A NOTE about Children of Earth Blogs:
It's hard. Very hard to blog about Children of Earth one episode at a time. It's like discussing just one part of a movie. 1 episode affects every other and they blur together. Even though I am re-watching each episode on it's own it's hard to separate them, my complaints and my rants. It's also really hard not to spoil later episodes.I'll do my best but I might not always repeat myself. Some issues span the whole series and I'd hate to blog about the same annoyance 5 times. Best to read all the blogs so you get the full picture. I imagine my last blog or another will have some sort of overall impression and thoughts.
Episode: Day Two (Series 3 Episode 2)
Written By: John Fay
Original Air Date: 7 July 2009
Sentence Sum-Up: After the Hub is destroyed Ianto and Gwen and Rhys go on the run, trying to escape the government and rescue Jack.
Notable New Characters:
Dekker (Ian Gelder) - I must have missed him yesterday. He's a tech guy for the government. He kept tabs on the 456 frequency and noticed their return.
Rhys: "How are you, love?"
Gwen: "My best friend's belly had a bomb go off in it last night. Someone's been trying to kill us ever since. I'm traveling at 70 miles an hour on top of a bed of potatoes and I think I'm going to be sick."
When Alice called Jack they showed his number (0770900578) on her phone! I wonder how many people tried to call it and if it worked. Not worked like it got through to Jack, obviously, but I wonder if it did tie to the show. I don't know if they do stuff like that in the UK but sometimes they pull promotional stunts like that in the US. The most recent example I can recall was an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Barney, played by Neil Patrick Harris, held up a sign with his number. When people called it they got his voice mail with a hilarious outgoing message. I called a bunch of times, genius move. Did anyone try calling Jack?
I somehow missed a great moment in the scene with Ianto and Rhi in the park. The kids go alien again and after Ianto walks up to one of them and tries to question her. The face that Ianto makes is hilarious, he very convincingly looks like a pedo and is swiftly swatted away by the girl's Mum. I love that look so much because I think it's exactly the look Ianto would make trying to be child friendly but not having a lot of experience talking to kids. It was really funny and he was trying way too hard. Hold on now I have to post it.
When Gwen and Lois are on the phone B. Spears is right next to Lois at her desk. Like, a matter of inches and Lois is talking for a long time to someone in a suspicious way. She doesn't know anything to tell a caller so that immediately should have raised a red flag. Really there is no way she wouldn't have overheard something. She was close enough that she may have heard Gwen on the other end.
OK I definitely don't remember the ending of this episode! What the hell is going on!? Dekker walks up to the 456's tank and smiles, then breaths on it. What!? What does that mean? What is he doing? And what kind of an ending is that? JUST WHAT?! If someone gets it and I am just missing it, please fill me in. Went right over my head.
You know how I love Andy? Well, in case you didn't I do. And I adore Andy at the start of this episode. I love him overhearing and sticking up for Gwen. I love him getting forced into helping them and complaining about it. He's hilarious and such a welcome bit of humor in the wrist-slitting depression that the majority of Children of Earth flings you into. Also, he says "Sometimes there's no substitute for a little local knowledge" which is so funny for me because it made me think of the moment in "From Out of the Rain" where Gwen suggests "local knowledge" is code for Jack and Ianto sex. I am about 95% certain it wasn't intentional, rather just where my mind wanders, but that doesn't stop it being funny.
This series whether you love it, hate it or are undecided like me is decidedly depressing. In talking to our followers on twitter, my friends in real life or random people at conventions the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that it is emotionally taxing to watch Children of Earth. Even if you like a sad story and even if we decide that COE is brilliant, flawless perfect story, there is something to be said about a series that fans have to force themselves to re-watch. Even the fans that like it tell me they hardly ever re-watch it because it's just too depressing. There has to be a line, they DO have comedic moments to cut the tension but maybe it's not enough. Or maybe the events of Day Four are so devastating that it is impossible to enjoy the series knowing it's coming. I don't know for sure but it's just hard to watch. I've had depressing dreams every night of the COE re-watch so far and I can't imagine days 3,4 or 5 will yield anything different. If nothing else, this, is a serious flaw, in my opinion with this series as a whole. Even this blog is depressing me.
Do you guys wonder about Jack regenerating from the explosion? Johnson made it a point to have them collect all the pieces (which really they must have missed some chunks) of Jack and watch him. He regenerates, the pieces pull themselves together so what I'm wondering is, what would have happened if she didn't grab all the pieces? Which pieces would have regenerated? What if the pieces she took remained dead flesh and a separate chunk regenerated. Someone suggested that maybe we would end up with two Jack's which did cross my mind. I think the reason that wouldn't be the case is because Jack is a Fixed Point, he's a fact, he cannot not exist and in the same way he cannot exist double. Fixed. In my mind that defeats that possibility. That being said, I had a dream a while back about a scene in Miracle Day and it involved two Jack's. I don't think it would ever happen, but if it does..
I know I said I would not be repeating myself much, but, I LOVE RHI! I love Rhi and I love every second of her on screen. Moments with her kids and husband, moments with Ianto it's all great. I especially love her and Ianto's relationship, he treats her unlike anyone else. He's sort of instantly open with her and he trusts her. I just love the hell out of this character and I want to watch the Rhi and Ianto show forever. Spin-off? No? And Mica is the cutest child ever. Although Anwen is a pretty close second.
MVC (Most Valuable Character):
Ianto without a doubt. He did everything to help the team regroup. He contacted Gwen, he got a computer and car from Rhi, he rescued Jack almost single handedly. He started the episode in a it of a panic which is alarming because Ianto is pretty cool in a crisis. Bit he only allowed himself that bit really then he got to work. His tracking down and rescuing Jack alone makes him beyond worthy of the title. Let's review. He tracks the bad guys finding where they held Jack with a computer program he knew about on a computer he got off his sister. Then he barges in on a forklift (and in appropriate construction work attire - I wonder if he had that handy or he got it off the original operator of the forklift) and grabs Jack alone with the cement block he's in and drops him off a cliff releasing him. Not to mention he somehow knows how to operate a forklift! Ianto never fails to impress, he really does know everything. This is not the first or last time Ianto saves the day with his brilliance. I love him, he's the hero of this episode for sure. No competition.
Need to give honorable mention to Lois though. She really went out of her way to try to do the right thing and warn Torchwood. I anticipate one of thee episodes she'll take the title but she's a great character and a great asset throughout.
MVA (Most Valuable Actor):
Gareth. Know why? Because I love him, he is brilliant, his performance made all the stuff the character did great and most importantly the genius that was pedo-face. I am getting repetitive with my praise of Gareth but I really just think he's an amazing actor and one of the best things about Torchwood through every series. And the faces he makes!! Ok I'm done.
This is the toughest part. It's so hard to grade COE and it's even harder to grade an episode on it's own. I think I have to consider all the positives and negatives, let's recap. Things I love: Rhi, Ianto, Andy and Lois. Things I hate: The overall tone of the series and this episode, it's all just too depressing. You know Jack wasn't #CaptainAssHat in this particular episode but I think it's because he didn't have the chance really. It's hard. Even if the most offensive thing about this episode was how depressing it is, it's a big issue and it really makes me think less of the episode. Not to mention even with the good bits I don't look back on this episode and think, I enjoyed that. I can't. The depression was looming the whole time and the fun moments were fleeting. I'm going to give it a C+. It's not so bad that is a C which is average, which no episode of Torchwood should be. It's not up to snuff in my book. It's just not.
Tomorrow's Episode: Day Three (Series 3, Episode 3). 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 of this episode. What did you all think of this episode? Did you notice anything new? What grade would you give it? xx
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