Monday, July 20, 2009

baby's on fire


yesterday's review/recap of day one was rather out-of-hand, lengthwise. this one's shorter, hurray!

ok, so. torchwood's down but not out ... not while the heart is still beating. better yet, said heart, aka gwen cooper, is blasting away two-fisted. look out, haters!

when gwen comes to after the explosion, choking on the smoke and temporarily deafened, the hub's just a fiery crater. two EMTs arrive -- but they're really assassins! the people who blew up her workplace and hurt, maybe killed, her friends? gwen so kicks their asses, taking their guns and the ambulance, then questioning one lackey, who screams (b/c she shoots him in the leg) that he works for the government and was only following orders.

pc andy (tom price, yay!) overhears johnson tell her minions that gwen and ianto are terrorists. he protests, but later directs her crew to gwen's place, still insisting she's not dangerous. gwen, having rushed home to collect rhys and get the hell out of there, pops up and blasts the black ops' SUV ... but only the tires. some terrorist, smirks pc andy.

dekker tells frobisher that the 456's message is instructions for building something. which they're doing, on the top floor of thames house, aka the HQ of british secret service MI5. frobisher says how come the 456 can communicate with such detail but still uses the children? dekker says it's to scare the humans, duh.

frobisher chats with the PM, asking whether any other country has been contacted besides britain. seems not. still worried about repercussions if the world learns their secret, froby wonders how long they can keep the previous visit quiet. then he actually thanks the PM for trusting him with all this responsibility. what a tool. the PM loftily informs frobisher that all he's done is put him on the front line -- the first to fall. indeed.

alice isn't really in this episode, except for repeated scenes trying to call jack. but he can't come to the phone right now, b/c he's having the worst. day. EVAR.

johnson's minions find an arm, shoulder, and part of a head at the hub site. they whisk it all off in a body bag, watched from afar by a grim-faced, still bloody and dusty ianto.

jack's body parts go to a government facility, where the bag's put in a cell with camera surveillance. pretty soon it starts to fill out, so johnson has the bloody skeleton chained to the cell wall. apparently they found the back of his head; otherwise, wouldn't we see part of jack's face instead of just a gory skull?

most of this ep is about running and rescue (and regeneration ... not just of jack but of TW itself), but we get some of the nicest character moments here too, amid all the chaos. especially lovely is how rhys learns of gwen's pregnancy, a surprisingly light scene that wonderfully demonstrates how tuned-in these two lovers are. (nice work, writer john fay.) they're bumping along in the back of a lorry loaded with potatoes -- their stealth transport to london.

gwen says she feels sick, even though she never gets travel sick, and then flumfers a bit, asking rhys, you know how some announcements go better in your head? and he's like, whattaya mean, announcements? and she just kinda smiles and looks away for a sec, and he totally gets it without her even saying. in spite of the dire situation and uncertain future, they're sooo delighted. sweet.

it's back to business when they meet up with lois, who's proving to be as tenacious and one-step-ahead savvy as any torchwood operative. she overhears when johnson calls froby to report jack's revival, then bugs him about the torchwood thing, risking bridget's wrath. lois intercepts gwen's call to frobisher's office and meets the fugitives at a cafe. while handing them cash for a meal, the floor plan to jack's prison, and the salt, brown sauce, and sugar, she fills them in on the blank-page assassinations. she doesn't even lose her cool when gwen huffs where's frobisher (torchwood's usual government liaison)? she just says he's the one who ok'd the bombing.

all the while, lois works out her own moral confusion -- if TW are the bad guys, why doesn't their file say so? and if TW are the good guys, why's the government trying to kill them, and who is lois working for, exactly?

rhiannon's husband, johnny (rhodri lewis), steps up too. soldiers ransack their house in the middle of the night, searching for ianto, who later sneaks a message to his sis inside the morning paper. it says meet him at the place where their dad broke ianto's leg, and bring a laptop. rhiannon's upset that he's put them in the middle of all this, but johnny insists they're the only family ianto's got. so he's not a total homophobic oaf, after all. he may change his mind about helping when he finds out ianto took his car, though.

in london, we see the scary traffic circle not once but TWICE. eyiieeee!

fleshed-out now, all white and nekkid, jack yanks on his chains and yells a challenge. johnson appears through a portal high above him, snarks, then pours gallons and gallons of concrete into the cell. now, that's containment!

lois, gwen, and rhys hatch a crazy scheme to rescue jack: gwen and rhys will pose as undertakers picking up rupesh's body. the ruse holds, even after the escorting soldier flirts hard with gwen, and rhys loses it. the grunt narrows his eyes and accuses them: "you're a COUPLE, aren't you?" ahaha.

but of course they can't rescue jack b/c he's drowned in concrete. plus, johnson and crew tip to the plan and bring on the firepower. (gwen's only got two hands, after all.) they're nicked -- but then there's a huge CRASH! it's ianto. and he's driving a forklift truck ... which he uses to extract jack's entire cell. gwen and rhys hop on, and they're away. it's totally ridiculous -- and totally awesome!

ianto drops the block of jack into (what else?) a quarry, and it breaks apart. jack awakens as the trio drive to the bottom to retrieve him. he stands in the rubble, still naked, with an indecipherable look on his face. then he says, "told you i'd be back!" irrepressible. gwen, averting her eyes, hands him a jacket and says get in, we've got work to do.

back at thames house, frobisher, dekker, and bridget -- an odd mirror image of ianto, gwen, and rhys -- check out the finished construction job. it's a big room, dominated by a glass chamber being filled with a prescribed combination of gases -- poison to humans. dekker says perhaps the room is an ambassadorial suite. or a throne room. or maybe a slaughterhouse.

they muse how the 456 will arrive inside this sealed glass chamber. no clue, but whoever they are, they're coming for britain. bridget wants to know why. dekker says indeed: why, mr. frobisher? the bureaucrat just walks away, leaving dekker to approach the now fog-filled chamber. he breathes on the outside of the glass and adds some fog of his own.

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