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Torchwood: Adam

Jack: "I let go of his hand. It was the worst day of my life. It's the last thing I want to remember."

Adam was a little reminiscent of Dawn in Buffy – like he was always there, when he hadn't been. He seemed to be an emotional vampire, sucking these weird emotions out of everyone. No one was themselves.

Tosh and Owen were their season one personas, but reversed – with her all sexy and cruel to him, and him all nerdy and full of unrequited love for her. (Rather satisfying, in a karmic sort of way.) Gwen was confused and managed to forget Rhys entirely, which wasn't that funny since she nearly killed him. The ever positive and confident Jack was depressed and introspective. Adam might have gotten away with it for a very long time if he hadn't fed poor Ianto memories of being a serial killer. Why go so far afield, when what he did with Tosh and Owen was just naughty fun?

The conference table scene is one of my favorites in the entire series. There was such emotional honesty in the little things they revealed to Jack, knowing it would all be forgotten when they lost their memories. Gwen told Jack she loved him, in a different way than she loved Rhys. Owen gave us a glimpse of the terrible childhood that drove him to overachieve. (And act out, I assume.) Tosh sees herself only as the sum of her professional accomplishments. Ianto defines himself by whom he loves; formerly Lisa, now Jack.

Jack treated them with such parental tenderness. He loves all four of them for exactly who they are, and he believes in them. (What a lovely performance by John Barrowman.) It was Jack being a good father to all of them, as a contrast to his failure with his brother Gray.

Jack's great mistake, the tragedy of his past, was the monumental sin of panicking and letting go of his little brother's hand. But Jack was a child, too; who could blame him for that? How could a child take responsibility for the alien raiders who killed his father and took Gray? Things that happen in our childhood tend to be larger than life, though, and children grow up and hang on to what they felt at the time. As Jack has.

I loved the imagery at the end of Jack pouring sand out of the memory box. It really spoke to me. Probably because I grew up at the shore, and my late sister and I spent a lot of time at the beach when we were kids. And my memories of her are so full of pain.

Bits and pieces:

-- In "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," John Hart told Jack that he'd found Gray. And in "Captain Jack Harkness" last season, Jack told Captain Harkness about the war against "the most horrible creatures you can possibly imagine."

-- Jack's father's name was Franklin. We still don't know Jack's real name; his father called him "son."

-- Owen brought Tosh sandwiches, just like she did for him an episode or two ago.

-- Ianto keeps a diary. I'd love to read what he wrote about Jack.

-- The retcon worked on Jack. He can sleep, then, if he's drugged.

-- The Boeshane Peninsula in the 51st century was shown as just a beach, with a huge, futuristic building in the background. Anything more would have chanced looking unreal, so they went with minimal.

-- I didn't like Adam at all. I wonder if we were supposed to? Probably not. But I think we were supposed to feel bad as he was being forgotten out of existence, and I didn't.


Owen: "It's a screen cleaner. I thought you might like it. Do you like it?"
Tosh: "Just what I need, a small rodent looking at me while I work. I think I'll call it Owen."
Gwen: "He's like a little puppy bringing her sticks. When's he gonna realize he's got no chance?"

Gwen: (to Jack) "I love him. But not in the way I love you."

Tosh: "Knowing I'm special. Waiting for someone to see it."
Jack: "I saw it."
Owen: "You save one life, a hundred lives, but it's never enough. Who'll save me?"
Jack: "I will."
Ianto: "Coming here, it gave me meaning again. (looks at Jack) You."

Jack: "Found your diary."
Ianto: "Been looking for that."
Jack: "And for the record, measuring tapes never lie."

Loved most of it. Three stars,

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


  1. I really loved this episode. It shows so much of the interior of the characters. I don't think that Adam originally made Ianto a serial killer, I'm not sure we ever saw what Adam did to Ianto. He only picked the serial killer memory implant after Ianto started to realize that Adam didn't belong there. Then I think Adam picked the one identity that would destroy Ianto, and make him commit suicide. I don't know if Adam was incapable of killing anyone himself, or he just didn't think that if he did kill Ianto, he could get to everybody in time to make them not start investigating.

  2. Certainly a revealing episode. Adam was a good plot device for getting every character to behave differently too.

    Jack's story with Gray is definitely heartbreaking and explains a fair chunk about the way he is as a person.

    I loved the gang revealing their secrets, some of the best writing/acting from the series.


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