Stupid Things About Torchwood: Week 6

I've reached a point where I can't imagine how Torchwood became this bad. Did no one see this happening, what must have been a slow-motion, months-long train wreck and feel compelled to intervene? How is that possible?

Just four unbelievably bad things this week, since I doubt I could take thinking about any more.

1 - Two wasted weeks.

That's how long we've been dealing with the completely unimportant concentration camp storyline. Sure, the show's not over yet, and I can't say definitively that burning people isn't part of the aliens' master plot, but even if it is, these two weeks have been wasted. Why? Because the team was looking to expose something that WASN'T A SECRET.

The team went looking around a concentration camp, checking to see if something evil was going on - here's a hint: it's a concentration camp. So yes. Last week built up to the discovery of the crematoriums, and this entire week is spent with them trying to get away from the camp after the doctor is murdered. In the end, they escape and reveal that the camp director murdered that doctor.

But that's the only secret thing they reveal. The government had every intention of revealing the crematoriums - why wouldn't they? Two days ago the governments of the world had every non-responsive person legally classified as dead. The only next logical step would be to do something with the bodies. Does the team think they were going to be hidden away from the public, and all the people who came looking to see their relatives would be taken in by lame excuses?

The government's spokesperson insists that they have nothing to be ashamed of except for that murder, which was the lone act of a crazy person - and he's not wrong.

Two weeks out of a ten-week miniseries and all the team accomplished was to get one of their own peopel killed.

2 - That's not how economics work.

Ernie Hudson, playing a higher-up at the evil drug company, announces that the people behind the scheme aren't involved with Phicorp, they're just manipulating the world's economic systems. What about the drugs, then? Ernie explains that five years ago production would have been increased based on market share projections, and then the drugs would have been shipped and warehoused over a course of years, nothing suspicious about that, right?

Somehow, Jack is placated by this explanation, despite the fact that Ernie's theories in no way jibe with the actual things we've seen on the show.

This wasn't a case of a company projecting that their marketshare was going to be larger five years in the future. This was a company stockpiling billions of tabs of an experimental, may-never-be-approved-by-the-FDA drug in secret underground warehouses in the middle of major cities, so that they would be in a position to distribute them super-fast when the 'Miracle' happened.

Someone, somewhere up the line ordered it, and Ernie should be able to find out who that was - or is this simply a case of the writers wishing that they'd written the third episode differently all those weeks ago, and now pretending that they did?

3 - Apparently Esther has forgotten that she's wanted for treason.

Or at least the writers have, anyhow. Upon fleeing the camp, during one of the frequent crying jags, she announces the reason for her being so distraught - she can't believe that she's been compromised by given the people at the concentration camp her real name!

Um... remind me, why did you give them your real name again?

I know I discussed this last week, so I won't stress it too much here, but seriously, the show seems to have forgotten that Esther and Rex are wanted for treason.

4 - I hate you, Gwen Cooper.

Now, in point form, I'm going to track all of the ways Gwen Cooper has put herself and her family at risk this past day.

- Made our with her husband in an airport after flying in under a pseudonym, demonstrating her need to be undercover.
- Talked loudly about who she was in a government/corporate camp, even though both of those groups were out to get her.
- Didn't warn her husband not to get a job at the concentration camp under his own name.
- Didn't insist that her husband, mother, and baby go back into hiding the way they were at the beginning of the show BEFORE anything dangerous was after them.
- Wanders around a concentration camp with no credentials/reason to be there, assuming that no one will stop her. And no one does.
- Has her husband break her father out of a concentration camp with literally NO PLAN for what he's supposed to do next. Were they just supposed to go home?
- She sticks around to blow up some natural gas tanks, in the hopes of delaying the crematoriums for up to 48 hours - and public takes credit for the act, ensuring that she'll be publicly branded a terrorist.

"Call for 'International Terrorist' - Is there an international terrorist in the airport?"

- Answers a courtesy phone call in LAX under her own name. Not the name she's flying under, her real name.
- Has the gall to be shocked when all of these actions lead to her family being kidnapped and threatened.

This is the main/audience identification character for the show, and she seemingly has an IQ somewhat south of a Chia Pet.

Remeber that scene in Lethal Weapon 2, when after they're attacked by a dozen South African commandos and a helicopter Martin Riggs takes his date home as if it's just another night out, and they wind up grabbed by the bad guys? This is a thousand times worse than that.

This episode doesn't even have Lethal Weapon's excuse, namely that the action sequence was a reshoot designed to get a little more gunfire into the movie, and in the original cut, when he takes the South African woman home, he doesn't know that there's anyone after them.

Torchwood, by comparison, has, on a week-by-week basis, built stupidity upon a foundation of nonsense, until we're presented with a towering monument to some of the worst writing in recent memory.

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