Torchwood

Season 1 Episode 11

Combat

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Dec 24, 2006 on BBC Two
7.8
out of 10
User Rating
308 votes
20

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
An Owen-themed episode
Weevils are appearing all over the streets of Cardiff, and then disappearing again - but not by alien forces. People are abducting them, and using the Weevils for their own purposes, so Owen investigates.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Saturday
No results found.
Sunday
No results found.
Monday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Gwen tries to clear her concious

    7.5
    Gwen admits to her boyfriend (under an amnesia pill) that she's had an affair, but he doesn't forgive her and she feels even worse afterwards. Owen is struggling to find reasons to live, which makes him vulnerable when he's sent undercover. I liked this episode but it seems weird to me that 1: Owen would be so depressed after just one week with a girl and 2: that the group seems so disconnected, you would think that they would be closer and more trusting of one another after all they've been through, but they still don't know the real parts of one another and seem to act in their own interests often. Just a few observations that don't quite make sense to me on a personal level and kind of take away from the show.moreless
  • Pretty disturbing Owen episode.

    9.0
    Trouble in paradise – it was bound to happen: Gwen's having an affair with Owen and letting Torchwood consume her life. What's the point of telling him the truth then retconning him?



    Owen is far gone - he's erratic and suicidal. Facing down a weevil to prove some macho rubbish – Fight Club Torchwood style. He's trying to feel alive. Hopefully it's out of his system now.



    I always enjoy when Jack lets Ianto out of the office, that poor boy so rarely gets to go anywhere. He's obviously capable, Jack should let him out more.



    A good episode though not very original, interesting though.moreless
  • It takes one weevil to know another.

    9.0
    Just when I thought Owen's heart was made of stone he displays the kind of emotional turmoil I never thought he was capable of. Problem is: He displays it for Diane and since Gwen is neither her nor available, Owen dumps her just when Rhys is about to find out about them. Luckily for Gwen, there's still Jack who offers her a day off so she could fix things with her boyfriend while he goes out to investigate with his. I've got to admit they are an original couple; while others go out to the movies or a quiet dinner the Captain and Ianto go to interrogate a witness together and they have a lovely evening threatening him too. Not as lovely are Gwen and Rhys as she slips an amnesia pill to test the effects her infidelity would have on him. To her credit she's bravest than I thought, I was sure Owen would tell Rhys long before she would even had the chance and the way she pulls this sort of controlled experiment reveals a real method to her madness none of which helps her case as Rhys reveals that cheating is the one thing he would never forgive her.



    As Gwen returns to work completely distraught by the revelation, Owen achieves a strange inner peace by his own as he's set to fight with the weevil torchwood planted on a twisted fight club run by a local villain. See, weevils have this telepathic connection that allows them to feel both the pain and the presence of their kindred within miles and for the first time the features, the rage and the instinct Owen has displayed from day one as well as the lack of a real connection to any other human being points us out to an hybrid nature that reveal itself the moment Owen communicates with his kindred for the first time at the end of the episode.moreless
  • Weevils are disappearing off the street and Torchwood wants to find out why. While Owen, still rebounding from his heartbreak, infiltrates the group behind it, Jack leads the others from the outside. Gwen deals with her issues with Rhys.moreless

    7.0
    A somewhat exciting if unremarkable episode. Those recurring creatures the Weevils are back, and with them a whole new set of dark idea and events. Sometimes, darkness can do a lot for episodes just because it's there. Part of the reason I thought "Countrycide" was good just because it was so dark. It alone, though, does not make a great episode. There has to be the story and characters, too, and this episode is a bit back and forth on that one. First off there's Owen, still dealing with the departure of his love Diane, he is assigned to infiltrate the people behind the Weevil kidnappings. What he finds leads him to a place part "Fight Club" (the leader Mark Lynch, practically quote the Gospel of Durden at some points) part every one of those underground fight rings we've seen throughout the years in fiction. If you want a more popular example, think of the bar at the beginning of "X-Men". Not quite as interesting as either. Owen's slide into the dark, however, leads to a compelling scene at the end of the episode. I have to wonder if that'll play any part of that "darkness to come" Lynch is talking about in the middle of the episode. Meanwhile, Jack, Tosh, and Ianto are trying to track down Lynch's organization through the standard means: investigate and follow them home. Nothing much to say here, though we do get to see some of Jack's unorthodox methods (probably why he's the leader of Torchwood) and Tosh's horror at their treatment of the Weevils. It's nice that she gets something to do in this one.



    Gwen's issues with her boyfriend Rhys, meanwhile, finally come to a head when she tells him about her affair with Owen. Unfortunately, she drugs him with an amnesia pill. And so it continues. What all this means for the final two episodes I don't know, though if this already dark show is getting darker, I'm all for that.moreless
  • Weevil Fight Club

    7.3
    And I was waiting for the real estate dude to poor lye on Owen's hand! Really, this one wasn't half-bad. The plot had me wanting to know why weevils were disappearing and hurting people (though I fail to understand how the fight club guys has a weevil-radar able to find the creatures wherever). Like other episodes, the writers try to mix sci-fi action with existential commentary, in this case a look at the "emptiness" of modern life.



    Oh and isn't Gwen suppose to be some kind of police liaison? I've never seen her in such a capacity...she only seems shallow enough to cheat on her boyfriend and cowardly enough to confess to him only after he's taken an amnesia pill. So put up with her foibles or miss the next episode? You pick the lesser of two weevils...moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • At the start of the episode, as a kind of "previously" montage, clips from "Out Of Time" (Diane meeting Owen and her leaving) are shown.

    • The postcode that is sent via text as the location of the Weevil fight - CF10 6BY - is fictional, although CF10 is a real postal outcode for Cardiff (covering parts of the city centre and the Bay area).

    • "Assassin" by Muse is playing when Owen first enters the warehouse.

    • The website for Harper's Jellied Eels, www.harpersjelliedeels.co.uk, does not actually exist.

    • When Mark is searching for information on Owen, he uses the website Search-Wise.net, which is a fake search engine designed to be used in TV and movies.

  • QUOTES (27)

    • Tosh: You want to release a Weevil in the middle of Cardiff!
      Jack: Not exactly in the middle, a little to the side.

    • (Owen is preparing to enter the cage to fight the Weevil)
      Mark Lynch: When you get in there, when you're up close with it, take a look into its eyes.
      Owen: Open the door!
      Mark Lynch: It's like looking into the darkest recesses of your own soul.

    • Owen: So these guys are paying to put their lives at risk?
      Mark Lynch: It's the ultimate extreme sport. Too much disposable income, not enough meaning, that's us.
      Owen: So what about Dan Hodges, Mark?
      Mark Lynch: He wouldn't come out. Just stood in the middle of the cage and let them maul him. I think he got in there and he realised he didn't want to live enough. He surrendered. None of us could get to him in time.
      Owen: Still you all come back.
      Mark Lynch: Well, what else is there?

    • Owen: Who are these blokes?
      Mark Lynch: Same as us. Ordinary blokes just trying to find meaning in a world that doesn't have anyone.
      Owen: You don't really believe that, do you?
      Mark Lynch: We're the dispossessed now, Owen. All the certainties our fathers had are gone. We're a generation of no faith. In society, in religion or in life. All we can do is reduce ourselves to the basics.

    • Mark Lynch: (Showing Owen a captured Weevil) I think it's us, Owen. You and me, in a thousand years time. This is what we become when all we have left is our rage.

    • (Gwen tells Rhys she's been having sex with Owen)
      Rhys: Why are you telling me?
      Gwen: Because I'm ashamed! And I'm angry. And I want, I need, I need you to forgive me. And because I've drugged you.
      Rhys: You've done what?
      Gwen: Just sit down, it's nothing. It's just an amnesia pill, dash of sedative. You'll wake up tomorrow and you'll, forget everything.
      Rhys: God, you selfish bitch!
      Gwen: I know. I just thought it would give us a chance. A chance to get everything out in the open. You know, get everything out! Rhys! Stay with me, Rhys. Say you forgive me.

    • Mark Lynch: Ask yourself, what's the point of your life?
      Owen: Mark, mate, I only came here for a beer.
      Mark Lynch: There's so much more. If you know where to look.
      Owen: Is that right?
      Mark Lynch: It's closer than you think. Something's coming. Out there, in the darkness, something, is coming.

    • Mark Lynch: You work yourself stupid, get a house, a car, plasma screen, and you end up with a workforce. People there specifically to look after your every whim. You're officially successful but what does it bring? Nothing. Success has no worth other than itself. Seriously, I could live without all this. It doesn't define me.

    • Captain Jack: Let me tell you what did this to you. Six feet high, teeth like a shark, rippled skin and the rage of a wild animal. Am I close?

    • Owen: I could do with being someone else right now.

    • Captain Jack: In your absence, Toshiko's had a great idea.
      Owen: Well, it had to happen sooner or later.

    • Captain Jack: These guys are using Weevils to carry out the perfect murder. No fingerprints, no traces of recognisable DNA. A quick, guaranteed death. Nothing to connect anyone to the murder.
      Owen: Right. Should be a piece of piss to find the killer, then.

    • (At the warehouse, Toshiko and Captain Jack find a dead man. The dead man's mobile phone rings; Jack answers it)
      Caller: I don't know who you are, but stay off what doesn't concern you.
      Captain Jack: Who killed this man?
      Caller: Did you hear what I just said?
      Captain Jack: I have this selective deafness when I'm talking to cowards or murderers.
      Caller: Don't interfere in things you don't understand.
      Captain Jack: Oh, I understand this better than you. 'Cause I know how this is going to end. We're gonna hunt you down. We're going to ensure that you're punished for what happened here. And we're going to make you surrender that creature that you kidnapped. Is that clear enough?
      (The caller hangs up)

    • Captain Jack: You know what they used these warehouses for during World War II? Storing the bodies of dead GIs. Sometimes you can know too much history.

    • Owen: What does a man have to do to get some peace in this city?

    • Gwen: (Phoning Rhys to apologise) Look, I've got dozens of excuses, hundreds, thousands, but none of them good enough. Things have got away from me a bit lately. It's this job; it never lets up.

    • Captain Jack: One: since when did other people know about Weevils? Two: have they done this before and, if so, how come we didn't know about it? Three: what do they want with them anyway?

    • Gwen: Rhys will get over it. He always does.
      Captain Jack: You promised to keep a hold of your life. Don't let it drift.

    • Rhys: This is becoming an omen. I'm chopsing away, I look up and you're just absent. What's happening to us, Gwen?
      Gwen: I know, I'm sorry.
      Rhys: Is it something I've done? Or not done? (He sees the Weevil limping off behind her) What the hell was that?
      (Jack notices Gwen and goes to her; Gwen sees his ripped and bloodied shirt)
      Gwen: Oh, God, what's happened to you?
      Captiain Jack: Rhys, is it? Nice to meet you. Sorry, it's kind of an emergency. I'll have her back for dessert. (To Gwen) Come on.
      Rhys: Hey, hold on, sunshine, that's my girlfriend!
      Gwen: Rhys, this is Jack.
      Rhys: (angrily) Sit down, Gwen.
      Gwen: He's my boss.
      Rhys: (shouts)Sit the fuck down!
      Gwen: (pauses, stunned at his tone) Don't ever speak to me like that. (runs after Jack)

    • Owen: Trust me, the bigger the crowd, the more alone I feel.

    • Gwen: The shittiest part about being a police officer and I can't get away from it. (pause) Thank you for your kind words of support.
      Owen: What do you want me to say? She'll be all right in the end?
      Gwen: You can always count on Owen, to make you feel better. Tosh mentioned you and Diane. Did you...
      Owen: ...I didn't want her to go. She went.
      Gwen: Why are we still doing this, me and you?
      Owen: Fine. Let's not. I was getting bored of your fuck-tricks anyway. (gets out of car)
      Gwen: You can be such a wanker sometimes Owen, do you know that?
      Owen: I do, as a matter of fact!

    • Jack: I hate to break this to you, but you're not my first. Anti-weevil spray, hand clamps. Come on, lets make this easier for the both of us. This always happens when I give them the night off!

    • (Jack walks in and throws a bag of grapes onto the table)
      Owen: You shouldn't have. No, really, you shouldn't. I can't stand grapes.
      Jack: The doctors reckon you can go home.
      Owen: Mm, doctors. What do they know, eh? I didn't want saving. For a few seconds in that cage, I was totally at peace. Then you lot blundered in. Do you always know best, Jack? Is that what you believe?
      Jack: I want you at work tomorrow.

    • Tosh: Just so I know where we stand - we would never deliberately put a human being through that but Weevils are fair game? Is that right?
      Jack: We need to follow them.

    • Jack: That leaves us one option. Okay, Janet! Time for a trip out!
      Tosh: You call it Janet?
      Jack: Barbara just never seemed right.

    • (Owen answers his cellphone)
      Owen: This is Owen's voicemail. Don't leave a message.
      Jack: Nice try, Owen. I want you back at the hub immediately. We've got a Weevil murder, so get your bony little ass over here now.
      (Owen hangs up on Jack)

    • (Gwen is sitting opposite Rhys on her sofa telling him about Owen and her)
      Gwen: I've been having sex with someone else, he's called Owen.
      (Rhys looks surprised)

  • NOTES (3)

    • International air dates:
      Australia: August 28, 2007
      Israel: July 22, 2007
      Mexico: September 17, 2007
      Sweden: August 26, 2007
      United States: November 17, 2007
      Canada: January 4, 2008

    • Noel Clarke, writer of this episode, is the same Noel Clarke who played Mickey during the first two seasons of the new run of Doctor Who.

    • The interior of the "fight club" is actually the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay. A venue that's still active for live gigs. Though the exterior shots were filmed further up the road, near the Bay's train station.

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • Captain Jack: The Weevil has landed.
      Jack paraphrases Neil Armstrong's historic quotation made when the Lunar module landed on the Moon, marking the first landing of humankind on another world: "The Eagle has landed".

    • There are similarities between this episode and the Angel episode entitled "The Ring": both feature an underground and illegal fighting ring.

    • When Owen is drinking at the bar and says he wants to be alone, the barmaid replies "ah, the old Greta Garbo". Greta Garbo (1905-1990) was a Swedish-born actress, considered one of the most glamorous film stars of the 1920s and 1930s. She came to fame in silent movies but performed in films until 1941. In the 1932 Academy Award-winning film "Grand Hotel", Garbo's character famously says the line "I want to be left alone", which is frequently misquoted as "I want to be alone". This quote became synonymous with the actress.

    • Much to Jack's disgust Dan Hodges uses the crazy frog song as his ringtone, made famous by the German marketing group Jamba! Based on the computer animation The Annoying Thing created by Erik Wenquist, this animation was originally created to accompany a sound effect produced by Daniel Malmedahl impersonating the noise of a two-stroke moped engine.

    • The episode had similar themes to the movie Fight Club.

More
Less
  • 5:30 pm
    Thursday Night Football
    CBS