by Billie Doux
Jack: "I forgive you."
Tosh and Owen went out like heroes. I've never been fond of Owen, but I did rather like Tosh, and their spectacular deaths in tandem were quite moving. Tosh didn't tell Owen that she was dying, too; she was just there for him in his final moments, an incredible final act of unselfish love. Owen acquitted himself well, too. In his last moments, he was calm and brave, and he wouldn't let Tosh take the blame. I also loved Tosh's recorded farewell from the grave. What a classy way to go out, Tosh. Her backstory in "Fragments" explained a lot about her. She was sort of living on borrowed time, anyway.
Since Jack can't die, he got something much worse than death. Two thousand years buried alive as penance for letting go of his little brother's hand? Since it's just too disturbing, I choose to believe that Jack was dead that entire time. How could he repeatedly revive with no air to breathe? Why isn't Jack insane? He was rather Christ-like, actually. His first words to Gray were "I forgive you." Mine would probably be, "I'm going to kill you slowly, and then I'm going to commit myself and stay in a drug-induced haze for the next century."
Maybe waiting for the Doctor for over a hundred years gave Jack a philosophical long view of life. Is it possible that Jack knew that another timeline version of himself was in that cryo box in the morgue all this time? Did that help him focus on the fact that he knew when he'd be rescued, and that the lives of his mates were depending on him?
What a wonderful performance by James Marsters. He was clearly signaling with his expression and tone that he wasn't "his own man," and Jack just didn't pick up on it. Hart even looked upset when he was setting the bombs off, and his cleverness with the ring kept Jack from being buried for eternity. I had a couple of problems with it, though. Hart had one trip back. Why didn't he just go forward a day and retrieve Jack? Would they have been stuck back in 27 AD, even with Hart's time gizmo? And for that matter, did Hart get a personality transplant? He turned from a killer maniac into a damned good guy. I liked it, yes, but it didn't make sense. Or was he also under Gray's control in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"?
Torchwood now has openings. Couldn't they give Andy a job? What about Martha Jones? For that matter, why not Rhys? He knows all about Torchwood, keeps his head in a crisis, and he'd get to spend more time with Gwen. Win win. Maybe he could make the espresso.
Bits and pieces:
-- I'm so glad we didn't see Owen's horrible re-death, or Jack choking over and over.
-- Gray called Jack "Jack." Did he just know Jack's current alias, or did this finally confirm Jack's real name, after all?
-- Did Hart go looking for Gray in order to do something good for Jack? (And oops.) What happened to Gray was just too extreme. Doctor Who does tend to go for the extremes and the horribles, though. What good will freezing Gray do? I suppose it was the only alternative to killing him. Will they have to wake him every year?
-- Yes, it's been done, but I still loved the Indiana Jones scene with Ianto and Tosh versus the reaper guys with the scythes.
-- Torchwood 1901. One of the women from 1899 was still there, but not the other.
-- We found out what happens if you cross your own timeline in the Doctor Who episode, "Father's Day." It's not good.
-- Only Torchwood could save all of Cardiff? Cardiff has no emergency personnel?
-- Hart and Gray killed Jack in this episode. And who knows how many times Jack died while he was buried under Cardiff? Once, I'm telling myself. Just once.
Jack: "This is a little extreme, don't you think?"
Hart: "What? Suddenly you're anti-bondage?"
Hart: "It's always the same. Nobody cares until you tie them up."
Ianto: "Put Jack on right now."
Hart: "Eye candy! That was so masterful, so bossy, so basically powerless."
Rhys: "It's like Fort Apache, the Bronx, innit?"
Andy: "Apart from the fact the surrounding forces are savage aliens and we could all die, it's almost exactly the same, yeah."
Owen: "Give me one good bloody reason why I shouldn't! One good reason why I shouldn't keep screaming?"
Tosh: "Because you're breaking my heart!"
Tosh: "If you're seeing this, I guess it means I'm, well, dead. Hope it was impressive. Not crossing the road, or an incident with a toaster."
I didn't love this one as much as "Fragments" or "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", but it was an outstanding finale. Season two just blew season one away. Four stars,