Dana's TW4 Blog - Barrowman Day
26 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 gonna read like an episode guide and commentary. Let's dive right in!

Episode: Greeks Bearing Gifts (Series 1 Episode 7)

Written By: Toby Whithouse

Original Air Date: 26 November 2006

1 Sentence Sum-Up: Tosh encounters a mysterious woman with a pendant that grants the wearer telepathic abilities.

New Characters:

Mary (Daniela Denby-Ashe): A woman Tosh meets that turns out to be an evil alien. Tosh falls for her and then Jack kills her.

Favorite Quote:

Ianto: [Thinking] "Can't imagine a time when this isn't everything. Pain so constant, like my stomach's full of rats. Feels like this is all I am now. There isn't an inch of me that doesn't hurt." [Out loud] "I’m about to brew some of Jack’s industrial strength coffee. Would you like a cup?"
Tosh: "I’m … fine, thanks Ianto."

Never Noticed:

There's an empty birdcage in Tosh's apartment. I'm curious as to it's implications. Is it just a decoration of did she have a bird that she neglected and either killed or had to give up?  Could it be a very clever metaphor for her life? She's an empty birdcage? Missing the essentials of what gives a birdcage purpose or makes a life worth living? And is it because she spends all of her time at Torchwood? Either that OR I am reading waaaaaaaay too much into an empty birdcage. Probably that, yea.

I swear I am not making this up. There is a giant dragon mural on a wall at the Hub. I don't remember which scene we saw it in, but it's visible behind Tosh. It's so random, but I think I'm ok with it. Torchwood 3 could use a bit of Welsh pride.

Maybe I noticed but I at least don't recall the greatness of Jack's outfit when he's on the phone to the Prime Minister. It's worth noting when he's not in his signature blue but to be in stripes and burgundy braces? Thrilling. I haven't been this excited by a wardrobe change since Ianto in jeans...oh wait that was last episode.

WTF Moments:

In the tent a conversation between Gwen and Owen makes it clear to Tosh they've been intimate and Tosh shoots Gwen a look of shear disdain. I never noticed it but I was happy Tosh did, what the heck Gwen? It's not like she doesn't know Tosh has feelings for Owen, why flaunt their affair? It's a bit mean spirited if you ask me. I'd expect that from Owen but why is Gwen going along with it? What happened to her caring so much about others?

Gwen's thought's about Tosh wearing boots and jeans. First of all Gwen isn't exactly the queen of fashion as demonstrated by the shirt she's wearing that scene. Secondly, Gwen does that ALL THE TIME, so who is she to criticize? Even in her head. Thirdly, I do it all the time and I think it's still happening. Whatever.

When Gwen is mocking Owen for his mistakes concerning the body they found. What? For someone who messes up as often and as thoroughly as Gwen does she sure is quick to judge and taunt. Not cool.

Random Rants ( I tried to break these up as they were lengthy so I numbered them to keep it clear):

1. Tosh comes into the Hub wearing the pendant and hears various thoughts from each member of the team. Of course when she's near Jack, instead of hearing his thought's she hears nothing. The first thing you think is, Jack is different from everyone else so this is just another side effect of the mystery of Jack. he can't stay dead and you can't get into his head. Easy enough to accept. But then later when Mary is holding Tosh hostage Jack projects his thoughts to Tosh. Or I guess that's what he does.

It makes no sense that she would be able to hear him at that point but not earlier so it has to be something Jack is actively doing. In that case it would seem to me that Jack is able to be read but is previously blocking Tosh. I don't think that at that point he suspected Tosh so I doubt he actively protected his thoughts. Which then leads me to the belief that his thought's are always protected without any sort of effort on Jack's part. Someone suggested that Jack has probably, during his time with the Time Agency, had some telepathic training. I guess I buy that. He's trained to have his guard up, but he can choose to let someone in. We never really get an answer and that's the case with many of Jack's quirks. It's not a bad thing, just sometimes irksome. I wish I knew!

2. I went into the re-watch with an open mind. I promised myself I would watch each episode and reacquaint myself with the characters. I said I would see if I love Ianto as much as I thought I did or if it was a result of COE that I remember him more fondly than he deserves. More to come on that rant sometime soon, I'm sure. I also said I would give Gwen a chance to convince me to love her. I would put aside my objections to her flirting with Jack and my preference for Jack and Ianto. I would let myself appreciate her as a character outside of that bias. It's been 7 episodes now.

In 7 episodes I have hardly thought about Jack and Ianto because at this point Jack and Ianto are nothing more than a flirtation and as a viewer I am not really anticipating it going anywhere. And while I am irked by the sexual tension Gwack scenes, I have put them aside and really given Gwen a chance to win me over, it would be great to love her in time for Torchwood: Miracle Day. But all those reasons I say I have issues with the character, my stock answers about her messing up so frequently and being of questionable morals (re: cheating) and letting her own feelings get in the way of what is best or right, all those reasons really are the reasons! I am more certain now than I was before. They are not insignificant things I am honing in on as a bitter Ianto fan. They are full character flaws that put me off to her.

I know I say it each time but I love Eve. I think Eve is lovely and a great actress, but Gwen, especially series 1 Gwen bothers me a lot. I am sorry Gwen fans I do try my best not to bad mouth her or Gwen-bash but I need to get this off my chest. All of my WTF moments from this episode, which really didn't have much to do with Gwen, were about Gwen. She managed to attract my negative attention when I should be focusing on the brilliance of Tosh. I know the character grows in future episodes, so I am still keeping an open mind. C'mon Gwen, win me over! I am begging you!

MVC (Most Valuable Character)/MVA (Most Valuable Actor):

Usually this is two different sections. Even if the MVC and MVA goes to an actor and their corresponding character it merits two different conversations about the greatness of each. Tonight I am putting the two together because I am having a hard time choosing and I think I'll just explain why once. The obvious choice for these section in this episode you'd think is Tosh and Naoko. And I'm not denying that both character and actress were brilliant in this. And it is a Tosh-centric episode but, I feel like there's a lot more to it. So after much consideration I am going to make it a tie. The MVCs are Tosh/Jack and the MVAs are Naoko/John.

I think when you haven't seen it recently it's easy to forget how vital a part Jack had in this episode. Throughout he's included in Tosh's journey. He tells her about Greek mythology, he confronts her about her heroics and he figures out everything she won't tell.  He saves the day as he often does but he does it in a much more subtle way. Stealth Jack is brilliant and on more than one occasion he provided comic relief for a rather heavy episode for Tosh.

But of course there is also Tosh and Naoko's wonderful job of portraying her. I love Tosh and really this episode is the first time we get a lot of Tosh. We get a glimpse of her feelings during Countrycide but this episode gives us so much more and we get to see sides of her we didn't know she had. We find out how deeply she can love and how capable she is of kicking ass. She has a crisis of faith and life and she experiences loss. Naoko really had to come to work every day and put Tosh's heart out there for all to see. Not an easy task, she's great at pulling on our heart strings. As Cyberwoman solidified our love for Ianto I think this episode made us certain Tosh had our hearts and sympathies. This was one of many heartbreaks to come for Tosh and really the first in depth look at a wonderful and tragic character. Ok maybe Tosh/Naoko win by a small margin. But really great job by all.

Episode Grade:

There is a lot of things to love about this episode. Everything about Tosh for instance. What a lovely character and what a great introduction to someone we know very little about at this point. There are a lot of great moments, some wonderful on-screen chemistry between Jack and Tosh and Tosh and Mary. There are funny moments and ones that make us want to cry. Really a well put together episode. The reason it got a B+ instead of an A is simple. With this re-watch and with looking back on all the series it's just not one of my favorite episodes. To me and A is perfection and a perfect episode stands out as one of my favorites. This never has. It's not anything particular I can pick out making it just short but as a whole it doesn't quite match up with episodes like Cyberwoman and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Not a bad showing though, great episode.

Tomorrow's Episode: They Keep Killing Suzie  (Series 1, Episode 8). 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
6/12/2011 18:40:51

Just to let you know, I love your blog and your observations. I'll comment on the ep later, if find the time.


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