying for him, wandering around her home, uncertain what to do. I tell ya, I’d be very surprised if I ever cracked a tear at a Torchwood episode but this woman’s got me the closest.

“Do you think Eugene committed suicide?” asks Gwen, back at the Hub. The gang try to convince her that it was just an accident but she says something seems really odd about it. She says she just has a feeling that something else is going on and Owen thanks her for the ‘Disney moment’ and asks her to please make the tea. She says maybe Eugene’s a bit too ordinary for the great Owen to be interested and Owen makes a really great point about Gwen always acting as though she’s the only one in the team with a heart. The bloom is really off the rose in this relationship, although I know there’s mutterings in the forums about this episode ignoring their affair.
Jack tells them to can it and Gwen says it’s forgotten, in a way that lets you know it isn’t.

Millennium Centre the next morning. Owen is watching one of Eugene’s DVDs, which incidentally is the original A for Andromeda. Gwen walks in and she’s all pissed that Owen went through Eugene’s stuff. Owen says the DVD’s on loan from the video store and Gwen offers to return it. Owen’s too self-absorbed to question her motives as Gwen takes Eugene’s mobile goes off to lunch.

In a cafe somewhere, Gwen asks the owner when the video store around the corner opens and the owner says the guy’s a law unto himself. Eugene walks in and he’s all surprised and pleased to see Gwen there. He starts babbling that this is his café. Gwen asks the owner if he knows Eugene and the owner says no, even though Eugene’s saying that he goes there everyday.

“But I come in here everyday, two eggs, ham and chips everyday,” says Eugene disbelievingly and Gwen immediately orders two eggs, ham and chips as though she’d somehow heard him. Got to love that English diet.

As they sit down at a table, Eugene notes how strange it is that he used to follow Gwen and now Gwen is following him. She pulls out the mobile and is looking at the photos of shoes on the mobile. Eugene notes that he doesn’t remember who the shoes belong to and that he can’t remember anything from before his death. He tells her to ring Gary because he may be able to help. We hear the words ‘phone Gary’ echo in Gwen’s head as she moves down the contact list on the phone to the name ‘Gary’ and dials. She gets his voicemail and leaves a message as she looks somewhat dubiously at the festival of cholesterol the caf owner has just put down in front her. Ummm chips.

Video store. Gwen walks in and stands at the empty counter before a guy suddenly appears in front of her with a mobile stuck to this ear. He turns it off as she sees him. It’s amazing; he actually has ‘tosser’ written across his forehead.

“Hello,” says Gwen brightly, as tosser calls her ‘gorgeous’ and gives her what I think is supposed to be an appreciative look that just comes out as a leer. She says she wants to return some DVDs on behalf of someone who’s deceased.
“Deceased, no shit, that’s pretty final,” says tosser and then totally proceeds to charge her the fine. Who charges a fine for a DVD that hasn’t been returned because the renter is dead? He even says he can’t bend the rules just ‘cause he’s dead.

Anyway, she asks about Eugene and he says Eugene used to come in all the time with another guy and that he was a bit ordinary and a bit of a dreamer.

Gwen goes to pay and tosser asks if Eugene…he makes a choking sound and mimics a noose around someone neck. He asks, complete with air quote marks if Eugene ‘walked into oncoming traffic’. He says people come into video shops wanting a bit of fantasy in their lives but that he’s off to London in a few months. He says that Eugene was a loser who maybe just couldn’t live with his failure. Eugene seems pensive and Gwen looks as though she’d like to throw tosser into oncoming traffic.

“Failure, is that right?” asks Eugene rhetorically as they enter an office building somewhere in Cardiff and get into a lift. “Has my life just been one big failure? I know I didn’t live up to my early promise as a math genius but that’s because I was waiting for the alien to collect his eye and change my life.” The lift comes out into an open plan office and Eugene says that while he was waiting he did telesales. He sold ‘life’ apparently: barbeques and kitchens and home insurance. Insurance over the phone? That’s unlikely, it’s highly regulated.

Eugene’s recognising all the people he used to work but Gwen is trying to see if anyone owes the shoes on the phone. She’s looking for a piece of red Converse trainers which (a) are very common shoes and (b) what the Doctor wears.

As she tracks down the trainers to a large man with untidy hair at the water cooler, Eugene is wondering how he can remember so many details of his day to day life when the last few days before his death are a complete mystery.

“Are you Gary,” asks Gwen of the large man with untidy hair and he says yes. She introduces herself and asks if he talked to Eugene the day he died. Gary says no (he’s lying) but that they’re getting a card together. Someone hands it to him and he notices they’ve written ‘good luck in your new job’.
“He’s dead”, says Gary angrily and the guy who handed him the card questions how they can get it to him. “It’s for his Mum, you idiot,” says Gary and nameless guy looks sheepish as Gary storms off.

A woman with long auburn hair stops Gwen and asks if it’s true that Eugene got run over. The girl introduces herself as Linda and seems genuinely upset by Eugene’s death. Gwen asks her to lunch so they can chat. Ok, what time is it supposed to be because Gwen went out ‘for lunch’ about what, two hours ago now? Ah, damn you Torchwood timelines. Anyway, as Gwen sits at Gary’s desk Owen calls and asks her where the hell she is. She says she’ll be back soon but also finds a flyer for the Black Holes lecture. The plot thickens.

Still lunchtime in the temporally-challenged world of Torchwood. Gwen and Linda are having a chat. In a nutshell, Linda says that both she and Eugene were a bit depressed and that she had said she wanted to go to Australia. Eugene told her he’d get the money by selling his ‘alien artefact’. Gwen asks if Eugene was in love with her and Linda says no, that he loved someone who was unobtainable. Gwen seems as though she kind of suspects who that someone could be. Linda says Eugene was just trying to look out for her.
“He said, don’t stay here and waste your life waiting for something that may never happen.”

During this conversation, Gwen phone rings but she ignores it.

Linda says Eugene brought the eye into work and told everyone he was going to sell it on ebay but that some people laughed at him and said it was just plastic. But the eye sat on ebay for a while before finally starting to get some bids, cumulating in a bid of £15,005.50. Gwen asks if she knows who bought it and Linda says she has no idea.

Gwen’s phone rings again and this time she can’t ignore it. It’s Eugene’s Mum and she wants to show her something. Gwen leaps up and leaves Linda looking sad and very lonely.

In the house of loneliness and despair, Gwen is watching Eugene’s moment of humiliation at the maths competition while his Mum sobs beside her. Mrs Jones says the science teacher gave him the eye as a kind of consolation prize and that Eugene treasured it. “That was the night Dad left,” says Eugene’s younger brother who has just entered the room. He starts saying some horrible stuff about his older brother and Mum tells him to please stop. Little brother says Dad left because he found out Eugene was a failure, at least that’s what Eugene always said. Mum says that’s not true and that their father left because of his big important job in the States.

“Stop giving us that shit,” interrupts shitty teenage brother. He says that Eugene found their Dad about two weeks ago working nights as a cashier in a garage on Filey Road.

Eugene thinks ‘oh God, now I remember why I sold the eye.”

Night over Cardiff. Gwen is pulling up outside the garage and Eugene is pondering all those years he blamed himself for his father leaving. Finding him made him feel that everything about his life was a lie and a pile of rubbish so why not sell the eye?

Gwen goes to get out of the car and Eugene yells at her to stop and not go in. Gwen stops as though she heard him and climbs back inside. Eugene says he doesn’t want anything to do with him. He apologises and Gwen says it’s ok. Then she drives off.

Back in the Hub, Jack tells Gwen off for turning her phone off and she admits she’s still working on Eugene’s case. She rather stupidly starts to tell Jack that Eugene never under why his father left and needs a bit of help. Jack points out the very obvious fact that Eugene’s dead.
Jack says he’s got work to do and starts walking off. Eugene says she can’t just stop and brings up the £15,000.

“Ok, listen to this,” says Gwen, “Eugene had an alien eye in his collection and he sold it online.” Jack is finally interested and asks if it was a Dogon sixth eye, which apparently allows people to see back into their life, to give them some perspective.
“It’s useful, fun, slightly terrifying,” he says, which is why there’s been quite a market in them.

Kind of sounds like what Eugene’s been doing, hey? Hey?

Gwen says she thinks it might be a Dogon sixth eye and that she’s close to tracking it down if Jack will just give her some more time. Jack gives her the weekend and tells her to keep her phone on.

Eugene’s all excited and only further convinced that Gwen is the most wonderful person who’s ever lived. Gwen opens up the flyer and Eugene remembers that he and Gary were going to go to the lecture together in Aberystwyth. My Welsh geography isn’t the best because I don’t know where this is but it apparently requires a road trip. Eugene’s about to get a weekend away with Gwen and he’s never been happier.

In the University in Aberystwyth (which is apparently 100 miles from Cardiff and is a historical market town on the sea – the wonder of Wikipedia be thanked), Gwen is looking around and spots Gary who proves he’s not the brightest spot in the heavens by running. But then he comes back and says he’s not proud of what he’s done. Turns out Gary hiked up the bidding because he felt sorry for Eugene but then the price took off on its own and Eugene thought it was his alien come to claim his property. Gary says he was sceptical but then the bid jumped to £15,000 and he wasn’t so sure.

“I thought it was £15,005.50,” asks Gwen and Gary looks a bit shifty as he confirms that yes, that’s right. I remember, says Eugene’s voiceover saying that he waited a couple of days before getting an email asking him to come to a restaurant.

Gwen pulls out the phone and the photo of Gary’s shoes and tells Gary that he saw Eugene the day he died. Gary admits that yeah, he did, they had a cup of coffee before Eugene went off to meet the alien because Eugene was scared.

Gary for some reason is trying to pretend that the exchange for the eye could have been anywhere and not necessarily near where Eugene died. “Eugene was very secretive,” says Gary, “it could have been in Splott.”

Gwen shows Gary the photos on the phone and asks (a) who was with him when he met up with Eugene and (b) why would Eugene take a photo of his shoes. “Whose are the other shoes,” asks Gwen and Gary says he thinks they’re just random shoes.
“I miss him,” he says suddenly and this sudden burst of honesty tells us more than anything that so far he’s been hiding something.

Night in her hotel room, Gwen is looking at the shoes on the phone while Eugene is remembering calling for a taxi to take him to the rendezvous. He’s raving again and Gwen is going through his things, finally finding a wrapper with a rooster on it from a café.

“I don’t want you to find out what happened,” says Eugene suddenly, as he looks at her on the bed. “I don’t want this to end. I love you.” As the words once again reverberate inside her head (oh no, I can’t, it’s too easy) she comes right up to him to look out the window. She then closes the blinds and goes to bed with him lying beside her. You know, this trip to the coast is a very clever way for them to avoid both Rhys and Owen for this scene.

Next morning, Gwen is woken by her phone and sets off back to Cardiff. As they’re driving along, Eugene is suddenly remembering as they see a sign for a café called the ‘Happy Cook’ up an off ramp by the side of the motorway. It has a rooster on it like the wrapper in Eugene’s things so Gwen takes the exit and pulls up in the car park. She and Eugene enter the café while Eugene has one of his excited rambles about how he can’t wait to find out what happened.

Inside the Happy Cook, Eugene is remembering himself doing everything that they’re doing now – opening the door, walking in and then…seeing Gary and video-store tosser in a booth. He’s telling them that they have to leave because he’s meeting the alien and they say that actually they’re the buyer. Eugene orders a banana milkshake off the waitress who has the black shoes seen in the photos on the mobile. Euegene sits down in the booth, all confused while Gary and tosser explain.

The next bit is so nasty I have to paraphrase. Gary was pushing up Eugene’s bidding but then they got the real bid for £15,000, apparently from some eccentric rich guy collector. But tosser got greedy and decided to push it up even further, bidding an extra £5.50. But reclusive rich guy didn’t bid again. Now tosser still wants the eye but doesn’t have the thousands. He’ll just take it off Gary’s hands for a song in the hope he can resell it.

As the waitress comes back with the milkshake, Eugene grabs his phone and takes photos of their shoes under the table.

As tosser makes a grab for the eye and it rolls out of Eugene’s hand, we cut back to the present day where the waitress is telling Gwen about the fight. Back in the past, waitress picks up the eye and looks a bit freaked out. Tosser grabs it and Eugene tackles him to the floor.

“I didn’t really know what the eye was anymore,” says Eugene as the fight continues with Gary looking on, “but I was damned if I was going to let it go for £34 and a banana milkshake.”

In possession of the eye now, Eugene stands up, looks at tosser and swallows it down. Tosser actually grabs him and yells “Heimlich” as he tries to get Eugene to regurgitate it. Gary looks horrified but, and this is the worst bit, he grabs the milkshake and tries to pour it down Eugene’s throat to make him throw up. And this, people, is supposed to be his best friend.

Eugene finally breaks free and runs from the café, with Gary and tosser in hot pursuit.

Back in the now, waitress has finished telling her story just as Gary and tosser come through the door. Eugene moves forward saying they’re dead. He says tosser’s a dickhead (apparently tosser’s name is Josh) but that Gary was supposed to be his friend.

Meanwhile, Tosser has approached the waitress and is busy asking her not to tell anyone anything about them being there the week before. As he’s speaking, Gwen comes out from where she apparently went and hid. Tosser sees Gwen and tries to run but Gary slips him, finally if somewhat belatedly trying to do the semblance of the right thing.

“I miss him,” yells Gary and as they tell the whole story to Gwen, Eugene is staring out the window. They say they chased Eugene but lost him.
“Ok,” says Gwen, looking upset, “Ok.” She gets back, calls directory assistance and asks for the number of the garage where Eugene’s dad works.

As Gwen’s breaking the news of Eugene’s death to his father, Eugene says that he remembers. We see him pelting across a field as he voiceovers.
“Apart from a buzzing in my ear where Josh whacked me, I felt good. I was running across a field on a Saturday morning, the smell of exhaust and banana milkshake, a slight nausea, heart beating too fast ‘cause I wasn’t that fit.”
He stumbles onto the road and says, “the stuff that tells you you’re alive,” as a red car hits him and drives on.

“By rights I should be well pissed of,” he says as he close in on his dead, bloody body, “my mates had cheated on me and I didn’t get to meet any aliens.”
Now we see Eugene at his own funeral.
“I realised that when I swallowed the eye at the Happy Cook I was given the chance to look back on my life and see it for what it was.”
We see Gary singing in the pews and Eugene thinks that he’s going to miss him.
“God Gwen,” he thinks as we see her at the service, “I wish I could thank you.”

Now we see Eugene’s dad, Linda and his Mum who’s still crying so much she can’t speak. As Eugene reflects that it wasn’t his fault his Dad left, and his Mum has to leave the podium because she can’t speak, his Dad gets up and sings Danny Boy.
An ordinary bloke who made a mess of things and never got to know his son.

Cemetery now and Gwen is walking through, looking at the graves while Eugene is doing his verbal diarrhoea thing. He’s musing about how 28 is a perfect number and he’s 28 and he thinks he’s going to have to go soon. A door opens in the building behind her and a man hands her the eye in a plastic bag, obviously removed from Eugene’s stomach.

Now at the wake, Eugene is musing as to why he’s still around if it’s the eye that’s been keeping him there. I’m wondering the same thing too.

“Eugene, says Gwen, standing in the street outside the house while the other mourners enter the house, “the eye is in the bag now. Are you…?”
The VOC pulls up and out get the rest of the gang. Jack asks her if she got it and she shows him the eye and he’s all impressed. They say they’ve got to jet but Gwen asks if they can give her five. She heads across the road but stops as Eugene’s Dad pulls up and holds his hand out to his youngest son. As Gwen stands in the road, pondering the wonder that is familial reconciliation, a black SUV that seriously looks like the VOC comes flying and screeching (maybe it is the VOC?) down the road toward her.

“Gwen,” says Eugene as he realises she’s going to be hit and he runs and tackles her out of the way. Bit confused here but I think a different version of the eye pops out of him as he does so and he becomes visible to all the people at the wake.

Gwen looks up and sees him and she’s all stunned and happy to see him. “They can see me,” he says as he smiles at his Mum and Dad. He thanks Gwen who thanks him back and then kisses him. He hands her the eye, says goodbye and then a bright white light appears and he ascends.

“The average life is full of near misses and absolute hits,” says Eugene, “of great love and small disasters, it’s made up of banana milkshakes, insulation and random shoes.” He moves away from the Earth, spinning into space as he continues that life is, “dead ordinary and truly truly amazing. What you’ve got to realise is that it’s here, now so breathe deep and swallow it whole because take it from me, life just whizzes by and then all of a sudden it’s…”

The Earth disappears and the screen goes black.

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