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October 13, 2015

Torchwood: They Keep Killing Suzie

by Martin Conaghan, posted Dec 5th 2006 9:06AM
Suzie Costello(S01E8) To explain the origins of this week's fantastic episode of Torchwood, we need to go all the way back to episode one ("Everything Changes") and the resurrection glove employed in the opening act, which not only revived the dead for brief spells, but also brought about the death of a Torchwood member.

The important thing to remember is that this is science-fiction folks, and the dead don't sleep for long when technology such as a metal gauntlet which can raise stiffs exists -- even if it's only for a minute or two.

And especially if it's a former member of the Torchwood team.

If you cast your mind back to the first episode, we had Suzie Costello, a key member of the Torchwood team, who was discovered to be killing people in an attempt to discover more about the resurrection gauntlet which appeared to revive the recently-dead.

Essentially, the glove had possessed her, and when confronted by Gwen about her activities, she attempted to cover up her crimes with more murder when Captain Jack arrived, only to get himself shot in the head.

However, due to his immortality streak, Jack got up again, whereupon Suzie committed suicide by placing the muzzle of the gun under her chin and shooting the back of her head out. She was subsequently placed in the cold storage at Torchwood and replaced by the gap-toothed, but strangely attractive Gwen.

So, when bodies started showing up all over Cardiff, with words like 'Torchwood' daubed in blood all over the crime scenes, the team decided to bring back the gauntlet and see if they could track down the killer. After a few false starts, Gwen picked up the knack of the glove, with one corpse revealing that Suzie was part of the whole scheme, in addition to helping the team track down a burly skinhead chap who reacted violently to the utterance of the word "Torchwood".

In one of those fantastic leaps of imagination on the part of the script writers, the team realised that they had been talking to the wrong corpse, and decided to revive Suzie -- but not without the help of the knife she had been using to murder her victims -- which was required to be stabbed into her dead body when the glove was being applied to her head.

Not only was Suzie's revival a bit on the creepy side, but it was also a master-stroke in plot terms; for Suzie appeared to have devised the entire plan from the beginning; including her own death, planting a post-hypnotic trigger phrase into the mind of the burly skinhead, and devising a complex scheme to have herself revived by the glove in order to wreak revenge on her dying father.

Unfortunately for the team, revenge on her father was the least of her intentions, and it soon became evident that Suzie was drawing Gwen's very life essence from her as her own body became stronger.

I won't spoil the ending for you, but we were given another glimpse of Captain Jack's ruthless streak, and a few bizarre insights into some kind of relationship going on between Jack and Ianto (if anyone is able to explain exactly what the two of them were on about at the end of the episode in relation to the stopwatch, I'd be very interested in hearing more).

Of course, I knew exactly what Ianto meant when he said gloves always come in pairs, even if one of them had now been destroyed...

In all, this was another sterling episode from Russell T. Davies and co, with eight down, and five to go -- which should rather neatly take us to the end of the year, a Doctor Who Christmas special notwithstanding.

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i loved captain jack in doctor who and im loving him even more now hes back on tv in torchwood.
however i missed this episode and have been trying to find it ever since and its been a nightmare. i no how the storyline goes but i want to see the actual eppi.
if anyone knows where i can watch it i would be realli realli apreciative.
please e~mail me at teenagedisasterzone@hotmail.co.uk

December 27 2006 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Martin Conaghan

The songs featured in this episode were:

"Gorecki" by Lamb
"Red Is The New Black" by Funeral for a Friend
"Sing" by Travis
and "Soley, Soley" by Middle of the Road

December 13 2006 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Im loving torchwood, one of the best new series on TV this year. There is one thing about this episode i would love to find out as i missed it on the end credits. There was a song played in the episode, the song was amazingly beautiful and id love to know what it was. If anyone knows i would be so grateful if someone would e-mail me and let me know - untouchable_little_me@yahoo.co.uk - many thanks.


December 13 2006 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Torchwood and there have been some brilliant episodes but They Keep killin Suzie was not one of them. It felt way below par and wasn't a patch on the previous episodes. Both my husband and I felt the story was really contrived and while even the most bizarre stuff feels believeable in this show, nothing felt believeable or character led.

I know there has been a lot of debate on various forums about this stopwatch business! We thought it was innuendo implying a relationship between Jack and Ianto but lets face it, if it was innuendo the writing was bad and if it wasn't the writing was bad because either way it didin't make any sense to a large majority of the audience. Now I've asked my gay mates and none of them have a clue about any gay practice involving stopwatches so whatever it was referring to went over their head and mine!

The whole episode felt weak and badly written to me and I wonder if the fact 2 writers were involved signposts a re-write? Either way, I think it felt very poor in comparison to the amazing episodes we've had to date so lets hope Torchwood returns to form next week.

December 07 2006 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wonder if Jack and Ianto are timing how long it takes Jack to resurrect... *that* seems sufficiently dark for the series.

December 05 2006 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They didn't just revive Suzie with the knife out of nowhere, they tried with the RizzenMitten alone first and failed. Then came the whole LifeKnife+RizzenMitten combo.

And is really that hard to imagine what Jack and Ianto are going to be doing? Sounds like they'll be timing their efforts. Counting down, seeing how long things take... innuendo, innuendo.

December 05 2006 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Watching Torchwood, I was reminded of Angel. Like, Torchwood, it was a spinoff. It wasn't until season 2 that it found its own style and became good all on its own. I thought that Torchwood would be the same.

I was wrong.

This episode rocked! Every episode should be this clever, fast paced, and dark. Torchwood has come into its own.

December 05 2006 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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