Exit Wounds was the thirteenth and final episode of Series 2 of Torchwood. It was written by Chris Chibnall, directed by Ashley Way 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.
It saw the conclusion of the "Gray story arc" with the return of Captain John Hart and the first in-person appearance of Jack Harkness's brother Gray. It was the last Torchwood story to date in the original thirteen-episode format, and is the twenty-sixth episode in the show overall.
In a grievous twist, it witnessed the deaths of two Torchwood Three members in one sitting - Owen Harper and Toshiko Sato, with both characters resolving their romantic desires toward one another in their final moments. For Owen, it would be his second death (the first happening in Reset), this time facing a permanent demise. In Tosh's case, she revealed what led to her involvement in the events of the Doctor Who episode Aliens of London.
The companion Declassified for the series 2 finale, Avulsion, which explained that the driving force behind making this episode was to reaffirm the dangers of working with Torchwood and how nobody survived beyond a fairly young age because they were essentially living on borrowed time.
Despite John Hart being presented as the villain in the conclusion of Fragments, Gray becomes the true villain of the piece after seeking revenge on Jack, and John helps the Torchwood team to rescue Jack.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Plot[edit | edit source]
Tosh detects rift activity in three locations across Cardiff. She and Ianto go the Central IT Server Building, where three Cowled Men with scythes approach menacingly. The agents shoot them as they get closer.
Meanwhile, Owen sedates a Hoix in a hospital with a packet of cigarettes and a special mixture. Finally, Rhys drops Gwen off at the police HQ, where Weevils have killed "the four most senior officers", causing panic.
Captain Jack goes to the Hub to face John Hart, who says he loves Jack and shoots him with two machine guns. When Jack returns to life, he is chained over the ground. John is angry because he was very rude to him in front of people "that hardly knew me". After an electric shock to silence him, John tells Jack he hopes he can stop him, he really does. As the rift manipulator is activated, John tells the Torchwood gang to go to the roofs of their buildings.
They make their ways to the top of the central server building, the hospital and the police HQ. Gwen, Andy, Rhys, Toshiko, Owen and Ianto look on as John, from atop Cardiff castle, detonates explosives in fifteen key locations that cripple the city. He whisks Jack back in time to meet Gray.
In 27AD, in Ancient Cardiff, Gray greets Jack. Jack tearfully apologises to his brother for abandoning him. Gray refuses to accept the apology and stabs him, then demands that John get a shovel. Gray gives a furious speech of feeling let down by Jack, for years he suffered unspeakable torture and Jack didn't look for him. For this, Jack is thrown into a grave and buried alive by John, who is forced to fill the grave. Because of Jack's immortality, he will suffocate on dirt, die, and resurrect again for eternity. John, horrified at such a dreadful existence, throws a tracking beacon into the grave, saying to Gray it's a sentimental gift he received from Jack.
Gwen takes charge of the team and the police. She makes her way to the Hub, where she finds John has returned to help the team after being forced to bury Jack alive in Cardiff in 27 AD. Gray activates a signal and Weevils flood the streets of Cardiff. This stops Toshiko and Ianto from reaching the nuclear power station to halt a meltdown.
Owen goes to the nuclear facility, reminding his teammates that he's king of the Weevils. The others are attacked by Weevils at the Hub, but subdue them, only to be locked into cells by Gray.
Owen, at the nuclear facility, tells Nira Docherty, a scientist who is trying to contain prevent a meltdown, to leave. She refuses for a few moments, claiming a soldier never leaves their post before Owen reveals his layman's knowledge about the nuclear station is adequate. Although Nira thinks it sounds more dangerous outside, Owen figures it's about even with the situation at the plant and gives her a can of Weevil spray, sending her on her way, thanked by Nira in return. Owen waits for instructions from Toshiko, admitting to her, "Tosh, you're going to have to help me out here. I haven't got a bloody clue what I'm doing." Tosh tells Owen her plan to divert a secondary power source for Turnmill that will restore its power, and if it works, she can guide him into restoring the coolant system.
However, while her attention is focused on using a remote control device, a gunshot rings out and Toshiko stumbles backwards, before noticing a huge amount of blood oozing from her wounded stomach. She glances up to see she has been mortally shot by Gray, who stares back at her with cold hatred, before toppling over in horrific pain. Gray kicks away her device and mocks her, seeing death as more of a relief and asking her how it feels to be dying, declaring the battle to be over. A knocking interrupts his taunting and he heads for the morgue.
In agony, Tosh makes her way down the steps to the autopsy room, gets her device back, and injects herself with a powerful pain-killer. She denies that she's hurt when Owen asks and helps him to flood the room he's in with coolant, halting the meltdown.
As this is happening, Gray discovers Jack in a cryo-chamber in the morgue, placed there by Torchwood in 1901 on his own request. He tells Gray he forgives him. Gray refuses to give him absolution, so Jack uses chloroform to put him to sleep. Captain John is able to reverse the signal and sends the Weevils back into hiding. Jack frees the others from the cells and they head back to the main area.
However, an unexpected power surge alerts Tosh that there is going to be an emergency lockdown once it hits, which will seal Owen in the station. Owen sees the doors closing and makes a run for the exit, but fails to make it out in time, leaving him to face his death all over again. Banging on the door, he shouts to Tosh that he cannot get out. Knowing what's about to happen, he begins shouting angrily about not wanting to die like this, let alone for the second time. When he figures out Tosh can't help him, he starts panicking for the rest of his teammates to come and rescue him. Once he realises it's hopeless, he dissolves into a screaming rage.
Toshiko, dying, asks Owen to calm down. He demands a reason. Tosh tearfully replies, "Because you're breaking my heart", and he is quiet. The two talk as they prepare to die, Owen unaware of Tosh's wounds. Owen asks what will happen to him, and though Tosh resists explaining at first, Owen begs her to say it because he needs to know. Tosh replies that the room where Owen is locked inside is a containment chamber which will flood with irradiated coolant. Owen concludes his body is going to slowly decompose as he watches. Tosh regrets being unable to stop the power spike, but Owen responds there was no way she could have known about it and thanks Tosh for saving his back so many times before in the past. He remembers back when Tosh had to fill in for him on his second week at Torchwood by pretending to be a doctor when investigating a Space Pig because he had a hangover, and the two laugh wearily.
Owen realises they never had their date together and apologises because they "sort, er, missed each other", and for not noticing Tosh's love for him until it was too late, reciprocating it back to her. The coolant venting process activates, and Owen lets Tosh know it is starting. Tearing up, Toshiko starts to grieve for Owen, but Owen lets her know it's okay. Coolant pours into the room where Owen is trapped and he accepts his fate. Owen tells Tosh it will be all right. He calmly stands up and prepares to die. The room is engulfed with a bright flash, and Owen disappears. The last thing he can be heard saying is, "Oh, God."
Toshiko bleeds to death as she watches the screen show Owen's fading signature. Jack and the others arrive. He notices the puddles of blood leading down the steps of the autopsy room and sprints to Toshiko, cradling her. Ianto mentions the nuclear plant, worried about Owen before Tosh tearfully tells her team what happened and she couldn't save him. Gwen gives her another dose of pain-killer and tries to soothe her, but Toshiko dies in Jack's arms with Gwen at her side. She looks into Jack's eyes and smiles at him one last time before her life fades and her face goes slack. Gwen and Jack cry helplessly for their deceased teammate. Ianto leans himself against an autopsy cart, trying to maintain his composure, while John looks at them all solemnly.
The following morning, a news broadcast airs in Cardiff about its efforts to recover from the attacks during the previous night. Rhys holds Gwen beside him, who is filled with misery. Back at the Hub, Jack prepares to cryo-freeze Gray, though John is quick to warn him that if Jack woke him up in 100 years, he will not have grown any better from his tortured state of mind. Aware of this, John suggests killing Gray could be the release he needs. Jack refuses to entertain the thought, believing too much death has occurred. John comforts Jack by saying it wasn't his fault. He also questions him for not putting up a fight when he was being buried alive. He tells John it was his penance, answering his curiosity. John reverently bids farewell to Jack with a hug and kiss, then consoles him for his recent losses. He departs to explore this time period, curious to see why Jack enjoys it so much.
Jack and Gwen gather Owen and Toshiko's personal belongings for archiving. When Jack collects Owen's lab coat adorned with colourful pin-back buttons, and Gwen bags up Tosh's raspberry-coloured glasses, the pain of coming to terms with their deaths resurfaces and they become tearful all over again. Meanwhile, Ianto reluctantly begins Owen and Toshiko's respective final logouts, soon joined by Gwen and Jack. Upon finishing Toshiko's, a video appears in which she thanks Jack, admits her love for Owen and hopes she didn't die for nothing. It evokes a few smiles from the group, despite the great sadness they feel over her death.
When Toshiko's farewell message closes, Jack lets his grief subside and resolves that the team has to carry on. Taking the losses of Owen and Tosh very hard, Gwen is unsure if she can continue, but Jack tells his last two comrades that they'll start from the end. He embraces her and Ianto in a hug. Torchwood Three has lost two of its most beloved members, but they will never be forgotten by their comrades.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Toshiko Sato - Naoko Mori
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Owen Harper - Burn Gorman
- Rhys Williams - Kai Owen
- Gray - Lachlan Nieboer
- Captain John Hart - James Marsters
- PC Andy - Tom Price
- Alice Guppy - Amy Manson
- Dr Angela Connolly - Golda Rosheuvel
- Nira Docherty - Syreeta Kumar
- Charles Gaskell - Cornelius Macarthy
- Police Chief Constable - Chris Wilson
Crew[edit | edit source]
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|General production staff
Camera and lighting 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.|
References[edit | edit source]
- Jack mentions the number 107.
- John Hart mentions the Lotus Nebula, where seventeen simultaneous pleasures can be experienced.
- Andy Davidson jokingly suggests that the Weevils are fleeing to Abergavenny.
- John Hart found Gray chained in the Bedlam Outlands.
- John Hart dances to the song "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper".
Story notes[edit | edit source]
- A family friendly pre-watershed edit of this episode aired at 7:00pm, four days later, on Tuesday 8 April 2008 on BBC Two.
- The first scene of the episode, in which the team piles into Rhys' car (the SUV having been stolen), marks the last time the complete team (as of Day One) would be together.
- To date, this is the final appearance of Burn Gorman as Owen Harper and Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato.
- This episode confirms that Naoko Mori's character in the 2005 Doctor Who episode Aliens of London was in fact Tosh, making her the only Torchwood member, other than Jack, to have met the Ninth Doctor.
- In 1901, Jack tells Torchwood to put him in suspended animation for 107 years, seemingly placing this story in 2008. However, the previous episode Fragments places Owen's recruitment four years before the present. As Tosh states in Exit Wounds that her examination of the Space Pig (from the 2005 Doctor Who episode Aliens of London, set in 2006) happened while she covered for Owen on his second week as a medic, this appears to place both Fragments and Exit Wounds in 2010. Along with this contradiction, these clash with and contradict dates given in several other stories.
Ratings[edit | edit source]
- Unofficial overnight ratings indicated Exit Wounds was the most watched programme on BBC2 all day and had a 12% audience share, the twentieth most watched programme of the day.
- 3.13 million BBC Two viewers, with an AI of 90%
Filming locations[edit | edit source]
to be added
Production errors[edit | edit source]
- When Gwen walks into the Hub and does a sweep of the area of John, we get a point of view of her looking up at the upper areas of the Hub. But the 2nd floor has not been added in via CGI and just reveals the construction and lighting used for the Hub set.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- This episode immediately follows the events of Fragments, with Tosh still nursing the broken arm suffered in the explosion.
- Captain John Hart returns in this episode. (TV: Fragments)
- Gray returns in this episode. (TV: Adam, Fragments)
- A Hoix appears in this episode. (TV: Love & Monsters, The Pandorica Opens)
- Owen refers to himself as "King of the Weevils" because the Weevils cower before him. (Combat, Dead Man Walking)
- Owen says that he and Toshiko never got around to that date. (TV: Meat, Reset, A Day in the Death)
- This episode establishes that Toshiko was working for Torchwood, not UNIT during the Slitheen invasion in 2006 and that Owen was supposed to conduct the examination of the "space pig" but was hungover, so Tosh covered for him. (TV: Aliens of London)
- When Jack is trying to stop Gray in the Hub, he tells him he forgives him, which is very similar to how the Tenth Doctor once defeated the Master. (TV: Last of the Time Lords)
- Sadistic Torchwood operative Alice Guppy (TV: Fragments) returns, and it is she who is responsible for having Jack dug up in 1901. It is stated that the younger version of Jack is on an assignment at this time, and the older Jack is put into cryo-freeze to avoid contaminating the timeline.
- Dr Angela Connolly appears again. (TV: Dead Man Walking)
- As the Hub was later destroyed, Gray's fate remains in contention. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One)
- The grief and guilt of losing Tosh and Owen, and also losing Gray and John for another time, leads Jack to feel obliged to carry the future leader of the Yalnix Empire. (AUDIO: Expectant)
Home video releases[edit | edit source]
- Exit Wounds, along with the rest of series 2, was released in a complete series box set in 2008.
- It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011.)
[edit | edit source]
- Exit Wounds at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Exit Wounds at The Locations Guide
Footnotes[edit | edit source]