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Torchwood: Something Borrowed

Gwen: "Have you any idea how much a wedding costs?"
Jack: "Listen, Gwen, you are not carrying the baby Jesus in there."

It's not easy to pull off a good wedding episode, especially on a sci-fi show. But this was a terrific wedding episode. It was surprising, funny, outrageous, somewhat poignant in spots. It even had a chainsaw, and how many wedding episodes have that? (Because you have to have a chainsaw, as Joss Whedon would say.) And the ending was perfect. It felt like the whole thing had to end in tragedy, but instead it was champagne, dancing, and a huge dose of retcon all around.

I was surprised by how much I loved it, because I honestly didn't want Gwen to go through with it. Yes, Rhys is a sweetheart. He's gentle and even natured and good to her, and she needs a life outside of her crazy job. Gwen has said more than once that no one else will have her, although she can't actually believe that. It's probably just that if there were no Rhys, there would be no dramatic impediment to Gwen having a mad affair with Jack. And we can't have that, can we?

In fact, this episode pretty much teased the hell out of the Jack/Gwen shippers. Gwen married Rhys, but all of the romantic vibes were centered around her scenes with Jack – especially the bedroom scene with the shapeshifter, and that dance near the end. Rhys was (understandably) feeling threatened, and actually punched Jack in the mouth. Even the bridesmaids were certain Gwen was in love with Jack.

I can imagine that loving Jack would be a scary, difficult thing, and that may be why Gwen keeps her distance. That faded photograph told us that Jack was married at least once, a long time ago. Did it work out? Was he faithful? Did they have children? How did he explain not getting older? And what about Ianto? The way Jack referred to Ianto (grouping him in with pizza and saving the world) implied that his feelings for Ianto are pretty casual. That's been consistent throughout the series. But it's not fair to Ianto; we can tell he loves Jack.

Tosh and Owen were surprisingly fun. Tosh made complete verbal mincemeat out of Banana Boat. And Owen was professional and dedicated. He made Tosh happy by complimenting her and dancing with her. He's a lot more lovable as a dead man.

Bits and pieces:

-- Gwen looked gorgeous in that dress, even covered with alien gore. The unflappable Ianto found her a lovely one. Rhys should have rethought the red waistcoat and yellow tie, though. Although maybe it was Gwen who chose it.

-- Gwen's parents were sweet. Rhys's parents were less so. Gwen telling her father about Torchwood and aliens made her sound totally insane. Rhys going after his "mother" with a chainsaw was interesting, from an Oedipal point of view.

-- Loved Gwen going nuts with instant uber hormones. Also loved all of the references to immaculate conception. Gwen and Rhys even wound up in a pile of hay when she finally got rid of the "baby."

-- When Ianto cut in, Gwen thought he wanted to dance with her, not Jack. How silly. She was only the bride.

-- Another lovely performance by Eve Myles.

-- The shapeshifter was able to fake the right clothes, too. How could that be?


Jack: "Gwen's going to need a new wedding dress. Bigger."

Owen: "Drop dead gorgeous, Tosh, and I think I speak with some authority."

Banana: "I'm Banana. I suppose you can tell why."
Tosh: "You come up in spots and go soft quickly?"
Banana: "Actually, I'm the best man."
Tosh: "Evolution is full of surprises."

Jack: "Ever since Owen died, all you ever do is agree with him."
Ianto: "I was brought up never to speak ill of the dead."

Rhys' mother: "I wasn't late for my wedding."
Gwen's mother: "No. Barry might have got away."

Gwen: "There were two of them?"
Jack: "Ma and Pa Nostrovite. They hunt in pairs. But childbirth is more of a three-way."
Jack manages to put just about everything in sexual terms, doesn't he?

Rhys' mother: "I'm not an alien!"
Jack: "Oh, you're good, I'll give you that."
Rhys' mother: "But I'm not!"
Jack: "Yeah. And the Lone Ranger didn't have a thing with Tonto."

Gwen: "What will you do while I'm gone?"
Jack: "Oh, the usual. Pizza, Ianto, save the world a couple of times."
Gwen: "Will you miss me?"
Jack: "Always."

Ianto: "That's what I love about Torchwood. By day, you're chasing the scum of the universe. Come midnight, you're the wedding fairy."

Four out of four stars,

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


  1. Just wanted to say, that I am amazed by the speed of Your Torchwood reviews.
    I don't even have enought free time to read them all :(
    Will propably catch up the next time I watch the episodes

  2. I must confess that I haven't been writing them *that* fast; I've been working on them on and off for most of the summer and was stockpiling them so I could post them while I took a writing vacation. Which is now over.

  3. As someone who prefers Gwen with Rhys more than Jack, I'm glad she married him but this was my least favourite episode of the second season. Though in light, the lightness was needed after so many dark episode.

    Rhys punching Jack was amusing given what Jack called his mother. I didn't like Rhys's mother but mums often get a bad rap on this show and Doctor Who.

    The alien wasn't their best one too but some nice moments at the end of the episode.

  4. Wedding episode AND the 9-months pregnant over-night plot, that certainly isn't easy to pull off right, and they did a really good job with it.

    I particularly liked Gwen shooting her "mother-in-law". From the little we've seen of her, Gwen must have enjoyed it :)

    But wouldn't at least one of the newly-wedded worry about none of their friends and family (apart from Torchwood) remembering them getting married? There's always the photo album I suppose...


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