When Torchwood's second season debut opens with a cliché-ridden car chase, you can't help but wonder if the show runners are trying too hard. Between-seasons PR promised more team spirit and more fun; what I'm hoping for is a settled sense of, and respect for, the target audience and a lot more consistency with the characterization. "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" easily transcends its ridiculous lead-off, and sets the tone for a new season of less bickering, more questions, some answers, and a good mix of otherworldly technology, aliens, sex, and action. It works.
About that opening set piece: it's about as good as a three-minute introduction to Torchwood could be, but I'm not convinced it was necessary, and it's loaded with inconsistencies. On a dark and otherwise deserted street, Granny waits to cross; just as the light changes, a convertible driven by a blowfish-headed humanoid pulls up. The fish-head gestures for Granny to cross, gunning the engine. Because this is Torchwood, there's a moment of suspense: Will the fish-head run down Granny? He doesn't; the light changes, and he speeds off. A moment later, Torchwood's SUV pulls up and Gwen (Eve Myles) asks Granny if she's seen a fish driving a sports car. As the SUV takes off after the fish, Granny comments, "Bloody Torchwood!"