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End of the Road was the eighth episode of Series 4 of Torchwood. It was written by Ryan Scott and Jane Espenson, directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton and introduced Allen Shapiro as the snark-spouting superior to Rex and Esther at the CIA. Brian Friedkin also reappeared after a five episode absence to retaliate against Torchwood, more specifically Matheson, for his painful interrogation. This ultimately failed and he attempted suicide, a choice that took down Olivia Colasanto with him. The first true death to happen since the Miracle occurs in this episode with the demise of a very elderly Angelo Colasanto.

Among the many secrets about the mysterious group behind the Miracle, more was revealed about the effects it is having on the world. Another important revelation would be that the Categories of Life was adopting a fourth category: Category 0. This news angered Oswald Danes and led him to become a fugitive, attacking Jilly Kitzinger for not informing him about this, who scrapped back after putting up with his repulsive behaviour for so long.


Jack Harkness showdowns with a man he thought long dead, but will the outcome be beneficial? Rex Matheson takes extreme action, but is it too late to prevent the collapse of society?


The Torchwood team arrive at the Colasanto residence. The woman who brought Jack Harkness is Angelo Colasanto's granddaughter. She explains that since meeting Jack, Angelo has devoted his life to making immortality possible. Angelo himself is now aged and infirm, bedridden and connected to life-support machines.

His granddaughter, Olivia Colasanto, explains the three men who witnessed Jack's resurrection represented three different families who are in some way responsible for the Miracle. When Esther Drummond tried to trace them, there was no record of them.

The CIA enter the residence, having tracked Rex Matheson through a phone call he made to Vera Juarez' brother. Rex confronts Brian Friedkin, who confesses that he is working for the families, which he transmits through the contact lenses.

Allen Shapiro arrests Friedkin, but he triggers a bomb he is carrying, killing Olivia and him. Rex and Esther are once more allowed to work for the CIA.

While speaking to Angelo, Jack removes his breathing apparatus and kisses him. The life support machines to start beeping frantically and Angelo dies, leaving the CIA attempting to figure out how he died.

Esther notices the flooring under Angelo's bed is higher than the rest of the room. Jack examines it and says it is a null field, cancelling the morphic field causing the Miracle. Jack warns that any state with knowledge of this alien technology could cause a catastrophic disaster, since a null field can conceal mass weapons. Shapiro insists Jack find a way to stabilise it, given he's the best expert they have on the device.

Oswald Danes begins to wear down Jilly Kitzinger's last nerves inside a hotel at Dallas by tuning her out with rockabilly music when she tries to discuss the televised exposure she has planned for him. He requests that she brings him a prostitute. Jilly is also approached by a woman who addresses herself as Shawnie Yamaguchi, with unusual eagerness to become her assistant. When the weary Jilly enters her room to take off her high heels, Yamaguchi wins her over, as Jilly does not realise she is a mole for the CIA. Meanwhile, Oswald receives his prostitute, but attempts to treat her more like a date, which irritates the woman. After her patience is exhausted, she walks off in a huff, warning Oswald he is a "Category 0".

Oswald beelines to Jilly and confronts her for not mentioning this to him. Congress has initiated a mandate that will allow a new category of life to deal with people who have earned the ovens for violating morality, such as criminals and death row convicts like him, and contrary to what Danes thinks, he is only loved on television, not in society. He then strikes Jilly across the face and gives her a bloody lip. Finally sick of putting up with Danes, Jilly's temper explodes and she grabs hold of him in retaliation, flailing and screaming. Oswald clobbers her again and charges out of the room, stealing her laptop. Kitzinger picks herself up and stands outside her room bellowing at the departing Oswald her many grievances — she'll issue a whole new set of charges on his head for the assault, that the ovens are opening up just for him, and even if he runs, his face is too famous for him to hide.

Jilly later discusses with Shawnie her plans to turn the world against Oswald, when she encounters the same man from the Cowboys Stadium. He tips her off that Shawnie is a CIA field agent, then shoots Shawnie as she stands in the hotel elevator after being excused by Kitzinger. The man tells the bewildered Jilly that she is being considered for a promotion above PhiCorp for a position in the family, to which she agrees. He whisks her away while informing someone else on his mobile phone Jilly is now in the family's hands. This person is revealed as Charlotte Wills, secretly infiltrating the CIA under her colleagues' noses. Noah Vickers asks her who she was talking to after fetching records from several Catholic churches. Wills replies, "It's just a family thing — that's all," resuming her masquerade without missing a beat.

Jack, while working on the null field, calls Rex and Esther over to help him. Once with him, he reveals that he set the field to nullify all sound around them so they can talk privately. Once Rex verifies it by having Esther count aloud while he wanders away from them, Jack informs them he needs to get out of the Colasanto manor, claiming the alpha plate from the generator could lead America to start world wars in an effort to conquer areas of the world given that's what the generator can help accomplish. After stating they'll help but remain with the CIA to get information "on the inside", Rex knocks out the guard by Jack and instructs him to leave Esther and himself behind so he can implement a lie that Jack escaped on his own with a stolen vehicle, since the CIA may still need their services. As they sneak out the back door, a guard spots Esther and shoots Jack. Rex takes out this guard from behind and sends Esther away to deal with the guards who will investigate the shot. He smears the blood from Jack's wound over his chest so it looks like his injury is leaking out and leaves Esther driving away with a critically wounded Jack in the back seat, listening to a radio announcement declaring total economic collapse of biblical magnitude on the horizon. Esther panics when the faintly conscious Jack does not provide any words at all that could defuse this crisis. She has no idea where to go for help. Elsewhere, the deported Gwen sits on a plane back to Wales, crying in despair.



General production staff

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Make-up and prosthetics

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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 Starz broadcast carried a final credit of "Originally Developed and Produced by BBC Cymru Wales". The BBC One broadcast says, instead, "BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC Cymru Wales and STARZ Originals".


  • The team travel to the Colasanto Residence in Nevada, USA.
  • Stock markets are falling following Miracle Day.
  • Olivia is Angelo Colasanto's granddaughter.
  • Gwen says she "could murder a pint of bitter". Esther replies that she'll have a vodka.
  • Angelo has a photo of Jack outside Torchwood in Cardiff in the 1970s.
  • Jack sported a moustache in the 1970s.
  • To stay alive, Angelo kept his blood temperature two degrees below normal. He controlled his calorie intake and kept his blood pressure below one ten.
  • A type of Jellyfish, specifically turritopsis nutricula, is mentioned. They are also said to be immortal, making Jack less special. They're said to be able to make themselves younger and go old again on repeat. Furthermore, cancer cells and stem cells are also said to be immortal, making Jack even less special.
  • Olivia mentions her grandmother.
  • A message - the word "Blessing" - was first intercepted in 1998 by the Colasanto family.
  • The Torchwood team are arrested by Friedkin for violations of the Miracle Security Act, considered the same as treason.
  • Rex phoned the Vera Juarez' brother following her death.
  • Rex uses the Eye-5s. They are set to transmit once his heart rate hits 120BPM.
  • The CIA does not have the authority to operate on American soil.
  • Shapiro refers to Gwen as "that English girl" and suggests she should be deported.
  • Allen Shapiro blasts Jack's World War II flying-ace attire with the comment, "What is it with you, Red Baron? You got Snoopy up your ass?".
  • Torchwood joins the CIA.
  • Shapiro says that since Miracle Day dying of old age could be considered a crime.
  • Greece and Ireland declare bankruptcy, Spain is going under, and it's believed that they're going to take the whole European Union down with them.
  • Charlotte Wills notes that after World War II, all the Hitlers in the phone books disappeared, some changing names to disassociate themselves from the tyrant.
  • Charlotte says that they should check Western Union.
  • Esther mentions the 2004 Vivaldi inheritance.
  • Shapiro has a wife, whom Charlotte sent flowers to on his behalf.
  • Oswald sold out Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.
  • Jilly is trying to set up a joint appearance for Oswald with Madison Weakly. Madison was in a car accident that sheared off everything below the bikini line. She got married a week later propped up on a box. Jilly says she's "made up of positive thinking and colostomy bags".
  • Jilly gives Oswald an essay by John Maynard Keynes.
  • A Committee on Health and Immortality has been set up in Washington.
  • Oswald listens to a song.
  • Shawnie is supposedly on an internship from Harrigan Knights PR.
  • Rhys mentions Lehman Brothers.
  • It's believed that there's going to be a recession. The pension funds will go bankrupt, leading to a run on the banks because everything's been on a knife edge since 2008. Advice is to invest in gold.
  • Shapiro thinks cigarettes are better than nicotine gum. There's a belief that cancer cells have become mortal.
  • Beneath Colasanto's bed is a null field generator.
  • Oswald is due to be classified as Category 0, which is being passed through Congress.
  • The Euro has exacerbated the financial crisis.
  • Olivia mentions stem cells.

Story notes[]

  • When searching for the Three Families, Esther makes reference to the "Vivaldi Inheritance," a case that she says occurred in 2004, a reference to Russell T Davies's 2004 ITV series, "Mine All Mine," in which a man called Max Vivaldi claims that the town of Swansea is his inheritance. The show starred Gareth David-Lloyd as a homosexual man called "Yanto Jones".


  • UK: 4.64 million [1]
  • US: 1.17 million

Filming locations[]

to be added

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • Esther hangs up the phone after Rex gives her the names of the Three Families, but the call somehow stays connected.
  • When Brian Friedkin interrogates Rex, his voice should not be audible on the television set the Eye-5s are projecting their feed on, as the Eye-5s cannot pick up sound. Secondly, Friedkin's voice isn't turned into the generic male voice by the translation systems of the Eye-5 contact lenses.
  • When Rex and Charlotte search for the Three Families' names in Catholic Church archive books, the books appear to be empty.
  • The computer system on Esther's laptop that records the conversation have Olivia's words written before she says them and Gwen's words are written a bit different than what she says.
  • After Jack pulls out the plug to Angelo's life-system, Angelo still breathes (however it could be his last air leaving him).
  • When Gwen is discussing Angelo's death with Jack her lips are slightly out of sync with what she is saying, at the end of the shot she appears to say something but no words are heard.


  • Esther's cheek is still gashed from the violent struggle she had with Colin Maloney. (TV: The Middle Men)
  • Rex rhetorically asks if "the whole world [really] got screwed because two gay guys had a hissy fit", referring to Jack and Angelo's parting. (TV: Immortal Sins)
  • Gwen asks whether Olivia ordered a gun at Anwen's head to get revenge on Jack. Gwen's mother later reveals that she and her father were threatened with guns in their own house. (TV: Immortal Sins)
  • Friedkin threatens Rex in the same way that Rex once threatened him, even using his own words against him. (TV: Dead of Night)
  • Gwen once again gets irritated when someone calls her English. (TV: Rendition)
  • Rex says that he was supposed to die. (TV: The New World)
  • Esther's sister Sarah discovers that it was Esther that reported her to child services. (TV: The Categories of Life)
  • Rhys asks Gwen whether Jack is grumpy because he got another bruise, referring to his previous scarring on the arm. (TV: Dead of Night)
  • The null field generator was said to have been taken from the Torchwood Hub in Cardiff after its destruction. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Two)
  • When Rex gets blood on his hands, he plans to cover by saying that it's his heart again. It would previously bleed when he exhausted himself. (TV: The New World, Rendition, Escape to LA)

Home video releases[]

  • This episode was released worldwide in a box set containing all ten episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. In the United Kingdom, it was released on Region 2 DVD and Region Free Blu-ray on 14 November 2011.[2] In Australia, it was released in Region 4 DVD and Region B Blu-Ray on 1 December 2011.[3] In New Zealand, the same sets were released on 7 December 2011.[4] In North America, it was released on Region 1 DVD and Region Free Blu-Ray on 3 April 2012.[5]
  • It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011.)