The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for "Exit Wounds," the second season finale of BBC?s "Torchwood."
Capt. John Hart is back, and this time he?s getting nasty.
Thanks to his work on ?Buffy, The Vampire Slayer,? James Marsters could be considered one televisions most iconic villains. In the fifth seasons of ?Angel? and ?Smallville,? he took each series to new levels of entertainment and, had it not been for his role in ?Torchwood?s? season two opener, that episode would probably never have worked.
So it is fantastic to see him back as the infinitely twisted and incomprehensibly complicated ex-Time Agent with a flame in his heart for Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman). The problem is though, he is an angel of death and what can only be considered an unwilling terrorist from the future after he attacks Cardiff?s civilians.
. His work with Barrowman was again a delight to watch and again was made up of all the same emotionally charged and witty exchanges of ?Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.? Only this time they were loaded with more peril than their last encounter as Jack?s brother Gray sets out to systematically destroy Jack?s world from the inside.
And more shockingly he succeeds.
The scenes of carnage around Cardiff as Weevils, ghosts and alien beings materialize through the rift were very similar to the chaos in the first season finale, however the difference is that these were merely diversion
"Exit Wounds" sported some incredibly fast-paced dialogue between all of the characters in its usual stylish fashion. Ianto?s (Gareth David-Lloyd) new nickname of "Eye Candy," and John?s reaction to the order of "On your knees" instantly top the list.
Gwen commanding the police carried an essence of coolness, and it was a welcome change to have Rhys (Kai Owen) supporting her on her Torchwood life. All it took was the destruction of Cardiff to change her mind. His partnering with P.C. Andy (Tom Price) was also an interesting dynamic and could potentially carry their own sitcom. With a little luck, the two sidekicks will be back together next season.
The reason for Gray?s evil deeds was on an adult scale foreign to many shows and far more complicated than you would expect. He wasn?t brain washed or coerced ? he was psychologically damaged as a child and now he is as bad as his captors. Worst of all, it was his brother?s fault and the strength that kept him alive all those years was his hatred for Jack.
Once again, Burn Gorman delivers a five-star performance as he faces his own fragile state. The exchange between Toshiko (Naoko Mori) and Owen was wonderfully scripted and expertly executed. Both characters have gone through a remarkable journey throughout the course of this season and the only downside to it all is that it came to an end. The contrast of introducing them both to Torchwood one week and removing them the following isn?t lost by any means.
And that is perhaps why their deaths hit home so much ... particularly Tosh?s, whose final goodbye was reminiscent of another shocking death on the vampire series "Angel."
What Didn?t Work
Jack's search for his brother Gray could have been played out over a far longer period and given much greater significance, but that still doesn?t diminish the fact that Jack?s own brother is the one pulling John?s strings and behind the devastating attacks on Cardiff. His convenient reintegration into the current day was also too handy to be believed.
The Weevil attacks were shot using an off-putting motion blur that removed a great deal of the tension in each encounter. They are the vampires of the series and what are vampires if they aren?t scary?
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Torchwood" stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Gareth David-Lloyd and Naoko Mori and now airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. GMT on BBC 2 and then on at Saturday nights at 9 p.m ET on BBC America. "Exit Wounds" was written by Chris Chibnall and was directed by Ashlea Way.
Alan Stanley Blair is the assistant news editor for Airlock Alpha and its sister site Rabid Doll. Contributing from his home country of Scotland, he is currently studying for a diploma in freelance journalism and can be reached at anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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