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They Keep Killing Suzie was the eighth episode of Series 1 of Torchwood. It was written by Paul Tomalin and Dan McCulloch, directed by James Strong and featured John Barrowman as Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Burn Gorman as Owen Harper, Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato and Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones.
Torchwood is linked to a series of brutal murders around the city. As Jack and the team investigate, it becomes clear somebody wants their attention. What is Pilgrim — and how is it connected to a figure from Torchwood's past? The resurrection days are far from over. They have no choice but to bring back Suzie.
Torchwood is called in when a serial killer writes their name on two of his victims' wall with their blood. They arrive at the murder site on 96 Oakham Street, and meet Detective Kathy Swanson; their relationship with her starts off on the wrong foot. A DNA analysis confirms that the killer has Compound B67 in his blood. Now they're in trouble — #B67 is retcon, an amnesia pill administered only by them. Someone in Torchwood has caused this.
While Jack wants to go through all their files to find a "patient" that matches the police's descriptions, Gwen has an easier and better idea: they have to bring back the resurrection gauntlet. When she first joined, Torchwood was using a metal glove to bring murder victims back to life and ask them questions. Even though it caused their past colleague Suzie Costello's betrayal and then death, Gwen convinces the team to give it a go. Torchwood essentially caused these murders; now it's their job to clean it up.
After Jack tries and fails, Gwen brings back the first victim — Alex Arwyn — who wastes his twenty-four seconds screaming for his mother. The second resurrection goes a little better. Mark Brisco tells them that the killer, named Max, belonged to an organisation known as Pilgrim. In the last of his sixty-five seconds, Mark identifies a woman who was closer to Max, and knows more about this. The Torchwood team are shocked learn that her name is Suzie. Suzie Costello.
Toshiko does some research: Pilgrim was a religious support group, or a debating society, run by Mark's wife Sarah. All the victims so far are members of this organisation. As they discover when they go through her possessions stored in a Torchwood warehouse, Suzie too belonged to said group, confirming her involvement with the case. Jack decides that they're no choice — "It's time Suzie came back."
Gwen tries resurrecting her, but has trouble with the empathy, seeing as Suzie tried to kill her when they first met three months before. They deduce that it's been too long since her death for the gauntlet to have effect. But what about the Life Knife, used by Suzie to make the glove work more efficiently?
Stabbing her in the chest with the knife brings Suzie back instantly, but she's unable to give them any new information in time. Gwen tries with all her might to keep Suzie alive, but gets pushed away with a mighty force. Except Suzie's not dead. She's just unconscious... What did Gwen do?
The team learns in an interrogation session that Suzie had overdosed Max with retcon, giving him a dose after speaking to him once a week for two years. Looking at the pictures of all those already killed, Suzie identifies Lucie McKenzie as a surviving Pilgrim member.
Jack, Owen and Gwen enter the Wolf Bar — where Lucie works — in hopes of catching Max before he goes in for the kill. Suzie watches from a screen in the Hub to help identify the two. While the team's distracted by a man fitting Suzie's descriptions but not actually Max, the real Max runs up towards Lucie with a knife. Suzie shouts to Gwen to get out of his way, saving her life. Jack knocks him unconscious with a stun gun.
They bring Max into the Hub and lock him up in the Vaults, where he refuses to say a word. He goes into a ten-second rage at the word "Torchwood", part of the drug-induced psychosis. Gwen finds out that Suzie's father has cancer, and blames Jack for letting her access the one thing that could save him: the glove. Jack shifts the blame to her for wanting so badly to bring her back to life. Their argument is interrupted by Owen, who tells Jack and the team that Suzie is draining the life out of Gwen.
Gwen, not at the briefing, secretly takes Suzie out of the Hub, and drives her to Greenleaves Hospital to see her dad. Just as her co-workers are about to chase after her car, the base mysteriously goes into lockdown.
Jack realises that the lockdown must have been caused by Max in the Vaults. Going down there, they discover him reciting the first stanza of Emily Dickinson's "The Chariot": "Because I could not stop for death He kindly stopped for me The carriage held, but just ourselves And immortality."
As Gwen and Suzie proceed towards the hospital, the rest of the team works out that Suzie had a plan all along to be brought back to life and escape. Ianto connects his mobile phone to the Roald Dahl Plass Water Tower to get reception. Within no one else to call, Jack contacts Kathy Swanson, asking her to get a book of poetry and read each and every one of the poems to them until the lockdown is reversed. After some time, Toshiko guesses that the book's ISBN might be the code. This proves to be correct, and the power goes back online.
Gwen and Suzie arrive at the hospital, where Suzie reveals that Gwen is dying in her place. She approaches her father, and disconnects his life-support — "just what the bastard deserves". Knowing the team are nearing, she takes Gwen and drives to Hedley Quay, intending to escape on a ferry.
Jack and Owen then finally catch up in the Torchwood SUV. Jack shoots Suzie, but she does not die. He shoots her again and again, to no avail. Jack realises the connection is being held by the resurrection gauntlet, and so orders Tosh to destroy it. In her last moments, Suzie tells Jack that "something is moving in the dark and it's coming"... for him. The moment Tosh destroys the glove, Suzie collapses and Gwen begins to recover.
As Ianto and Jack replace Suzie's body into cold storage, Ianto asks what he should put on the death certificate. Jack answers, "Death By Torchwood". Ianto suggests putting a lock on the storage unit in case she goes walking again, but Jack says the resurrections are over. Ianto, however, points out that gloves come in pairs. They each give this a moment's thought, before getting back to their respective jobs.
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Owen Harper - Burn Gorman
- Toshiko Sato - Naoko Mori
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Suzie - Indira Varma
- Swanson - Yasmin Bannerman
- Alex Arwyn - Daniel Llewellyn-Williams
- Mark Brisco - Gary Pillai
- Max - Shend
- Suzie's father - Badi Uzzerman
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The resurrection gauntlet is used by Gwen to revive Suzie Costello. It is later destroyed by Toshiko shooting it with a bullet to sever the connection between them.
- The Life Knife is removed from the Torchwood Hub vault to be used in tandem with the resurrection gauntlet.
- Among Dickinson poems quoted are "The Chariot", "Success is Counted Sweetest" and "My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close".
- "Soley, Soley" plays on Gwen's car radio. Suzie's mother used to sing it to her when she was a child.
- "Górecki" by Lamb plays incidentally at the end of the episode.
Story notes Edit
- This episode was originally known as They Keep Killing to preserve the surprise of Suzie Costello's return.
- This episode contains the first reference to a sexual relationship between Ianto and Jack.
- This episode also makes the first explicit reference to Jack's omnisexuality in Torchwood (it had already been established in Doctor Who).
- This episode reveals that there is some form of afterlife in the Doctor Who mythos. Suzie was apparently stuck in the dark, indicative of a purgatory-like domain. Suzie does not elaborate on whether there is a Heaven or Hell beyond this darkness, but that something was lurking around in the dark, hunting for Jack.
- The ISBN number 0198600585 doesn't belong to a book of Dickinson, but to the 1996 edition of "The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations".
- The episode reveals Retcon can enable others to manipulate those who use it if used continually on a subject.
- 1.1 million viewers
Filming locations Edit
to be added
Production errors Edit
- The second victim can be seen breathing whilst the camera pans over the couple lying on the bed the second time.
- In the first shot of the couple they're lying straight on the bed, but in the second shot they're lying across the bed (the woman's head hanging down from the bed-side), and in the third shot they lie straight again.
- Before Mark Brisco gets resurrected by Gwen, his eyes brows can be briefly seen moving. This could however be a brief spark of life, as Gwen mentions with Suzie.
- A resurrection gauntlet last appeared in TV: Everything Changes and would again do so in TV: Dead Man Walking. The latter episode would revisit the theme of reviving the dead on a permanent basis.
- Suzie remembers shortly after resurrection that she shot herself as well as Jack. (TV: Reset) Most of the victims that got resurrected remembered how they died. (TV: Everything Changes)
- Suzie mentions something moving in the darkness, and says it is coming for Jack. This indirectly foreshadows Jack's confrontation with Abaddon. (TV: End of Days) However, the true meaning of Suzie's last words is different. They actually foreshadow Torchwood Three's encounter with Duroc, the entity Suzie is alluding to. (TV: Dead Man Walking)
- Retcon was used to cause Gwen to forget Torchwood. (TV: Everything Changes)
- While connected to Gwen, Suzie's immortality — living despite the injuries done to her — greatly resembled the immortality later bestowed upon humanity following Miracle Day. (TV: The New World et al.)
Home video release Edit
- This episode was first released on DVD, with three other episodes entitled Torchwood: Series 1, part 2 on 26 February 2007. It was later released in Torchwood: The Complete First Series on 19 November 2007.
- They Keep Killing Suzie at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- They Keep Killing Suzie at The Locations Guide
- The Discontinuity Guide to: They Keep Killing Suzie at The Whoniverse