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Torchwood: Greeks Bearing Gifts

Tosh: "So I'm shagging a woman and an alien."
Mary: "Which is worse?"
Tosh: "Well, I know which one my parents would say."

Despite its flaws, this was the second episode in a row with lots of character development goodness.

The mind-reading pendant got Tosh a lot more than she bargained for. The thoughts Tosh kept hearing on the street were just great — very clever, although not up to the standards of the Buffy episode "Earshot." Hearing Owen and Gwen thinking about their supposedly secret affair and acting like naughty children was quite funny, too, in an embarrassing sort of way. Owen's attitudes seem to be rubbing off on Gwen. Too bad it isn't the other way around.

Tosh is desperate for love and attention, or Mary wouldn't have gotten to her so quickly or affected her so profoundly. I had to assume that Mary used some sort of alien mojo on Tosh, too, because I just couldn't imagine an employee as loyal and hardworking as Tosh shooting her mouth off about Torchwood to some strange woman in a bar that she just met.

More gay sex. It's the gay sex sci-fi show. Jack was established as bisexual in Doctor Who, Gwen was kissing a woman in episode two, and now it's Tosh's turn. Fine with me, except it still feels like we're getting sex for the sake of sex. And what are the odds that we'd get three bisexuals in a five person office? Okay, Gwen was under the influence, so officially only two. So far, that is.

I really liked Jack in this episode. He seemed a lot more like an ageless, unflappable immortal, figuring out the transporter, getting rid of Mary, saving Tosh from her mistakes. Okay, a little manic, but John Barrowman is nearly always just plain fun to watch. And we got another tidbit in our what-the-heck-is-Jack sweepstakes: Tosh couldn't read Jack's mind, except once when he deliberately threw a specific thought in her direction. Tosh said it was like Jack was a dead man. Doesn't seem likely when he can eat and drink and have sex, but hey, he was dead, and resurrected. Even Jack doesn't know what he is.

Tosh now knows that Owen will never go for her. I can sort of see why Owen finds Tosh annoying. She's brilliant and good looking, but she doesn't play well with others, has no outlets, and seems to lack a sense of humor. She thinks she wants Owen, but what would she do if he suddenly went for her? I don't know if she'd jump at it, or back away in confusion. Tosh, find someone else. Really.

Well, at least Owen isn't the last person Tosh has kissed any more. And Tosh may have momentarily outstripped Jack in the sex-with-aliens department.

Bits and pieces:

-- Tosh was born in London in 1975, and lived in Osaka as a child. Her parents were in the RAF. She began working for a government science think tank at 20, and has been in Torchwood for three years. When was she a prisoner?

-- "Dr. Sato," played by the same actress, was in a first season episode of Doctor Who called "Aliens of London." Was she in UNIT then? I don't recall.

-- Tosh learned that Ianto is in terrible emotional pain. He's barely functioning, although he's hiding it extremely well.

-- Again, strong indications that Owen is very good at his job. Even if he did get the skeleton's gender and cause of death wrong at first.

-- Jack was standing contemplatively on a high place again. Maybe he likes to feel that he is master of all he surveys. Maybe he just likes high places. Personally, heights always make my knees feel weird.

-- Jack talked on the phone with the Prime Minister.

-- They never did explain why an alien would chain smoke. It seemed like it had something to do with her alien physiognomy, but I wish they'd said so. Mary's first victim was a killer of prostitutes, too. I thought they were going somewhere with that one, but no.

-- Why are mysterious alien pendants always green?


Jack: "Just once I'd like to walk into one of these tents and find it's a party. You know, with food and drink, people dancing, a girl crying in the corner."

Gwen: "Any idea what it is?"
Jack: "Not a clue. Could be a weapon. Or a really big stapler."

Gwen: (thinking) "I wonder if I could get Owen to come down to the vault. No, couldn't have sex in front of a weevil. I couldn't even do it in front of Trevor Kendall's cat."

Owen: "They ate eyeballs, they drank blood, they had sex with animals. But they did not pluck out each other's hearts because obviously, that would have been weird."

Jack: "So you secretly fight crime. Is that it, Tosh?" Tosh may have made some mistakes, but she saved that woman and her son, and stopped Mary from ripping out any future hearts. Not a bad day's work, Tosh.

Jack: "It's a two-man transporter. Or whatever you people may be. You might be squids for all I know. A two-squid transporter."

Mary: "You smell different than them."
Jack: "That's nothing. It's when you compare teeth with a British guy. That's when it's really scary."
Mary: "What are you?"
Jack: "I don't know."

Jack: "I reset the coordinates."
Tosh: "Where to?"
Jack: "To the center of the sun. It shouldn't be hot. I mean, we sent her there at night and everything."

Two stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Dang I'm behind with commenting on these episodes.

    Great one this. Loved Toshiko and Mary made for an interesting alien menace as well.

    BTW, Billie, I've done Season 1 reviews for Sarah Jane on my blog.

    Toshiko does need to get out more though. She's too insular as a character.

  2. I am not sure, however, that Jack's solution to the problem with Mary was entirely necessary. She just didn't seem -that- irredeemably evil. Send her on a one way ticket to her homeworld, where she's a wanted criminal, perhaps.

    Or perhaps I'm just a big softie. I liked that the Doctor, for example, would kill when necessary (or if the reason was -really- good), but tried to avoid it when possible. With Jack, it doesn't seem like he even considers other solutions.


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