Thursday, 30 May 2013

Review: Torchwood 2.7: Dead Man Walking
Death speaks through a resurrected Owen.
Torchwood - Series Two, Episode Seven - Dead Man Walking
Written between 23rd and 24th March 2013

I don't quite know how to explain to you just how awesome this week's episode is. It's not my favourite episode - that's next week, but it's for many of the same reasons. Dead Man Walking manages to both bring back Owen, but also gives us an epic villain and an equally epic climax, which ranks up there as one of my favourite television moments. Even before that, the establishment of Owen's partial death is a fascinating plotline that will continue to have interesting ramifications for the remainder of his time on the show.
     Jack halts Owen's autopsy and heads to an old church to grab the second of the two Resurrection gauntlets - last seen in Everything Changes and They Keep Killing Suzie - and then uses it to bring him back to life. For some reason, the effect is permanent - Owen, despite having no heartbeat, breath, bloodflow or unconscious reflexes, is fully alive. An energy monitor shows that something is growing and changing his body- not visibly, but Owen mentions that he can feel something approaching out of the darkness of death. That turns out to be Duroc, a being who lives beyond the veils and requires 13 victims to remain on Earth forever. Owen stops him from taking his last victim, a Leukaemia patient, by having a fist-fight and winning.
     The mythology built up around the episode is dark, foreboding and fun, and like when Doctor Who covered Satan, there's enough awesome biblical shit to make it feel worthwhile. I will say that Duroc isn't exactly scary - I would have preferred if the CGI skeleton was just hinted at rather than being obvious, as it ends up looking like a Doom villain. But the final showdown, despite how much it's cheesed up, what with the Littlest Cancer Patient and the inspiration speech to keep on fighting through the chemo, is still just completely epic on all scales. I don't really think that you can have a fist-fight with the Grim Reaper and not make it awesome, but still.
Owen catches Death's lunge. Aww, yeah!
     Of course, it would usually be a tendency of this blog to point out some of the episode's weirder breaks in logic, especially regarding Owen's ability to talk without any breath and the fact that his body doesn't seem to be rotting away even when his cells aren't getting any oxygen. But I think that, despite my track record of being incredibly anal in this department (oo er), the episode is just too good for me to start nitpicking. Dead Man Walking is a brilliant mid-season story and it's only gonna get better from here.


NEXT WEEK: My favourite episode, A Day In The Death.

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