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Recap / Torchwood S1 E8 "They Keep Killing Suzie"

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"Oh, that's worth coming back for. Sending him into the dark. Just what the bastard deserves."
Suzie Costello reminds us that she's the Token Evil Teammate, by offing her abusive father

Seems like someone wants Torchwood's attention. The gang is brought out to a triple murder investigation where they find the word "Torchwood" painted on a wall in blood. The victims have no history with Torchwood, but the hair left behind from the killer at the first murder is a clue. The police find an unknown compound on it, which Owen identifies as Retcon.

With thousands of people having been administered Retcon, there's little to go on in their investigation. Gwen suggests using the glove that Suzie used in the first episode. After some hesitation, they give it a go, and we find out that Gwen's a natural with the glove. After a slightly rocky first start, they get several names from the second victim: "Pilgrim", "Max", and "Suzie".

Finding that Pilgrim was a support group that the second and third victims ran, and finding a flyer for the group in Suzie's personal effects, they come to the obvious conclusion: use the glove on Suzie. After an unsuccessful first attempt, they decide to use the weird knife she used to kill her victims. Suzie responds and is able to reveal that she knew Max before dying again. But what's this? Turns out she's just unconscious and still kicking, despite the knife in her chest and the gaping hole in her head.


Bringing her in for a proper interrogation, Suzie is understandably a little miffed at the crew for bringing her back, but helps them just enough to find a person missing from the photos of the Pilgrim group, one Lucy Mackenzie. The gang finds her at the club she works along with Max, just about to kill her. They apprehend him just in time.

The crew discover that merely saying the word "Torchwood" causes Max to go into a frenzy. Leaving him for a moment, Gwen bonds with Suzie over her ill father. Owen has discovered that Suzie is alive due to leeching "life energy" from Gwen. They go to finish her off, only to find that Gwen and her have taken off to see her father. Oh, and by the way, everyone else has been sealed in the Hub by lockdown. Turns out Suzie has been planning whatever she's doing for some time in the case of her death and Max was her means of getting back.


Torchwood gets in touch with the local police (who have a laugh at their expense) to get a book of poems to reverse the lockdown while Gwen's time slips away. note  Suzie regains her mobility while Gwen loses hers and begins to develop Suzie's head wound. Suzie kills her father and runs off with Gwen. Jack and Owen finally catch up with Suzie just as Gwen's about to slip away. Because no one's kissed anyone yet in this episode, Suzie quickly kisses Gwen and runs off. Jack pumps rounds into Suzie, but can't kill her. In desperation, they opt to destroy the glove to sever the connection, but before they succeed, Suzie manages to let Jack know that there's something moving out in the void of death, and it's coming for him.

Back in Torchwood base, Ianto notes that gloves tend to come in pairs, so their trouble's probably not over yet. He also notes that they still have a stopwatch, and there are many fun things to be done with stopwatches. Jack tells him to meet him in his office later for some... stopwatch fun.


  • Abusive Parents: Implied to be the reason as to why Suzie kills her dad.
  • Back from the Dead: As before, the point of the glove, but only for a short time, except in Suzie's case.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen
  • Empathic Weapon: The glove and the knife. Gwen turns out to be the best at making the connection.
  • Gallows Humor: When Gwen expresses worry about her exposure to Retcon, Jack suggests she stay away from sharp objects.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Ianto, coming up with "the Risen Mitten" and "the Life Knife."
  • Liquid Assets: As Suzie drains Gwen's life, Gwen begins to develop Suzie's head wound.
  • The Little Detecto: The gang use the "Philemon Filter" to detect energy being transferred from the glove to the victim, or in the case of Suzie, from Gwen to Suzie.
  • Magic Countdown: Owen claims during their dawn drive that Torchwood has "minutes" to get to Gwen before she dies. Cut to Suzie later with Gwen and it's... daytime? Those were some long minutes.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Suzie's death sets off Max to do his thing.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out what Suzie's dad did to her that drove her to kill him so vengefully. However, Abusive Parents seems to be a likely factor.
    • This episode is also the source of the series' most famous Noodle Implement: the stopwatch and what, precisely, Jack and Ianto did with it.
  • The Nothing After Death: Confirmed by Suzie, although she says that there's "something out there, moving".
  • Oh, Crap!: "Suzie"
    Owen: "There must be lots of women called Suzie."
  • One Steve Limit: No, Owen, your dead teammate is the only one.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Ianto and Jack are sleeping together now. Last time their dynamic was even discussed, it consisted of Ianto vowing he'd watch Jack die someday. We never get to see just how Jack managed to charm Ianto's pants off.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Suzie taunts Gwen by first implying and then outright stating that this is Gwen's position on the team... up to and including her affair with Owen.
  • Single Tear: Gwen sheds one after her first try using the glove.
  • Shout-Out: The title is most likely a reference to the classic Avengers episode "They Keep Killing Steed".
  • Trigger Phrase: Saying "Torchwood" to Max causes a psychotic Freak Out!. There's a second one used by Max himself that Suzie programmed into him to cause a complete lockdown on the Hub, reciting the poem "Because I could not stop for Death".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After discovering that Max is the key to Suzie's plan, we never hear about him again.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Suzie joined Pilgrim in order to give someone Retcon so as to turn him into a serial killer to make it necessary for Torchwood to bring her back from the dead. Talk about playing the long game.


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