Sunday, 9 September 2007

Torchwood 'Combat': Rating B

Previously on Torchwood: Owen met a girl who didn’t want a relationship so he decided he must be in love with her but she left him and now he’s all sad.

Now on Torchwood: the first and most abiding rule of any recap is to try to keep people interested; to try and come up with something new. Both I, and I’m sure my readers, are very very tired of the words ‘rip off’, ‘homage’, ‘inspired by’, ‘based on’, ‘redolent of’ or any other turn of phrase that signifies that the writers and producers of Torchwood spent about five minutes coming up with the main premise of most of their episodes (and most of those five minutes was spent watching reruns of Angel and Buffy). So I promise that in this recap the words ‘Fight Club’ will only appear once and you’ve already read it. And now, on with the show…

Jack is chasing a Torchwood plot contrivance. Oh, I mean Weevil.

Weevil. Wee evil. A little bit of evil with big nasty teeth running around Cardiff. A little bit of evil we don’t try to communicate with, don’t study or try to understand. A little bit of evil we lock into a cell in perpetuity, without charge, without trial, without a second thought. So small and inconsequential that even the writer of tonight’s show barely gives the moral implications of how we treat them more than a passing nod. They’re too busy using them as the ‘resident evil plot contrivance’.

So, Jack is chasing a Weevil. As he backs it into an alley he delivers one of his corny lines about how the weevil ‘isn’t his first’. He holds up his anti-weevil spray and weevil clamps (!) and says, “come on, let’s make this easy for both of us” in this ultra-confident voice that means we’re not at all surprised when the weevil attacks him, throwing him against a wall and clawing his chest.
“This always happens when I give them the night off,” says Jack. I wonder where I can get that fake stick-on claw-marked skin. It’d be great for parties.

Cardiff restaurant, Gwen and Rhys are having an awkward meal together. Rhys is doing his thing where he’s having the audacity to talk about himself and Gwen is doing her thing of ignoring him. Except this time Rhys calls her on it, accusing her of wanting to be somewhere else. Gwen gives the universal ‘don’t embarrass us in public’ look and Rhys notes that their relationship has been lacklustre of late. That is, when the writers remember he exists.
“You’re just absent,” he says, “what’s happened to us, Gwen?” Gwen apologises. Rhys asks if it’s something he’s done or not done. Poor, nice Rhys. He’s far too good for Gwen the self-absorbed.

Rhys suddenly notices the Wee Evil running along the street with Jack behind him. “What the hell was that?” he asks and as Gwen turns around to look, she and Jack spot each other. Jack races over with the scratch marks and blood on him and Gwen looks ecstatic at being interrupted.

Jack introduces himself to a very unimpressed Rhys; tells him it’s an emergency and can he borrow his girlfriend? It says a lot about Gwen and her dysfunctional life that Jack knows all about Rhys but Rhys has never even heard Jack’s name.

“I’ll have her back for dessert,” says Jack but as he and Gwen move to run off, Rhys stops them with an exclamation that Gwen is his girlfriend. He’s decided it’s his moment for assertiveness and he’s not going to let it pass him by.

“Rhys, this is Jack,” says Gwen and the awful thing is she is so unbelievably excited to be getting out of there she hasn’t realised just how pissed off Rhys is. “Sit down,” demands Rhys and Gwen says, “he’s my boss,” as if that excuses everything and Rhys counters angrily with, “Sit the fuck down!!”

Smile wiped off her face, Gwen tells him to never speak to her like that. Rhys has gone too far and he knows it. He pauses and Jack tells Gwen they need to go.
But Rhys is finally laying down the law.
“She’s with me tonight. One night off,” he adds to Gwen, “you promised,”
Gwen has an expression on her face like she’s just realised she’s never truly seen Rhys before. And since he usually just rolls over and takes it, I guess she hasn’t.
She picks up her bag and runs off with Jack.
“If you go now, Gwen…” yells Rhys at her retreating back but he can’t finish the sentence because he doesn’t really want to. Even now.

Dark and grimy streets of Cardiff town, Gwen and Jack are tracking the Wee Evil on foot. Jack says he’s sorry to interrupt but that this weevil has been giving him some trouble.
“He’ll get over it, he always does,” says Gwen and Jack remonstrates that she was supposed to keep a hold of her life.
“Don’t let it drift,” he says, but then gets distracted by the bleeping tracker on his watchband. “300 metres on the right,” he yells and they’re off.

In a multi-story carpark, Jack and Gwen are closing in on their prey when a white van suddenly appears out of nowhere. A gang of anonymous, black-clad, para-military-type men jump out the back of the van and attack the Wee Evil with cattle prods before bundling it into the car and driving away.

“Who the hell were they?” fumes Jack and flick flick flick.

“You know genfie, it’s very disloyal of me, but my first impression is that they were actually professionals.”
“Hand! I was wondering how long it would be before you piped up. I’m surprised you restrained yourself for so long.”
“Well, I was sitting over here trying to remember the words to the Odyssey. All I could remember was that Red Dwarf episode’s comic book version.”
“Yes, it’s very…sad…what the lack of a central nervous system can do for your long-term memory recall. As for these newcomers, I must admit they have professionalism written all over him, unlike our intrepid heroes. The only thing Torchwood have written on them is their names and that’s mostly to help them remember.”
“Now now genfie, that’s unfair. I won’t hear anything against my Captain. Anything you like about the others, particularly Owen, but not my Captain. Even if he did give everyone the night off and go after a Weevil by himself in the dark.”
“Oh, and ‘anti-weevil spray’, where the hell did that come from? Was that in ‘Everything Changes’ and I just missed it?”
“Yes it was; you’re not a very observant recapper, are you?”
“Apparently not.”

In the Hub, Jack is adjusting his suspenders and asking questions that I assume are rhetorical since there’s no one else in the room. I think his questions are very important so I have endeavoured to answer them.
“One, since when did other people know about Weevils.” (Since you chased once through the centre of Cardiff about half an hour ago).
“Two, have they done this before and if so how come we didn’t know about it?” (Well, since I’ve never actually seen Torchwood achieve anything this entire season, I’d say it’s pretty par for the course really.)
“Three, what do they want with them anyway?” (Good question actually. Probably not to lock them away and look at them on an irregular basis).

Ianto, who’s looking very dapper as usual, says there’s been an increase in unusual injuries at the A&E Unit (I think that’s Accident and Emergency for us antipodeans). Jack reads the reports and they sound like Weevil attacks. Oh, Tosh is there. Dare we hope that she gets a line. Just one line. Just a little one. No such luck, she’s just standing there looking busy and absorbed as usual.

“So we have a wave of Weevil attacks to add to our problems,” says Jack and then adds that the ‘anti-Weevil spray’ is no longer working. It seems they may have become immune.

“They’re mutating?” asks Tosh, interested. A line!
“Or evolving?” asks Ianto (isn’t that the same thing?)
“So any sign of the one we lost earlier?” asks Jack who has picked up a phone and started dialling. Who’s he calling?

Ooh, Tosh has more lines. She says that the licence plates of the van were fake and there are lots and lots of vans like that in Cardiff. Jack asks her to run a ‘trace on the route-to-fire traffic cameras’ (my apologies if I got that wrong, I have no idea what they’re talking about). Anyway, of course Tosh has already done it and she takes great delight in telling Jack she’s processing the data as she speaks. That’ll teach him to ignore her in favour of the incompetent one.

In the briefing room of watery walls, Gwen is leaving a message for Rhys on their home phone having had an attack of the guilts. She says she’s left three messages already and she’s sorry and she has no excuse for her behaviour. Rhys is of course listening on the other end and he’s just about to pick up the phone when she ruins it by saying that she doesn’t know when she’ll be home because she has work to do.
Instead of picking up, Rhys deletes the message. While she’s still on the line (which is impossible). Even though he already heard the message. Even though they live together and he’ll see her later on that night. Oh well, I suppose they had to indicate his rejection of her apology somehow.

In a bar somewhere, Owen’s phone is ringing while he’s drinking away his sorrows in full view of a judgemental public. If only there’d been more Ghost Machines we could have warmed to his character more. But there wasn’t and we didn’t.

An attractive woman behind the bar asks him if he’s going to answer his phone, picks it up and notes that it’s been work calling him all night.
“Look, if you don’t mind I’d rather be alone,” says Owen brusquely, even angrily.
There’s some mild and harmless chatter that maybe dances around the edges of flirting before the bar girl’s prat of a boyfriend comes up and accuses her of ‘chatting up the punters’ and ‘flashing her tits’. You know, this guy makes Owen look like a SNAG.

“Don’t speak to her like that,” says Owen tiredly, ‘cause the trauma of disappointed hopes has made him more sensitive. Good. Hope it sticks.
“We were having a conversation,” adds Owen. “One day when you’ve grown up you’ll realise that’s what human beings do.” Nice line actually. I like that.

Prat boyfriend grabs Owen and tries a little bit of violence but Owen is too angry with life, the universe and everything to hold back and makes short work of him. He tells boyfriend not to pick fights with strangers and tells bargirl to find a better boyfriend. Good advice. Oh, and considering Owen’s personality it’s nice that, while he’s looking for targets for his anger and is a total misogynist, he’s not taking it out on woman generally. It shows that complex personality the writers of Ghost Machine hinted at but has never been built on.

Back in the Hub, Gwen is wondering where Owen is and notes that he’s not answering his phone.
“Well, he’s been even more erratic than usual since that thing with Dianne,” says Tosh, totally in passing. Gwen’s all like, what the…?
Tosh looks up from her work, realising that Gwen doesn’t know and walks off saying it’s none of her business.
“What thing,” asks Gwen, “what thing, Tosh?”
Tosh says that Owen and Dianne had a thing and says she thought Gwen knew. Gwen pretends she did and that she’s fine with it, but she’s actually thinking that she thought she had her cake and could eat it too but now she has no cake at all. She’s so bloody selfish…I bet she goes crawling back to Rhys now.

In the cells, Ianto and Jack are standing by the Weevil’s cage watching it wail and moan, its face pressed against the glass.
“I think it’s weeping,” says Jack. He says that Owen’s been ‘studying’ it and that they think the Weevils might have a low-level telepathic ability. It’s crying because it can feel another Weevil’s pain. Jack says he hopes they’re wrong because otherwise someone is kidnapping and torturing Weevils. Which he does. Unless he classes capturing, indefinitely imprisoning, and doing medical experiments on Weevils in a different category. I don’t.

The Weevil comes up to the glass and moans, either at Jack or coincidentally in Jack’s direction. It’s as though he’s pleading for help, not for himself, but for others that Jack can’t have even met.
“What can you feel?” asks Jack, “what do you know?” But he’s not empathetic. He’s curious. He’s fascinated. Owen is a better person right now because at least Owen's honest with himself. The Weevil moans again and turns away.

Oh, and in defence of the ‘Weevils deserve rights’ club, rather I admit like SPEW, Weevils are always shown wearing clothes. Untorn clothes they’ve worn for a while (like the Torchwood’s branded pyjamas). That requires a very particular ability to conceptualise yourself as being a individual within an environment. That’s more than intelligence; that’s self-awareness of a very specific kind.

In the Hub, Tosh has more lines. She’s watching CCTV footage and says she’s found the van and it’s at a warehouse out near the docks. As she, Gwen and Jack watch, the CCTV cameras go down. It turns out our professionals don’t like to be watched. Jack says this just makes him more determined to find out what they’re hiding.

It’s the next morning and the VOC is at the docks. As Jack and Tosh get out, we see they’re being watched by ‘warehouse cam’. Tosh says “it looks like we missed them” ‘cause telling us something instead of showing us is the Torchwood writing motto.
Jack says that when people leave in a hurry they often leave stuff behind. Except he says it like it’s the pronouncement of the century…“I have a dream…of clues in a warehouse…”

In the Warehouse of Mauled Flesh, Jack is telling us one of his ‘fun if inaccurate facts to know and tell’. This one is how in WWII they used the warehouses for storing the bodies of dead GIs.

We then find the body of #1 Victim (what a great job to put on your resume) who is dead. Oh, for faithful viewers, there was some very loud music and bad dialogue leading up to the revelation of #1 victim’s deadness. I passed.

Jack and Tosh roll the body over and it’s covered in blood and claw marks. Jack says it’s Weevil marks. As they lean down to examine the body, his mobile goes off. Oh God, it’s the bloody annoying frog. No episode of television has ever been so instantly dated. Oh, except for when Cassandra called Rose a ‘chav’.

Jack answers and a member of Monty Python tells him to ‘stay out of what doesn’t concern [him]’. Jack asks who killed #1 Victim and guy on the other end actually says. “Did ya hear wha’ I just sai’?” Somebody’s from London.
Jack says he has selective deafness when he’s talking to cowards and murders, which would have been a great line except that he’s doing everything OTT tonight and the soundtrack’s as grating as usual.

“Don interfere in fings you don understan’,” says Monty Python guy and Jack says he understands everything. Also he has a cool coat and is often unarmed, unlike Monty Python’s highly-trained professional approach.
“I know how this is going to end,” says Jack, as he walks away from the body and Tosh watches in admiration, that being her usual role.
“We’re going to hunt you dooowwnnn, we’re going to ensure you’re punished for what haaapppened here, and we’re going to make you surrender that creature that you kidnapped, is that over-overacted enough for you?”
Monty Python obviously feels outdone in the overacting stakes because he doesn’t say anything then hangs up.

Jack instantly uses the phone to call Ianto and asks him to trace all calls from that number. He then ducks under the camera like he’s avoiding the paparazzi, but I guess it’s just the end of scene.

Cardiff on a bright sunny day: Owen finally answers the phone and pretends to be his own voicemail. I’ve always wanted to do that. Mostly at work. It’s Jack telling Owen to get his ‘bony little ass’ over to the Hub. Hee.

In the autopsy room of germs and contaminated evidence, Owen is autopsying the warehouse victim while Gwen sits on the steps and reads out the victim’s personal details. He’s Dan Hodges and he’s a salesman of Web publishing software and he’s married. Owen says he’s definitely ‘Death by Weevil’, which at least beats ‘Death by Torchwood’, but that he was beaten up by people first. Tosh is in this scene and she has another line. It seems Noel Clarke has dared to go where other writers have refused to go before.

“Why smack somebody about and then set the Weevil on them?” asks Owen. He also views the Weevils as things. ‘Set a Weevil on them’ sounds like you’re talking about a well-trained dog.

Jack asks Ianto, who has done his mysterious appearing in a scene thing, if he had any luck with the phone and Ianto says that the number for the last incoming call was blocked and the rest of the phone’s memory had been erased. That seems like a lot of work when they could have just taken the phone and destroyed it.
Anyway, Jack’s theory is that the guys are using the Weevils for a ‘perfect’ murder.

Owen makes one of his sarcastic comments and Gwen notes that someone’s going to have to break it to his wife that he’s dead. Everyone looks at her because, well, it’s kind of her job. For some reason she looks surprised and a little pissed.

At the murder victim’s house, Gwen has obviously done her duty for Queen and country and hops back into the car with Owen who must have come with her.
“The shittiest part about being a police officer and I can’t get away from it,” whinges Gwen. She looks at Owen in anticipation of a response but he’s deliberately not looking at her. She takes a deep breath then goes positively passive-aggressive at him for not comforting her in her ‘hour of need’. Owen snits back at her and Gwen snits back at him and there’s a lot of snitting going on.

“Tosh mentioned you and Dianne,” starts Gwen a bit warily, but at least she’s coming to the point. Owen just says that he didn’t want Dianne to go and Dianne did. Gwen asks why she and Owen are still doing what they’re doing, and she means the fighting and dishonesty and meanness as much as the shagging.
“Fine, let’s not,” says Owen and then he says something typically Owen that I won’t recap because I’m sick of him using the word fuck as though it’s an adjective.
He storms out of the car and Gwen yells that he can be a real wanker sometimes before driving off. Owen’s angry.

Later, Owen walks into the Hub and Jack demands to know where he’s been this whole time. “Walking,” says Owen and he’s still so full of repressed rage at the world. Jack leans toward Tosh very intimately and says she’s had a great idea in Owen’s absence. Owen says it had to happen sometime and Gwen tells them to ignore him.
“Yeah, just ignore me Tosh,” says Owen sarcastically, “I can be such a wanker apparently.” Oh, that’s just too easy.

Tosh says that the van went straight to the warehouse from the carpark so they must have known it was going to be empty. This means they either own the warehouse or have connections with the real estate agent.
Then Jack announces that they’re going to send erratic, scarred and angry Owen undercover. That has got to be the worst idea they’ve had since hiring Gwen. Or reviving Suzie. Or travelling into the Welsh countryside to investigate a serial killer without telling anyone where they were going or organising backup. Or going after unstoppable fairies. Now that I think about it, this is one of their better ideas.

Tosh says it has to be Owen because he’s the only member of the team the potential bad guys haven’t seen yet. What about Ianto? What is he, chopped liver?
Owen says he could do with being someone else right now and accepts.

“You know, the bad guys haven’t seen me. I think I would be perfect going undercover.”
“Hand, how many times? You’re a disembodied and you're in a jar.”
“That’s as may be, but I would at least like to be considered for the role. After all, they’d never see it coming. Also I have all the memories and abilities of a Timelord. All Ianto does is make coffee and look sad. Oh, and do that…thing…with his stopwatch.”
“Oh yes, what is it with Ianto and that stopwatch?”
“I’m not going to speak of it: it’s very private.”

In a real estate agent’s somewhere, Owen is doing the worst undercover job I have ever seen. Oh for an episode of Spooks!

Owen’s cover story is that he exports jellied eels to Asia and needs some warehouse space in Cardiff because he’s relocating his business. Further away from Asia. Maybe he got some great tax break or something.

The guy in the real estate office looks so much like the guy in the bar that Owen had a fight with that I kept waiting for him to be recognised. Sleazy real estate agent guy also keeps giving Owen this suspicious appraising look the entire time he’s there. Anyway, the guy says he’s got some space that should be perfect and goes off to get some photos or something.

When he turns his back, Owen puts a device on his computer that links to the Hub and downloads his hard drive. When sleazy real estate agent guy comes back with the photos, Owen looks at them for all of 10 seconds before declaring they’re shitholes and demanding something else. To be specific, a certain Warehouse on the docks. Way to give the game away Owen.

Sleazy agent guy says they’ve accepted an offer on it and Tosh’s voice in Owen’s ear says he’s lying. “Bummer,” says Owen and sleazy guy suggests a unit on an industrial estate instead. Owen says no and sleazy guy suggests a drink later. I’d say Owen’s cover is seriously blown myself. Then there’s the chatter of misogynistic bonding about how sleazy guy’s successful because he has gorgeous birds answering his phone for him. Actually, I think the secretarial rate in Cardiff is about 8 quid an hour so affording a receptionist is hardly success.

After Owen leaves, sleazy guy jumps on the net and looks up Owen’s business. Tosh has set up a fake website and is using the remote link with his computer to see what he’s looking up. She answers the phone appropriately when sleazy guys calls then looks very pleased with herself when she says ‘job done’.

Ianto comes up and tells Jack he’s found more suspicious injuries and they head off a hospital to speak to a patient who’s been attacked by some Wee evil. Jack tells Tosh to stay and monitor Mark Lynch’s movements, which must be sleazy guy’s real name. Gwen leaps up to say she’s going with them to the hospital and Jack tells her to go home and to stop letting her private life drift.

In the apartment of imminent relationship breakdown, Rhys is preparing to go out. Gwen’s all ‘but I’m here now’ and Rhys tells her to shove it.

In the hospital, Ianto and Jack prepare to interrogate the latest victim. Ianto closes the curtains around the bed with this bizarre expression on his face like he’s anticipating sexual gratification. It was really creepy.

#2 Victim says he’s already made his statement to the police. Jack, who’s eating again, notes that according to #2 victim’s chart he nearly had his heart ripped out. Jack lets on that he knows this was attack by some wee evil and #2 victim lies that he was mugged by three guys with knives. Ianto pops a grape into his mouth and asks why the paramedics thought he was covered in bite marks. He seriously looks like he’s getting some very specific pleasure from this. Do you think his Lisa trauma has uncovered a new sadistic side to his personality? Umm, I’m even more worried about him, Jack and the stopwatch now.

Anyway, Jack tells #2 victim to tell the truth, stat (get it, stat, they’re in a hospital…hee…I crack myself up). #2 victim says he can’t tell as ‘they’ will kill him.
“Who’d kill you?” asks Jack and #2 victim says ‘everyone’.

Jack has decided the best way to find what’s going on is to release a Weevil, who he calls Janet, with a tracking device planted on it and wait for it to be captured. As he, Tosh and Ianto drive the VOC to the same carpark the Weevil was captured at before, Tosh is remonstrating the he shouldn’t be releasing a Weevil in the middle of Cardiff and Jack is explaining that they’ll be tracking it the whole time.

They release Janet and follow her in the VOC as it takes off across the parking lot and into the street. Janet ducks into an alley and Tosh and Jack have to go after her on foot. Everyone refers to the Weevils as ‘it’ but Tosh actually calls her ‘she’. That’s very illuminating.

In the same bar from Owen’s encounter with prat boyfriend, Owen and Lynch are having that drink. I actually took that as further evidence that Lynch was the guy from the bar the night before and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t recognise each other. I’m dim sometimes. Anyway, the Prat walks in with a few mates and I suddenly realise they’re two different people and the episode suddenly makes a little bit more sense.

Owen and Lynch take out the three guys and Lynch watches as Owen lets his anger flow and starts repeatedly kicking prat boyfriend while he’s lying on the ground. You can tell he’s impressed.

In a deserted road somewhere, Jack and Tosh stand out in the open for everyone to see while they watch Janet get loaded into the van by the professionals. You know what isn’t asked in this episode? How do these guys know where the Weevil’s going to be? They’ve picked up both of them really quickly.

“The Eagle has landed,” says Jack. As they drive off, Tosh becomes the only person in tonight’s episode to note that they would consider their behaviour morally indefensible if it were a person they were using as bait. Bravo Tosh. I wish Mr Clarke had explored this angle a bit more.

Back at the house of Lynch (no marks for guessing why they gave him that name), Mark asks Owen where he gets his anger from. “Who says I’m angry?” asks Owen and Mark notes that he doesn’t even live in Cardiff and he already has people coming after him. Owen gets a bit defensive and Lynch reels off the old chestnut about how hard the modern world is on men and how soulless the consumerism and how he’s not ‘defined’ by his success and blah, blah, blah. What a tosser. Go and live in the Sudan for a while and then come whinging to me about how difficult and meaningless your life is.

Lynch asks what the meaning of Owen’s life is and Owen notes that he only came there for a beer. Then Lynch rather leadingly suggests that there can be much more to life if you know where to look. Owen looks interested.
“It’s closer than you think,” says Lynch, mirroring Suzie’s words, “something’s coming, out there in the darkness. Something is coming.”

Back in the apartment of imminent relationship breakdown, Gwen is pouring herself and Rhys a drink as Rhys comes through the door. She asks if Rhys is drunk and Rhys says he could only get down two pints and the rest of the guys have gone on without him. Gwen looks determined as she sets the drinks down on the coffee table.

Rhys sits down and takes a drink. Then Gwen comes out with an admission that she’s been sleeping with Owen and he’s a tosser and the affair is over. Rhys is sceptical; he genuinely believes Gwen would never do that.

Rhys asks why the hell she’s telling him and she says she’s ashamed and angry and wants his forgiveness. Is she serious? Forgiveness two seconds after dropping a bombshell like that on him. Then she says she’s drugged him. Oh, she must have slipped Retcon in his drink. What a bitch. I’m serious. Gwen has gone in only a few weeks from being annoying and slightly hypocritical to being one of the most selfish, inconsiderate people I have ever seen on screen. And what makes it worse is that she spends all her time parading around as the ‘heart’ and ‘conscience’ of the team.

As Rhys starts to feel the affects of the Retcon, he collapses on the couch and calls her a selfish bitch (that’s kind of eerie when you type something into a recap and two seconds later it comes out of somebody’s mouth. You feel like somehow they’ve been reading it).

Gwen says she just wanted to get everything out in the open. How self-deluded is this woman? How dare she abuse another human being just to make herself feel better? As Rhys passes out, Gwen starts yelling and begging him to forgive her but he says nothing as he slides into unconsciousness.

In Lynch’s house, Owen is having a poke around on the pretext of looking for the bathroom. He finds a bolted door and picks the lock. In a storeroom of some kind, he finds Janet chained up and pulls a gun on her. As she roars, Lynch enters the room and notes that he told Owen there was more to see.

Owen mumbles that he couldn’t resist the padlock and asks what the Weevil is. Lynch says he doesn’t know but that it’s vicious and Owen shouldn’t get too close. Lynch says he found it on the street and thinks it might be a scientific experiment gone wrong, a nuclear victim or maybe even an alien. Lynch says he thinks it’s a natural evolution of humanity. Lynch tells Owen to punch it because that’s what the Weevil’s there for. A living, breathing punching bag. Lynch hooks into the creature and Owen looks disgusted before yelling that it’s enough.

“So who are you, Owen?” asks Lynch and notes that he’s figured out Owen’s connected to the people in the black SUV. Told you he was the worst undercover operative ever. Lynch tells him as much too.
“Whoever you are, you’ve already fucked up my plans,” says Lynch. Owen asks about Dan Hodges and accuses Lynch of murder. Lynch says Dan was ‘one of them’ and then totally psyches Owen into giving up his gun with some macho bullshit. Owen actually falls for it.

In the Hub, Gwen has bought some pizzas and come into work for some tea and sympathy but no one’s there.

Grimy streets of Cardiff, the gang find the tracking device has been removed from Weevile and left on a fence in an alley…and across town Lynch has brought Owen to an address where the white van is parked outside. As they sit and watch, a large number of men appear and let themselves into a warehouse of some kind. Owen and Lynch get out of the car and join them.

In the Hub, Gwen sits down by herself and takes a piece of pizza out of the box. As she tries to eat it she breaks down and cries. I don’t care.
She hears a ding. It’s a message on Dan Hodges mobile, still in an evidence bag in the autopsy room. It’s a postcode, presumably for the location of tonight’s meeting. Why would these people got to all the trouble of wiping the memory off his phone and then send a text message to that number saying ‘here we are, come and get us’?

Gwen’s happy because she finally has a job to do and can forget about all her emotional stuff. She cross-references the postcode with Lynch’s computer files to find the address of a property it could refer to. The she touches her ear and says, “Jack,” before realising she doesn’t have an earpiece in. She rectifies the situation and lets him know where the Weevil has been taken. They swing by and pick her up.

Loud music is playing in the warehouse and people are ferociously punching each other as Owen and Lynch walk in. Lynch says they’re just ‘ordinary blokes trying to find meaning in a world that doesn’t have any’. There is so much wrong with this philosophy I don’t even know where to begin. Also, I couldn’t without mentioning that thing I swore I wasn’t going to mention.

Unfortunately, Lynch’s bullshit isn’t over as he starts to go all ‘woe is me’ about how he’s just a sad little wealthy, upper-middle-class white man. Then he blames society for only giving him everything he’s ever wanted and needed and says that they’re getting themselves back to the ‘basics’. I don’t see how beating the crap out of each other’s going to get you food, shelter and security but that’s obviously because I’m not a poor benighted soul like you. Pathetic.

“If I can interrupt for a moment, you do realise your recap’s starting to verge on ranting.”
“Yes, you’re right. Sorry about that, Hand.”
“Oh, it’s no problem. Consider that my job done for the evening.”

Anyway, apparently that was only the warm-up room and the real event is elsewhere. Off they go.

In another room a cage has been set up for men to fight Weevils. There’s dozens of young men gathered around watching a guy get beaten by a Weevil. He suddenly yells that he’s had enough and leaves. Lynch explains that they pay a grand to get into the cage and whoever lasts the longest gets the money. So much for the meaningless of wealth and consumerism in the modern world. The fact that this contradicts the basic philosophy he’s outlined doesn’t seem to worry Lynch who says they have too much disposable income and not enough meaning. Too much money and too much selfishness. They could do charity work with all this extra time and money but that would involve not being so self-obsessed.

Owen asks about Dan Hodges and Lynch says Dan had seemingly decided to die because he just stood in the cage and wouldn’t come out. Owen says it has to stop and Lynch goes after him and pulls his own gun on him. Then he starts on about Owen lying to him and hiding from himself. He tells Owen to get in the cage and Owen says not at gunpoint.

You know what I think? I think Lynch understands Owen more than Owen thinks. I think he’s goading him to go against the Weevil alone. He’s pushing all his buttons to see whether or not he has the power to convince Owen to willingly go to his death. He’s manipulating him for a laugh. And Owen’s falling for it hook, line and sinker.

Lynch puts down the gun and Owen actually thinks this is suddenly his decision. He’s all cocky, but he’s about to kill himself when five minutes to go he wanted to shut the place down. He storms into the cage and stands there looking at Janet for a while. Janet keeps back for a moment, his predatory sense wary about Owen’s fearlessness.

As Janet attacks, Jack, Tosh and Ianto burst in and get Owen out of the cage. Jack accuses Lynch of doing it to him and Lynch says he did it to himself. He wonderingly says that Owen had no fear. Jack gives a speech about how the Weevils should be left alone (presumably by everyone except him and his own personal medical experiments) and that they should all go back to their own lives.

He suddenly realises that Lynch has gone into the cage. He says ‘it’s over’ and Janet tears him to shreds. Well, that make your life meaningful didn’t it?

In hospital, Jack throws some grapes onto Owen’s bed and Owen says he shouldn’t have. Is he talking about the grapes or saving him? Jack says Owen can go home and Owen says he didn’t want saving.
“A few seconds on that cage I felt totally at peace and then you blundered in,” he says, “do you always know best Jack. Is that what you believe?” Jack just tells Owen to be at work tomorrow.

The next day, Owen is back at work. He goes down to the basement to see the two captive Weevils, back in their cells where they belong. Ianto leaves him there and Owen walks up to them and growls in a Wee evil way. Ooh, Burn Gorman is good at that. Anyway, the Weevils back away from him and Owen looks pleased. Is this some sort of mutation or infection or just Owen realising he’s now leader of the pack? I guess we’ll find out next week. Or, continuity being what it is in this show, maybe not.

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