Stupid Things About Torchwood: Week 3

1 - You'd be surprised how little security some people have...

And by some people, I mean higher-ups at the CIA. Specifically Wayne Knight.

Say you're Wayne Knight, and you know that you're conspiring with evil forces in an especially convoluted bid to conquer/destroy the world. More on that later. You also know that there are four people out there - all members of various secret services, mind you - who are trying to stop the takeover, and you're the only person they know to a certainty is involved in the scheme. Possessing all of this knowledge, when you hear that a television downstairs has been mysteriously turned on in the middle of the night - what would you do?

Walk down and check it out on your own, completely unarmed? If that was your answer, you're a bad enough writer to be responsible for Torchwood: Miracle Day!

So, what was the clever method that Mekhi Pfeifer used to break into his house undetected? Oh, he didn't. He set off a house alarm, and only has a few minutes before the trained CIA killers get-

Oh, it's just a single cop car. Responding to a break in at a senior CIA officer's house. Where the house alarm lets the cops know someone is inside, but the actual people inside the house are left to twist in the wind.

2 - Speaking of the cop car...

When and where did Gwen get this? They're all on the run, with no access to resources. This isn't the kind of thing you can pick up at a five-and-dime.

3 - I get it now, they all just suck at their jobs.

Later in the episode Mekhi calls an old friend he thinks he can trust, and sets up a meeting. This is the result:

Cops rush into the hotel. They don't wait for Mekhi to get there, or do any kind of surveillance to see if he's already inside, or even countersurveillance to see if they're being watched.

In case you're wondering, the Torchwood team are equally bad at their own job: staying out of jail.

Here Mekhi is, watching the raid from across the street! Gee, isn't it a lucky coincidence that the cops looking for the most wanted people in America didn't bother setting up a perimeter or checking out the area in even the most cursory fashion?

Thank god mutual incompetence was there to save the day!

4 - Now is not the time for this.

You're on the run from every American intelligence agency and police force. You're probably the only people who can save the world. Somehow this doesn't feel like a great time to split up and-

Bang a random slut you found in a bar.

Have sex with the doctor you met two days ago.

Yet they do, because this is a Starz show, and therefore wouldn't be complete without a couple of sleazy and narratively irrelevant sex sequences.

5 - Great moments in marketing.

Again, I want you to put yourself into the shoes of someone - in this case, the marketing department of a giant pharmaceutical company. Your company is about to start massively profiteering off of a worldwide tragedy, so obviously you need to put the best possible spin on what you're doing. Part of this will be getting the ideal pitchman - so who do you pick?

The most famous child molester in the world? Genius! The hoi polloi are certain to love him!

Seriously, though, the show tries to explain why America is so fascinated with this ne'er-do-well, and the best they can come up with is that he's the only one willing to talk about the 'Miracle'. Because it's entirely plausible that the world could go two days without the White House or 'scientists' weighing in.

6 - Okay, now I'm impressed.

These are 'The Soulless', people who believe that by virute of being 'immortal', humanity no longer has souls. Which is the kind of cult I could see developing in the months after this event. But it hasn't been months. It's been days. Three days. Who made these masks? Who distributed them? It's not like people are just photocopying a template.

They're thick masks with black fabric inside the eyes and mouths, and a cute little tear cut out on the left side. These were mass-produced.

And this is so much stupider than when the same thing happened in the V for Vendetta movie.

7 - The show thinks you're stupid, America!

Here's some hilarious culture clash comedy!

Boy, those Welsh sure talk funny, don't they?

Seriously, though, is there one person on Earth who needed slang explained to them, or is this just Russel's tone-deaf attempt at humour? I don't even know why Esther would say that - yay, she's not a particularly smart person, but she obviously knows what Gwen means, so why bring it up? This could be a commentary on how Americans think everything should be said this way, but if that's the case, the lines should be coming from an obnoxious character, like Mekhi, not a theoretically sympathetic one, like her.

8 - Oh, and hey, screw you Russel Davies.

It seems that sacrificing a dozen children to save the entire planet earth is the moral equivalent of raping and murdering a 13-year-old because you like causing pain.

Thanks for letting me know that.


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