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Toshiko Sato reminisces.
From the first episode this season, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, with glimpses of Jack’s past, it appeared that we would be enjoying a season-long arc that would reveal the gaps in his memory noted by Jack in Doctor Who: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. Captain John was introduced, as was the mysterious “Gray”. Just what Torchwood needs, I thought at the time, Wordbuilding, some sort of narrative thread for the episodes.
This narrative thread was continued in Adam, (Gray), and in the first two episodes of Chibnall’s swansong, the final three episodes of Season 2, Adrift, (Gray, thematically at least), Fragments (Gray and Captain John). Adam also highlighted the ongoing mystery of Jack’s missing memories.
There was another major narrative thread this season – Reset, Dead Man Walking, A Day in the Death, these episodes focused on undead Owen. Apart from Reset, all these “arc” episodes were some of the better episodes of the season.
Both of these narrative threads – Captain John’s mention of Gray and undead Owen – reach an endpoint in Exit Wounds.
However, these endpoints were disappointing. None of Team Torchwood mention the fact that Owen being undead is significant, and it is unclear exactly what is supposed to be happening to him at the end. They just close his computer summary. As for Captain John and Gray, what actually happened before and after Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is also unclear, and this episode Exit Wounds didn’t seem to have anything to do with Jack’s missing memories.
When will the mystery of the gaps in Jack’s memory from Doctor Who: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances be resolved, I wonder?
Also, Worldbuilding: “space pig.”
1. As mentioned previously, disappointing ends to the two excellent-so-far arcs, Captain John’s mention of Gray and undead Owen. Also, considering Owen’s previous meeting with the Grim Reaper, the unexplained trio of Grim Reapers in this episode was bizarre, though perhaps intended by the writer as symbolic.
2. The burial of Jack. He just seemed to regard this as a mild inconvenience.
3. Jack in the freezer. 100 years of Torchwood, and nobody knew who was in that particular freezer?
4. Owen and Tosh can handle the nuclear power plant crisis more knowledgeably than the nuclear power plant’s (curiously minimal) staff apparently.
5. Gwen is at the top of the chain of command of the Cardiff Police, despite being “outside the government, beyond the police” as part of Torchwood.
Naoko Mori gave Toshiko an impressive send-off, while resolving the continuity clash of Torchwood and Doctor Who: Aliens of London (!), but this was an awful end to a generally very good season of Torchwood.