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Mercury Chaos ([personal profile] mercurychaos) wrote2010-01-02 09:35 pm

Russell T Davies, I am disappoint.

I just finished watching the second part of The End of Time. And yet somehow my thoughts at the moment are not about Doctor Who, but about Torchwood. This isn't polished or well-thought-out in the slightest, and I hesitate to call it "meta" (thought this is probably as close as I'll ever come to writing something like that.) It's just an approximation of what was going through my head as the episode ended.

So when the Doctor leaves Wilfred and starts going around visiting people before he regenerates, my first thought was "wait isn't he supposed to be regenerating? I mean you'd think that if anything could do it it'd be a metric fuckton of radiation, right?" And then the moment I figured out he was going around and doing nice things for all his former companions I thought "oooh that means we get to see Jack! We get to see what Jack's doing! ...ooooh he's probably off drowing his sorrows in hypervodkas or whatever else he drinks."

Indeed, I was correct. He was in a bar, surrounded by aliens (including the little Adipose creatures and Judoon and other things we've seen before) and looking less than his usual happy-charming-smiley-Jack self.

Then he gets something from the bartender, who says it's from the man over there - the Doctor of course. And I'm thinking "huh? The Doctor bought him a drink? Well, giving alcohol to someone in that state isn't really helpful but... wait, a note?" And I wait with bated breathe, wondering what words of wisdom will be in the Doctor's note...

And all he does is tell him that the guy next to him is named Alonso (the Alonso from the "Voyage of the Damned" Christmas special) so that Jack can hit on him. And while I have absolutely no problem with Jack hitting on people (because Jack not hitting on people would be like... the sky not being blue, or ice cream not being cold or something) it makes me very pessimistic about the next season of Torchwood.

Because of course, the entire reason Jack was in the bar drinking away his sorrows is because series 3 really sucked as far as terrible things happening. Ianto died, Jack's grandson died (or rather, Jack killed his grandson for the Greater Good,) Torchwood was completely destroyed, etc. etc. Then before that in series 2 Owen and Tosh died, and his brother died, and everyone else he's ever known died before that, and pretty much everyone's dead at this point except Gwen and Rhys. I don't advocate alcohol as a coping mechanism, but if anyone's got an excuse for it it's probably Jack.

Except one thing that I've noticed about Torchwood is that when really bad shit happens, it rarely moves outside of the episode that said really bad shit happens in. When Lisa is killed, her death is only ever mentioned in a few specific instances - once when Gwen's asking who everyone snogged last, and again at the end of series 1 when Owen and Ianto are arguing about whether to open the rift or not, and a third time in "Adam" when Jack's retconning everyone. Other than those few specific instances, no one seems to be affected by it after the episode ends. Now, maybe you could say that Ianto might feel some lingering resentment towards the rest of the team, and particularly towards Jack, for killing his girlfriend, but he's just being a good little butler and not showing it. But I find it difficult to believe that everyone else wouldn't have some lingering distrust of Ianto - and we never see that. In "Greeks Bearing Gifts" we see nearly the same thing happen, only in the span of one episode. Tosh comes really close to being killed by this woman who is actually an alien that she's been dating and is presumably attracted to, before Jack kills said alien in an obviously calculated and brutal fashion... and then by the end of the episode she's sitting down with Jack and all is forgiven, and the whole thing is never mentioned again. No one seems to stop and wonder how someone as smart as Tosh could have been persuaded by this alien to let her into the Hub, and Tosh is only angry at Jack for killing her girlfriend for a little bit and then all is forgiven. And then we have series three. As I said, a lot of bad shit happens in series three - Jack's got to face the consequences of some things he did back in the day, which results in Ianto dying and him having to kill his grandson, and at the end Jack feels so terrible that he up and leaves Earth altogether.

Now, of the two (important) deaths that occurred in series three (Ianto's and Steven's) Ianto's made less sense to me - in fact it made no sense to me. In the interest of full disclosure, I ship Jack/Ianto, and Ianto's definitely my favorite character after Jack. But the way I see it, Steven's death served the purpose of saving all the rest of the children on earth in addition to making Jack very, very miserable. But Ianto's death? Ianto's death served no purpose except to make the plot a little bit more tragic. He went into the building and shot at the 456's container which was of no help whatsoever, and then he dies along with everyone else in the building. We get a really touching tragic scene where Ianto dies in Jack's arms, and that's it. Ianto's death didn't help anyone.

I know some people were comparing Ianto's death to some character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer who was (seemingly) randomly killed off. Now, I've only seen the first season of Buffy, but from what I've heard, this character's death had a very big impact on the plot, and I also remember reading somewhere that Joss Whedon actually justified killing this character off by saying that his point was that sometimes innocent people get caught in the crossfire when you've got powerful forces fighting each other. But Ianto was some random casualty, or even someone who died an unavoidable death in the course of doing a really dangerous job. His death was the direct result of a really stupid mistake on Jack's part. I mean, if you're going into a building where you know you're going to find some dangerous evil aliens that live in a container full of toxic gas, whom you fully intend to thrown down the gauntlet at which is probably going to make them more than a little bit hacked off at you (but it's okay because you're immortal), would you think that now is the time to open up and spend more time with your boyfriend (who is not immortal?) I would say no. I know that Jack's always going to outlive every single one of his significant others/sex partners/whatever, but it's almost like he was flinging Ianto into the jaws of death. WTF?

And as if that weren't bad enough, I had a feeling that Ianto's death was not just going to be completely stupid and pointless. I also had a feeling that, in the spirit of Torchwood tradition, it wasn't going to have any lasting consequences. I've been hoping I was wrong, that maybe it wasn't completely pointless and would have some effect on what happens in series four, but tonight's episode makes me think that I'm not wrong. Jack's going to go back his hotel room with Alonso, get himself some Sexual Healing, and when series four starts Ianto's death will have no noticeable repercussions at all.
xtricks: color snail picture w/ xtricks (Default)

[personal profile] xtricks 2010-01-03 05:30 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that the lack of continuity in teh whoinverse in general means we pretty much saw all the emotional work/concequnces/dealing with CoE or at least Ianto's death in taht 1 minute scene with Jack in the bar.

For one thing, Ianto's death really has no external repercussions - he had no life outside Torchwood (except for his sister who I'm almost positive we'll never see again) and Torchwood (and the whoinverse in general) really doesn't do lasting emotional concequences except for the Doctor and even then only in a few spesfic cases.