Saturday, 29 March 2008

Rubble rubble

Episode 2.12 - Fragments
Tx: 28th March 2008

Isn't it ace when Torchwood are in The Past and Barrowman gets to do character acting? No? That's a shame. Anyway, we have the usual montage pre-titles, then we get an artistic shot of the ObviousMobile flying round a chicane. The team, minus Gwen, leap out. Ianto is on the phone leaving a message for their errant chum, saying they are going into a building that has signs of life, and she should get her lazy selfish arse there ASAP. Tosh says the lifeforms aren't weevils. [Good. I'm BORED of bloody weevils. - Georgi] Jack sends Ianto and Owen round the other side of the building, and Tosh sticks with him. Tosh reads her magic computery device, and says there are lifeforms at both ends of the building. Owen thinks the creatures may be sleeping.

Or in fact, as Tosh then notes, they might not be creatures at all. Instead, they are explosive devices. The entire team stand there gormlessly and watch the LEDs tick down to zero. Kaboom! [Is it worth pointing out that explosions that size would probably have blown Team Torchwood to smithereens rather than just bringing down some bricks on their heads? No? Fine. - Georgi] [It is very much worth pointing that out, if only to make yourself feel better. - Steve]


That lazy slut Gwen wakes up and picks up her message from Ianto. She decides it might be an idea to get dressed and go to work. Just a thought, like. [I'd rant about lazy bloody Gwen not going into work on the one day everyone gets targeted by bombs, but since everyone is improbably not dead despite their proximity to the explosion, it seems rather a moot point. - Steve]

Jack is buried underneath the rubble, but fortunately he has sustained no injury to his face, his VALUABLE FACE. But as we know, he'll be fine anyway. Flashback to 1,392 deaths earlier - this is Barrowman's chance to do period character acting. You can't say I didn't warn you. Jack is wailing because he has a bottle shoved through his stomach. His sideburns are quite nice. Two women are standing in front of him. From their costumes, this is late 19th century. Jack chortles, and says, "Torso o'steel (a steal), shilling a feel!" It works marginally better as a pun when spoken, but not hugely so. He gets to his feet and claims he has a "flesh wound". The woman approach in intimidating style. Jack introduces himself as "Jack Harkness". Hang on. Did he not steal that identity from the lovely wartime captain? If so, how come he's got it now? I get so confused. [But you have to remember that Captain Jack has only been deathproof since David Tennant's first series of Doctor Who, which implies that this is after that, as opposed to being properly in the past. Pesky time travel. - Georgi] [Not to split hairs, but wasn't he deathproof in the Christopher Eccleston series? That's when Rose brought him back to life with magic Tardis power and made him unkillable. We didn't SEE it happening until Torchwood got spun off, of course. Either way: thanks a lot, ROSE. - Steve] The women beat Jack up comprehensively. Hooray! One sits on his chest, straddling him, and of course he takes the opportunity to slime, "You only had to ask. Can we get a room, though?" She stuffs a handkerchief in his mouth and gags and chloroforms him. Hooray! (Incidentally, Barrowman goes a very odd purple colour here. It's either method acting or the most convincing he's been all series.)

Cut to a cell, where the women are chucking buckets of water at him. He screams. Hooray! They attach electrodes to his chest, and summarily electrocute him. He screams. Hooray! They don't understand. He demands to know where he is. One of them shoots him. Hooray! This is the best episode of Torchwood EVER. Everything goes black.

Everything comes back again, still in the cell, and lady no 1 rolls her eyes, demanding, "Why aren't you dead yet?" Jack doesn't know. They want to know who the Doctor is. They have transcripts of his conversations with randoms in pubs in which he mentions the Doctor. Jack wants to know where he is. Of course, these lovely ladies are Torchwood Cardiff, but a hell of a lot more kick-ass than the 21st century version. They want to "combat the threat posed by the Doctor - and other phantasmagoria". Jack laughs. Way to placate these hard-bitten bitches, you fool. He tells them the Doctor is the one who will save them from their phantasmagoria, but he doesn't know where he is, because he was left behind. For a reason, Jack. Anyway, he hoped they'd find each other. The ladies suggest that he works for them in locating a missing person.

Or, in fact, a missing blowfish alien type, who has been stealing stuff, in period costume. Jack rounds him up and brings him in. The blowfish alien type says, "I said sorry! You can't lock me up!" Jack suggests sending him back where he came from. Lady no 1 has another idea, which is shooting him through the head. Jack is outraged, and tries to be masterful, but lady no 1 shrugs him off. [Jack would have just humanely imprisoned the blowfish alien in Torchwood's dungeon 4EVA. - Georgi] Lady no 2 gives him his wages, and another assignment. Jack tries to refuse it. Lady no 2 says he is their ally now, but if he doesn't work for them he becomes a threat; lady no 2 says, "And you've seen how we deal with threats." Yeah, you kill them, but you already know that JACK WON'T DIE. [Actually I have always wondered whether Jack would be able to come back to life if you actually dismembered him. Nobody ever bothered trying. - Georgi] [Chop off his actual member and he'd lose the will to live, no doubt. - Steve] They tell him to sleep on it, and he stalks out, presumably attempting "brooding melancholy Byronic hero". Lady no 1 watches him leave, and says to her colleague, "He's pretty...but you're prettier." So...has bisexuality always been a pre-requisite for a job at Torchwood? [That, and utter incompetence. - Steve]

A drinking den. Jack is drinking shots. The weird little tarot-reading girl appears, and despite Jack telling her to piss off, she reads his cards. "He's coming, the one you're looking for. The century will turn twice before you find each other." ZOMG, Jack will have to wait a hundred years to find him. He is angered and sad. Therefore he does need money, therefore he goes to take the job from Torchwood, and signs his name (his stolen name, which he should steal in a few decades' time) on various papers.

New Year's Eve 1999, with Natasha Kaplinsky narrating the TV coverage. [Wasn't she still at journalism school or something in 1999? She definitely wasn't working for the Beeb, anyway. - Georgi] Jack returns to the hub to find his staff all murdered by the one surviving member of his team, Alex. Jack's choice of minions has always been excellent, obviously. Alex is all tortured and starting into space - "We got it wrong, Jack, we thought we could control the stuff we found. And what's it brought us? So much death...It's good you're here, you always did have good timing...Give this place a purpose before it's too late...I looked inside, it showed me what's coming. They were mercy killings, the kindest thing I could do...I'm sorry I can't do the same for you. The 21st century, Jack! Everything's going to change! We're not ready!" And having set up the pre-credits sequence for the foreseeable future, Alex shoots himself through the head.

Cut back to present-day buried-under-rubble Jack. Rhys is all panicky - "He was dead! I checked his pulse!" Gwen tries to get him out of the rubble, but before he does that he chooses to shout a bit about Rhys being there at all. Rhys - fucking leave him, then, the whinging bastard. Gwen says that Rhys gave her a lift because she was late. She really is shit. [I'd call her a virgin who can't drive, but that's obviously only a half-truth. - Steve]

Switch to poor little Tosh, crushed under a wall. Bless her. She should really get a better job than this. Flashback to five years earlier. Tosh is working late in an office, and her boss tells her she works too hard. [Tosh is also wearing glasses; apparently one of the many benefits of working for Torchwood is that it either cures near-sightedness, or at least has an affordable contact lens payment plan. - Steve] He leaves; she stays, and promptly whips a key out of her desk drawer to unlock his cubicle office. She logs on to his computer system to get a key code, then rushes downstairs to a filing room to steal a box file from the shelf. She takes a couple of sheets out, sticks them up her jumper, and takes them home with her. We see that she works at the Lodmoor Research Facility, a division of the Ministry of Defence, so presumably she's just stolen some official secrets.

Tosh at home, which is a significantly smaller home than the one we're used to seeing. She unfolds the plans, gets out a circuit board and wires and various gadgetry, and does some good wiring and gadgeting and soldering. She rushes to a scary graffitied door down a back alley, and tells the people inside that she wants to see her mother. The lady in charge wants to see "the piece" first, which we discover is a "sonic modulator". [Is that like a sonic screwdriver? - Georgi] Tosh's mum is brought out. The lady in charge says that Tosh is a victim of her own success - they want her to do more work, and if she refuses, her mum will stay with them. The lady in charge dons some headphones and switches on the sonic modulator, and Tosh and her mum fall to the ground clutching their ears. [I guess not - Georgi] Then a troop of red caps burst in, and take Tosh away. She is put into a red jumpsuit and thrown into an empty cell. Her face is covered in cuts and bruises, and a tannoy announcement informs her that she no longer has any rights as a citizen and is being held in a UNIT facility. Montage of Tosh being sad in her horrible cell and walking around with other red jumpsuited prisoners. Do you see the MODERN-DAY PARALLELS? Where is my shot glass? I need a Drink!

The tannoy announcement tells Tosh there is an inspection for which she must prepare. She drags herself to her feet, the door opens, and there is Jack - just when you thought things couldn't get any worse. They go for coffee in a big empty room. Jack tells Tosh that her mum is safe and also retconned. Nice. He says he is nobody and doesn't exist, "and for a man of my charisma, that's quite an achievement". Oh, fuck OFF. She asks if he is a lawyer. He scoffs. He tells her that because she stole official secrets, they will make an example of her and never release her, and he is sorry. [But to make an example of her, they would have to publicise the fact that they are imprisoning her in a concrete cell for ever, and Amnesty just wouldn't stand for it. - Georgi] He has the sonic modulator with him, and asks, "You made this, right?" She says she just followed the plans. He is unconvinced - "Yeah, kinda!" But Tosh is clever because a) she understood what a sonic modulator was, and b) there were mistakes in the plans, which she fixed as she went along. "What I'm trying to say is - oh, baby, you're good!" Ew. Ew. EW. Jack suggests she could work for him for five years, and then her record would be wiped clean. Ooh. That means that Tosh's tenure with Torchwood is nearly up, then? Maybe she can get a proper job and a boyfriend and a life, then? [As if. - Georgi] She asks what it is that Jack does, and he claims it is "protecting people". He says she'll be able to send her mum postcards, and that he trusts her because of his instinct. His finely-honed, well-judged instincts. The same ones that appointed the manic depressive homicidal Alex. [And batshit crazy homicidal Suzie. And utterly incompetent Gwen. And...well, you get the idea. - Steve]

Cut back to present-day Tosh under the wall, with Gwen trying to help but as Tosh screams in pain, "YOU'RE MAKING IT WORSE!" Could be Gwen's epitaph, really. Tosh asks her to hurry. Gwen wanders off to find more men to help lift the wall, leaving Rhys there, all of a-flutter and "ZOMG my beloved new wife it could have been you!"

Cut over to poor Ianto, with his pretty little fingers cut to ribbons and his face all red and his eyes all bloodshot. Jack is shouting for him. Flashback to 21 months earlier, with Jack being savaged by a weevil. Ianto suddenly turns up with a truncheon (snarf) to join Team Jack in the anti-weevil battle. Jack bags and sedates the weevil. Oooooooh, Ianto is in jeans and a studded belt. Ianto and Jack introduce themselves. Ianto says, "Lucky escape." Jack claims to have had the situation under control. Fuckwit. Ianto notices that Jack has stopped bleeding. He says it looked like a weevil, and Jack says he doesn't know what he's talking about. He hoicks the weevil onto his back, and tells Ianto that he'll take it from here. He strides off, and Ianto calls after him: "By the way - love the coat." Hehe.

Aerial shot of not-quite-two-years-ago Cardiff! Ianto is waiting for Jack outside the hub, with a cup of coffee for him. Aww. Ianto and his hot beverage-making ways. Jack loves the coffee. Aww. Jack has done research on Ianto, which he spouts off, and apparently he was born in 1983. Seriously? Ianto's supposed to be 24, nearly 25? Like hell. Seriously, I'm not saying he looks old or anything, because clearly I love him, but Gareth David-Lloyd is obviously in his late twenties. Anyway, Ianto is wearing a cute necklace also, and he demands a job from Jack. Jack says there is no job. Ianto is adamant that he wants a job. "There's no job for you here, and there never will be!" shouts Jack. This might be why every fucker knows about Torchwood - because you go around yelling about your recruitment policy in the middle of bloody Cardiff. Ianto admires the coat again. Heh. [You can tell this is a Chris Chibnall because it's the only time anyone acknowledges the existence of bloody Lisa the ridiculous robot girlfriend. - Steve]

Aerial shot of Cardiff. Jack is in the ObviousMobile, talking to Owen, Tosh and Suzie via the magic communicator. Ianto, now in a suit, jumps in front of the ObviousMobile, forcing Jack out. Jack stomps round the car, and instructs Ianto to leave Cardiff and go back to London. So Jack is now also in charge of the UK's migration policy? Jack is stroppy a bit more, then Ianto says, "You're not going to help me catch this pterodactyl then?" The only special equipment Jack has is a big syringe; Ianto says Torchwood London would have dinosaur nets in the back of the car. The pterodactyl squawks, and Ianto wonders if it could be Jack's aftershave. Of course, Jack isn't wearing any - "51st century pheromones. People have no idea." They crack on, and Jack seems to be attempting to seduce the pterodactyl by inviting him back to the hub. Ianto is annoyed that Jack will let a pterodactyl in and not him - "I could be the receptionist!...Dry-cleaning! That coat of yours must take a battering! I could be the butler!" Ianto interrupts Jack's plan-developing to tell him he is going to distract the pterodactyl with chocolate, so Jack should approach him with the syringe. The pterodactyl ain't quite that daft, though, and sweeps Jack up into the air. He does eventually manage to do the injection, and falls from the pterodactyl - on top of Ianto. [Didn't see that coming a mile off, no siree. - Steve] There's a bit of sexual tension until Ianto gets up and walks away. Jack tells him to report to work tomorrow, and admires the suit. Ianto looks all tearful.

Cut back to Ianto under the bricks. Gwen and Jack lift him out. He has a dislocated shoulder. Jack fixes it despite having no medical training, nor indeed a white coat. Ianto asks where the others are, and reminds them - and us - that if anything happens to Owen, he can't heal himself. Glad we got that little aide-memoire in, Mr Chibnall.

Owen is under bricks and appears to be trying to prevent a big old sash window falling on him, Ghost-stylee, through the power of his mind. Flashback to four years earlier, and Owen is on a bed doing wedding planning with a young lady whom we presume is his fiancee. She tells him that it's not too late to back out. He says he is marrying her if it kills him. The fiancee goes to make a cup of tea, but she seems to have forgotten how to do it. We learn that her name is Katie. Owen goes to the kitchen and walks her through tea-making step-by-step. Katie is getting cross and frustrated.

A doctor's office. Owen is talking to the consultant, and tells him that he promised Katie a summer wedding. And hang on, Owen was 27 when he Died a few weeks ago - so he's supposed to be 23 here? Sorry, don't buy that either, mostly because he's THIRTY-FUCKING-FOUR. Anyway, the consultant thinks it's early-onset Alzheimer's; Owen is unconvinced, and demands more tests. The consultant agrees. Shot of Owen watching Katie sleep; Owen is sad and pensive. Shot of Katie having the MRI scan, and Owen watching outside. Owen and Katie have a little chat out in the corridor, until the consultant turns up and says there is a tumour on Katie's brain that wasn't there last week. Katie looks at Owen, and weeps - "I can't remember your name!" [He obviously got a taste for that feeling - it would explain all the date rape. - Steve]

They go into theatre. Owen is waiting outside and pacing up and down. Suddenly the door moves, and Jack turns up. They go into the theatre and EVERYONE IS DEAD, and Katie has her brain hanging out, complete with alien life-form escaping from it. The alien incubates in the brain, and emits a toxic gas, which clears very quickly, when threatened. Jack wants to take Katie's brain; Owen is opposed to the idea so gets chloroformed for his trouble. He wakes up in a hospital bed, where the nurses wrestle him into submission. Owen then goes to see who we presume is a psychiatrist, and he is unimpressed with Owen's story, advising him to take three months off work. Owen looks at the CCTV footage, and sure enough, Jack and the whole alien brain thing are no longer recorded on there. He doesn't understand.

Owen goes to put flowers on Katie's grave, and sees Jack on the other side of the cemetery. He runs over, and punches him! Hooray! And again! And again! And again! Hooray! Then Owen cries, and Jack hugs him. [Boo! Punch him more! - Georgi] They have a little walk through the cemetery, and Jack tells him that he isn't having a mental breakdown - it's the rest of the world that's delusional. He then chooses this moment - when Owen is at his very lowest - to recruit him to Torchwood. Owen has a look round the hub. He says he became a doctor because he thought saving one life would make his own worthwhile, but it turns out that even if you do succeed, you can never save enough. [And Jack persuades him that he might save more by Saving The World From Aliens Regularly. - Georgi]

Cut back to Owen under the rubble. Gwen charges in to rescue him, and he points out the fuck-off great window about to fall on them. It judders down a bit, and Gwen shouts at it, because clearly that'll work. She moves a couple of bricks, and Owen is freed. Seriously, that was all he had to do? [For a moment there, I thought some plate glass might smash Gwen's head in. What a disappointment. - Georgi]

The team are reunited. Tosh has a broken arm, but that's all the injuries they incurred. [It would be Tosh, wouldn't it? Jesus Christ, the writers HATE her. - Steve] Oh, except the ObviousMobile, which has gone missing. And oh, Jack has a wristwatch message. The holographic figure emerges, and Ianto moans, "Oh, no." Of course, it's Captain John! About bloody time. Captain John complains that Jack can't die - "all that life, all that time, and you can't spare any for me." So John's just tried to kill everyone, solely motivated by unrequited love? Slightly over the top, wouldn't you say? John has "the family" with him - Jack's brother, Grey. "Everything you love, everything you treasure, will die. I'm going to tear your world apart," threatens John. "Maybe now you want to spend some time with me." [Hee hee! Captain John is my favourite villain! Although, no way Jack is worth all that effort. - Georgi]

Whoa. Join us next week for the series finale(s)!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

You'll have noticed...

......that there's a nice shiny widgety thing at the top of our right sidebar, which seeks to raise money for charidee - more specifically, for the Alzheimer's Society, through the medium of me running a 10k in May. If you've enjoyed our bitching on any of our blogs, please feel free to express your solidarity with our snarky misanthropic selves by donating! Thanks in advance.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

I know my rift

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.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Fair's fair

Episode 2.10: 'From Out Of The Rain'
Tx: 19th March 2008

Torchwood are fighting for the future on behalf of the human race. Anyone else find that a really worrying prospect?

The Past. A fairground. Many sideshows. Moustachioed top-hatted ringmaster man lures a young girl inside one of the attractions. Then the entire fair disappears. A young woman in a nice hat is bewildered, for she is the only one left in the field.


Cardiff! A man is watching old footage of some description. Jack is wandering around Torchwood Three. Cut back to the young man, who is watching random old film clips, and then footage of the fairground. Cut back to Jack, who seems to be confused yet trying to look alert, though this could just be Barrowman's variable acting giving this mixed message. Cut back to the young man, whose window has burst open, and the film is being taken off the projector thing, yet still showing on the screen.

Cardiff! Jack asks Tosh if she heard a pipe organ being played. She did not. He wants to know where Ianto is. He has gone to the cinema with Owen and Gwen. That sounds like a fun night out. [And they apparently did not invite Tosh to accompany them on their jollies. Bitches. - Steve] Outside, it is pissing down. Drenched Ianto looks cute. They go inside the old-fashioned cinema building. The building manager wants to know where his son is, because he has the film. I am guessing the young man with the archive footage is his son. He's running around the back streets of Cardiff, while Jack cruises them in the ObviousMobile.

Ianto loves the old cinema. The manager shouts at his son for being late, and is uninterested in his excuses. The son runs up to the projector room to put the film on. The manager introduces the showing of the archive film, complete with piano music accompaniment from a man named Bernard. Gwen sniggers. Owen encourages her. Ianto is annoyed. The film suddenly switches into fairground footage, and everyone is confused. The manager runs up to the projection room to shout at his son some more. The projector won't switch off.

Gwen takes the piss some more. Owen wants to go. Ianto says, "Wait!" He has just seen Jack on the footage! ZOMG! [And lovely Gwen and lovely Owen find this so credible that they don't even bother to look at the screen. Wankers. - Steve] The screen goes black. Gwen and Owen demand that they leave immediately. There's a weird spooky sound. Ianto is freaked.

Tosh is, of course, still by herself in Torchwood Three doing work. Jack is parked outside the cinema, and then rushes in. Ianto explains that shadows rushed past him, and Jack was on screen as part of the travelling show. Jack says that he heard the music and it was beautiful. Ianto is doing some good tortured thinking. Jack wanders off. How can he not want to cuddle Ianto ALL THE TIME? (He doesn't deserve to have Ianto-cuddles.-Joel)

A girl is on the phone outside the cinema in the pissing rain. Two people from the travelling show, the ringmaster dude and what I presume is a dancer girl, appear and approach her to sell her a ticket, and then try to lure her into joining the show itself. She is understandably freaked out, then more so when they...steal her breath, maybe? I'm sure all will become clear.

Jack and Ianto are interviewing the projection room boy about the film clips and why the machine didn't run. The boy got the footage from the basement of the cinema, and says that wasn't meant to be shown - it was like it wanted to be shown. The boy heard noises and smelt smells. Tosh talks to Jack through his *touches ear* earpiece to report rift activity near the cinema. Shocker. (Seriously. Rift activity is like glowing rocks in early-season Smallville.-Joel)

Cardiff! Jack, Ianto, Gwen and Owen are in the ObviousMobile. They find the girl whose breath has been stolen. Her face is a funny colour and her mouth is all pinched and weird. Jack thinks she might be epileptic. What the fuck? What evidence does he base that on? Owen examines her in doctorly fashion - she has a heartbeat, but she isn't breathing. He recommends taking her to hospital. Ya think? See, I know that he can't do CPR because he has no breath due to BEING DEAD, but surely Gwen or Ianto could?

The two travelling show people approach the window of the Windsor Cafe, where a woman is clearing up for the day. They try to force entry. She lets them in. Why would you let people who look that weird into your empty building? The woman says, "Make her cry...I want to drink her tears." [That's just asking to catch meningitis. - Steve] Not very friendly. The man does the same trick again.

Hospital. Owen and Jack are chatting over the body of the stolen-breath girl, who is called Netty Williams. Owen says her condition is like when the spider sucks the life out of its victims, except she's been left partly alive. Ianto bursts in - "there's been another one!" It's the cafe woman, of course. Jack diagnoses her as being "the same", even though he has neither doctoral qualifications nor a medical coat.

Cardiff, the extended aerial shot remix. The team are sitting around in the hub watching the fair footage. It is indeed Jack in the film - Ianto is vindicated. Jack was a song-and-dance man. If ever there was a cue for an unwanted Barrowman musical interlude, this is it, surely? [After all, HE KNOWS HIS CRAFT. - Steve] Owen says, "He's part of this freak show!" Jack replies, "Some things never change." Gwen admires the weightlifter's leotard. Jack notices a bunch of people he never worked with, but who worked only in the dead of night, and says there was a ghost story - "they came from out of the rain - that's how people described them...they left a trail of damage and sorrow wherever they performed." Too. Many. Jokes. [And now I have Wendy Moten's 'Come In Out Of The Rain' stuck in my head. Thanks a lot, Torchwood. - Steve]

Ianto asks Tosh to slow the footage down frame by frame. He's not sure what he's looking for, but something is wrong. Then he notices - it's not the same one they saw at the cinema. There was a woman in front of the water tank before - and NOW SHE IS NOT THERE. And there was a man in a top hat - and NOW HE IS NOT THERE EITHER. In case we had not grasped it, Tosh asks, "So what are we saying, two people from a piece of film have decided to go AWOL?" They have been let loose and become physical incarnations again, obviously, and Jack decides that gathering evidence about what they used to do is the best course of action, saying, "Ianto, with me - I need your local knowledge." Gwen pulls a face and says, "Oh, is that what you're calling it these days?"

Jack and Ianto are in the boardroom. Nobody ever knew the Night Travellers were coming - they didn't have a huge publicity campaign like Jack's company. Jack used to be billed as The Man Who Can't Die.

Ooh, black and white, just so we know we're in the past again, then it's into colour, but we are still in the past, at the fairground. The ringmaster is doing shouting and enticing, and is advertising Pearl "who lives in water...a living mermaid", who is the girl who is wandering around with him in today's Cardiff, by the way. He says, "She will take your breath away." OH I SEE. HOW CLEVER.

Jack asks Ianto if there are any other old cinemas in Cardiff. Most of them have been converted. Tosh is "registering the sea...running through the centre of town". A family are driving down the road, and the husband slams the brakes on to avoid the travellers. His wife is confused, and then is terrified when the ringmaster looks through her window. Jack thinks the travellers are here to get revenge and a new audience. Gwen and Owen are sceptical about Tosh picking up 'the sea' on her fancy-schmancy computer system.

The mermaid is putting her hands in puddles then rubbing the water on herself. The ringmaster is watching her and cackling in a sinister fashion. He then sniffs and licks her arms. She asks, "How many now?" He responds, "Six." She says she wishes she could see the air they once breathed, and he tells her that she can't. She enthuses about having an audience of ghosts who can never leave. She wants to bring the others here too, because they should be there with them, and not in a cupboard. He says they need the rest of the film first.

Cardiff! They're in the hospital, and the two little kids from the car-braking family are there and all vaguely coma-ised. So are the parents, but we don't get to see them. "They came from out of the rain," Jack muses. The nurse recognises those words, which one of her patients, Christina, from Providence Park psychiatric hospital, once said to her. Whenever an entertainment show was on, she was scared, and ran away and hid - "She said they were coming to steal her last breath." That's a fortunate coincidence, isn't it, that it was this particular nurse on duty today? Jack is pleased, for he has found their first witness.

Jack and Ianto go to visit Christina, and push her around the grounds in her wheelchair. She tells Jack his eyes are older than his face, and this is a bad thing because he doesn't belong, and he is from nowhere. [And also, because he has had Botox. - Steve] She tells them about the people who came out of the rain - there was hurdy-gurdy music, and acrobats, and a man in dark clothes, and a beautiful young woman in a silvery costume. Cut to the mermaid girl putting her hands in puddles, this time in a disused swimming pool, and rubbing the water on herself again. She opens the door to some sort of beach hut, and there are six figures standing in there, which I presume are the six victims we've seen so far this episode, but it's dark so I can't see that properly. Christina tells Ianto that he was touched by them as they passed by, and that the man asked her if she wanted to join the travelling show. She asked him his name, and he told her he was the Ghost Maker, and wanted to take her breath and put it in his flask, and then she could be in his audience forever. Obviously, Christina ran away. Other people went missing from the village that night, including her parents. Aw. Her parents, who were MADE INTO GHOSTS. (I think they need to draft Christina in permanently. She's awesome, clearly observant, which would serve Torchwood well, and clearly wouldn't put up with Jack or Gwen's bullshit.-Joel)

Back at the hub, Gwen has evidence of people going missing when the fair was in town, and breath being stolen from people. The team decide that if they can find the flask, they can save the victims. Whoop!

Projection boy is wandering around with his satchel. He is spooked by spooky noises. He goes into his flat, where there are reels of film lying around, and also a bath full to the brim with water. Guess who's in it? Yep, mermaid girl. She sits bolt upright, terrifies him, and he runs away very fast. Ringmaster man says it's time to bring the others. Projection boy rings Jack and tells them to get over there in the ObviousMobile straight away. Jack and Ianto go in with guns poised. No sign of the travellers now, though, just a hella lot of water everywhere.

Projection boy's parents are at the cinema, and don't understand why they can hear the piano playing. They understand even less when they go into the auditorium and there's no bugger sitting at the piano. Mermaid girl approaches them and shines a torch in their faces. "This way, please," she says.

Projection boy says that all his cases of film have been opened, and they had clips from circus sideshows on. Jack says they need to stop them bringing the others through. No kidding. Projection boy and Ianto can both smell chemicals. Jack wonders what would happen if they filmed the travellers. They hypothesise that they would be TRAPPED, and then if they over-exposed the film, then the travellers would be LOST FOREVER.

Gwen calls for assistance at the cinema, and the team burst through the locked doors. Projection boy's parents have had their breath stolen, of course. Ianto tells him that they've been frozen in place because the circus needs an audience. The curtains open, the lights blaze, and footage begins to run of the fair. Owen runs upsairs, while Jack and Ianto stand there with their camera. They are a little surprised, however, when the strongman comes out of the film and into the room. And then so do the rest of the travellers. Cut to Owen bashing on the projection room door. Cut back to the mermaid declaring, "This whole city belongs to us!" Cut back to Owen outside the door, which opens, with the ringmaster coming out and demanding, "What are you?", for, as we know, Owen has no breath to steal. (Owen's mouth strethes out all wide and freaks me the HELL out.-Joel) The ringmaster tries to hit Gwen, which is understandable, and while he's caught unaware, Ianto steals the flask of breath and runs and runs. Meanwhile, the travellers march around the auditorium. And then the ringmaster sneaks up on Ianto and steals the flask back. He throws it into the air, and Ianto shouts, "No! Please! If the breath escapes, all the victims will die!" Jack is racing after them, and is filming the entire exchange on his camera, then tugs the film out. The travellers disappear, but, although Ianto has caught the flask, so do some of the non-breathing victims. Ianto can only hear one breathing pattern in the flask. He is upset. Jack is pleased because they have saved one. BUT WHICH ONE?

They're back in the hospital, and the only one WHO IS NOT DEAD is the little boy from the car family. Jack checks his breathing, and tells the nurse to help him. Yeah, that's great medical care - let clunking old Captain Jack march in, pick up small children and pour breath from a flask into his body. The child does worse acting than Barrowman at this point, and begins to cough. "It worked," says Ianto, just in case we hadn't noticed, and he goes all teary-eyed. (Good news little boy - your entire family is DEAD, but you're okay!-Joel) [See you on The X Factor in August! - Steve]

Cardiff at night; Cardiff in the morning. Ianto has destroyed the films. Jack is worried about all the other long-lost pieces of footage that could be used by the Night Travellers. Ianto seems unbothered, and gives Jack the flask.

A car-boot sale. A man buys a reel of film. Cut back to Torchwood Three, where Jack opens the safe. Cut back to the car-boot sale, where the reel is dropped on the floor, and Jack can suddenly hear the pipe organ music again. And that's your lot. Ooooh, how dramatic, a cliffhanger ending of sorts. [Ten quid says we never hear from them again, though. - Steve]

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Marriage - Torchwood-style

Episode 2.09 'Something Borrowed'
TX date: 12th March 2008

Quick flashback to start: Gwen needs stability and someone she can rely on, so she is getting married to Rhys. Jack is pissy about it.

We are informed that it is Friday night, in a pub. There are some girls in matching red t-shirts and fluffy pink cowboy hats - a hen do, in other words. Except the bride to be is late. Then Gwen shows up, and they sing rude songs about her "taking it up the aisle". She was late, obv, because she was working. The question that's bothering us viewers, meanwhile, is: Where the fuck did Gwen's friends come from? She barely has time to see her husband-to-be, never mind arranging a wedding... WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!?

Cut to two hours earlier. Gwen is chasing some kind of people-eating monster. Owen is at the comms station. I thought he wasn't good at that sort of thing. She goes down into some public toilets, and a man is there. She thinks he is just a member of the public but OH NOEZ he is a red-eyed monster. She ineffectually shoots at him, and he runs off. Gwen tells the others that it's a shapeshifter, and is leaving a trail of black blood. Back on the street, he has shapechanged again but Gwen's sharp and recognises him because he's limping, and gives chase.

Cut to hen night. Gwen asks if there will be any food on the menu - but no, mainly booze, apparently. Hooray for Binge-drinking Britain, eh? Then a police-themed male stripper turns up. Is he allowed to do that in public?

Cut to (presumably) slightly less than two hours earlier. Gwen is pointing her gun at nothing very much and gets jumped by the monster.

Cut to the hen night in the bathroom. Gwen has a bandage on her arm. They talk about Rhys's cock.

Cut to earlier. Jack shoots the nasty monster, but not before it bites Gwen's arm.

Cut to hen night. She says she's wearing a fucking BANDAGE on her arm but it is "just a scratch". Yeees.

Alarm. 7.00 am. Saturday morning, in case you didn't realise. Gwen's wedding dress is on the wardrobe. The Super Furry Animals are playing on the stereo, just in case you didn't realise this was Wales. She gets out of bed, only to realise she's got a huge baby bump. Yep, Gwen is up the duff by a nasty alien. Ooops. This is why you shouldn't have your hen night the day before the wedding, ladies. Who knows what might happen? [Seriously, does anyone do that any more? What is this, 1988? - Steve]

Roll credits!

Owen is examining Gwen's bump, because he is a DOCTOR (although he's not wearing his white lab coat). He confirms she is pregnant. She says she can't be. Jack is sarcastic about it, which is perhaps not all that helpful. Gwen: "What with?" That alien last night, says Jack. It passed the egg on in the bite. [Either that, or she just shagged it when no one was looking. I wouldn't put it past her. - Steve] Owen says she's going to be fine. She's carrying an alien egg but she'll be alright because they have "procedures in place". Gwen: "You mean this has happened before?" Jack: "You've heard of immaculate conception, right?" Is he suggesting that the baby Jesus was an alien? Blasphemy. Owen says he's going to take her back to the hub and do some doctory stuff in his white lab coat, and in a couple of days she'll be fine. Gwen points out that she's supposed to be getting married in five hours' time, although personally I'd be like, "Fuck the wedding, get the frackin' alien out of my belly!" Jack and Owen tell her she can't get married but she refuses. Gwen refuses to postpone the wedding because "Rhys has had to put up with enough as it is." Well, maybe you should be nicer to him the rest of the fucking time! Stupid cow. He'll have to put up with those wedding photos forever. Jack tells her she's not thinking straight, and she shouts at him. She says since she's not in any immediate danger, wedding first, alien abortion later.

Rhys's mate's flat. Rhys is asleep on the sofa. The phone rings. It is Gwen, obv. She tells Rhys she needs to see him. He's all like, "Bad luck before the wedding!" but then reality hits and he realises Gwen has ruined this day as well as every other. Poor Rhys.

Torchwood Three. They're talking about Gwen. Jack reckons it will be okay as long as she doesn't go into labour: "Rhys might forgive her for going down the aisle pregnant but not if she gives birth to a razor-toothed monster that eats half his family." I dunno, Rhys is very forgiving. Owen has to do alien autopsy. Tosh is going to the wedding to keep an eye on Gwen. Ianto is in charge of getting Gwen a new, bigger wedding dress. I think I would want Ianto to choose my wedding dress. [But that would mean he couldn't be the groom - is that a sacrifice you're sure you want to make? - Steve] [Nope, not me. I would, however, let Tosh be my bridesmaid, the poor cow. - Carrie]

Gwen's flat. Rhys comes storming in demanding to know whether she's having second thoughts, but Gwen says she isn't and reveals the bump. Rhys is, naturally, taken aback. I like how she could hide it behind her arms. Perhaps that's her plan for the wedding photos. Nobody will ever notice... [Gwen clearly doesn't watch enough TV. Carry a big basket of laundry, stand behind the breakfast bar, have your head removed from your body for a whole episode...the possibilities are endless! - Steve]

A wedding dress shop. Ianto looks like he's eyeing up the dresses for himself. He tells the shop assistant that he's looking for a friend, and the man replies, "You'd be surprised, we're quite used to men buying for their friends." Ianto looks a bit dejected. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if he and Captain Jack decide to keep the dress when Gwen's done with it... just in case. [But Jack Does Not Love Ianto. Poor Ianto. He deserves so much better. - Carrie]

Gwen's flat. Rhys: "Bastard Torchwood!" Quite. "You're pregnant!" Gwen doesn't know what to say. Rhys shouts at her a bit, but then apologises because he is lovely. He is annoyed at Captain Jack, mainly because he doesn't like him, understandably, but also because he sent her out fighting aliens the day before the wedding. Gwen is all like "It's my job!" I wonder how much they get paid. It'd have to be pretty good, right? [On the basis that both Tosh and Owen appear to live in flats the size of gladiatorial arenas, I'm going to say yes. - Steve] Rhys demands gruffly whether Gwen is going to be alright, and she says Owen has "this big machine thing". Rhys: "Good!" Hee. Rhys sensibly starts planning to postpone the wedding, but Gwen refuses. Rhys tells her to forget the money, "I want you where they can look after you." Awww, he is so sweet! He says getting married doesn't matter that much, and Gwen shrieks, "It matters to me!" I think it's the first time this series that Gwen has actually been vaguely likeable. [Confession: I really liked Gwen in this episode. I think it helped that they played most of it for laughs, because Eve Myles really is very good with comedy. - Steve]

Torchwood Three. Owen is preparing to chop up the nasty alien. Tosh comes down to "talk to him" or something, but clearly is just trying to titillate him in her wedding get-up. He says she looks "Drop dead gorgeous", aaah, and she asks what he's wearing. He says he wasn't going to go, and she says it'll be fun. Owen: "Have you ever seen a dead man dance?" Tosh: "I've seen Fred Astaire in Easter Parade. Twice." Owen: "God you need a date... which this isn't, is it?" Tosh lies through her teeth and says it isn't - she just wants him to come. To the wedding. He agrees, soft touch Owen. Tosh looks pleased.

Gwen's parents have arrived, and are somewhat shocked. She tells them that she and Rhys wanted it to be a surprise - and she can get away with it because she hasn't been to visit them for ages, the heartless cow, because she has been so busy at work. I'm surprised anyone can be chuffed to turn up for her wedding, frankly. When did she find the time to organise it? Her parents seem to disapprove of her Torchwood job, as well they might. Anyway, after scolding her for not visiting and not phoning, her parents look really pleased. What are they going to think when they don't have a lickle baby? Poor parents. Heartless Gwen.

Aerial shot of Cardiff! Drink!

A Country House Hotel type place. Gwen and her parents arrive, and then Rhys's parents turn up. Their mums clearly hate each other, but fortunately Gwen has managed to hoof it while they're being snarky about each other's outfits so that Rhys's parents don't see - although they're bloody going to eventually, aren't they? Her parents are left to break the news.

Rhys is already in their room, and Gwen tells him that they "haven't thought this through". No shit! Oh, she is actually concerned about having to tell their parents that she's lost the baby. I guess she's not that heartless after all. Do you see what I mean about Gwen being likeable in this episode? Rhys suggests that she tells the truth - yeah, right - because "The lies don't work." Gwen points out that the truth in this case is hardly better. Then Jack phones to check up on her and says Tosh is coming to keep an eye on her. Gwen says she doesn't need a babysitter - which we all know isn't true, even when she isn't carrying an alien foetus - and then Rhys manfully grabs the phone and tells Captain Jack where to stick his help and hangs up on him when he is saying congratulations. Hee! I love Rhys. Gwen says it's not his fault, but most things can be blamed on Captain Jack, I feel.

Back at the hotel, Gwen's friends are arriving. "This place is nice, isn't it?" "Class on toast." Are they doing some kind of class commentary? Rhys's mates are twats. Also one of them is called Banana. That's not a name. Tosh arrives with a big box, and Banana tries to chat her up, but she tells him bananas make her vomit. He doesn't look like he understands.

Never mind, though, because in the bar there's a woman who doesn't seem to mind being flirted with - danger! She tells Rhys's mate Mervyn that she "likes to put on a show". I don't think she means quite what they think she means.

Back in Gwen's room, Tosh has brought Gwen the new expanded wedding dress. Tosh tells her that "Jack sent me over with this", and Gwen coos over how beautiful it is - but poor Ianto gets none of the kudos. He chose it! Tosh tells Gwen that she thinks it's nice that Gwen's "getting married whatever", even though she must realise it's all going to go horribly wrong at some point. Tosh is mainly jealous that she doesn't have someone to marry. Gwen: "There's always Owen." Tosh remarks that "Till death do us part" might sound like a bad joke, ignoring the fact that she's been doing, let's face it, a terrible job of seducing Owen. Tosh wishes Gwen good luck and leaves.

Back at Torchwood Three, Jack approves of the dress that Ianto chose (a bit late now!) and Ianto says he "estimated Gwen's size from the hub security laser scans". What, they keep vials of blood of all the employees, yet their dress sizes aren't on the database? Ianto reveals that his dad was a "master tailor" who could "size a man's inside leg measurement by his stride across the shop threshold". Like father, like son, yuk yuk. Jack and Ianto were just going to flirt a bit [horribly, I might add - Steve], when Owen comes striding across the threshold, as it were.

Down in the autopsy room, Owen has found the proteus gland - a shapeshifting organ of a nostrovite? No, me neither. It means trouble though, apparently.

In the bar, the she-monster is still flirting with Mervyn, despite the fact that he pricks her when trying to pin on a corsage. She asks him if he feels like "getting a bite", haw haw. Danger! Tosh comes to the bar for another spritzer and sees black blood on the woman's napkin - hopefully enough to set alarm bells ringing. [Though she was in earshot when the shapeshifter made the non-subtle bite comment and didn't pick up on it. Tosh has the idiot ball this week. - Steve]

Gwen's bridesmaids turn up to discover she's pregnant, and are suitably confused.

The she-monster is getting ready to make her move, and Tosh is desperately trying to work out which room she's in. Where is that Bluetooth earpiece when you need it? It would be helpful if she could let the rest of Team Torchwood in on the secret, don't you think? Banana turns up as well, and Tosh tells him not to call her "baby". Banana: "What shall I call you then? 'Beautiful'?" Tosh slams him up against the wall, hee! They are disturbed by Mervyn's screaming as the she-monster tucks into his innards. Tosh bursts into the room, gun poised, but is distracted by Banana blundering in and the she-monster knocks her out. She tells Banana he's lucky she's watching her figure (although, if you're a shape-shifter... duh) but she's going to keep him for tea.

Goody, back at the Hub and Captain Jack's going to tell us what's going on: "A nostrovite is a shape-shifting carnivore with a taste for human flesh." Good-oh. "It's intelligent and sneaky..." Owen says that nostrovites mate for life, and they always come in pairs. The male carries the fertilised egg in a sack in his mouth and passes it on to the host with a bite. Nostrovite childbirth is when the mother rips open the host. Quick, save Gwen!

In the hotel, Gwen passes the she-monster on the stairs, but doesn't attack her immediately.

Only now has Captain Jack worked out that Tosh isn't responding, so something bad must have happened. Jack asks Owen if he's ready for this: "You know what a nostrovite can do. You think you've got it covered 100 metres away and it's already chewing on your liver." Owen: "I don't need my liver." Wait, so is there some kind of get-out clause, "Sorry, I don't fancy taking on this episode's monster, I guess I'll just hang out at the Hub and order pizza"? Owen says that Team Torchwood needs him and his singularity scalpel. Captain Jack and Ianto are like, "What do you think you're doing with that, boyo?" and Owen reminds them that he saved Martha with it - besides, he's been working on it and he thinks he's got it sussed. Ianto agrees with Owen, and when Jack gets jealous he says he was "brought up never to speak ill of the dead, even if they still do most of the talking for themselves". They set off in the Obviousmobile.

At the hotel, Gwen's bridemaids (an aside: love their dresses) are still pondering the fact that "no way did she look pregnant last night". They don't seem concerned about the amount of alcohol she apparently consumed while heavily pregnant, however.

Upstairs, Gwen's mum is helping her dress. Her hair looks pretty. Her mum is lovely and supportive. Despite the nice dress that Ianto picked out, Gwen seems to be having second thoughts. Her mum leaves, then her dad comes out of the bathroom to discover her crying. Stop, Gwen! You'll mess up your make-up. Gwen 'fesses up to her dad that, "This baby isn't Rhys's." I think she's going to have to explain a bit better than that.

Rhys's dad can't find Banana, and tells Rhys that his mum says the wedding is "turning into a nightmare". She has no idea. He asks if Rhys is sure it's his, and he valiantly defends Gwen's honour. Actually he doesn't answer the question, he just says how much he loves her. She so doesn't deserve him.

Tosh comes to, trapped in some kind of web of black stuff way to cosily with Banana. They're well and truly stuck. Tosh: "Can you at least move your hand?" Banana's face brightens. "Away," she hastily adds, looking exasperated.

Gwen's dad is trying to be helpful, but she ruins everything by trying to explain to him about Cardiff being on a rift in space/time and how she works for Torchwood and hunts down aliens. Amazingly, he doesn't go, "Oh, Torchwood! You should have said..." Anyway, as though that wasn't enough, she then goes on to explain that an alien bit her last night and it's not Rhys's baby, it's an alien.

Downstairs, Gwen's dad confirms what we all suspected - he doesn't believe her nonsense story about aliens and rifts for a second, it's just the stress of the wedding. Rhys's mum complains about Gwen being late and how she wasn't late for her wedding, and Gwen's mum retorts, "No, Barry might have got away." Ha.

Banana has worked out that the she-monster will kill them if she comes back, and Tosh tells him not to worry because she's got friends who'll find them. He's not convinced, and starts yelling for help. Tosh tells him to shut up in case he attracts the she-monster's attention. It doesn't stop him, so Tosh has to find another way to shut him up. I think "Ow, that really hurt" is probably a bit of an understatement to having your balls crushed though, from what men would have us believe.

The Wedding. The she-monster is at the back. Why hasn't anyone realised she's not a guest? Oh goodness, can't you see what's coming? The guests are seated and the ceremony begins.

In the Obviousmobile, Jack is all, "Are we nearly there yet?" Jack says that what he doesn't get about marriage is "why come all the way out into the middle of nowhere, where no one can find you, to do it? That to me suggests inner conflict." [Shut up, Jack. - Steve] Maybe Gwen wanted to be as far as possible from Torchwood? Ianto tells him glibly that "It's because the happy couple want everything to be perfect." Owen points out that being knocked up by an alien isn't that perfect.

The Wedding. The registrar asks if there is anyone who knows of any reason why these two shouldn't marry, and Captain Jack predictably bursts in yelling, "STOOOOOP!" He's such a drama queen. Rhys's mum immediately jumps to the conclusion that it's Jack's baby. Gwen is pissed off. I would be too. I mean, they've practically got to the important part of the wedding - couldn't he just hover in the back and watch out for suspicious activity? Rhys is angry, but Jack tells them he is trying to save their lives.

Meanwhile, Ianto and Owen are tracking down Tosh and rescuing her.

Captain Jack has got Gwen and Rhys back to their room and explains the whole alien-baby-midwife-from-hell thing. Rhys shuts the door (sensible) and asks if Jack thinks she's near. Jack snaps at him, "She's a shapeshifter, Rhys. She could be out there making small talk with your mum and dad." No need to shout. Poor Rhys.

The bridesmaids are going crazy for a handsome stranger (well, Captain Jack) sweeping up the aisle and stopping Gwen's wedding. The she-monster is still lurking outside.

Gwen reiterates to Captain Jack that they're not stopping the wedding. Yeah, they could have had it bloody done by now, FFS. Jack tells her there isn't a choice. Gwen finally recognises that ever since she joined Torchwood, Rhys has had to put up with crap, but he's stood by her: "Who else would marry me knowing I'm carrying some sort of monster inside me?" (Gwen always has a mosnter inside her. It's called her damn personality.-Joel)Rhys is just pointing out that it's his wedding too, when a scream comes from another room.

The bridesmaid has found the remains of Mervyn. You'd think Ianto and Owen would have locked the room up or something. Jack sends Ianto after the girl to contain the situation. Tosh only now pipes up to say that she's seen the shapeshifter - a woman in black.

The guests all seem to be gathering again for the wedding - I would have stayed in the bar until further notice. Rhys's mum observes that, "The problem seems to be an American with no sense of timing or fashion." That's what Ianto is for. Not, as it would seem, for containing situations, because he spectacularly failed to stop the bridesmaid from telling everyone what she saw. Jack tells Ianto to jam the phone lines from the Obviousmobile to stop anyone calling the police. But since Torchwood are above the police, couldn't Ianto just phone them and tell them if they get any emergency calls about flesh-eating aliens, Torchwood are already dealing with it, so not to worry? Jack tells Gwen that Owen needs to operate, and Rhys and Jack shout at each other for no reason. Gwen tells Rhys that Jack knows what he's doing. Ha! Jack and Tosh go... somewhere.

Oh, they have gone down to the wedding, presumably to take control of the situation. The guests are all like, "Who are you ordering us around?" and Jack says they're Torchwood. Gwen's dad realises she wasn't just mental. Tosh spots the she-monster, and she and Jack fire indiscriminately in a room crowded with people but don't seem to have hit the she-monster, who escapes through the window.

Jack and Tosh do some running and gun-pointing, but the she-monster got away.

Back upstairs, Gwen is unimpressed with Owen's singularity scalpel idea. Someone knocks on the door. It's Rhys's mother. She tells them there's a monster and that "that American and the Japanese girl" went after it. Owen tells them to stay there and leaves. Not sure why. What if Rhys's mum is the shapeshifter? Best to stay there just in case. And if she's not the shapeshifter, surely they're not in any immediate danger and should get on with the whole alien abortion thing?

Owen and Jack talk on their Bluetooth headsets, and realise that Rhys's mum is in two places at once. Oops.

Gwen is just explaining to Rhys's mum about the baby being an alien, when Team Torchwood barge in, Jack telling "Get back, you ugly bitch!" Rhys is offended on behalf of his mum. Jack says it's the alien. The lady protests that she's not the alien. Jack: "Yeah, and the Lone Ranger didn't have a thing with Tonto." I think that offended her even more. Gwen points out that unless the shapeshifters copy smells, it's definitely Rhys's mum - she can tell by the overpowering perfume. Rhys socks Jack in the face - YAYZ! [Best episode ever! - Steve] [GO TEAM RHYS! - Carrie] (AGAIN!-Joel) "That's for calling my mum an ugly bitch!" And much else besides, I'm sure. Tosh points out that the actual she-monster is outside, so they all scurry off.

The she-monster is talking to Gwen's mum, and takes her hostage when she realises her disguise has been rumbled. Gwen is supposedly sacrificing herself to save her mum, but as soon as Gwen's mum is out of the way, Gwen shoots the alien using a gun stealthily concealed in her bouquet. The she-monster slinks off. Owen: "That's the kind of daughter any mother must dream of - cool as ice and packing an automatic."

Owen and Rhys take Gwen back upstairs to do their singularity scalpel thing. Owen has a quick chat to Rhys and explains that he's got one hand injured, and it would be better for someone with the use of both hands to do it. Hang on, if Owen's hand is injured, doesn't that mean it's going to be injured now forever because he is DEAD and his body isn't healing anymore? Just asking, like. (Indeed. And so much for Owen being a fragile corpse who can only make the coffee and must never ever ever go on field missions.-Joel

While Owen's explaining to Rhys how the singularity scalpel works, Jack pops in to see Gwen. Danger! If she wasn't pregnant with an alien on her wedding day and therefore somewhat preoccupied, I'd be quite annoyed with Gwen for not twigging the whole shapeshifter thing. "Captain Jack" comes up behind her and sweet-talks her. Gwen: "I didn't expect to meet someone like you. If I hadn't I'd be married by now." Jack: "You're not the only one who met somebody who knocked their world out of kilter." Sorry, but I'm still not buying the whole Gwen-and-Jack-are-secretly-in-love thing. [I noted that the sneaky promo people edited the trail for this episode so that it looked like Gwen was saying the line "I just want to marry you!" to Jack, whereas in the actual episode, she was saying it to Rhys. What was that about, eh? - Steve] (Hate. So much. Rhys is lovely. Ianto is lovely. They don't deserve being treated like this. HATE. THIS. PLOT.-Joel)Gwen says that Rhys has always been there for her, even as Captain Jack is moving in for the kiss. Stupid bitch. Of course, then it turns out to not be Captain Jack but the shapeshifter, begging the question - how would she know the intimate details of Jack and Gwen's relationship? I think the Jack-monster acting is some of Barrowman's best this series though. Rhys and Owen burst in, and Rhys whisks Gwen away while Owen shoots the Jack-monster. That must be satisfying, right?

Gwen and Rhys flee over the lawn. Gwen seems to have done a lot of rushing about for a heavily pregnant woman.

Having emptied his clip into the Jack-monster, Owen approaches the bed to see if it's dead. It's not. It considers attacking Owen - he encourages it, but it decides there are more pressing matters to attend to.

Outside, Gwen doesn't look in good shape and Rhys asks if she's alright. She replies that she's "running around in a wedding dress with what looks like a keg of lager stuck up my skirt - what do you think, Rhys?" Jeez, he was only being CONCERNED FOR YOUR WELLBEING, you cow. (What were you saying about Gwen not being a toxic wretch this episode?-Joel)

The rest of Team Torchwood return to find Owen alone in the bedroom. Jack asks him what happened and he says that, "It thought I'd gone off." Owen points out that they've shot the she-monster quite a lot now and it's still going - some motherly instinct making it unstoppable, apparently. I hope they brought a Big Fucking Gun.

Of course they did. I imagine Ianto packed it in the boot of the Obviousmobile just in case of such a crisis. He thinks of everything. Oh, insert your own Captain-Jack-large-weapon-related pun here, if you insist.

Gwen and Rhys are hiding in a barn. Rhys blocks the door while Gwen rolls in the hay. The she-monster works on battering down the door and Rhys gets out the singularity scalpel, telling Gwen that Owen showed him how to use it. [Eve Myles's reaction face here is first class, by the way. - Steve] First try, he explodes something behind Gwen. Oops. After a quick recalibration, the second try seems to work more effectively, and Gwen is even alright. Just in time, because the she-monster (having changed, for no real reason, back into Rhys's mum - perhaps the Captain Jack botox was hampering her shapechanging?) breaks in, demanding her baby. Rhys tells her that it's too late, and starts up an old chainsaw that happens to be sitting in the corner of the barn. Doom, anyone? No? Rhys is angry, hee! Just as he's about to carve up his-mum-monster, the chainsaw fails. Rhys: "Fuck!" Hee. Bet they had to cut that from the 7pm repeat. She-monster: "You're a bad boy. And you know what bad boys get?" Unfortunately we never hear the answer because her head explodes. Yep, it's Captain Jack with his rocket launcher. Jack:"How's that for a shapeshift?" Worst. One-liner. Ever. [It didn't even make any sense, although I'd wager that it might have been surpassed by Jack's "O RLY?" from 'Countrycide' as the most ill-advised one-liner they've ever trotted out. - Steve] Jack tells Rhys he looks good splattered in blood and then picks Gwen up in an overly familiar way. It's okay though, he's just delivering her to Rhys because, "The hero always gets the girl."

The Wedding, Take 2. Team Torchwood have been allowed seats right at the front. I'd have made them sit at the back. [I wouldn't have bloody let Jack in the room. - Carrie] Finally, though, they've managed to get married. I wish Gwen would stop glancing meaningfully at Jack though.

Wedding Reception. Paul Weller is playing. [It so should've been 'The Changingman'. - Steve] Owen asks Tosh to dance. Aww. Captain Jack cuts in on Rhys and Gwen's dance. Rhys goes to get a beer. Jack tells Gwen to enjoy the honeymoon. Gwen: "What will you do when I'm gone?" Jack: "The usual - pizza, Ianto, save the world a couple of times." Poor Ianto. I wish he would get a new cybergirlfriend or something. It would serve Captain Jack right. Jack says that Rhys is "a lucky man - a perfect husband. He's loyal, brave, he's got a hell of a swing on him - and best of all he really loves you." Ianto cuts in, with a bit of trouble. Tch, what will Gwen and Rhys's relatives think? It's not exactly a wartime dance though, I suppose.

Later. The wedding guests are all falling asleep. Rhys: "You'd never have thought that a couple of hours they nearly got torn apart by an alien psycho-bitch." Gwen realises that something's not quite right - yes, Jack's mindraped the wedding party. Gwen: "You retconned our families?" Jack pulls a naughty boy face. Gwen admits that it's probably for the best. Doesn't this mean that nobody will remember that they even got married? I'm sure last time they mentioned retcon, it was implied that it would make you forget what you'd been doing for the last couple of months. Jack suggests that the happy couple might want to take some too, but Gwen says there will be "no secrets in this marriage". They leave for the honeymoon. Team Torchwood set about the mop-up operation, and Jack tells them to do a good job because it's Gwen's wedding. Ianto: "That's what I love about Torchwood - by day, chasing the scum of the universe, come the night you're a wedding fairy."

Aerial shot of Cardiff! Drink!

Jack returns to Torchwood Three alone, and blows some confetti into the air. Tch, Ianto's going to have to clean that up in the morning. Jack gets a wooden box out of his desk. Qu'est-ce que c'est? Ah, old photos. OMGZ! Captain Jack in a wedding photo! Who'd have thought? Well, he does get around a bit.

Next week on Torchwood: some freakshow people escape from an old film to terrorise Cardiff. Whoop! Don't miss it.