Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Torchwood 'Out of Time': Rating B

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. And how are you this fine evening? I’m the Doctor. No, just the Doctor. Well, not the Doctor per se. In fact, you could say I’m feeling merely a remnant of my former self, seeing as I’m just a hand…in a jar. Why am I a hand in jar? Well, I’m not entirely sure. You see, I’d only recently come into being when all of a sudden there was a sharp pain and I was spiralling through the air and…well, now I’m here. It’s not the most exciting life but I do get to see the comings and goings of the stalwart Torchwood team. They’re not here at the moment, of course. They’ve apparently gone to meet a plane that’s come through the rift from the past. I can see them at the airfield now, standing in a line in the glorious twilight air, awaiting the arrival of the vintage aircraft...”

“Um, hand?”
“Yes, my dear girl?”
“Are you going to go on all night? Because as amazing as your progenitor was I don’t think even he can know what’s happening across the other side of town and he has eyes and a brain and everything.”
“Overrated, my dear girl, overrated. I have all the knowledge and experience of a Timelord. And I must be important and useful because why else would he keep me, hey? Why else would I be in this jar?”
“Well, that’s a question we’d all like answered really, although for now just leave the recapping to me, pretty please.”
“Well alright, I’ll be quiet, although I do think I should make some quote from popular culture first.”
“Well, that’s what I do, isn’t it? I mean I used to quote Shakespeare, I’m sure of it, but now it’s all the Lion King and Eastenders. How about ‘Gay icons usually have some tragedy in their lives, but I've only had tragic haircuts and outfits’, will that do?”
“Kylie Minogue? Certainly popular culture but not really relevant is it?”
“Well, I don’t know; you’ve obviously never met John Barrowman.”

YES WELL, I say it turns out Torchwood is at an airfield where a vintage twin-engined plane has just landed with three passengers. Actually, the plane is a 1946 de Havilland Dragon Rapide for those interested in details. As the plane lands, the pilot and two passengers get out all dressed in clothing from the 1950s. Jack greets them and the pilot, Dianne Holmes, apologises for the unexpected landing and says they just hit some ‘rotten turbulence’. To their confusion, Jack asks them when they took off and Dianne says ‘1953’.

Flick flick flick and we’re in to the ‘action’. The Hub door of rollyness rolls back and the time travellers walk through, looking suitably out of place. Jack’s saying that the less they know about Torchwood the better, not exactly a comment to inspire their confidence under the circumstances. Then, despite the fact that Gwen and Owen were at the airfield with them, Jack introduces them (presumably again).

The time travellers introduce themselves: a well-dressed older man in his 50s called John Ellis, a young girl all in pink named Emma Louise Kell and of course the pilot Dianne Holmes. As Owen escorts them into the briefing room, Gwen says that at least it wasn’t a spaceship full of aliens.
“That might have been easier,” notes Jack presciently.

“I notice they didn’t introduce me. The England I remember had more manners than that.”
“Yes, well, it’s Cardiff, not England, and they probably didn’t introduce you because you’re just a disembodied hand.”
“Oh, JUST a hand now, am I? Isn’t that a bit extremitist?”
“Extremitist? You just made that up.”
“With my infinite knowledge of time and space, I can say that an ‘extremetist’ is well-documented as a lifeform with a prejudice against extremities.”
“You know, I hate to say it, but I think that the loss of blood flow to your extremities has addled your brain. Be quiet and let me recap, will you?”

In the briefing room, John is finding it difficult to accept that they could have travelled 50 years in half an hour.
“Your aircraft slipped through a transcendental portal,” explains Jack, converting this explanation to a ‘door in time and space’ when he sees the look on their faces. John is convinced it’s some kind of trick but Tosh presents them with information on everything that’s happened in the last 50 years. As she talks them through it, Emma sits down as though her legs have given out, looking shellshocked.

“If all this is true,” asks Dianne, who’s obviously the more mature and sophisticated woman, “then how do we get back?”
“You don’t,” says Jack definitely, “according to history your plane never returns. I’m sorry.”
Dianne asks what’s going to happen to them but John’s more interested in what happened to everyone they left behind: their families.

You know, I have a sudden urge to watch not one but two Star Trek episodes. Not that I want to suggest that the premise of this episode isn’t original, just, you know, a sudden urge.

As they walk around the Hub, Gwen is explaining to Emma that both her parents are dead and Jack is trying unsuccessfully to track down his son with Jack and Tosh’s help. Owen is rather pointedly asking the more glamorous Dianne if she had a boyfriend. Dianne is smoking and notes that she didn’t because she was never in one place long enough.

In a hostel somewhere, Jack and Gwen are settling the travellers into some rather basic accommodation. While the girls unpack, Jack and John (not a coincidence in names, I think) are bonding. John is a regimented man, all starched shirts and controlled emotions. He tells Jack he was in retail and was supposed to close a deal on a shop in Dublin ‘tomorrow’. Jack helps him to tune his portable transistor into a classic music station and the music becomes sad but melodic piano. John gives Jack photos of his family and Jack says he’ll see what he can do to find them.

“Don’t worry Captain Harkness,” says John, “I’ll look after the ladies.” He shakes Jack’s hand, bloke to bloke and all very proper and English and patriarchal, and the Captain asks him to call him Jack. Jack looks kindly upon John, in a way that suggests he automatically likes him.

“Well, of course he does, you tiny-brained human.”
“Now, now, I may be an extremitist, but you’re starting to sound humanist.”
“Firstly, a humanist is someone who espouses a particular philosophical position that believes in the inherent worth of human beings, something you’d know if you’d had any kind of decent education…and secondly, if you’d been in the Hub as long as I have you’d know that Jack was never happier then when he was in love in Estelle during the war. Well, except for the time he was with me, of course. John reminds him of a happier time.”
“Well, thanks for that, now please please get back in your box…I mean jar.”

Meanwhile in the girls’ room, Gwen is bonding with Emma, who’s still very obviously a child. She unpacks a pretty dress she made herself and a teddy bear. She tells Gwen she’s from Bristol but was off to Dublin to help her Uncle with his children because her Aunt is sick. She says it’ll be good experience for when she has children of her own. Oh, the expectations of the early 50s…wartime rationing and homemade clothes and marrying young and babies.

Emma holds her bear and talks of her family realising she’s missing; all those tears and the feeling that it’s happening right now and not 50 years in the dim past.
“What will she think happened,” she asks, disbelieving, “it must be like one of those murders where they never find the body.” Gwen says they thought the plane went down in the sea.
Emma starts crying and Gwen puts her arm around her.

Back in the Hub the next day, Jack is handing out new IDs for everybody and telling them about their new bank accounts and their Torchwood allowance that will help them get used to the currency. John realises his new ID comes with a new identity and he’s upset about losing the ‘only thing he has left’. Jack says he was being thoughtless and tells them they can keep their names.

Shopping! The cornerstone of our society. Ianto takes the newcomers to a supermarket where they discover the joys of crass consumerism. Dianne is fascinated by the flat-screen TV and DVDs, Emma is enjoying the freedom to eat what she wants, namely chocolate, and John is scandalised by the semi-clad women on the cover of magazines.

Oh, as they walked in the front of the supermarket, Ianto starts explaining the technicalities of the automatic door and gets only halfway through when Dianne yells ‘bananas’ and heads into the store. Ianto notes that bananas are far more fascinating. Hee.

As they go through the checkout, Emma is buying a musical and notes she and her friend went to see Calamity Jane 5 times and she owns the LP. Dianne holds up a packet of cigarettes and asks why it has the words ‘Smoking Kills’ on it. Oh, the wacky world of changing social mores.

As they head back to the hostel, John gets dropped off at the Millennium stadium, but it’s all a misdirect for him to head off to try and find his son. No luck, his home is boarded up and he’s nowhere to be found.

Back in the hostel, Emma is quietly ripping open teabags and adding them to a teapot. Dianne is planning to check on her plane but Emma wants to stay in and watch her DVD.
“I wonder what work I can get in aviation?” asks Dianne and the expression on Emma’s face is ‘work? I never thought about work’. She says she’s going to have to find a husband.

At this inauspicious pronouncement, the two girls who are also staying at the hostel burst in, laughing and talking. They grab two mugs and, as they introduce themselves as Lisha and Jade, throw two teabags into them, much to Emma and Dianne’s astonishment. Lisha comments favourably on Emma’s shoes and Emma looks pleased.

In a hanger at the airfield, Owen takes Dianne to check on her plane, called the Sky Gypsy. As she looks over her plane, Owen says he did some research and found out she flew from England to Australia in 4 days in 1952. Dianne tells her life story, so similar to other women who were adults in the 1940s. She flew during the war but once it was over she was supposed to go back into the home.
“But I got a taste for it,” says Dianne looking pointedly at Owen, “no pig-headed man was going to tell me what to do.”

She says she named the Sky Gypsy after the de Haviland Gypsy engine and waxes lyrical for a while about its capabilities before asking Owen if she can take it up. Owen of course says no because her licence has expired and she looks a bit crushed.
“Bugger,” she says and asks Owen to make it up to her by showing her this ‘new world’.

In a pub somewhere, Jack and John are having a drink and John is telling glorious tales of past sporting events, a FA Cup final that his son loved. Jack is looking on fondly, as though John is a long-lost lover.
John asks about Jack’s accent and wonders how he ended up in Cardiff. Jack says it’s a long story and a complicated one.
“What, did you fall through time too?” asks John and Jack says, “yeah, you could say that”. Oh, the temptation to tell, but he resists the urge and they simply have another drink. John tries to light up his pipe and the barman tells him he can’t smoke. He blows out the match and looks resigned and a bit sad.

In the hostel, Emma is asking the girls if they want to go carol singing with her on Christmas Eve and the girls laugh at her, as you would.
“I’m sorry love, I’ll be getting hammered,” says Lisha.
Emma asks where their families are and they say they don’t know, that they were brought up in a children’s home. Emma tells them her parents are dead and she has nothing and nobody in the world. In lieu of any more effective method of commiseration, Lisha hands her a drink. They all giggle and Emma has a swig of beer. Nice scene actually, the girl playing Emma is very convincing.

Back to the pub; Jack and John are leaving and John is saying that 1953 must have been an awful Christmas for his family who would have thought he’d drowned. He says he just wants to know what kind of life his son had, whether he had any kids: that he might be passing his own flesh and blood in the street and never know.
“Find him Jack, he’s all I’ve got left,” he says and leaves.

“Um, genfie.”
“Yes Hand, what now?”
“I know that as a part of the Doctor I’m supposed to be fascinated and excited by all forms of life but um…I’m bored.”
“Yes, we’re all bored dear, this is one of those mid-season character development pieces where there’s just lots of talking.”
“Do you think that something’s going to happen soon?”
“You mean, apart from Owen, Jack and Gwen identifying with somebody who needs their help and learning something about themselves in the process? No, I don’t think so.”
“Oh, maybe I will just have a kip then…can you wake me up when something exciting happens?”
“Certainly, although I suspect it will be next week.”
“Rightio then. ”

In a Cardiff restaurant, Owen is doing his best to get Dianne into bed. Unfortunately, he missed the memo on complicated 1950s mores and sits down while Dianne waits uncomfortably for him to pull out her chair. Actually, uncomfortably is a bad word; she’s a woman who’s very comfortable with every one of her actions. She tells Owen equality and chivalry are not mutually exclusive and Owen obliges. She picks up a cigarette and Owen simply grabs the lighter and lights it for her. And for some reason seven hundred people don’t descend on her, demanding that she put it out,

She asks him what other strides women have made and he pulls out the old misogynist chestnut about women not needing sex to have babies anymore. Actually, that’s a massive stride for childless couples everywhere Owen, most of whom probably have great sex lives, but it just shows how attracted and repelled you are by women. If only they’d just keep their legs open and their mouths shut, hey?

Then he tells her that she looks pretty hot for a bird going on 90 and she laughs.

Back in the hostel, Emma is enjoying herself with the other girls, laughing and singing. She leaps up and gives quite a good rendition of ‘Windy City’ from Oklahama while the other girls laugh. But they’re mostly laughing with her which is nice. This frivolity and relaxation is broken by the appearance of John who yells, “What do you think you’re playing at! I thought I could trust you to behave,” from the door.
Having no control over his own life, John has decided the only power he might have is over her. Poor Emma looks guilty and embarrassed.

Back at the restaurant, Owen and Dianne are leaving and there’s lots of babbling on his part before she takes command of the situation and they head off to his place for a drink and we...

…cut back to the hostel where Emma has called Gwen to intervene on her behalf with John. John’s placing out their meals and acting the overbearing father, a role I guess he misses. He’s all like, ‘she was drinking’ and Emma actually asserts her independence. Well done Emma. Then he says something stupid about ‘not letting her out of his sight again’ and Emma tells him to shove it. She starts crying and runs off, realising finally that she’s never going to see her family or friends again. Gwen looks pensive. Then again, Gwen always looks pensive so for all we know she’s picking lotto numbers or something.
She leaves and John is left to eat his lonely dinner.

In Owen’s apartment, he’s pouring drinks and Dianne walks in and asks if he has a girlfriend because he apparently he has lots of beauty products in his bathroom. Owen admits they’re actually his and…

“Yawn, yawn, YAWN!!”
“Hand, I thought you were going to have a nap and wake up when this got interesting.”
“I couldn’t sleep; kept craving a cup of tea or possibly a banana daiquiri. Has anything happened yet?”
“Well, I think Owen and Dianne are about to have sex.”
“Well, that doesn’t count, that’s all these Torchwood people do. ‘Not letting the threat of imminent death from invading aliens interfere with a good snog’. That’s practically their motto.”
“You know, this entire painfully boring episode would be over a lot faster if you would stop interrupting me. Bloody Timelords, always have to have the last word.”

So, Owen and Dianne are in Owen’s apartment doing the pre-sex mating dance with the cool music of seduction playing loudly in the background. We all know where this is going so let’s skip to post-coital. Oh, in their conversation about disappearances and ‘one in a zillion chances’ of them ending up where they are, Dianne mentions Amelia Earheart who, incidentally, was in one of the Star Trek versions of this episode. There was no point to that statement, just a passing observation.

In Gwen’s apartment of imminent relationship angst, she tucks Emma in on the couch and goes to bed.

So, post-coital and Owen actually asks about Dianne’s previous sexual experience. God, he’s such a prat; lucky he attracts all the women who just want to have sex with somebody they’re relieved they’re never going to like. Dianne says she had a married lover and for some reason Owen’s shocked. Dianne says she’s not exactly marriage material. Poor contrary, emotionally-incapable Owen: he’s bound to fall in love with her now he knows there’s no chance she’ll feel the same way back.

For now he says he always thought the 50s were uptight and repressed and Dianne notes that his generation didn’t exactly invent sex. He asks if they can do it again and, oh god, did he just use the word ‘fuck buddies’. That is so crass.

Having said that, it is very refreshing to have a normal, consensual, sex scene that serves the narrative in Torchwood. This scene actually looks like it belongs in this episode, rather than being written in at the last moment by producers determined to bring up the quota of obligatory quote unquote ‘adult’ material.

Back in Gwen’s apartment, where Emma is waking up. Rhys (remember Rhys? He’s Gwen’s boyfriend that the writers conveniently forgot about over the past few weeks; you know, the one whose sole purpose is supposed to represent the fracture Torchwood is making in Gwen’s life?) walks into the room buck naked. Emma wakes up and screams. I’m not sure who is more freaked out. I’m also not sure what the purpose of that scene was, but anyway.

In the kitchen afterwards, Gwen is making some tea and Emma and Rhys are rather hysterically staring at each other, still in shock. Rhys has his robe on now and is hugging it close to him in quite a funny way. Anyway, Gwen’s cover story is that Emma is her aunt’s stepdaughter who needed a place to sleep.

“The thing is, she doesn’t really want to go back home, so I thought she could stay with us. We’ve got a lot to catch up on.”
“For Christmas,” exclaims Rhys and Gwen starts gesturing and mouthing at him behind Emma’s back.
“I’d better get a bigger turkey,” declares Rhys, unconvincingly and Gwen is pleased.

“This is Rhys, my long-suffering boyfriend,” says Gwen, not realising she’s telling the entire unvarnished truth about their relationship. She moves over to him and kisses him, then turns back to Emma and says, “he lives here.”
Emma is shocked that Gwen’s parents don’t mind that they live together and Gwen tries to explain this away by saying that Emma’s parents are religious.
“Better not tell them you saw my morning glory then, hey,” says Rhys and walks off laughing. Gwen laughs with him until he’s out of the room and then tells Emma that if he knew her parents were dead he’d ask too many questions. “He doesn’t know exactly what I do,” she says and runs off.

In the next scene, Gwen is explaining to Jack that she had to take Emma in because she doesn’t have anyone else to look after her. She says Dianne didn’t even come home last night and Owen lies and says she was at a B&B but that he’s going to take her job hunting later.

At this point, Tosh (remember Tosh, I think she’s had three lines in the past two episodes) tells Jack that she’s found John’s son.

In a nursing home somewhere, John is tentatively approaching his son, Alan, who apparently has Alzheimer’s. John’s cover story is that he’s tracking down the family history.
“Is Sally coming?” asks Alan and a nice nurse explains that Sally is his wife who died a while back. She says he never had any children.

John approaches Alan and starts to show him some of the photos he had on him when he came through the rift, wishing that he could remember.
“When can I go home?” asks Alan, confused, “I don’t like it here, they took my clothes”.
He asks the nurse what Alan did for a living and she says he was a fireman. John looks sad but also proud as he says that that’s what he did in the war.

At an airfield, Dianne and Owen are obviously preparing for her to have a flying lesion, at the outrageous cost of $60 an hour. Dianne is all excited over the fact that the plane is a Cessna, which apparently hasn’t changed that much in the last 50 years. She kisses Owen and thanks him.

In the nursing home of broken hearts, John is telling a story about a baseball game he and his son attended, desperately hoping to get something, anything from his son that he can recognise and connect with. Alan briefly remembers who won the match, but it’s only a small and feeble spark in the dark confusion of dementia. John is crying and Alan is just confused. “Who are you,” he asks John and John finally realises there is no hope of reaching him.

In the Hub, Jack is looking at photos of the trio and musing that John has lost everything that he used to define himself.
“John’s witnessing the end of his world, the end of his line, and we can’t help,” he says. “There’s no puzzle to solve, no enemy to fight. Just three lost people who’ve somehow become our responsibility.” He throws the photos down on the table and leans back, lost in thought.
Tosh’s entire purpose in this scene and I mean ENTIRE PURPOSE is to sit far left so we know Jack isn’t talking to himself. She has got to be the most under-utilised character ever. Even Ianto gets more screentime.

Back at the airfield of disappointed hopes and dreams, Dianne is realising that she won’t just be able to step back into being a pilot. Apparently Owen hadn’t arranged a lesson: he took her out to the airfield to really rub it in when it turned out the place was booked out. Why didn’t he ring first? Dianne makes an appointment for the 29th and they walk off. Owen apologises for not ringing ahead (you dingbat) and Dianne admits she was really looking forward to flying. Then she clams up and tells Owen to ignore her.

I don’t want to throw a spanner in the works of the premise behind this entire storyline, but why don’t Torchwood just forge her an up-to-date licence? They forged everything else. Of course if they did, this whole ‘In need to fly and be free’ theme of Plot A Section 2 would have been a lot shorter.

Plot A Section 3: Emma is at a nightclub looking very out of place on the dancefloor with Lisha and Jade. As a guy comes up and whispers in her ear, Gwen is getting a table with Rhys and worrying. She’s concerned Emma’s never had a proper boyfriend but Rhys tells her to stop fussing. Gwen’s all with the kissing and the cuddling and Emma’s looking like she would kind of like some of that. The boy proposes something and off she goes.

Scene the next: Gwen is looking for Emma and finds her in another part of the club having a bit of a snog with cute boy from the dancefloor and goes all 1950s grandmother on her ass. This is the point at which we know that a) Emma is the only one of the three that is going to cope with this brave new world and that b) Gwen is a hypocritical passive-aggressive control freak who has cultivated a persona of being nice because she’s desperate for people to like her. As a consequence, she can’t handle anyone, particularly a know-nothing 18-year-old from a different time, making their own decisions.

Still, rant aside, the next scene is quite an amusing one as Gwen tries to explain how sexual mores have changed since the 50s. She says that people are more sexually aware these days (I have no idea what THAT means, particularly since the 1950s were defined by a distinct nun/whore dichotomy that meant men were told they were supposed to get sex and women were told there was something wrong with them if they ‘let them’. This much angst about it hardly qualifies as not being aware) and that these days as long as it’s safe and between two consenting adults nobody cares.

“So,” starts Emma cautiously, “how many men have you…” and Gwen nearly chokes on her coffee. “A few,” says Gwen and explains that she wasn’t in love with all of them and that sometimes it can just be about having a bit of fun together. Emma, still operating from the 1950s ‘women don’t like sex’ songbook, asked if she should let a guy have sex if she likes him and that’s what he wants and Gwen notes that she hasn’t quite understood the purpose of the little talk.

“Sex is nothing to be ashamed of,” says Gwen and that she thinks Emma’s first time should be with someone special. Then, hee, Emma notes that Gwen must regret sleeping with other men and not waiting for Rhys and that sex with Rhys must be way better than with other men. Gwen’s expression is all ‘yes, um, change of topic please’. Then Emma says she’s going to wait for Mr Right as she’s not the kind of girl to sleep around. Then as Gwen tries not to take this as an insult, Emma thanks her and goes off to brush her teeth.

You know, the most hysterical thing about that ad for Californication is that it keeps telling us it can’t show us anything from the show ‘in this timeslot’. If 1am is not far enough out of primetime, what is?

Plot A Section 2, Owen’s apartment of not so meaningless sex: Owen is tentatively coming into the room with a bright red bag in his hand. Dianne sees him and starts complaining about how modern flying is all ‘sitting on your backside and pressing buttons’.

“Nothing wrong with pressing buttons, I used to press buttons all the time. I travelled through time and space in a dimensionally-transcendental time machine through the pushing of buttons alone. In fact, I could still press buttons if I wanted to. Got all the equipment. Just, the only thing in my vicinity worth pressing is the glass around my jar.”
“Yes Hand, you’re very impressive, bubbly water notwithstanding.”
“Yes well, I happen to like the bubbles. They feel kind of nice on my um, posterior.”
“You really have been in this Hub too long, haven’t you?”

Owen interrupts Dianne’s complaining by giving her a present: a lovely red dress. She says it’s beautiful and kisses him.

Plot A Section the third, apartment of imminent relationship breakdown: Emma has a job! It’s with a fashion store and it’s in London. Gwen does the control freak again and tells her she has to stay in Cardiff. The look on Emma’s face is accommodating but determined. She’s far stronger-willed then Gwen gives her credit for and this is one argument Gwen is going to lose.

Plot A Section 1: Jack is letting John out of the Hub and into the tourist information office and John is prattling on about getting work and getting his life back. He’s not very convincing but Jack buys it. Left in the TIO alone, John goes behind the counter and steals Ianto’s keys just as Ianto comes into the office. John says he’s after a bus timetable to go and look for a job. Ianto is suspicious but gives him the timetable and John leaves.

In a carpark somewhere, Owen and Dianne are all dolled up and we cut almost instantly to the apartment of relationship angst, where Gwen and Emma are back from shopping. As Gwen runs around talking about their great girly day out, Rhys is on the couch looking seriously pissed. Gwen sites down on the couch and gives him a big kiss before noticing that he’s not himself. Turns out Gwen’s Mum rang and he’s found out that Emma isn’t a relative; in fact it’s work-related and Gwen doesn’t even really know her.

“She was lost, I’m sorry,” says Gwen and Rhys says it concerns him how easily Gwen can lie to him. Emma says it’s her fault and she’ll be gone by tomorrow.
“She’s 18 years old, I couldn’t turn my back on her,” yells Gwen and Rhys storms out.

“It’s like two separate worlds,” says Gwen in the next scene as she and Emma sit and talk, “there’s Torchwood and then there’s real life.” Emma sees her opportunity and notes that it’s best that Gwen lets her go.

Carpark of romance: Owen pours himself and Dianne champagne, they drink, they dance and the music swells. And swells. And SWELLS. AND SWELLS.

More sex, but again with the relevant to the plot so don’t really mind.

Hubwards: Jack is hanging out when Ianto calls and tells him that he can’t find his car keys and thinks that maybe John may have taken them. They jump on the computer and use the GPS tracking to find the vehicle. John’s gone home; a statement I assume means he’s gone to where he used to live.

VOC, a helicopter and a Cardiff road. Ah, the synergy. Jack leaps out and lets himself into John’s garage where he finds John in the car trying to commit suicide. He pulls him out. “You can’t just throw it away,” he yells, “not without trying.”
“You don’t understand,” says John and Jack says that he does because he’s from the future and has lived in the past.
“Why are you doing this?” asks John, crying, upset, suicidal, “speaking in bloody riddles. My wife is dead, my son is a shell.”
Jack says he can get a job, have a new life, start a family. John says he already did that, years ago, when he was supposed to. Jack pulls back and the two men stare at each other.

SEX! Lots of sex. An extended amount of sex. MORE SWELLING (um, I mean the music of course…maybe not the best terminology in this context).

Garage of imminent death and the only interesting subplot: Jack is still trying to talk John out of killing himself and John has a great piece of dialogue about how the sun will rise and tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities…but that won’t stop him from waiting till Jack’s back is turned and killing himself because he wants to die.
“You don’t get reunited, John,” says Jack earnestly, “it just goes black.”
“How do you know,” asks John, “who are you?”
“A man like you out of his time, alone and scared.”
John asks Jack how he copes and Jack says ‘just barely’ because he doesn’t have a choice.
“But I do,” says John with finality, “if you want to help me then let me go with some dignity. Don’t condemn me to live.”

Oh God, we’re back to Owen and Dianne. Owen admits that he loves Dianne but that’s he’s scared shitless by it. Except, being Owen, he manages to make this meaningful declaration using the words ‘fuck buddies’ and ‘come’. No, seriously.
Dianne sees through his inarticulate babble and says she loves him too.

And finally back to the garage where Jack sits in the car holding John’s hand while he slowly falls to sleep forever.

“Hand, are you crying?”
Sniff, no, sniff, it’s not possible for a hand to cry. Sniff, why aren’t you crying, sniff?”
“Well, it takes a hell of a lot more to make me cry but I will admit that scene had much more substance than the rest of the episode. Tell me, how do you manage that one perfect tear? I’ve never been able to do that.”
“It’s a Timelord thing.”

Dianne looks sadly at Owen’s sleeping form and says that the problem with love is that you’re always at its mercy.

John is dead in the car with Jack holding his hand beside him.

Oh, thank the Lord, we’re finally nearing the end. I hope my dear readers didn’t find this episode as boring to read as I found it to write. Thank God for the hand. Oh, not like that. Dear God I’ve been watching too much Torchwood.

So, we wrap up our storylines as we cut back and forth between Gwen putting Emma on a bus and Dianne leaving Owen behind. Gwen: being all motherly and proud and fussing. Owen: waking up alone and finding a note. Gwen saying goodbye and Emma all excited about her future.

At the airfield of disappointed hopes and dreams, Dianne is preparing to take off in the Sky Gypsy and take her chances on the rift. Owen begs her to stay but she says that she has to be free. Even if she doesn’t make it back to 1953, at least she’ll be somewhere new. “What about me?” asks Owen angrily, brutally and he reverts to begging. She puts her scarf around his neck, kisses him and flies off, presumably never to be seen again.

Flashbacks! Painful! They liked them, they identified with them, they’ll miss them. We get it. The end.

“Cup of tea?”
“Oh, thank you Hand, a cup of tea would be wonderful. Just so long as it has alcohol in it.”
“Of course. Oh, and Allons-y!”

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