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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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torchwood 2.11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Glee and some vague annoyances.

ETA: I'm very pro-Gwen in general. I feel I should warn for this.



God I love this show, and it reminds me why I love Gwen so much. I never meta this show, as it is my romp and by God, I refuse to think deeper than pretty.

But I hit glee (missing people!) and frustration at the same time. Hard.

Torchwood Boys, an Open Letter:

Rhys - I don't even know how to deal with you in this episode. Leave your work problems at work? Are you kidding? I get your frustration, and you started off fantastically and brought home a lot of issues I really think need to be dealt with and then, instead of stopping--really, should have stopped--leave your work problems at work? Please, Rhys, tell us more about how relationships work? I thought they were partnerships! I thought the whole thing with keeping the memories was to share her work. I thought a marriage was sharing a life.

Why Rhys? Why did you go there? Why? Stop one sentence earlier.

*thoughtful* At first, I blamed a lot of their problems on Gwen and her work and her feelings for Jack, but the more I watch Rhys, the less sure I am that's the case. I need to think about this more, because I was startled how much I disliked him here and I need to go back and rewatch and reapportion again.

Jack - I know this is hard and will shorten the plot, but try this. I bet anything that an explanation and tour? Could have done the trick. Yes, life is hard that way. There are secrets you are perfectly entitled to keep and there are a lot of them. This wasn't one of them. There was literally no reason not to tell her. I mean, I cannot think of a single good reason. I can't even think of a bad reason other than pure habit.

Also, stop being an ass. Yes, I know, it's shocking when someone doesn't instantly obey. You know, with people vanishing and your less than any kind of explanation and mysteriously showing up when it happens and all. I can totally see why it would shock you anyone would wonder!

Ianto - You're perfect. That is all.

Writers - do the words "amnesia pills" mean anything to you? As you trot those out, why in the name of God you didn't give some to Gwen for the mother is unreal.

Plot:

I think this one hit close, what with Child and etcetera.

That was amazing and terrifying without even like, anything terrifying happening. Tosh and Gwen working together was fantastic. Gwen's focus was fantastic. The slow realization of how many people was fantastic. It was beautifully done, from the meeting to the Room of Missingness.

I liked the fact after Jack shut down Gwen's investigation, Ianto didn't like it. Mostly because Ianto's so quiet, it's so easy to assume he goes along with Jack, when actually, he really doesn't. He just, you know, rebels differently. Gwen yells the house down; Ianto is stealth-ninja rebel. He'd be a very good rebel spy. Like, a freaking amazing rebel spy actually.

Really. Make him spy on something now. He'd be like, tea? And stealing secrets. In front of people. It's awesome.

I love that people are being taken by the Rift, because yes, that's logical. And they come back not quite right. Also excellent.

I have to agree with Gwen though--I'd want to know. That's my kid. A year, ten years, twenty years, it stops being hope and starts being obsession and--I don't think that heals. There has to be a point where you move on. That the woman took out her anger on Gwen? Understandable. But I don't think the episode was right in this one; sometimes ignorance is bliss, yes. But in this, with a child, a husband, a wife, family, close friends--knowing can be good.

And if it is not this is Torchwood. Amnesia pills! Argh. That annoyed me unduly.

Things I Wish For:

1.) At minute three in the twenty hour scream, give the guy a sedative. Seriously. I'm also vaguely surprised that the nurse didn't bring that up before. You know, when Gwen was around the first time, or when they called to say they were bringing his mother.
2.) Amnesia pills. No, really. Why on earth not? If it's just for the joy of Gwen guilt, wow. That's just annoying. There are so many ways to make it genuine. You do not have to abandon a logical plot point to do it. Really.


I need a Gwen icon. *thoughtful*


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He'd be a very good rebel spy. Like, a freaking amazing rebel spy actually. ... He'd be like, tea? And stealing secrets. In front of people. It's awesome.

... And now all I can think about is a Whoniverse/Pan's Labyrinth fusion with Ianto in the part of Mercedes. How cool would that be?

I was thinking of WWII while I wrote it. *grins* Though not that. THough now I am.

*wide eyes* That would be *deeply awesome*.

Ianto has the best lines and the best (most consistent) characterisation throughout Torchwood (and I haven't even seen 2x11 yet...)

I seriously love Ianto, and I didn't think I would. The consistency could be the reason for that, too.

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*nods* He does. I love he knew instantly how Gwen figured it out.

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Still nothing. Displeased.

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Your awesome is an amazing awesome.

Thank you!

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You know - with the Rhys thing? It bothered me too when he said about leaving work at work - but I think he was still smarting from Gwen saying, no, no kids, no babies EVER! I think it was his version of lashing out about that, and I think he redeemed himself totally in the last minute when Gwen tries to make it all about him and he sits her down and lets her cry all over his chest, and explain... (Finally! :)

*nods* I was fine up until that line, because his frustration was so obvious with the situation. That one just kind of made me pretty much want to slap him silly.

There was literally no reason not to tell her

I did wonder, on rewatching the team meeting scene, if her attitude just pissed Jack off. I got the feeling he had been through this himself already - the 2 in the basement, maybe tried to *do* something for them, it went badly so started the island thing. So when Gwen is all "we have a duty, have some compassion" Jack just thinks "screw it, let her learn the hard way" Which isn't great either but I could sympathise.

Huh. I didn't see anything wrong with her attitude other than determination to find out what was happening. *shrug* YMMV. If Jack refused to explain because he was sulking--I really can't understand that. In Gwen's shoes, I'd have been a lot angrier that he didn't just tell them right off what was going on with that.

On Rhys-- I completely agreed with him. Gwen has a way of condescending to him and acting as if his 9 to 5 life and concerns are beneath her. That's bullshit, and he called her on it.

Of course, he wants to hear about her work and anything that interests her or bothers her, but at that moment, Gwen needed to shut her mouth and listen to *him,* something she hadn't done all week.

Rhys loves Gwen a great deal, which we know, because he has accepted situatuions that would have had me running for the hills, but he has to make sure that their lives *together* are as important her her as her work.

Yeah, I've never seen that in their relationship, so definitely agree to disagree.

With that whole business about retconning the wedding party, *not* doing it here was just...wrong.

Yes! That's why it felt so ridiculous. Pill, bottle of water, done! Just, wow.

I agree with you completely on the Rhys thing, but on the other hand I also have a lot of sympathy for him. They definitely implied that this is an explosion that's been building for a couple of weeks between them, and the things she said to set him off were pretty unbelievable. So I don't blame him for reacting that violently, and you could tell that she didn't, either, because she was trying to backtrack and explain, and her opening choice of words ("it's just this case at work-") could not have been better designed to set him off further. I know how he feels, when you've been building and building towards that kind of rant, and it's just *so hard* to stop even when you know that you're probably going a little too far. And I think he realized that in the end, when he takes one look at her Stepford Wife impression and the way she was literally breaking apart trying to hold onto it, and he gave her a hug and asked her to talk about work.

I really wanted to smack Rhys at the end of his little rant, in fact I looked at the screen and said, "Okay, you just lost my sympathy," out loud, but that scene at the end worked it out for me. It felt like they'd, if not necessarily come to an accord about the underlying issues, then at least forgiven each other for what was said.

I can't help but agree with Gwen, though. You can have either babies or you can have Torchwood, you can't have both. And I think eventually she's going to be forced to choose one or the other. Poor Gwen.

As to the rest of the plot... Also agree. Though mostly with a big side of, "WTF Jack?" I can't help but wonder if the whole ringamarole wasn't some obscure lesson and maybe later it was just punishment for not understanding quickly enough, or for challenging his judgment and his command. (I bet he came by later and retconned Niki. But he wouldn't bother to tell Gwen he did it.) Jack's so used to being in command, he still doesn't understand the effects of Gwen leading the team for months while he was gone.

I bet she was better at it, too. I keep feeling like they're trying to make Jack this incredibly human figure, like he's learned how to love and care and feel pain so much more deeply than he had before the immortality thing, but for me they're totally missing the mark. He feels cold, and hard, and kind of heartless at times, actually. He was more human to me in the last episode of season one of Doctor Who than he's ever been on Torchwood, no matter how much he cares about his team. Maybe in a million years when he's the Face of Bo, he'll have finally reached that kind of soul-deep wisdom and universal love, but the way he is now he's just bowing under the weight of too many years, and it's... not pleasant for me to look at.

That is *why* they need Gwen. That's why she was brought on in the first place. She's the human character, Jack, the way he is now, barely comes close.

Uh. That got a little long, sorry. But you pretty much articulated most of the things that felt wrong for me during this episode.

Oh yeah, with Rhys, it was definitely building and I was totally with him--then was like GOD REWIND REWIND REWIND NOW STOP MUST NOT STRANGLE.

I can't help but agree with Gwen, though. You can have either babies or you can have Torchwood, you can't have both. And I think eventually she's going to be forced to choose one or the other. Poor Gwen.

I had a bad feeling about that bit, too. Really bad. Indescribably bad.

As to the rest of the plot... Also agree. Though mostly with a big side of, "WTF Jack?" I can't help but wonder if the whole ringamarole wasn't some obscure lesson and maybe later it was just punishment for not understanding quickly enough, or for challenging his judgment and his command. (I bet he came by later and retconned Niki. But he wouldn't bother to tell Gwen he did it.) Jack's so used to being in command, he still doesn't understand the effects of Gwen leading the team for months while he was gone.

*nod* Yes, exactly. I really expected something, you know, universe ending for Jack to act so freaky about it, but this was not so much that And also, considering his penchant to vanish for months, probably something he should have all of Torchwood know about so as to make sure it continues. There just wasn't a good reason for Jack to hide it other than just because he could. And in this case, it wasn't a personal or political secret; it was a part of Torchwood itself. So--yeah. Exactly.

Also, what was with the gothic, water-dripping-from-the-walls concrete bunker rooms? I would be primal-howling for twenty hours a day too!

Doesn't Jack figure out that Ianto helped Gwen? It would be interesting to see if there's any fallout from that, either in the "You betrayed me! Again!" vein or just acknowledgment that they disagree on some things. And although Ianto does appear to be a lap-dog (he he!) in some respects, he argued with Jack about telling Gwen so he does feel they're on an equal footing, while considering that Jack is still the boss.

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