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...

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