Episode 2.11: 'Adrift'
TX date: 21st March 2008
Friday night Torchwood, anyone? BBC, you are spoiling us.
So, just in case you weren't currently aware, Torchwood are outside the government and beyond the police, and the 21st century is when it all changes. Torchwood is ready, not that you'd know it.
Night. (Isn't it always?) A long roadbridge, which I thought was maybe the Severn Bridge, but I did some googling and now I think it probably isn't, so it can just be A Long Roadbridge for now. A chap with curly hair is walking home, and receives a text saying "UR 9 mins late! MUMxx" This chap doesn't look a day younger than twenty, so I'd say that mum needs to loosen the apron strings just a little, because seriously: nine minutes. He looks over to his right, where said mother is waving at him from the window of their flat about 20 metres away. Said mother is played by the lovely Ruth Jones, who in no way looks the 41 years of age she claims to be. Not that it's relevant to the episode, but I'm just saying: whatever her secret is, I'd like to know it. Anyway, the chap texts Ruth Jones back, saying "Chill! :-P" Ooh, if I ever cheeked my mother like that, I'd be in for such a hiding! The chap's name is Jonah, by the way. And where was he when we had a whale to deal with, eh? Ruth Jones chuckles and calls him a cheeky bugger.
On the Long Roadbridge, it is suddenly very windy, and Jonah's Lee Mead-style hair blows everywhere. There is a flash of light, and Jonah vanishes. His mobile phone clutters to the ground "ominously", although he appears to have been able to take the clothes he was wearing and the bag he was carrying wherever he just went, so what the fuck ever, Torchwood.
Daylight. Long Roadbridge. PC Andy, my TV Boyfriend is here! Hi, PC Andy! We missed you. He is delivering some exposition to Gwen, saying that Jonah Bevan, born 15/02/93 (okay, so he was fifteen - sue me, he looked older), son of Nikki Bevan and Paul Millett, from Conveniently Just Over In That Flat There, Look, disappeared on his way home from football practice. (FYI, the on-screen captions here reveal that this is a Chris Chibnall episode, so brace yourself for the possibility of ridiculous misogynist bikini robot girls.) Jonah has been missing for seven months and eleven days, with no sightings since that night. The look on Gwen's face says, "fine, but when do we start talking about me?" PC Andy reinforces that Jonah disappeared right where they are standing now, and hands Gwen the phone that they recovered, confirming that Jonah texted his mum and she waved to him and swears blind everywhere was deserted. Gwen asks what about the investigation, and PC Andy says the usual procedures were followed, but there were no significant leads, and then non-sequiturs into "look, is this beneath you now?" because Gwen has that slappably smug look on her face. "No," says Gwen, by which she means "Yes." "So what's with the attitude?" asks PC Andy. "You've got a face like a slapped arse." And that, in a nutshell, is why PC Andy is my TV boyfriend.
Anyway, because the disappearance of a minor pales in significance to Gwen's social life, she tells PC Andy that she's waiting for him to explain why he wasn't at her wedding. Selfish unprofessional cow. PC Andy tells her his shifts got changed at the last minute and he had to work. Gwen Cooper, Stalker Extraordinaire, says she checked the duty logs and he had three days off. [Srsly, she's a freak show. "WHY WEREN'T YOU AT MY WEDDING? WERE YOU TOO JEALOUS? ARE YOU IN LOVE WITH ME? ME! ME! ME!" - Carrie] PC Andy says that he couldn't go because Rhys has a problem with him. Au contraire, replies Gwen, Rhys thinks you're awesome and 'tis you who has the problem with he, for thou art always calling him a fattie. Anyway, what it all boils down to is that PC Andy had a crush on Gwen three years ago and is Still In Love With Her. Because no man can resist the allure of Gwen's vagina, you see, even though she's a dangerously incompetent self-absorbed harpy with a really silly fringe. Oh, Andy. I had such high hopes for you, but I fear now we can never be together, for you are forever tainted by Gwen Cooties. [I am seriously disappointed with PC Andy, hitherto the only heterosexual man in Wales immune to Gwen's charms. - Georgi]
PC Andy tries to get back to the matter in hand, but Gwen bats the question away, pointing out that teenagers go missing every day - what was so special about this one? Good question, and one I keep hoping someone will put to the Daily Express soon. Gwen asks if there's anything strange about the case. "Like you don't know!" PC Andy replies, apparently not realising that what Gwen doesn't know could fill twenty university libraries. PC Andy shows Gwen the CCTV footage from the night, which apparently records stills every six seconds rather than continuous video, for some reason. [Perhaps Cardiff is backwards in technological terms? D'ya reckon all that "alien" technology is actually stuff that Ianto has ordered in from London? - Georgi] Gwen points out that a lot could've happened in the six seconds between Jonah's last appearance and his vanishing - he could've jumped - but PC Andy draws her attention to the glare in the bottom right corner, which wasn't there in the previous frame or the next. Gwen continues to plead ignorance (not too difficult) and PC Andy tartly informs her that she does know what went on, and shows her a still from 45 minutes later, featuring Captain Jack arriving in the Obviousmobile.
Torchwood Three. Tosh is scanning the computer records (drink!) and says there was no recognisable rift activity on that date, even when she checked three months either side and extended the radius by a mile. Gwen goes to see Jack, and asks if he was on the barrage (oh, it was a barrage, not a roadbridge. Please, pardon my ignorance) that night, and Jack makes up some cock and bull story about a coffee shack in the vicinity that he likes to frequent [if he'd said an intergalactic gay bar, it might have been more convincing - Georgi], but feigns ignorance of Jonah the Missing Boy. He asks Gwen if he wants her to look into it, and runs off weevil hunting with Ianto. I hope that isn't a euphemism. [What do they do with weevils once they get them? Are they killing them? Because that isn't very nice, and also they didn't seem bothered when there was a whole swarm of weevils in episode 7. Please explain. - Georgi]
Late night café. Gwen is meeting with PC Andy to tell him that Jack said it was a coincidence, and PC Andy spits out a few choices phrases such as "bloody Torchwood" and "fob me off". He tells Gwen that she's got "hard", which is presumably Welsh for "bitchy, self-involved and terminally stupid". [To be honest, it seems unlikely that it's just Torchwood which has made her that way. I'm pretty sure she pissed me off from the get-go. - Georgi] He says that she used to care about people, which I find hard to believe, and now she's sat here talking about coincidences. The Old Gwen, apparently, would've been off to talk to Nikki Bevan in a flash. PC Andy continues to taunt her, saying sarcastically that the case isn't spooky enough, and flounces out.
So Gwen goes to see Nikki Bevan, who was sort of expecting her, since Andy said she might be round to offer a "different sort of expertise", and if by "different" he meant "no", then he was correct. Gwen says she's "just a fresh eye". Nikki has lots of DVDs of crowd footage since Jonah disappeared, because anytime she sees a crowd she films it and reviews the footage in case she can see him. Seems like a rather high-maintenance way of trying to track someone down, since by the time you actually located them they'd be long gone, but eh, what do I know. [But she would find someone else who was there! Even though they would probably turn out to be a random stranger who just happened to be standing next to Jonah in the crowd! - Georgi] Nikki says it's the hope that's killing her, and asks Gwen if she thinks she's mad. Gwen tells Nikki that she'd make a great policewoman, but her focus and attention to detail make her overqualified for Torchwood. I might have added that last part. Nikki shows Gwen to Jonah's room, and says that sometimes she sleeps there, just to smell his scent on the pillows. And that's...kind of creepy, I'm sorry. She also fills in his diary, imagining she's him. Nikki's a whackjob. She wonders what she did wrong and tells Gwen that all she has is questions.
On her way out, Gwen asks about Jonah's father, and Nikki says that they were only together about six weeks; when Jonah's disappearance hit the headlines, she thought he might get in touch, but no such luck. She hands Gwen a flyer - Andy prompted her to start a support group for the families and friends of missing people, and invites Gwen to attend. Gwen is reluctant, since she doubts any of the conversation at the meeting will be about her, but Nikki is persistent, so Gwen says she'll try.
Chez Gwen. Gwen is late home again, and Lovely Rhys is cross. Gwen was meant to cook! And they were meant to talk about babies! Gwen says they should talk about that now, but since any talk of babies would be only 50% about her, she steers it to a topic that's more to her taste: The Legend That Is Gwen And Whether Gwen Has Changed Since Gwen Joined Torchwood Gwen Gwen Gwen Gwen Gwen. Rhys laughs when Gwen tells him that PC Andy still fancies her and that's why he didn't come to the wedding. "Poor sod," says Rhys, which was more or less my reaction, though I expect we arrived there from entirely discrete starting points. Gwen tells him she is a very sexy lady and he is a very lucky man Gwen Gwen Gwen, and they go off to have presumably Gwen-centric sex.
On what I assume is the next morning, Gwen brings Rhys toast in bed, and insists that he tells her he loves her, Gwen Gwen Gwen, when her phone rings - it's Tosh, who's dug up some new data on that night at the barrage. Gwen deserts Rhys and runs off.
In the hub, Tosh shows Gwen her findings - it looked at first like a blip on the system, so she just ignored it, but when she looked closer, she spotted a negative rift spike at the time Gwen was querying. The exact time, you say? So when Gwen asked you to look at it the first time, and there happened to be a blip at THE EXACT TIME Jonah went missing, you just handwaved it? Oh, Tosh. Why must you always be holding the idiot ball? Tosh says they always assumed the blips were residual, like an aftershock, but now she's wondering if it means something entirely different: they've always believed that things only come through the rift one way, but what if they're wrong - what if the rift doesn't just leave stuff there, but also takes it away? Oy. I mean, in all this time, no one's even mooted that as a possibility? Seriously? And these are the people to which the ultimate safety of the nation is entrusted? I hate to be blasphemous at such a time of religious significance, but: Jesus wept. Everyone in Torchwood is a fucking moron and ought to be struck off for malpractice. [Word. - Carrie] [Although I have no doubt that if there is some kind of Professional Association for the Prevention of Alien Invasion, Torchwood would be beyond it. - Georgi] Gwen asks who else knows about this? No one, Tosh says - she phoned Gwen as soon as she realised. She says it could be a coincidence or an anomaly - although if that were the case, shouldn't there be more dinosaurs around? Gwen thinks they should keep it to themselves, and runs out. [I wish Tosh would stop taking orders from Gwen. Who does she think she is? - Georgi]
Gwen is staring at a flyer for Nikki's support group, and PC Andy lumbers into view, noting that she's looking into it after all. Gwen informs him that she is still Old Gwen, although she doesn't know why she's deigning to help because he is "so rude". Pot? Kettle? They go in, and no one else is there besides Nikki. PC Andy quotes that line from Field of Dreams, which rings no bells with either Nikki or Gwen because they've both been living in airtight boxes for the past 20 years, only emerging to forage for grubs in the dead of night. Seriously? "If you build it, they will come" is not an obscure quotation anywhere in the English-speaking universe. Of that much I am sure. [And they haven't seen Wayne's World 2 either? - Carrie] PC Andy whispers to Gwen that it is going to be just them, which is, of course, the cue for a gazillion people to trickle in to discuss their missing loved ones, to Gwen and PC Andy's surprise. Gwen looks rather angry after a while, presumably because the thought of this many people not talking about her makes her feel ill.
Gwen has snotted her way outside, and PC Andy comes out to ask what's wrong. Gwen is cross. He only asked her to find one lad! There must be 40 or 50 missing people being discussed in there! Is Gwen to help him find all of them too? Does he not realise how that will cut into her busy schedule of making snotty remarks to everyone she meets and fucking up repeatedly? Suddenly Gwen gets a brainwave - if she investigates all of the missing people under the same parameters that applied to Jonah, perhaps she'll find a clue. Well, yeah. Isn't that a very basic principle of crime solving? Weren't you a policewoman before you decided that it was beneath you? Gwen runs off, shouting "cross-referencing!", which is repeated incredulously by PC Andy and, in a cut to the next scene, Tosh, leaving the whole thing a hair's breadth away from the "cataracts?" skit from Harry Hill's TV Burp.
Back at the hub, Gwen is trawling the records for the missing people in Cardiff over the past 10 years to check for negative rift elements. She and Tosh will do this COVERTLY. Lots of jump-cutty shots of Gwen and Tosh hard at work. Gwen sticks lots of pictures on a wall, and looks intense in the face. Work it, girl! Sure enough, there are many instances of missing people coinciding with a negative rift spike. Such a shame none of the other Torchwood employees entertained this as a concept over the past ten years, isn't it? Speaking of which, where's Owen this episode? And Ianto? It's sixteen minutes in already, and I am already sick to the back teeth of Gwen bloody Cooper. Tosh stares in disbelief at Gwen's Big Wall O' Missing Persons. "Now we tell Jack," says Gwen.
Oh! And here's a Torchwood team meeting, with Owen and Ianto also present, to justify Burn Gorman and Gareth David-Lloyd receiving their paycheques for this episode [and to make us happy because Ianto on screen is always good - Carrie]. Gwen outlines her findings, and Jack tells her it is good work, but he doesn't know what she wants them to do. Prevent it, of course, says Gwen. Jack asks Toshiko if they can predict the negative rift spikes, and Tosh replies in the negative, adding that they're gone in a matter of seconds anyway. Jack's all, "well, I'm shit out of ideas, then." Being an ass for no real reason other than Jack is an ass pretty much all the time these days, he snots at Gwen to tell him what they should do on a practical level. Gwen says they should help those left behind. Jack tells her it's nothing to do with them, and Owen backs him up, saying they need counselling and support, which is not in Torchwood's remit. And, well, yeah. The last people you'd want to counsel you in your time of darkest anguish are this lot, right? Just imagine Gwen on counselling duty: "I know you've been unable to sleep since your husband vanished three years ago, Mrs Evans, but tell me one thing: don't you think my hair would look better if I got chocolate-brown highlights?" Anyway, Gwen, still smarting from PC Andy's comment about her Not Caring About People, protests that they can and should help these people, but Jackass tells her unequivocally to "shut it down" and walks out. Ianto follows Jack like a puppy, presumably to try to talk him round. And by talk, I mean sex. Owen spouts that old cliché about God granting you the serenity to accept the things one cannot change. "Bollocks to serenity!" replies Gwen. Not a Joss Whedon fan, then? Tosh tells Gwen they did their best, and Gwen thanks her, glumly. In the distance, Jack makes a stern gesture towards Ianto and walks off.
In a park, Rhys is unpacking a picnic and midway through one of his monologues about people we do not know and are never likely to see until Gwen snaps "will you just stop wittering?" Rhys stares at her in disbelief and Gwen snits "thank you. God." Rather than punching her in the kidneys until she cries like any sensible person would do at this point, Rhys tells her sharply that he was not wittering, he was talking, and that he has been trying to talk to her for a long time now. Gwen snaps that they do not need to have the talk, because the answer is obvious: there will be no babies because of her job, Gwen Gwen Gwen. Torchwood does not do maternity leave, and while they're outside the government, one would think they'd have to observe the basic tenets of employment law, but apparently not. They've probably got a bunch of eastern European immigrants with no thumbs manning the engine room. Rhys's response. "Do you know? Sometimes I fucking hate you." Attaboy! Now kick her in the vagina! It's the source of all her power! He berates her for thinking that her group is all that matters, and that "being a hero" (questionable) is an end unto itself. He asks her why she does all of this, and when Gwen tries to splutter a response, he cuts her off: "Shut up! I'm talking now." [Ha ha ha! I love Rhys. - Georgi] This might be the best scene ever. He tells her curtly that she's protecting real life, and if she thinks that her shit is more important than real life, they're not going to last very long. Gwen apologises, and seems to mean it, but when she tries to blame it on work, Rhys spits that he doesn't care, and that she needs to sort it with work and not take it out on him. So much word. [Rhys is ACE. Remind me why he married Gwen? - Carrie]
Gwen enters the apparently deserted hub, and the siren that I like to refer to as "the Gwen alert" sounds. [It's not just me then - it really does only go off when Gwen walks in, doesn't it? - Georgi] She calls for Jack, but there is no response. She sees movement in Jack's office and strides in, only to happen upon naked Jack and naked Ianto, rutting away. "Oh God!" exclaims Gwen, in a "my eyes!" sort of way. Hee! She apologises and runs out again, while an obviously flustered Ianto fumbles for his clothes. Through the glass windows of the office, it looks like Gwen's dry-heaving as she makes her escape. I should imagine naked Barrowman has that effect on a lot of people.
Ianto runs out after her, and Gwen apologises, saying that she didn't know and wouldn't have dreamed of walking in if she'd realised, which is Jack's cue to swagger out and tell her that there's "always room for one more". And now I'm dry-heaving too. Great. [Ew. I actually shouted out loud in disgust at this bit. My poor Ianto. - Carrie][Captain Jack has not even bothered to do up his flies. What does he think he is, an underwear model? - Georgi] After some banter about naked hide-and-seek (Ianto claims that Jack cheats, and I don't even want to know how that works), Jack asks what Gwen wants, and Gwen tells him that she wants Jonah Bevan to be her special project, which she will work on independently without draining time or resources from anyone else. [Actually, it would probably help everyone else do their jobs, because Gwen wouldn't be around so much to balls things up. - Georgi] Despite this being a polite and considered proposition, especially surprising considering the source, Jack shoots it right down. "I don't know how I can be any clearer," he says, assily. Gwen is confused: "Tosh has her projects. Ianto has his projects. Why can't I?" I'm not sure "after-hours sex with Jack" really counts as a project, Gwen. "Leave it alone," says Jackass. "I can't," says Gwen. So Jackass turns to the last resort of the eternally passive-aggressive and says condescendingly to Ianto, "coming back in? We've got work to do." [Apparently it is a project after all - Georgi] Gwen says they're not finished, and Jack says they are. An apologetic-looking Ianto, hopefully realising what a shitslice his fuckbuddy truly is, tells Gwen there's a package on her desk. Gwen goes to investigate the package. It's an electronic device of some kind. She gets a phone call from PC Andy, who tells her there's a cup of tea with her name of it.
In the café, PC Andy asks doubtingly if this is really to help them find Jonah Bevan. Gwen tells him it's very important and technological, and he mustn't touch it. At which point Andy rather gleefully informs her that it's a common-or-garden GPS device, about as technological as his mobile phone. Hah! Pwnage of Gwen by PC Andy makes everything better. Switching it on, it points to some deserted scrubland in the middle of the Bristol channel. Gwen asks PC Andy to get them some more tea, and while his back's turned, she phones Ianto, accusing him of being the one who left the GPS device for her. Ianto feigns nonchalence and has to swifty hang up, because in the background Jack is hollering his name like Henry VIII on the way back from the divorce court, looking for a comely wench to behead. I think I might actually hate Jack more than I hate Gwen. PC Andy returns and says they'll hire a boat in the morning, because there are some boat skippers who owe him a favour. Is it wrong that I immediately assumed they owed him sexual favours? I am so writing PC Andy/Boat Skipper backstory slash when this episode is over. Gwen tries to get him to let her go out in the boat on her own, but no dice: PC Andy is part of the investigation now. Gwen concedes, and PC Andy fishes to ask if there are any vacancies coming up at Torchwood. Gwen leads him on, because she is a cow, although in all honesty I would trade Gwen and Jack in for PC Andy in a heartbeat.
Gwen arrives home. There are blankets left out for her, the implication being apparently that she is to sleep on the sofa.
Docks. PC Andy is shaking hands with a salty sea-dog. OTP! Maybe not. He tells Gwen it's fifty quid, and Gwen balks at the price, suggesting they offer £35. "Gwen," replies PC Andy, deadpan, "I'm not being funny. If you want to haggle, go to Morocco." I heart PC Andy. Andy gives the sea-dog his money (and maybe also whispers the address at which he will be lying naked and waiting at 8pm tonight) and Gwen commands him to go and get tea. [I'm waiting for PC Andy, at some point, to tell Gwen to fuck off and get her own bloody tea. Lazy wench. - Georgi] Tea appears to have played a more pivotal role in this episode than Owen has, so far. PC Andy does not, as I would, push her into the sea and leave her to drown, but goes to get tea. Pussy. With Andy's back turned (really, he should never ever turn his back to Gwen again), she runs up to the salty sea dog and offers him £100 if he takes her now. Er, out on the boat, I mean. Two teas in hand, PC Andy turns around to see the boat sailing without him as Gwen fastens her lifejacket. "Oi!" he shouts, but to no avail. PC Andy may be a beast between the sheets, but he is apparently no match for the hypnotic allure of Gwen's all-conquering vagina. Gwen holds her hand up in an apologetic pretence and shouts that she is sorry. PC Andy is not convinced, and neither are the three million people watching at home. But on the bright side, he now has two cups of tea and no Gwen, which is a silver lining in my book.
Sea! Gwen does her best Jan Harvey impression. The boat drops her on the scrubland, where she ought to feel right at home, and she gets out the GPS. Gwen strides around looking purposeful, and finds a lighthouse, which she enters and climbs up. Looking down, she sees three people walking along a path, one with his(?) head covered by a jacket serving as some kind of shroud - and one Captain Jack Harkness walking directly behind them. Ruh-roh! Gwen gives chase into some sort of underground bunker. She opens a cover and presses a button, which appears to be some sort of intercom. A flustered female voice asks who she is, and she says that she is from (the top secret) Torchwood, and quotes her access number, saying she is with Jack. The voice says he's supposed to warn them of visitors in advance, and Gwen chuckle-grimaces that he's a law unto himself. The door's opened by a pleasantly-cheerful lady in pink hospital scrubs. [Ooh, so much high security! Seeing as Jack is fucking THERE they could surely check with him that Gwen is allowed in? - Carrie]
Inside there are more people in scrubs, and some old people in armchairs and wheelchairs. Scrubs Lady asks Gwen if it's her first time, and says they all find it hard at first. Gwen asks how many people are down there, while walking past nameplates on doors saying things like EARL and SAEED. Scrubs Lady is surprised no one told her. Gwen hears a man sobbing bitterly and asks if he's okay. Hey, she's still Old Gwen after all! Scrubs Lady says they do all they can. She passes a door marked CAROLINE and is clearly about to ask a snotty question when the penny drops like it did for the viewing audience about thirty seconds ago - she flashes back to a missing poster for the same Caroline, as well as Earl, Saeed and Alice, and realises that all the missing people are here. She asks what Scrubs Lady is doing to them and Jack appears from nowhere to tell Helen (for that is her name) that he'll take it from here. He asks how she found out, and asks if it was Ianto. Gwen tells him to get the fuck away from her, and asks what he's doing to the people who vanished in the rift, before her eyes fall on a sign that says, in childlike handwriting, "Jonah's room". "He's been here all along!" she gasps. Jack tells her it's not that simple. "OPEN IT NOW!" she bellows. ["FUCK YOU, GWEN!" Captain Jack bellows back. "I THINK YOU'RE FORGETTING WHO'S IN CHARGE ROUND HERE." Or, you know, not. - Georgi]
Gwen swings the door open and walks into the mouldy room slowly. She tells the man in the room she's looking for Jonah. "Why?" replies a gruff voice, the body of which we can only see vaguely from behind, so we know something will be Horribly Wrong - and indeed, Jonah's head is about twice the size, and appears to be scarred from terrible burns. Gwen asks what happened to him. Jonah tells her that when he woke up after the light, the land was on fire, and a man took him from the flames into a building. He tried to treat the burns. He wondered why the building was shaking, only to realise it wasn't a building, but a rescue craft, and that he was at the edge of the solar system watching a burning planet, and it was beautiful. Or something. I don't know, all that exposition took about ten seconds, and if they can't be bothered to expand on it, I can't be bothered to make sense of it. Gwen cries a single perfect tear and tells him she is very sorry for what happened. Jonah asks if he can trust her to tell the truth (NO!) and Gwen says of course. He asks if he's home, and she says yes. Gwen says she's come to tell him his mother is still looking for him. Jonah is surprised that his mum is still alive, not realising he's only been missing for seven months, because he "was lost so long". Gwen tells him he's safe. Jonah asks for Gwen to bring his mother to see him.
Gwen sits atop the scrubland. Jack joins her. Jack tells her that when he joined Torchwood there were two like Jonah left in the vaults, neglected. Entirely unlike the way they treat the Weevils now, of course. Jack says he wanted them looked after and set the place up to look after them, telling the staff they were experiments gone wrong. [The staff, presumably, just said, "Oh, right. Experiments gone wrong." Whose fucking experiments?! Also, if they were so concerned about looking after them properly, how about a lick of paint and some pleasant surroundings, instead of putting them up in the Crystal Maze's Industrial zone? Am sure Ianto could advise on interior furnishings. - Georgi] He says there are seventeen of them so far, and more have appeared in the last year. Gwen says their families have a right to know. Jack says there is no cure for what has happened. Gwen says she wants to bring Nikki to see Jonah. Jack says absolutely not, how can he tell her that her son has aged 40 years in seven months, is scarred, can no longer look after himself, etc. Gwen, quite rightly, points out that they do not have the right to hide this from her. Jack says that if she tells Nikki, she'll have to tell her about the rift AND Torchwood. But, as has been established in every episode prior to this, the entire western hemisphere knows about Torchwood, so quite what they have to lose, I do not know. Gwen insists they owe Nikki the truth, and asks Jack whether he'd want to know this if he'd lost someone, which is Barrowman's cue to look Haunted (By Constipation). Gwen pleads with him to let her try.
Gwen goes to see Nikki, and gives her the good(?) news.
PC Andy's phone rings; it is Gwen. PC Andy is righteously pissed with her, as one might expect. Gwen tells him that she has explained to Nikki about Torchwood and what they do (we did not get to see Nikki responding "well, duh, everyone knows that", sadly) and needs PC Andy to confirm that she is not mad, dangerous or a liar. I'm not sure he could do that in good conscience even if he wasn't cross with her right now. PC Andy berates Gwen for using him, and makes her admit she wasn't going to recommend him to join Torchwood. Gwen tells Andy that if he helps her, she can make things right, so an exasperated Andy tells her to put Nikki on the phone.
Boat. Nikki is apprehensive. Gwen is calm. That's it, really.
Sekrit Hospital for Rift Orphans. Gwen reminds Nikki that she won't recognise Jonah at first, but Nikki just wants to see him. Nikki walks in slowly, smiling nervously, and tells Jonah to turn around. But when he does, she starts yelling "NO! NO!" and getting very upset indeed, asking Gwen what she's done to her. Gwen insists that it's Jonah, and Nikki is all "THAT IS NOT MY SON!" and demands to get out. Jonah's all "yellow crayon!" except in this case, the yellow crayon is the door of a flatpack wardrobe they made together with a loose left hinge. Nikki starts to break down with recognition, and so does Jonah. Nikki's face cracks, and fills with emotion (Ruth Jones is awesome here), and Jonah's all "I was lost for so long!" and Nikki reaches out to touch his burned face and they hug. Helen comes in and tells Nikki she has to leave Jonah now for his own benefit. Nikki is not having this; she wants to take Jonah home with her. Helen and Gwen insist this is not possible, and Nikki counters that she'll say he's her father. Once again Helen insists that's not allowed and a tearful Nikki is all "he's my son, I'll say what's allowed!"
Now Jonah is sitting down, muttering "it's started again". When Nikki asks what precisely has started again, Helen says it's the downswing - Nikki saw him in his good phase, which gets briefer every day. Nikki says she's not leaving, and Helen says she should at least move away. Nikki asks why, and her response is an ear-splitting scream from Jonah that seems to go on forever.
Unexpected Gwen Voiceover sez: "I'd never heard a sound like it. This primal howl. The scream lasts twenty hours every day. Before the rift returned him, Jonah had looked into the heart of a dark star. What he'd seen had driven him mad." [Could they not have had Nurse Helen explain this, instead of Stupid Gwen's voiceover? - Georgi]
One week later; Nikki's flat. Gwen is there again, telling Nikki she can visit during the good phase. Nikki asks her to promise she won't do this to anyone else. She says that before she had the memory of the good times, but now all she has is the terrible noise. Gwen meekly says that she thought Nikki wanted to know. Nikki replied that she did, but she was wrong, saying pointedly: "before you, I had hope." Ooh, that smarts. [Ungrateful whore. - Carrie] Gwen leaves. Nikki clears away all of her crowd footage videos, juxtaposed with Gwen tearing down the Wall O' Missing Persosns. Both of them are sad. Nikki starts to strip Jonah's room of his teenage effects. Gwen locks all of her missing person sheets in a filing cabinet. Nikki sniffs Jonah's clothes and unleashes gut-wrenching sobs. Gwen locks up and Jack looks on, apparently not feeling all that apologetic for being an ass over something he could, quite frankly, have explained very simply and ultimately saved everyone from all of this bother. Ass.
Gwen goes home and lights a candle. Rhys enters, and asks if this is an apology. [I'd have wanted more than some bloody candles. Poor long-suffering Rhys. - Georgi] Gwen tells him tonight they will talk about what he wants, and looks genuinely sincere. I wonder how long it will last this time? Rhys asks if she's okay, since obviously such a display of selflessness in his wife is cause for alarm. Gwen cries, and Rhys hugs her. He asks if she wants to sit down, and she nods. He pulls her in close and encourages her to tell him everything from the beginning. Aww. [I guess they will talk about what Rhys wants another time then... - Georgi]
Next time: backstory for everyone (even Tosh, amazingly) as they face apparent death! Jack's face in the aftermath of what appears to be a hardcore bukkake session! An explosion blows everyone except Gwen to smithereens! Maybe.