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Recap: Torchwood S1 E1 "Everything Changes"
The Cardiff police are working at a murder scene in the driving rain. PC Gwen Cooper shows up with a cup of coffee and watches for a bit. Suddenly, everyone is given the order to move back -– a group named Torchwood wants the scene cleared. Gwen Cooper asks around, but nobody can tell her who Torchwood are. They waltz over in their cool dark jackets and Gwen is left even more confused.

It occurs to her that she could get a better view of what they were doing if she popped up into the nearby parking garage. Gwen peers over the railing to see team member Suzie bring the murder victim back to life. The guy freaks out, and they learn nothing useful from him before he dies again. They argue about how they should have handled it. Jack Harkness, who appears to be Torchwood's leader, yells up to Gwen and asks what she thinks.

Gwen goes to work the next day and requests someone look up a Captain Jack Harkness for her. (He’d conveniently told the dead man his name.) Later that day, she and her friend PC Andy head down to break up a bar fight. Gwen gets knocked on the head and ends up in hospital, but it’s not anything serious — however, in that same hospital, she sees Jack head up a staircase.

She follows him and, in the distance, sees a strange man, who looks more and more strange as she approaches. It's an alien, who ends up killing a hospital porter. The Torchwood team enters the scene and tells her to run. She does, and then follows their black SUV when they leave the parking lot, but they seem to disappear.

Gwen goes home to her boyfriend Rhys. They talk for a bit, but she heads back out to look for Torchwood. She hatches the ingenious idea of getting in as a pizza delivery girl –- and someone (read: Owen) actually orders pizza under the name of Torchwood. She gets into the hub, but was, of course, seen from miles away on Torchwood's CCTV. Jack introduces her to the team: he's the leader, Suzie's the woman with the resurrection glove, Owen's the doctor, Tosh is the Voice with an Internet Connection and Ianto looks great in a suit. Jack takes her to see the alien from earlier, called a Weevil. He also shows her how the hub can stay a secret: the lift has a perception filter on it (since a chameleon circuit was parked on it, wight over the space-time rift), making it essentially invisible.

Jack and Gwen go out for drinks. They discuss Torchwood, and we see cuts to the rest of the team using artefacts they shouldn’t have brought home. Suzie tries the glove on a fly; Owen uses an alien date rape drug to seduce a random woman and her boyfriend. Gwen says she will have to tell the police... but Jack has already laced her drink with a memory pill.

She goes home and writes it all down, but Ianto (the only one not out playing with alien artefacts) erases all of it through a direct link to her computer. When Gwen wakes up, she remembers nothing - until she sees the murder weapon schematics at the police station. Slowly she remembers where she saw it before - at the Torchwood Hub. She heads straight there, and out of the shadows comes Suzie, who helpfully draws first the original murder weapon, and then a gun. Gwen is mystified, not remembering enough to figure it out. As they talk, Jack rises up on the invisible lift.

Which apparently Suzie can see through, because she shoots him. In the head. Gwen is horrified... but Jack stands back up and tells Suzie to drop the gun. Suzie kills herself instead.

Jack invites Gwen to join Torchwood and tells her that he was brought back to life once, and now he can’t die. And that he’d like that to remain a secret. All while standing on top of a building.

Tropes

  • Affably Evil: Suzie apologizes for the wait as she switches her knife for a gun. Gwen politely waits for Suzie to get it out of her handbag.
  • Back from the Dead: But the glove only resurrects briefly.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The man killed by the Weevil loses more blood on camera than you were probably aware was in the human body.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Gwen almost dies trying to figure out Torchwood. Suzie does die trying to get the glove to work better.
  • Dead Star Walking: Suzie Costello looks like she's going to be an interesting main character until she shoots herself.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Gwen delivering pizza...but it seems Jack was imagining the script going a different way.
  • Description Cut: Jack claims that there's no danger of Torchwood being "the wrong hands" since it's strictly forbidden to take any alien tech off-base. Cue shots of Tosh, Owen and Suzie preparing to use some alien tech they took home.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: With a bit of a sewer chic decorating style. And it's under a fountain with a paving-tile elevator.
  • Empathic Environment: The rain slows to a stop whilst the Resurrection Glove is being used. When Suzie later uses it at home, a car's headlights pass by the window at the perfect moment.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: The TARDIS's perception filter rubbed off on their lift. Suzie can see right through it.
  • The Men in Black: Torchwood 3 looks very cool and intimidating from the outside...and they do have the memory pills.
  • Not a Mask: Gwen is trying really hard to convince herself the Weevil is a man in a mask...and then he rips out the hospital worker's throat.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: The story opens with rain on the dead body, because it looks cooler with the blood running off into the water.
  • Retcon: Actually the name of Torchwood's memory pills.
  • The Reveal: Viewers who had no idea Jack couldn't die were probably somewhat shocked when he died. In the first episode. But he got better.
  • Rule of Cool: Jack likes standing on top of tall buildings. There is no explanation for this, or for how he manages to get up there.
  • Stairwell Chase: Gwen follows Jack up the hospital stairwell.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Suzie thinks she's this. Other people disagree.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Certain promotional shots had Suzie standing off to one side from the rest of the team, which was clearly so they could be used beyond episode 1. This alerted some people to the possibility she wasn't going to be in the full series, which turned out to be correct.
  • Twist Ending: Yep, Suzie's the murderer. Bit of a surprise.
  • Unreliable Voiceover: Jack says everything stays on base. Cue shots of everyone sneaking something home. One of those things provides a clue for the ending.

    Recap/TorchwoodTorchwood S1 E2 'Day One"

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