fairyd123: (Ianto Smash)
[personal profile] fairyd123


Bloody hell that was fast paced - there was barely a moment to breathe from beginning to end. The whole thing came across like a big glossy Hollywood blockbuster - lots of action, car chases, guns fights and explosions - but not quite so many nice character moments as yesterday.

Loved action Gwen fighting off the two operatives sent to mop up after the bomb went off. Kicking the crap out of the guys sent to kill her, firing at snipers on the roof, going all Jack Bauer "who do you work for?" on the guy in the ambulance and shooting the tires out on the police car carrying poor befuddled PC Andy - Gwen is turning into quite the ninja! Gwen's sudden prowess as an operative (bear in mind this is the woman who was terrified of a one legged male ghost in To the Last Man) has the potential to be horribly Mary Sue-ish but i think just about works within the slightly larger than life world in which the action is taking place.

In many ways this episode was rather the wacky adventures of Gwen and Rhys. Eve and Kai have phenomenal chemistry and every scene of the two of them together was just fabulous. Loved Rhys not quite appreciating the urgency of the situation and taking forever to get changed when a distraught Gwen is trying to hurry him out of the house. No Rhys honey when you're going on the run you don't need to pack a book. I adored how supportive Rhys is and the nice little gender reversal of Rhys offering to hold Gwen's bag because "she needs her trigger finger free". Loved that it was clever old Rhys who worked out how to get them to London packed in the back of a truck full of potatoes.

The sequence where Gwen tells Rhys she's pregnant was just surreal and humourous and really quite touching (and made me wince because of real life events - poor old Kai) and just played so beautifully by the pair of them. Eve has a bit of a tendency to let those massive anime eyes of hers do her acting for her, with variable results, but it worked wonderfully for that scene. I like how even though during the course of the episode Rhys goes from owner of a haulage company to hiding a fugitive, being in receipt of official secrets, kidnapping an undertaker (a short but very amusing scene) and infiltrating a military base he still remains very much the ordinary bloke we know and love - rued by his stomach and not shy to cadge a few quid off Lois in order to get a decent meal. This episode was definitely Kai's finest hour, well so far!

By contrast Ianto didn't get a lot to do throughout the episode except look completely devastated at the indignities being visited upon poor Jack which is why it was such a great moment when he finally showed up at the end clad in his finest Bob the Builder attire with a fuck off massive JCB dragging Jack's concrete cell away and bringing half of the military base down with it. I very much liked the contrast between Rhys instantly supporting Gwen and Ianto's sister quite understandably wondering who the hell her brother is and why is he bringing all this shit to her door. As you would if armed police broke your front door down and pointed guns at your children in the middle of the night. Thinking "why the hell is he doing this to us" is a much more realistic reaction than instant support but I liked that her husband didn't even blink and was firmly of the view that family comes first. I'm very impressed with the actors they've picked to play Ianto's family, even the kids - they're very natural, very real. Although I could have done without seeing the brother in law stark naked. (Loved Ianto's nephew instantly grasping that the hidden note in the paper was from his uncle and that people might be listening in - he's got a great future in Torchwood ahead of him!)

Very interesting snippets into Iantos back story as well. There is a horrifyingly large amount of dross fanfic out there portraying Ianto's father as a violent bully, a trend I abhor but it was interesting to see Ianto and his sister's different interpretations of Ianto breaking his leg as a child. Rhiannon clearly felt it was an accident - dad pushed Ianto too hard on the swing and he fell but the bold way Ianto phrased the note "where dad broke my leg" and his "he oushed me too hard, he always did" clearly shows that Ianto thinks very differently. I have no desire for Ianto to be poor woobie Ianto saddled with a violent daddy and I suspect this will never get touched on again but it was another interesting layer to the character.

And Gareth manages to kill me without speaking a word. The distress on his face when he sees Johnson removing a body bag of "bits" from the Hub and his extreme distress in the field when it dawns on him just quite what the cement mixer is being used for was upsetting to watch. Really great work from him. The Jack plotline was just horrible though, blown to bits and then comes back to life hideously burned and screaming before being suffocated by having liquid cement poured on him. Made me feel quite ill - I'm sure you're not supposed to feel queasy on behalf of a fictional character but he's died what 4 times this mini series already? That was a very cool effect though - seeing the body bag in the cell slowly filling out as Jack's body re-constituted itself.

Peter Capaldi's Frobisher remains a fascinating character and arguably the best written out of all of them. Loathsome, terrified beyond reason (of losing his children, of the 456, of whatever Jack knows and can repeat) and yet utterly engaging. I actually felt for him when he thanked the Prime Minister for trusting him to do the job and the Prime Minister (a marvelously reptilian Nicholas Farrell) bluntly responded that all he'd done was put him in harms way by putting him on the front line. The actor playing Dekker is also great - he's way too excited at the prospect of meeting the 456.

Whilst I like Cush Jumbo as Lois Habiba I do very much wish that they could have come up with a far better way to bring her into the story. The secretary handing over her security clearance was silly enough but allowing the office temp to overhear Frobisher discussing "Cooper" and "Jones" was just utterly ridiculous. I mean tell me, seriously, what business does the office temp, I'll say that again, the Office Temp have accompanying Frobisher, Spears and Dekker to the top of MI6 to the highly secret room where they are building the meeting room for the 456. There was absolutely no reason whatsoever for her to be there. Her job was meant to be about shifting data bases over. It's one of those gaping failures of logic that I just can't get past no matter how hard I try.

Still when Lois decided to step up she did it in style coming up with a solid plan for Gwen and Rhys to get into the base, contact details, maps - the whole shebang. Bloody brilliant! If she lives long enough she'll be a great addition to the Torchwood team.

I rather fear that Jack's daughter is not long for this world and that one way to shut him up may be to harm her or her son but considering she came across as cold and hard in Day One it was nice to see that she clearly wasn't as unaffected by Jack as she pretends, desperately trying to get hold of him even though a part of her must know that he was the reason for the bombing. There's a part of me that still finds it hard to engage with her because she's been conjured out of thin air - we can't care about Jack's relationship with her as we've never seen or heard of it and because she's not as natural or as warm an actress as Katy Wix or the bloke playing Ianto's brother in law (who have been equally magicked into existance and yet are so instantly likeable that I cant bear the thought of anything happening to them) she's just difficult to give two figs about.

Shame also that Johnson is still a caricature.

And there was far too little of the lovely, completely out of his depth PC Andy.

As with any Hollywood blockbuster there were plenty of rather dodgy plot points. Why was Gwen peering at the atm machine when everyone knows they have cameras in them, thus allowing her pic to be taken and running the risk of Johnson's goons intercepting her? If Gwen and Rhys had to ditch their car because it would be traced too quickly why did Ianto manage to make it up to London unnoticed in his sister's car? Wouldn't they have been watching that? I appreciate that this is a world in which the SUV is marked "Torchwood" but would a black ops military unit operating out of a secret military base really have their cars registered to that base so that any numpty hacking into the DMV records can find it and follow them there as presumably Ianto did? How exactly did Gwen think she was going to manage to pull off getting in and out of that military base unnoticed? I mean she didn't even attempt to disguie herself when walking into the base of the people looking for her?

And most importantly how the hell did a cash strapped, assets frozen Ianto manage to procure a fuck off massive JCB?

Did he nick it? Has he undertaken an enterprising and profitable new career as a rentboy during his time in London? What?

And it was jolly handy that the concrete block just broke so neatly like that revealing Jack's pristine body inside without them having to say waste precious time chipping Jack's rotting remains out of there.

Some very ropey plotting on the part of teh new writer which he just about got away with because the whole thing was so fast paced.

In fact you get to the very end of it before it even dawns on you that actually John Barrowman was only in the episode for about 2 minutes or less. This is the most Jack lite Torchwood episode they have ever done and does rather show that within reason the format could work with minimal Jack if John wanted to do other things - but that would rather rely on them leaving the remainder of the cast intact...

I do rather hope that he's back and heavily featured tomorrow though.

And for people who care about such things - hey we got to see JB's muddy naked arse - and not a bad looking arse either.

And the 456 are coming for Britain. And I can't wait to find out why...

Date: 2009-07-07 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
Have to say I spent the entire episode going Jeez Jack's not in this much and there's far too much of the Govt people but just me I guess. It dragged a bit for me in consequence, but I suspect that will just be me. When the actual main cast were in it though there were lots of nice interactions. Much less impressed than with ep 1 though but still decent enough.

Date: 2009-07-08 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
I really like all the actors in it and it moved quickly enough for the lack of Jack not to be a major issue for me. But yes I can easily see people sat at home going "Ummm Jack Harkness. Major character. He going to appear in this at all at any point?" I mean really John was in it for probably less than 2 minutes.

Well as much as people deride old Rusty he does have a great turn of phrase which the new writer doesn't - but it was nicely paced and had enough going on to keep me entertained.

Date: 2009-07-09 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jbequalslove.livejournal.com
I didn't actually realise how little Jack was in it until it was over... (which is odd, because I love John Barrowman and Jack is my favourite character...:P) and it's still my favourite episode so far even though Jack isn't in it much.It was still awesome without him.

Plus, the only times Jack is in it, he's NAKED. Which makes up for him not being in it much. :)

Date: 2009-07-08 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kerryblaze.livejournal.com
Nope. It dragged for me too in spots. I think it could've been tighten up a bit.

Date: 2009-07-08 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
The problem is they've dragged out what is a relatively slim story across 5 episodes. I mean what actually happened in this episode? We found out the 456 are coming tomorrow and Gwen and Ianto rescued Jack. It's filler - fun filler but still filler. Most of the reviews were quite critical of this episode but said it picks up in tomorrow night's ep. I'd like a little more character moments a little less "things go boom" tomorrow.

Date: 2009-07-08 09:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
It was wierd watching the bits we'd seen filmed too. In a way it spoiled my ability to suspend disbelief at those points.

Date: 2009-07-08 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Sadly I was quite excited when I spotted the bits we saw being filmed. Like Jack walking into the Hub after being shot by Rupesh and Gareth running like a wounded gazelle away from the sniper and all the stuff with Eve in the ambulance and the fireball. but then I am easily amused.

Date: 2009-07-08 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
The Jack bit was a happy little memory but all the blowing up etc just didn't seem real cos I'd seen it filmed. All I could see was the filming not the show.

Date: 2009-07-08 09:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
I think it could have been tightened too. I am looking forward to sitting down and watching the 5 hours straight at one go when its finished (fairy - sounds like an evening with champagne!?) as that will be the real test for me of what I think of it as a whole.

Its good thus far for sure but I'm not really in the *awesome* camp yet.

Date: 2009-07-08 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
5 in a row with champers sounds fabulous.

Although Caitlan Moran has just tweeted that people shouldn't watch episode 5 as a prelude to a big night out so I'm assuming more than one character gets offed (my guesses are Frobisher, Ianto and Jack's daughter and grandson) - that would be my inner sap wailing in the corner again.

I'm not sure if its awesome but it is hugely enjoyable - I will order the dvd tonight I think.

Date: 2009-07-08 01:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
Well by the time we do 5 in a row we'll know what happens. I reckon all of those people are gone. Something depressing re Gwen and also Clement will be gone. I pre-ordered DVD a while ago believe it or not. I do think its been a good show so far.

Date: 2009-07-08 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
I think Alice and Steven will get offed by the government as either punishment for Jack or an incentive to keep quiet which goes wrong and I can see Frobisher and Ianto getting a lung full of poison gas in the 456 meeting room. Which will inevitably make me cry.

Clem could well be a goner although I don't much care about him but I will be upset if they kill off Gwen's baby or god forbid Rhys.

Date: 2009-07-08 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ceindreadh.livejournal.com
Although Caitlan Moran has just tweeted that people shouldn't watch episode 5 as a prelude to a big night out so I'm assuming more than one character gets offed (my guesses are Frobisher, Ianto and Jack's daughter and grandson) - that would be my inner sap wailing in the corner again.


I'm thinking that Gwen & Rhys's kiddie will be on that list as well. (but please, don't kill Ianto. Think of the fangirls!)

Date: 2009-07-09 06:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jbequalslove.livejournal.com
I would be completely distraught if Ianto died. Or even Rhys.... I hope nobody dies. But that seems quite unlikely in this story...

Date: 2009-07-07 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aresnz.livejournal.com
Just finished with watching ep 2. Again..loved it. I kept replaying John..er..Jack being as he was naked in military area AND John...er..Jack getting up from broken cement box. He looked so great from the back. Naked arse.....
So sorry..one track mind here.

Anyway..loved Ianto's look when Jack was walking to car at end of episode. I enjoyed Day 2 and cannot wait for day 3.

Lori

Date: 2009-07-08 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Ah you've seen one naked boy you've seen them all. Naked JB is entertaining but not really my thing.

Although I liked the look of fear on Jack's face as he saw the car approach and didn't yet know who was in it - lovely moment by John there.

Date: 2009-07-08 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aresnz.livejournal.com
That was a very good scene ... Jack's face..not knowing who is in the car. Very well done by John.

Lori

Date: 2009-07-09 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jbequalslove.livejournal.com
Lol don't worry, I did the same thing..... :P

That is one of the main reasons this episode is my favourite...

Date: 2009-07-08 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kerryblaze.livejournal.com
After those scenes you mentioned with GDL, I thought "Damn. He can really act with his face." And so subtly too.


Date: 2009-07-08 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
He can be really quite exceptional. I mean Ianto looked just completely crushed when he realised what they were doing with the cement mixer - such lovely work from Gareth. I can see why he's so proud of it.

Date: 2009-07-08 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spacedye-vest.livejournal.com
Well, he borrowed it, of course :) He also brought it back in one piece, good boy.

I loved that it was fast paced so I don't have to worry too much about the big evil plot, it just reminds me of too many bad movies, but I agree the actors are quite great. Specially Frobisher -that scene with him being told he's just a tool, he was so pathetic and perfect, really- and the Prime Minister.

Date: 2009-07-08 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Well as long as he bought it back!

The plot won't hold up to scrutiny when its all over but it moves quickly enough and has enugh engaging moments that it isn't an issue. Capaldi is really great in this - it's fantastic acting from him.

Date: 2009-07-08 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burntcopper.livejournal.com
have to say I was rather surprised that Jack hadn't been broken into bits and had to re-form again after the block dropped...

Date: 2009-07-08 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Yes that was a total cheat because they didn't have enough time left in the episode to deal with the horror of Gwen and Ianto having to collect various cement clogged parts of Jack and lugging them into the car for him to re-form again later. Much eaier to have him emerge from the block in one piece with a cosmetic dusting of mud.

Date: 2009-07-08 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladykorana.livejournal.com
In the show's defence, the concrete had only been hardening for less than a day, at best. It takes weeks for concrete to come to it's full hardness potential. I'm suprised it was as hard as it was. (Yes, Torchwood made me research concrete hardening times. I love my cracky show!)

Date: 2009-07-08 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
I love that you researched concrete hardening times - that is just sheer brilliance.

OK I'll be more charitable then!

Date: 2009-07-09 06:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jbequalslove.livejournal.com
Yeah, that was weird. The chances of him being completely fine like that after being dropped off a cliff are very slim.

Date: 2009-07-08 09:47 am (UTC)
wenchpixie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wenchpixie
the Lois stuff didn't ping me too much, actually, to work in that office at all she'll have at least BC, probably SC and maybe even higher clearance than that; her logon id won't have, because data's handled on a postive need to know basis, but she will, so they'd not be too worried about what she's overheard. And handing over usernames and passwords is ludicrously common, especially from people of the generation that were used to having to share terminals. It's a sackable offense but they just don't have any grasp of the possible damamge (and anyway, everyone's cleared, so why worry....it's getting less common and it's cracked down on like a ton of bricks, but it's believable).

Lois' retasking as a general dogsbody on this crazy new alien project also doesn't seem all that far from likely to me, depts get new people for whatever funky new project's flavour of the month for funding and then repurpose them to something they feel they need more all the time, and no one thinks it projects are important (apart from those that fund them, and are in it).

Best series thus far, I think. Loving Gwen for once.

Date: 2009-07-08 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
Agree. That's my experience of many of these types of offices too.

Date: 2009-07-08 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
Oh I agree that its all fairly plausible in RL but within the context of the show it just seemed so silly that Lois was finding out everything on Bridget Spears log in id. If she'd had her own ID with sufficient clearance, got curious about what she was hearing around her and then got involved in the story that way it would have seemed less of a leap in logic. General dogsbody I get - I just don't quite know what purpose she served going with Frobisher and Spears to the new 456 meeting room other than it was important for her to overhear about Jack, gwen and Ianto and she needed to know the location of the room so she could pass it on to Team Torchwood (and so not loving the concept of a glass chamber filled with poisonous gas - can rather see that coming into play in episode 4/5).

Its odd because I'm really enjoying the series but at teh same time its not quite the Torchwood we all get invested in. Its like to get the BBC 1 prime time slot they had to tone down a lot of what made the show fun and replaced it with a Torchwood/Spooks hybrid. Definitely the best written series so far though and I'm delighted that they have finally worked out how to write Gwen -she's fantastic in this series.

Date: 2009-07-08 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chandlershaw.livejournal.com
I don't think its meant to be the TW we invested in I think its a prelude to any future TW. Makes me sad that all the promise of s1 is truly gone, even though it is good TV.

Date: 2009-07-08 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joonscribble.livejournal.com
Great review! I especially like what you had to say about Ianto and his sister's conversation about the leg-breaking incident. When I heard Ianto's take on it, my concern spiked that the comms would get overflooded with stories about an abusive father. I did like Rhiannon's comment afterwards telling Ianto that he should have held on tighter. It's brief, but I like that she pushes a bit more responsibility onto him, sort of as a gentle tap across the head not to wallow.

The shoe-horning in of Habiba into certain scenes is also ridiculous. When I once did office temp work, I could barely get the code to the bathroom and this was a tiny ad company and not the British government.

Date: 2009-07-08 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adjovi.livejournal.com
Although Caitlan Moran has just tweeted that people shouldn't watch episode 5 as a prelude to a big night out so I'm assuming more than one character gets offed (my guesses are Frobisher, Ianto and Jack's daughter and grandson) - that would be my inner sap wailing in the corner again.

darnit...just when i was started to be lulled into a place where ianto wouldn't be killed after being convinced he would for so long. my inner sap is wailing right along with you.

Date: 2009-07-08 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairyd123.livejournal.com
I suspect the chances of Ianto escaping from Thames House without a lungful of poison gas are very very slim. And yes - I am far more dismayed about that than I should be!

Date: 2009-07-09 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damaduende.livejournal.com
I loved this ep.
I think that Ianto rocks, and as most everybody said, Gwen in this was lovable, which is a lot to say after two seasons of her being... not so lovable.
Rhys is awesome in his down-to-earth bloke, and I think that Gwen (and Torchwood) is lucky to have him.
It broke my heart Jack´s burned screaming. And that bitch pouring down concret on him. What´s your problem, lady? And of course Ianto´s face as he watched and wait to make his move.
Jack´s face when the car was approaching and he didn´t know if it was friend or foe was amazing.
And Ok, I´m with the group that says Jack´s behind is a nice behind.

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