Friday, 10 July 2009

Torchwood: Children Of Earth (Day 5)

Jack: "You said yourself, the world is going to hell any second. Before it does, give us a moment of grace. Just take Gwen home, please. I can't look at her any more."

I was in tears with this one. A tragic finale really. In the end the children were saved. But the cost was so terribly high, that it was difficult to see it as a victory. Steven's gone. Ianto's gone. Jack's gone. Torchwood is seemingly in tatters. I feel quite glum.

Was Frobisher a good man? Bridget thought so. And there's no question that what he did, he did for the good of his girls. But it's hard to view someone who commits familicide as a hero. The sad thing is, it wasn't even necessary. In the end, Jack stopped the 456. The children were never taken. Hats off though to Peter Capaldi. He was simply brilliant in this role. Frobisher was a fascinating character from the get-go. We'll never know his true motives, and he did some terrible, terrible things. But his deeds affected him. He wasn't emotionally detached from his crimes. There was hope for him. And, at least at the end, he cared enough to spare his family the terrible fate which awaited them. He also spared himself. Four shots rang out. It wasn't just the children. He took all their lives... his own included.

Despite my comments on day three, I was still hoping against hope that Steven would be immortal. There was always an outside chance. I'd have sooner betted on that, than on Jack sacrificing his grandson... even if it was for the greater good. But, ultimately, it was necessary. I imagine the fragile relationship that existed between Jack and Alice is now gone. At the end she couldn't bring herself to go near him. And Jack, clearly, can't live with himself. He's on the run... from what he's done... from what he's become. Will he ever come back? If there's a fourth season, I suppose he must.

In the end it was all about drugs. The children produced chemicals that the 456 found pleasurable. They were in effect, drug traffickers. I found that mildly annoying. It just added to the pointlessness of it all. Make no mistake, this was a very bleak story. I thought “Exit Wounds” was a misery-fest, but this episode left me feeling a lot lower. So what was all the green stuff the 456 were spewing out? Some sort of reaction to the drug? They never really told us.

I'm pleased the PM got his comeuppance. People like that deserve all they get. Whatever his punishment, it won't be enough. It never is. They way he treated Frobisher, making him sacrifice his own children as part of a government propaganda drive, was reprehensible. I think Bridget was in love with Frobisher. If not in actuality, then certainly from afar. The kiss confirmed it for me. And she spoke so softly of him, and with such understanding, there was clearly a deep respect between them. And with Lois' help she managed to trap the PM using Torchwood's contacts. A payback for his treatment of Frobisher. Good on you, Bridget.

So there we have it. A fitting end to what's been a stellar week for Torchwood (the show, if not the organisation). I've really enjoyed it, more than any other season... truncated though it was. We never get the endings we want. And I don't like the thought of Captain Jack being so lost. But John Barrowman was brilliant throughout this whole season. I've never seen him look more convincing as an actor. So I think the show still has legs. I just hope the BBC allow them to run again.

Bit's and pieces:

-- Forget the fire extinguishers. All hail the brick!

-- It was good to see PC Andy and Johnny wading into the riot forces. I actually liked Johnny. At times he was a bit crass, but his heart was in the right place.

-- The best thing I've seen on British television all year. When Doctor Who returns in the autumn, it's going to have to work hard to match this.

Quotes:

Gwen: "I'm recording this in case anyone ever finds it. So you can see... you can see how the world ended."

Johnny: "He didn't say anything about my car did he?"
Gwen: "No."
Andy: "Sorry."

Gwen: “There's one thing I always meant to ask Jack. Back in the old days, I wanted to know about that Doctor of his... the man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn't. All those times in history, when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know... why not? But I don't need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame."

Alice: "Even if 90 percent look away, what sort of a world are you leaving behind?"

Jack: "This planet is too small. The whole world is like a graveyard."
Gwen: "Come back with us."
Jack: "I haven't travelled far enough yet. I've had a lot of dirt to shake off my shoes."

Gwen: "Are you ever coming back, Jack?"
Jack: "What for?"
Gwen: "For me. It wasn't your fault."
Jack: "I think it was...."
Gwen: "No."
Jack: ".....Steven, and Ianto, and Owen, and Tosh, and Suzie. All of them, because of me."
Gwen: "But you saved us, didn't you?"
Jack: "I began to like it... and look what I became. Still, I have lived so many lives. It's time to find another one."

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