17 days left and we're continuing on my countdown to Miracle Day, Torchwood re-watch! I'll be watching an episode a day and blogging bits and thoughts. With any luck this is going to read like an episode guide and commentary. Let's dive right in!

Episode: To The Last Man (Series 2 Episode 3)

Written By: Helen Raynor

Original Air Date: 30 January 2008

Sentence Sum-Up: A frozen World War I soldier is the key to preventing time from bleeding together, which would be bad.

Notable New Characters:

Tommy Brockless (Anthony Lewis) - A World War I soldier taken from 1918 by Torchwood and frozen so he can help save the future. He becomes romantically involved with Tosh but ultimately has to return to his time and his death.

Favorite Quote:

Tommy: (To Tosh) "We could go back to mine, but there's only room for one, and it's bloody freezing."

Never Noticed:

When they bring Tommy into the conference room Ianto passes out food and coffee and says, "Don't expect the best china". That's amazing, leave it to Ianto to apologize to company for the quality of the china. 

When Tosh and Tommy are outside he makes a comment about it being her choice to be in Torchwood. She says, " Yeah... I suppose it is." which I never really thought about, let alone the look on her face. We know at the time of this episode Tosh has been part of Torchwood for about 4 years. We know because Tommy is woken once a year and they've had 4 days together. Granted it could be more than 4 years, but definitely not 5. Why am I harping on this? Because in Fragments we learn Tosh is recruited from Jack out a UNIT prison and he offers to release her, if she works for him for 5 years. Fact is, it wasn't really her choice, not in the same way as the others. I think this was a very clever hint that I didn't pick up on the first however many viewings. Yesterday I said I don't think they quite sussed out everyone's backstories before Fragments but I think they did know Tosh's at this point.

When Tosh and Tommy are in the pub at one point he reaches for his head and winces. When Tosh inquires he says he 'felt something'. I guess the idea is either he could feel the time seeping through or because time was slipping through he was getting his frozen memories back? I'm not entirely sure, but at any rate I never noticed it.

WTF Moments:

The whole end goal of this episode is to prevent a time shift because as Jack says "Two different times should never exist simultaneously." I am confused by this and here's why. Remember in Captain Jack Harkness what was going on in the dance hall?  Jack called it " a simple temporal shift". Ummm, am I missing something? Isn't that the same thing? Why was that charming and not a big deal when this one was world ending? Anyone?

Gwen makes an off hand remark about more frozen soldiers. It annoys me. She really can't help but come off as the most available person ever? Rhys who? Who cares? Clearly not Gwen. It was a quick moment but it hit a nerve.

Jack's explanation as to why Tommy is fine in the present but shell-shocked in the past. He says, "When Torchwood took him and froze him, they froze his most recent memories. When he returns to 1918, he'll revert back to who he was." What? Is this one of those things I am just supposed to accept because it's Sci-Fi? I should just trust them? I don't get it. How does freezing someone also freeze their most recent memories? Or was it a different process? And if it was how did they do it? And if they had that technology why don't they just keep him that way? Or cure all people who could benefit from frozen memories. While their at it how about using Retcon for good and curing trauma victims. I don't know this sounds iffy at best.

On a similar note, cool that Owen had a brilliant plan at the end but it went straight over my head. What did he do to Tosh and how did it make her astral project into the past? I'm not a very god Sci-Fi fan am I? Ok fine, I'll get back in line. Here I go, smiling and nodding. Yes of course that's not only plausible it's likely. Yes, clever Torchwood.

Random Rants:

Jack Harkness is a sexy character. Part of what makes him sexy is the physical attractiveness of John Barrowman, we all agree so far? John is very handsome with lots of lovely features but if I'm being honest the thing I find most physically stunning about him...

He has nice hands!! I know, I know, we learned in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang that some fetishes should be kept to ourselves. But am I wrong? I'm going to stop this rant now.

It's great seeing the new tone Tosh and Owen's relationship has taken. I think ever since Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang Owen is starting to notice her and is feeling very protective of her. There's the great scene with Owen comforting her, expressing his concern about Tosh getting attached to Tommy as he did Diane. It's all very sweet and Owen is being redeemed in the eyes of the Owen-haters. Not that I count myself as one. I just hope people pick up on the fact that he, and their relationship has grown this series.

Jack and Ianto in this episode. So many fabulous moments, so many candid conversations that show us that what they have is more that a basic attraction between them. We get of course the famous kiss scene and we get to see Ianto taking charge. Ianto takes a lot of chances this episode and he's the one to initiate the kiss. I love seeing this side of their relationship rather than letcherous boss and his employee, the prey. What a lot of people don't notice about their relationship is Ianto hols his own. He's not simply the courted and he's not afraid to challenge Jack. Great job of showing that here.

MVC (Most Valuable Character):

Tommy gets it this episode. Aside from the fact that he saves the world, making him pretty valuable, he's just a lovely character. He's sweet and charming and not hard on the eyes. He's got a couple of funny moments but you know there is more to him. In one episode we fall in love with him and the idea of him and Tosh. Anthony's portrayal was very honest. He's the center of the episode and he's a big part of the reason it's so great.

MVA (Most Valuable Actor):

While Anthony was certainly a key player and a fine performer I think the slight edge goes to Naoko as Tosh. The poor girl just keeps getting her heart stomped on and Naoko does a bang up job of being tragic without seeming pathetic. Tosh remains hopeful even though she's not had the best of luck in affairs of the heart. Perhaps most impressive is the love we feel from her. I noted how great it was that we managed to fall for Tommy and the pair in one episode but Naoko had to make us believe it. She had to fall in love in no time and go through this emotional character journey. AND she had to do it out of order, they filmed this episode all out of turn. Naoko really brought her A-game, she gave us emotion without ever being over-the-top and we find we love Tosh more than we ever did. Also worth noting that she looked beautiful the whole episode, even more so that usual. Well done all around.

Episode Grade:

I realize I am assigning an A+ each episode willy-nilly this series but it's just been that good! I am not  just giving all episodes top ratings because some are better than others, but series 2 so far has been PERFECTION. I think the show has really hit it's stride, maybe the best series of the 3 to date. This episode is love and heartbreak, sacrifice and triumph, taking chances and losing, it's just beautifully written and acted. I loved every minutes.

Tomorrow's Episode: Meat (Series 2, Episode 4). Remember I'll be live tweeting my re-watch on the @BarrowmanDay twitter at 12:00am PST (US - West coast) and 8:00am GMT (UK). Hope you all can watch with me and chat.

That's it for today! Hope you enjoyed my run down. What did you all think of this episode? Did you notice anything new? What grade would you give it? xx


All "Countdown" Blogs

Yes, John does indeed have very nice hands. And they're big :-) See the scene close to the end in "Captain Jack Harkness", when the real Captain Jack comes to ask Torchwood Jack to dance, Tosh and Jack are sitting at a table, holding hands. Naoko is petite and prolly has small hands, but seriously, hers look so tiny in John's. Now, was there a saying about the size of a man's hands... ;-)


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