torchwood: two hands in love

Finally caught up on Torchwood

Short version: I feel like I've been watching Miracle Day like the annoying kid in the backseat of the car constantly asking "are we there yet? are we there yet? are we there yet?" The answer is always "maybe in one more episode." Episode 7 finally made me feel like we'd gotten somewhere -- with the plot, and even more importantly, with our emotions.

Episode 5, "The Categories of Life," is where I started losing faith. It's like, every episode says NO ONE IS DYING, THIS IS BAD. And I'm all, I KNOW HARRY POTTER ALREADY TAUGHT ME THAT EVERYONE HAS TO DIE. Then there was usually a cool action sequence, the ultimate result of which was IT IS VERY MYSTERIOUS HOW NO ONE IS DYING, AND ALSO PEOPLE WANT TO KILL US. But no actual information was given, and the plot did not advance, and then I'd download another episode whose main point was HAVE WE MENTIONED IT IS BAD IF NO ONE DIES? ALSO, OSWALD DANES IS CREEPY.

Things started to pick up for me about halfway through episode six. Esther's fight scene? OMG! I don't think I've ever felt so genuinely terrified for a character. I love how she didn't have random martial arts skills to bust out, how she looked really rough at the end, and how thoroughly, thoroughly freaked out she was even after doing something completely bad ass. That's real bravery when you do the hard thing even though you are completely terrified. (Okay, maybe Harry Potter taught me that too.) And I love Rex's reaction to her at the end. I mean, how can you not be kind to someone who just saved you from being tortured and then burned to death while still conscious?

Now, here's the thing it really hurts to say: I'm happy Vera is dead. I loved the character, but also didn't really feel anything when she died, which I think is indicative of a writing problem. (Or maybe Torchwood has just conditioned me to expect everyone to die, not that I'm bitter about that or anything, Russell T. Davies.) Then, when I started pondering why episode six and seven were so much better than their predecessors, I realized that there were no long scenes of exposition in hospitals. Then I realized that Vera was the instigator of all those scenes before. Her function as a character was to let us know IT IS BAD IF NO ONE DIES. Now that we've gotten that message several times over, and now that the Torchwood newcomer spot is so solidly filled by Esther, Vera had to go. Too bad so sad Vera, wish the writers could have found better things for you to do. I'll try to write a fanfic for you later.

And here I am at episode seven, and I don't even know what to say in the face of its amazingness. This is the first episode that made me feel something the whole way through. I even felt something for Jack, which is completely new. Man, people who can't die really bring out the cruelty in other people. His whole relationship with Angelo was so poignant, right down to the way it ended. And I love how he turned out to be behind the whole thing. Torchwood is best when it remembers that people are infinitely scarier than aliens, and I love how the ultimate reason for Miracle Day might be a twisted love affair.

And Jack and Gwen's scenes: so perfect, every single second of them. Gwen's uncompromising honesty when she looks at herself, beautiful too. I don't even know what else to say about it, so I'm going to stop here. What a brilliant episode, and how sad that the others couldn't all be like it.
Thank you! I was SO bored up until ep 5, which I will say finally captured my attention. Then ep 6 with Gwen blowing shit up. But really, when a full half season is wasted, it's a travesty. Every minute counts! I think they could have cut out half to three fourths of the set up of THIS IS BAD WHEN NO ONE DIES LOOK HOW BAD IT IS. Way, way too much exposition. I've also really disliked how they've written Jack's character this season up until ep 7, but now I have faith that maybe there's a plotty reason for it.
Oh thank you for your thoughts on Vera! I felt awful for feeling like she was basically merrily skipping along leading the way to her own death. It was like a scene from a classic horror movie where the victim runs up the steps instead of out the wide open front door and you just want to scream. No pun intended.

I am, however, anxiously waiting for SOMETHING to happen. Lets work on some resolutions people!

And while I love Jack and Gwen (especially together ((that car ride was just sooo good)) I may heart Esther and Rex a wee bit more.
Yeah, her death did feel a little contrived to me. I was pretty baffled when the guy shot her, but I was also baffled by her rant, which seemed quite OOC. Ah well, I guess they needed someone to die so that it felt like something real was at stake.
Yes! This is the first episode that has excited me in so many ways! I happen to really like Vera as a character, but thank you for pointing out that she's been dragging the show down. She's brilliant, but her role didn't really fit into the show, and it's flowing so much better now. (Of course, this episode also lacked Oswald and Jillian, and Random MD Fallout Subplot of the week, so we'll see how it goes when those come back.)

Just, one thing...

"Torchwood is best when it remembers that people are infinitely scarier than aliens"

I...don't like it when they SHOVE IT IN OUR FACES LOOK HOW BAD PEOPLE ARE. It was great in this episode, because it was a sort of uncontrolled mob mentality (and we don't quite know Angelo's current state of mind) and it was terrifying in a far more understandably way, I guess. But in COE and MD, when the government betrays its citizenry, I feel like a message is being forced on me, not shown organically. I don't know quite where I'm going, but there's a line somewhere, and this episode handled it well.