Torchwood – exit wounds

He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

My overall reaction to this episode is massive squee. That was good! It messed with my expectations in the best of ways. I honestly did buy the idea that John was the bad guy until he explained otherwise. I honestly thought, when Ianto said he was going to try and shut down the nuclear reactor from the inside, that that was the end of him in a ‘going out as a hero’ season finale way. So when Owen went instead I was like ‘oh yes, of course, cos he’s already dead! Even Owen’s mysterious control over the weevils was used in a way that made loads of sense.

I think this episode had the strongest plot I’ve seen in an episode of Torchwood yet. Things worked – the aforesaid Weevils; Jack coming up through Torchwood’s floor not in one of RTD’s usual deus ex machina coincidences but in a carefully set up subplot that made time-travelling sense! I squeed, I honestly did 🙂

Of course it made no psychological sense whatsoever. Is there anyone out there who seriously believes Jack would still be sane after being buried alive for a thousand years? He’s falling into the trap of New Who – the trap of making the hero such a ghastly Mary Sue that you hate him. And why has Jack come back speaking like the Bible? Redemption? Atonement? ‘I offered you absolution’? Yes, yes, you were drawn alive out of the grave and now you live forever. Seriously, Jack, you do not make a good Christ figure, and you do not want to make a good Christ figure because someone else has already done that, better. You were more amusing as a messed up con-man trying to become a decent human being than the cut price deity you’re in danger of becoming.

Ahem, but on to other things…

While I’m ranting, can I say that the ‘hero’s evil brother’ thing has been done to death. It had been done to death when Robin of Sherwood revealed that Guy of Gisburne was Robin’s younger half-brother – and that was 20 years ago. If Jack is going to be saddled with mythic archetypes (which frankly don’t suit him) they could at least try to do it differently, or well!

Grey turning out to be evil has got to be the only ‘plot twist’ that can’t have surprised anyone at all. I was honestly hoping that Torchwood would not go there. But it did.

Still, where it didn’t go, though I thought it would, was killing Ianto. So I’m a happy camper. The fact that they killed off Tosh, who is my second favourite character is made up for by the fact that she had one hell of a death scene. Tosh saves the city! And then she saves Owen’s sanity and she does it all while dying from an abdominal wound in extremely well acted agony. Yes, it made me cry, but it made me elated too, because the writers had been consistently letting Tosh down in terms of storylines this series and she at least went out in such a way as to demonstrate to everyone that she was a big damn hero.

Owen – I fully admit that when he got locked in the reactor my thoughts were ‘oh, thank god, they’re finally going to get rid of him properly!’ But he claimed my affection with his wild, honest panic – something so human that you don’t often see from TV heroes. They finally made me believe, too, that he and Tosh might have worked after all, if they’d been given time. So that was bitter sweet and really well done.

Can I say on a shallow level that Ianto storming in and shooting everything in sight gave me a fangirlish squee? Gwen was also awesome with her take-chargeness, though I still find her behaviour with Jack inappropriate considering Rhys. LOL! But it’s amusing that the only people left standing are Jack and his harem. Probably a very good decision, ratings wise, too – since most viewers want to see Jack end up with either Gwen or Ianto, though from what I can tell there’s also a faction who are fine with him having both – and they’re pretty happy too.

To sum up; everything except for Grey and Jack’s overly epic battle = squee. But Jack? You’re not the Doctor, and you’re not any kind of deity, OK? It’s just no fun. (And frankly the Doctor used to be more interesting when he was just a well intentioned time traveling alien and not the messiah too – but that’s a different rant.)

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4 Comments on "Torchwood – exit wounds"

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Miky
Guest

Well, Jack has wanted to be a leader of a cult all through the season. Remember Adam?

And in Something Borrowed, when he takes a cheap shot at the Virgin Mary?

Of course, he’s just been buried alive for something like 2000 years. I guess in that time he could have thought up the new church of scientology, and who could have blamed him?

alexbeecroft
Guest

Oh yes – if it hadn’t been a trend I probably wouldn’t have even spotted it, but that scene in Adam was really quite disturbing. ‘I’m the one who can give meaning to your poor sad little lives’ oh yes?

*G* Well, I was wondering if he’d turned to the consolations of religion down there, and season 3 would feature the new evangelical Jack, calling the world to repent of its sins. That might even be vaguely amusing for a couple of episodes 🙂

jac12358
Guest
Yes, he is buried alive just a few years before Jesus is crucified. Hard to believe he did not suffer any psychological ills being buried that long, especially since his brother was so scarred by hanging around a few corpses for a couple decades. So to me Jack isn’t scarred enough, and Gray is overscarred. Now I can’t say what his torture was like, but remember the thousand deaths and electrocutions Jack suffered PRIOR to his 2-millenial burial, including of course the year of torture at the hands of the Master… His century of sleep in cryogenics to avoid his… Read more »
alexbeecroft
Guest
*g* I suspect that not even the writers of the show know the answers to these questions 🙂 I agree with you totally that Jack is simply not scarred enough given what he’s suffered. He would be doing well to be functional at all, let alone arriving back and immediately getting Victorian Torchwood to do what he asked. A friend of mine was speculating that perhaps this could be fan-wanked as being an effect of the TARDIS energy he absorbed; he’s simply more alive, more unbreakable not only physically but also mentally than a normal human. That makes a certain… Read more »
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