Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach
redscharlach

C'est la vie, said the old folks

You are cordially invited to read my comments about the latest episode of Torchwood. Please bring a bottle and your own supply of retcon.

This week it's "Something Borrowed" but not much is blue apart from Jack's shirt.

  • It's Gwen's hen night, and she's already been chewed on by a strange man before she even gets to the pub. Meanwhile the Torchwood team scan everywhere for giant alien larvae, but they fail to check out the specimen that the stripper is hiding down the front of his thong.

  • Then Gwen wakes up with a pink Lycra-clad bulge of her own and it's even more impressively sized. Nonetheless, she refuses to call off the wedding. Why? Because it's Wednesday night, she's pumped full of hormones from Planet Handwave, and they need a plotline, that's why!

  • To save the day, Ianto is sent shopping on his own, looking for a large wedding dress suitable for a Lay-dee. For style's sake, I only hope he's not going to wear it with the UNIT cap.

  • Oh look, Tosh has rediscovered that push-up bra that Adam made her buy a couple of weeks ago! She probably doesn't remember where it came from, but it's plain to see where everything's heading: upwards.

  • "Swansea's not another planet." Alas, Mrs Cooper, as far as Torchwood are concerned, it might as well be, as this very pertinent sketch from Dead Ringers proves.

  • Ha, Rhys's mother is Nerys Hughes! I must admit, I was slightly disappointed that Gwen's mother wasn't Ruth Madoc, but I forgot about that when I realized how sweet Gwen's dad was. Awww.

  • Hold the novelty garter belt! Gwen's having a panic that the wobbly plot isn't going to hold out for the entire 45 minutes, but critical sitcom mass is now approaching and everyone decides to carry on regardless in the hope that a few more comedy wedding clichés will see them through.

  • Can you spot the Evil Shapeshifter Lady hiding in this scene? Clue: her hair is strangely neat, her gaze is glassy, AND she used to be in Ultraviolet. (Boring-but-true bonus fact: I have the same necklace as her! It is from Accessorize, purveyors of cheap jewellery to rampaging alien entities near you.)

  • And the award for Crappest Thing To Say To Your Single Mate goes to Ms Gwen Cooper for her mindbogglingly patronizing comment to Tosh. Yes, if no living man wants her, she can always marry a corpse, what a comforting thought. I'm amazed they don't mention that one on the adverts for Match.com.

  • Ah, so Ianto's eye for detail (and inside legs) is inherited. Perhaps the now-legendary measuring tape is a family heirloom too?

  • Alas, poor Tosh, yet another romantic disaster: stuck with a Banana in a skin.

  • When Jack ran in and stopped the wedding, was anyone else reminded of this scene from The Vicar of Dibley?

  • It's Evil Possessed Nerys of the Dead, a.k.a. the mother-in-law from hell! And Rhys wants to murder her but can't quite keep his chainsaw going. Sigmund Freud would have a field day. But hey, when you can't symbolically do in your own mother, Jack's always willing to do her for you.

  • Aww, poor Ianto, ever constant but only noticed by the object of his adoration when it's convenient. And although he manages to squeeze in a fanfic-friendly slow dance with Jack, Jack's eye is completely off the ball. I DID like "What are you going to do while I'm away?" / "The usual. Pizza, Ianto...", though.

  • Predictably, the whole shebang ends in a celebratory haze of retcon. Heaven knows that a great many family occasions could benefit from the same treatment. And then the TW crew have to go and clear up a half-eaten DJ. A wedding fairy's job is never done, you know.

  • It's telling that most of Jack's souvenir snapshots are pictures of himself, isn't it? Talk about the only man he'd ever be happy with...

    Nevertheless, as viewers skilled in the game of Spot-the-Plot probably guessed the minute he started rifling through his box, Jack was (not-very-surprised gasp!) married once. Rather boringly, it seemed to be to a woman. (Or possibly a very convincing transvestite.) I don't know whether this revelation is destined to be yet another perennial tease or whether we're ever going to hear more about it (I suspect the former). However, if it was more than a throwaway, then perhaps Jack's speech about Rhys being "the perfect husband" could be interpreted as implying that Jack himself was certainly NOT perfect in that department.

    To stretch this premise even further, perhaps this actually provides some context for why Jack hasn't already grabbed Gwen and made off with her? If he thinks that it would have to be a serious long-term relationship, but he's royally cocked up a similar relationship in the past. it would make some sense of why he's been so reticent. Mind you, this explanation relies on a lot of flimsy inference and the writers really want to have their cake and eat it where Gwen/Rhys AND Gwen/Jack are concerned, so I shall not be counting any alien plot-chickens before they hatch.

  • Overall then, better than I thought it was going to be, but that may be because my expectations of a wedding episode were pretty low. Despite the sitcom clichés, there were a few giggles in there, Rhys rocked BELLS, and the underlying tedium of the Jack/Gwen interaction was not as painful as I had been anticipating. Nonetheless, I doubt we've seen the end of anything yet. Roll on next week...
Tags: torchwood
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