The mouse in my flat is still at large, and peanut butter has failed to lure it into the trap, worse luck. Also, as if to taunt me, last night they repeated the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie had a mouse in her apartment, but fortunately Mikhail Baryshnikov was on hand to thwack it with a frying pan. Hmph, if only he were actually in the pest control business, then I would give him a call.
And now, some fragmented thoughts on the aptly named "Fragments".
The Framing Device
- The first shot was a teasel! Did anyone else ever make hedgehogs out of these when they were young?
- Okay, enough horticulture, on with the show. Brace yourselves, Torchwood crew: I think someone is about to set off a very large plot device...
- This episode must have been what everyone else was filming while Gwen was making "Adrift". This division of labour was a neat alternative to having a Torchwood-lite episode, and certainly infinitely preferable to having to sit through Random Shoes 2.
- This is a veritable Jack fact-fest. Glee! For a start, 1,392 deaths. Crikey, no wonder he's getting bored with it.
- Sideburns! And a caped version of the Coat! And a wet-shirted Mr Darcy scene, with added nipple clamps! For a dizzy moment, I was half expecting him to sprout a terrible Oirish accent, but then I remembered that I wasn't watching Angel.
- Crikey, those Victorian Torchwood ladies were sadistic little minxes. Never get on the wrong side of a lady in a bustle.
- Good grief, an actual Doctor shout-out! Despite the fact that the entire audience know fine well who he is, it's almost a shock to hear someone mention him out loud.
- "First I'm going to kiss him, then I'm going to kill him." Hmm, that sounds like a cue for a song (Once More With Feeling, anybody?). Anyway, it's rather a shame that this isn't what actually happened... well, the first part, at least.
- Blowfish, hooray! Nice to see the Beeb getting decent value out of that expensive looking mask. And as an added bonus, Spooky Young Girl (TM)! I like continuity, it makes it look like they actually give this thing some thought. Or maybe they just wanted to get good use out of the specially designed pack of cards? (The graphic design nerd in me would also like to know whether there's a full deck of designs, or whether they only made the cards you see on screen.)
- Theory time: So did Jack deliberately avoid the Doctor for a century to stop their timelines from crossing, or because of Spooky Girl's prediction, or both? And did Jack start turning down booze in favour of water because he wanted to prevent any more loose-lipped telling-blokes-in-bars-his-life-story incidents?
- It's odd to see him with the silver headset again, now that they've dispensed with it. Also unmourned by me was that odd pockety gilet thing that Jack wore for the first couple of episodes of series 1 and then abandoned.
- A whole century of service as a field operative before he got promoted to be the boss. Gosh. Still, if he had any fears about how well he'd do at management, at least he couldn't be any worse than Alex the gun-happy nutcase. (I occasionally think about murdering people at work, but I always manage to refrain.)
- I wondered if she was being forced to make a sonic screwdriver. Close but no cigar.
- Obscure actor-spotting of the week: Evil kidnapper woman used to play the lesbian lawyer who tried to seduce Anna in This Life!
- Bloody hell, UNIT have become a bit of a fascist organization over the years, haven't they? Wonder if this side of them will get followed up in DW series 4?
- I wondered if we were going to get some sort of tie-in to Tosh's original Aliens in London appearance. But we didn't, although I think it can be assumed that she was there under Torchwood's direction.
- Well hello there, Ianto and your tightly denim-clad crotch. What's a nice boy like you doing hanging around a park late at night, eh?
- I had wondered whether we'd see Lisa. We didn't, but she remained subtextually present throughout. Also, if Ianto didn't move straight from Torchwood One into Torchwood Three, did he have to move the cyber conversion machine into a rented flat or something? I'd hate to explain that one to a landlord.
- Blethering Ianto fangirl that I am, there were many little bits to love in this section: "Jones. Ianto Jones.", coat compliments, reciprocal suit compliments, elite coffee skills, even more elite stopping-cars-with-his-crotch skills, Jack getting his phallic symbol out (the big squirty syringe thing), the pterodactyl loving dark chocolate (a beast of taste!), Ianto offering to fetch the dry-cleaning. Oh, why can't I have a
Iantobutler? I bet he'd sort my mouse problem out...
- The thing about Jack's natural scent (nudge nudge) was cheesy in the extreme, but I'll let him get away with it. Bet it'll be mentioned in three zillion fanfics by this time next week, though. Maybe he should bottle it as Eau de Harkness? In fact, I'm reminded of an icon I made many moons ago:
- Why, when Ianto had just been seen in more than one casual outfit, did he end up going pterodactyl-hunting in a suit? Is he simply very adept at predicting Jack's kinks??
- You're probably all bored to death of me praising GDL's elite acting skills, but he really is a little wonder. His walking away with tears in his eyes said more about his feelings at this point on both Lisa and Jack than a hundred angst-ridden fanfics ever could.
- The flattest of the four portions, saddled as it was by explaining how Owen used to be an upstanding citizen before he became the sleazy wanker of series 1. Answer: he had a fiancée and her brain got eaten by an alien. Beyond that, I found it rather hard to be very interested. Sorry, Owen! I did quite like his "dead" episodes earlier in the series, but here it was hard to get a sense of Katie or what she was like. (The buttkicking ladies of Victorian Torchwood put across much more character than she did, in about the same amount of screentime.)
The Bit At The Very End
- And now we're done with flashbacks, here comes Flash Hart! I knew he was coming back for the series end, and it was an easy guess that Gray would come into it, so there we go. We're all set up for Captain John having a monstrous hissy fit of revenge because Jack doesn't fancy him any more. It'll probably be ridiculously silly. I can't wait.
- Overall then, "Fragments" just as easily be called "Any Excuse for a Flashback". But when the flashbacks are as filled with long-awaited backstory, gleeful shout-outs, returning aliens,
sexy Welsh boys in tight trousersand all-round canonical fact-filled fun as these were, I really can't complain.
As usual, I didn't watch the trailer for the final episode, so please, no spoilers! I shall now endeavour to get my final batch of mini-TW icons posted before the big finale on April 4th...