Sunday, 7 December 2008

Torchwood 'Meat': Rating C

Meat Team Torchwood. They hunt aliens! They drop their weapons! They trip over their own feet! They’re the most famous secret organisation ever! Stay tuned for the exciting adventures of the Keystone Cops for the New Millennium!

Tonight on Torchwood: the most competent member of the team is a chubby, self-recruited haulage company owner and the writers try desperately to convince us that we should all love Gwen. And there’s something about vegetarianism or possibly bigotry; it’s hard to be sure.

It’s morning in that centre of mystical convergence known as Cardiff town and Rhys is on the road, rather adorably singing along to his company’s jingle on the radio. “You won’t be sorry with a Harwood’s Lorry,” he sings as the radio moves onto the news. His phone rings and we get “pretending there’s someone on the other end” acting as he tells “Ruth” that he wrote the last bit of the jingle. Ruth has more sobering news however and Rhys drives to the site of an accident involving one of his trucks.

He’s in shock as he talks to the copper in charge about the dead driver, who’s leaving behind a wife and baby, but recovers enough to ask if he can move the lorry. No, says Mr Police Officer (where’s Constable Cutie?) because apparently Torchwood want to have a look at the “suspicious meat” in the back of the van. Rhys protests that it’s “just meat” that was “on the way to the abattoir”. On the way to the abattoir? Shouldn’t meat be going from the abattoir, seeing as an abattoir is a “place where animals are slaughtered for food” and not “a place that receives the odd vanload of mysterious consignments of alien meat”? Note to Catherine Tregenna: a dictionary barely even counts as research.

So, in the Recapper Rewrite of this episode, the van was on the way to some sort of meat processing plant, such as the Caernarfon-based Cwmni Cig Arfon (internet, 3.5 minutes) when it crashed and some local police looked in the back and, being experts on meat [insert fellatio joke here], decided to call the most famous secret organisation ever to come have a look. And then my readers beat me to death for excessive pedantry and for actually using the word “fellatio”.

As the VOC pulls up slowly and silently (hey! I have a Corona here that’s getting warm people, what’s with the normal driving?), the gang get out and Rhys sees Gwen! OMG! “High” “drama” as the camera gives us a close-up on Gwen and then a close-up on Rhys’ shocked expression.

Flick flick flick...meanwhile over in Torchwood 1918, Harriet has mysteriously disappeared and while Tommy is off moping about his long-lost 21st century love and contemplating the transitory nature of human relationships, Gerald is having repressed 1918 flirting with a blood-sucking alien woman while trying not to think about his great loss and hoping the 1920s will roll round soon ‘cause they were rocking.

So, back in the van of smelly meat, Jack steps on it and says “no bones”. Now, if I were a total pedant, I mean, just theoretically if, if I was a pedant, I may take time out from this already-overwritten recap to note that since the meat has been, you know, cut up, it’s probably already been deboned. But I won’t. Anyway, Owen declares that it’s “like no flesh he’s ever seen”...while it’s still in its wrapping and he’s standing about 15 kilometres away...and the meat is wrapped up and sent back to Torchwood.

Outside, Rhys is keeping an eye on things just out of Gwen’s line of sight. Ianto mentions that the lorry belongs to Harwood’s and Gwen’s all like, “but that’s Rhys’ firm” and meaningful looks all round as the gang packs up. Rhys looks pensive and then tries to follow but is stopped by the police.

Back in the Hub, Owen “I’m just so bloody excited to have lines or am possibly on speed” Harper is running around the “autopsy bay of salmonella” frenetically confirming that this is indeed alien meat. Then he does an autopsy and performs an operation because there’s no point in wasting good bleach.

Gwen looks pensive and says the fact that it’s Rhys’ firm makes it all too close to home and Jack asks if she wants to stand down (yes, yes, please, yell members of the “Gwen must die” group, membership still 5 million in the UK alone) but Gwen says no. “I want to find out what’s going on,” she says, although I would have thought, “you need me because you’ve only got four members of staff and heaven forbid you should utilise the two scientists” would be more accurate.

Ianto hands Gwen a coffee (sip: I’ve just added ‘Ianto makes coffee’ to the drinking game) as the “Harwood’s Lorry” jingle is played from the internet. “Catchy,” says Ianto as everyone looks both embarrassed and amused at its glorious cheesiness. Umm cheese.

So, we’re in the plot stage of the story. Rhys involvement is the question of the day. Gwen says he couldn’t be. “He’s the most [stupid] man I know,” Gwen says. Tosh asks brightly if she has any more lines (oh, sorry, she asked if Gwen has “his direct line”. Understandable mistake).

Gwen gets the number, Jack looks pensive (dear God give me a synonym for pensive ‘cause before this episode is through I’m going to need it)...and over at Harwood’s Haulage the phone rings. A woman I’m assuming is Ruth tells Rhys it’s the police and Rhys looks... contemplative...before picking up the phone.

Much conversation ensues that I’m quite frankly too lazy to recap that establishes that (a) Rhys didn’t really know that much about what his driver was doing with his pickups, which makes it look like he’s involved and that (b) maybe I was slightly too harsh on the whole “abattoir” thing as it appears the Caernarfon-based Cwmni Cig Arfon call their operation an “abattoir and meat processing plant”. Because this is the most important part of tonight’s episode.

Hubwards, Ianto is looking through CCTV footage and finds the lorry as it drives past. Therefore (a) take a sip because they got what they wanted from CCTV and (b) note that they’ve even taken CCTV away from Tosh now. Bye bye Tosh. Nice knowing you.

Bizarre cut to the “autopsy room of Listeriosis” where Owen “I thought they were just aspirin” Harper eyes off the big hunk of meat [fellatio!] and then leaps back yelling “Jack! The scan shows it’s definitely alien meat!!!!

Jack looks...meditative...and asks where the meat could have come from. Tosh looks...thoughtful...and points out that if the meat was going to the processing plant (ok, mea culpa mea culpa) then it’s possibly in everything that contains processed meat and people have been eating it for months.

Owen “next time I need a pain killer remind me not to call my mother” Harper runs out of “the autopsy room of E.Coli 0157” and blah blah blah the meat is technically safe.

“Would you eat it?” asks Gwen, actually reminding me of a philosophical conversation I was having with someone just today about different culture’s “forbidden food” i.e. we eat pigs but would never eat horse, while some cultures might eat horse but would never touch shellfish. I was watching “Cooking in Dangerous Places” and the guy was eating a cat’s liver with rice, which is what triggered the conversation. It’s quite interesting, actually: someone should write a book.
And if you ever want proof of why you should never drink beer in a hot climate on an empty stomach just tender this recap. Where the hell was I?

So, as everyone contemplates the consumption of alien meat [fellatio!], Ianto chooses this moment to declare that the pizzas are here. Hopefully they retconned the staff from the pizza place about the whole dead delivery girl thing, otherwise alien meat in their pizza is probably the least of their problems. “What did you get me?” asks Owen and Ianto says, “usual, meat feast”. Then he blithely walks away leaving Owen contemplating his gastronomic fate.

Ok, hah! In the next scene, everyone is eating their pizza. Ianto, wearing a bib to protect his snazzy pinstripe suit (LOL), is delivering a briefing on the point of origin of the meat while Owen (ROFL) is pulling the meat off his pizza. Jack is once again speaking with his mouth full [no, I can’t, I just can’t, but the temptation is overwhelming] while he outlines the plan of action. As he’s blathering, Gwen gets a text that Rhys needs to see her and heads off home.


So, I'm back one week later and sans alcohol. Here goes... Gwen goes home to talk to Rhys. Their conversation goes like this:

GWEN: I’m pretending not to know about the lorry accident because I work for Torchwood and I’m still suffering under the delusion that this is “top secret”.
RHYS: I’m pretending not to know that you’re investigating the lorry accident.

Rhys follows Gwen to the Plas where she hooks up with Jack. She tells him Rhys doesn’t know anything about the meat. Gwen asks Jack if he’s ever eaten alien meat and what it was like. “He seemed to enjoy it,” answers Jack (Hey! That was my joke!) and they walk off laughing with Rhys watching suspiciously from the car.

So, meat processing plant, abattoir or possibly slaughterhouse: the gang are getting ready for their high-tech assault on the factory. Ianto and Owen are doing a perimeter check on the warehouse while Tosh is stuck once again back in the Hub. Anyway, they have blueprints of the warehouse but no intel whatsoever on how many people are inside. It’s called a stakeout, people. But I guess taking the time to find out what you’re doing would make for dull TV.

Rhys has followed Jack and Gwen out to the meat processing plant, abattoir or possibly slaughterhouse and has finally twigged that maybe Gwen is there for work purposes so he tries to phone her but she doesn’t pick up.

Jack outlines the plan: “You two take the sides, Gwen and I will go in the front. We don't want any casualties. We stun-gun whoever's in there and put a stop to what they're doing,” otherwise known as “bursting in blind and hoping it all works out alright in the end”.

And they burst into the warehouse and find it’s full of 20 fully-armed mercenaries who shoot them all dead. Hahahaha!

Rhys, currently engaged in what is often referred to as “an actual investigation”, gets out of the car, locks it, then walks toward the entrance of the factory.

“Let’s go,” says Jack and he and Gwen get out of the VOC, leaving the keys in the ignition and forgetting to lock it (and it’s hijacked by a couple of Welsh cannibals and they all get eaten hahahaha!), but quickly see Rhys standing in from of the building.

“What’s he doing?” asks Gwen.

Cut to front door of factory where Ianto says, “did you bring the alarm deactivator?” and Owen rather over-dramatically flourishes his gun and shoots the lock off. “Well, that’s one way of doing it,” says Ianto, forgetting to add where that was a lock, not the alarm, which is presumably going to go off as soon as they walk into the warehouse.

As a car pulls up in front of Rhys, Jack concludes he must be in on it. “Never, no,” says Gwen, “he’s too stupid to pull off something like this. I’m too insecure to be with someone who might be smarter than me. My belief in his stupidity is the only reason I’m interested in him.” Except she didn’t say that last bit. I made that up.

Jack tells Owen and Ianto to stand down as Gwen visits angstville about Rhys possibly being involved. She tries to run forward and Jack grabs her and swings her round and, oh god, I thought painful “up against a wall” scenes were consigned to Season 1. Also, still no sexual tension people. That was about as hot as a lukewarm cup of tea.

So, Rhys is taken inside the warehouse, which apparently has the same quality electrician as the Hub, where he successfully convinces the evil henchman’s 1 and 2 that his driver, Leighton, told him all about what was going on and that he wants in on the deal now Leighton is dead. They take him down the hallway of flickering lights to the warehouse ...of death...where some sort of gigantic alien sea cow (which I have now learnt is technically called a manatee so Torchwood has actually taught me something, go figure) is being held prisoner while they hack out its insides.

“What is it, boys?” asks Rhys and they say they don’t know but that it just keeps growing, no matter how much they cut it. Rhys promptly throws up and “evil henchman number 1” says he’ll get used to it.

Note to self: when you find something you don’t understand, chop it up and eat it. It’s the natural conclusion. One wonders how these guys worked out that (a) this thing’s insides were edible and that (b) it was self-sustaining. It seems all a bit random to me. But since someone from work complained yesterday that I “always need a reason for everything”, I should probably let it slide.

Rhys comes out shaking hands with “evil henchman number 1”, while Jack and Gwen watch from their usual successful hiding place of in plain view of everyone. Everyone leaves.
Back at their flat, Gwen and Rhys have a quite-well acted confrontation that nonetheless annoyed me because if this was a show where their genders were reversed the conversation would have gone like this:

RHYS: You lied to me!
GWEN: My work is classified, something you know very well, so if I’m in an ongoing investigation I can’t tell you anything about it.
RHYS: Good point, dear. What do you want for dinner?

Instead we get this long-winded thing about how their relationship can’t handle the lies and an accusation that she’s sleeping with Jack and a scarily-accurate query from Rhys about whether Gwen is just marrying him because he’s a habit she’s unable to break. Note to Rhys: der.

Oh and, what's so secret you can't even tell your own fiancĂ©? As someone who works with confidential information (of an incredibly-boring nature but nonetheless) the answer to that question is pretty fucking obvious so why doesn’t she just say, “confidentiality agreement” instead of this bullshit about “protecting him” and blah blah blah. But oh no, in the world of Torchwood writers the idea that you can have some form of professional ethics and a uterus is impossible. Men star in shows where they have these secretive jobs all the time and their domestic lives are fine but apparently it’s only acceptable if you have a penis. If you’re a woman you must have domestic angst and it serves you right for not being barefoot and pregnant where you belong.

I really shouldn’t write these things sober. There’s a reason I invented the drinking game.

Anyway, Gwen then proceeds tells Rhys about the aliens and we have an absolutely hysterical conversation where Rhys is in shock and disbelief about the existence of aliens. So either he is as stupid as Gwen thinks he is, completely blind or insane. You know, like climate change sceptics.

“Aliens. In Cardiff??” says Rhys. Yes Rhys, aliens in Cardiff. You know like when there was that giant spaceship over London, and all those ghosts that turned out to be Cybermen, and the invasion of the Daleks and the flying replica of the Titanic that nearly hit Buckingham Palace and that Weevil you saw get chased through Roald Dahl Plas and...oh, you get the point.

Hubwards, the gang is having a conversation about Rhys finding out and how they’ll never be in that situation because they’re all single and Tosh is still moping over Owen, who is actually not so painful this season, and Jack is staring meaningfully at Ianto. How could they not know that Jack and Ianto are shagging? Apparently the power of observation is something lost on Torchwood as well as Rhys.

So, Gwen brings Rhys down into the bowels of the Hub and we actually see the pterodactyl for the first time this season. Rhys is all like “that looked so real” and Gwen is all like “because it is real” and Rhys is all like “but they’re extinct” once again proving my stupid, blind or insane theory. Introductions etc and then Rhys describes the alien in the warehouse. Gwen is doing some sort of bizarre proud parent routine, showing off her kid to the other adults.

Exposition, exposition, exposition: the creature lives in water, it came through the rift and beached itself, it was a lot smaller when they found it and keeps growing despite having chunks of meat cut out of it.

OWEN: So the protein chains regenerate despite the mutilation. So not only is it replenishing its own flesh but it's increasing it, giving them a brand-new meat supply.
GWEN: It will last them for years then.
TOSH: If we understood how it worked, we could feed the world.
IANTO: (brief pause) We could release a single.

Hahahahaha! Oh, how many times can we say that Ianto is the bright spot in a sea of darkness and confusion? What a cracker.

Jack brings them back down to Earth and reminds them they’re talking about the often-questionable quality of meat products in Cardiff. It’s good though that I can finally identify an ongoing theme in Torchwood episodes. Other shows might deal with morality, ethics, the nature of power and how we choose to wield it, epistemology and the construction of truth, the nature of reality, or the fragile nature of society and what we optimistically call civilisation. Torchwood’s main point is “don’t eat meat in Wales”. Maybe not profound, but probably good advice.

Then he blames Rhys for ruining their plans (Rhys, “I thought my fiancĂ© was in danger.” Jack, “Well, Mr Caveman, she wasn't. She can handle herself.” Me, “it doesn’t matter how many times you say these things, Jack, it does not make it so”) despite the fact that he actually managed to infiltrate the organisation and is now in a position to gain proper intelligence about the operation that could potentially increase their chances of success. Rhys points this out to him in no uncertain terms finally ending up nose-to-nose with the Cap’n who declares the situation homo-erotic. (giggle). He calls a team meeting, Rhys included.

Planning in the BROFWWUMFE, domestic between Gwen and Rhys over his involvement (just repeat everything I said re previous conversation) and after much shouting they decide that Rhys is going to drive them in. Jack’s plan is to actually rescue the poor animal which, though logistically difficult, is a nice change from the highly-questionable morality he’s displayed since the show started. I’m surprised locking it in a cage and doing medical experiments on it isn’t on the cards.

“Tell me exactly how are we going to use it to arm ourselves against the future?” asks Tosh and I go, huh? Where the hell did that come from? When has that ever been the stated aim of Torchwood, apart from the opening credits? And how the hell do arm yourselves against an abstract concept of linear time? What’s going on?

Ianto says he’ll stock up on plankton and Owen notes that the creature will be difficult to house since it’s still growing. Jack says they’ll have to find a way to stop it mutating (mutating? Since when is growth mutation?) Ah, there’s that mob of readers come to beat me to death for excessive pedantry. Just a minute guys, just finishing off Act 3.

So there’s one of those painfully-contrived moments between Jack and Gwen where we’re once again exhorted to believe they have feelings for each other and we’re finally into the action.

Or not. Sorry, no action. No, instead we get yet another “I can’t handle intelligent women so have to completely undermine them” scene where Tosh, the brains and competence of the outfit contributes to this episode by looking longingly at Owen “plants really are my first love” Harper and making him a sandwich.

No really, what’s with Owen and his plants? He’s got like an entire hydroponics bay. Anyway, Tosh asks him if he wants a game of pool sometime and he says yes, mostly because he thinks she’s talking about the whole gang. She looks sad. I direct the writers to the last 40 years of feminism.

Speaking of feminism, scene with Rhys where he says he’s worried about Gwen’s dangerous job and she kisses him and then looks straight at Jack to see if he’s jealous. No comment.

Next day, Jack and Rhys are at Harwood’s Haulage where Ruth has made him a cup of tea and bought him a Danish. Serious flirting between Ruth and Jack that I really enjoyed. He can be so sweet and charming sometimes.

He should get his own show.

Having picked up the van, Jack and Rhys are driving to pick up the meat and having a conversation that goes something like this.

JACK: Gwen is great. Gwen is so competent. I love Gwen.
RHYS: I also love Gwen. Gwen is so great. She’s so competent. I’m slightly jealous that you also love Gwen but can’t really blame you.
JACK: No, after all, who wouldn’t love Gwen. Gwen is the best.
RHYS: The absolute best. If somebody doesn’t love Gwen they should.
JACK: Agreed.

Breaking news…

It may interest my readers to know that I have recently come upon documented evidence of a conversation that took place between Torchwood writers when they started preparing for Season 2. The following is a transcript:

Writer 1: So, Torchwood Season 2 huh? What’s the plan?
Writer 2: Well, we did have a slight problem with Season 1…
Writer 3: …because it sucked…
Writer 2: Yes, there was an alarming tendency for it to, as you so colourfully put it “suck”…
Writer 3: …and the storylines made no sense…
Writer 2: …and the storylines could perhaps have used a greater period of time in development; something that we’re determined to overcome in the…
Writer 1: …well, RTD said “if it was good enough for Buffy it’s good enough for us”. How was I supposed to know he didn’t mean me to take it entirely literally?
Writer 2: Yes, about the Buffy thing…
Writer 3: …and the characters you know, sucked…
Writer 2: …and spending some more time on characterisation may have lent a more coherent tone to the show, which, again, we will be putting significantly work into this seas…
Writer 3: …and we have to ditch Gwen.
Writer 2: Ditch Gwen? We can’t ditch Gwen!! She’s RTD’s favourite!
Writer 1: But everyone hates her…she's like Dawn in you know, Season 6, when she...
Writer 2: Enough with the Buffy!
Writer 3: Even I hate Gwen. I joined the “Gwen must die” groups on Facebook and MySpace. You know, we have 5 million members in the UK alone. Our line of "Gwen must die" t-shirts is selling really well to antipodean tourists passing through Cardiff on their way to anywhere else in Britain.
Writer 2: I’m sorry, but the word from our lord and master on this subject is crystal clear. Design whatever hideous fates we wish for the others, and Lord knows I’m considering killing off Tosh, but we have to keep Gwen. You know RTD’s policy on fans. If Whovians have to put up with the trash he served up for the Series 4 finale of Doctor Who, Torchwood fans can tolerate Gwen.
Writer 3: Well, I have to agree with you on Tosh. An intelligent woman? As if I can cope with that? I think we should just put her in tight shirts and have a lesbian....oh hang on, we already did that. So, Gwen huh? Well, if we can't ditch her, what do we do?
Writer 2: We force them to like her. RTD says all his fans are stupid anyway. If we repeatedly tell them she’s fantastic maybe they’ll start to believe it.
Writer 3: Tell 'em she's great enough times and they'll buy it? Maybe our fans are stupid but they're not that stupid. But if that's our only recourse? Ok, it's a plan.
Writer 2: I'll start writing a couple of intense interpersonal scenes where people inexplicably talk of their love for Gwen.
Writer 3: *sigh* I guess I'll start printing the "we love Gwen" t-shirts but I hope you realise we’ll have to pay people to wear them.
Writer 1: Does this mean I can’t just rewrite Buffy episodes anymore?
Writer 2: No!
Writer 2: However, I have recently recruited James Marsters...

Meanwhile over on Torchwood 1918, Harriet has been returned sans memories from her encounter with the mysterious aliens and while she officiously continues to reject Tommy’s attempts to take care of her and Gerald is off on one of his wild alien chases, she discovers a group of alien abductees who claim to recognise her from their own time in the aliens' ship...

...dun this dun is tense dun says the music, they’re dun going dun into danger dun. Rhys slooowly drives into the warehouse, where there’s now apparently a gate where no gate was before. “Tension” in the back as Jack gives out orders. Rhys, who in this episode has been by far the most competent member of the team, sends one of the guys on the loading docks off to get his boss’ signature and the other one off to get him a cup of tea so our “fearless heroes” can make their way into their warehouse...of death...

Gwen and Jack find their way into the heart of the warehouse...of death...where they stand blankly in front of a green screen trying to emote to a giant CGI lump of moaning flesh. And there’s still no plan for actually getting that thing out and moving it. I’m just saying.

We get some absolutely disgusting scenes of them hacking up the poor bloody creature alive, which is enough for me to declare vegetarianism before Jack, being reflected in a gigantic CGI eye that looks about as realistic as a Doctor Who special effect from 1974, says, “imprisoned, chained and drugged; welcome to planet Earth”, thereby making him this week’s recipient of the “Recapper Hypocrisy Award” taking it off perennial winner, Gwen.

The creature moans and opens its eyes and Tosh becomes this week’s winner of the “Recapper Stupidest Comment Award” for the line, “it heard you, it’s sentient” when all it demonstrated was acknowledgment of a sound in its audible range.

And then, and I’m not joking, having infiltrated the warehouse and found the creature but lacking any actual plan for getting it out, they run around a bit until someone sees them and captures Rhys and Ianto. No, that’s pretty well it. That’s the next 10 minutes of the show.

Then the bad guys lock them into the warehouse...of death...and come out with Rhys and Ianto tied up. “Mwahahaha,” says ‘evil henchman 1’. “But this is ethically questionable,” says ‘slightly-less evil henchman 2’. “You’ll never get away with this” says Rhys.

Oh what, you want the real dialogue? Really? But that’s pretty well the gist of it. Honestly. Ok, Dale reckons they want to grab the “Cash Cow” for themselves, Rhys says they’re out of their depth and Dale yells “show yourselves or I shoot the delivery boy”. And of course Gwen leaps out and claims they’ve got all of them now but ‘evil henchman number whatever’ sees Jack and Tosh and so the great and powerful Torchwood, the most famous secret organisation ever, has been captured by some two-bit money-grubbing losers with tranq guns. Well done guys, I think this was your most ineffectual foray ever. No, even more incompetent than Countrycide.

“It’s an alien,” says Jack and for some reason ‘slightly-less evil henchman 2’ is all like, “no, it can’t be!” as though hacking up a terrestrial organism while it’s still alive is acceptable but it’s not if it’s an alien???

Alien manatee moans and Ianto works at his bonds and Dale yells “It’s just meat, that’s all” (Tonight on Torchwood: eating alien meat is wrong so become a vegetarian but only if you live in Cardiff; otherwise it’s perfectly ok). Jack yells, “you’re carving up a sentient creature and you’re got to stop!”

And then I think Dale said “And then what have I got? I'm making money here! This is my business. For the first time in my life, I've actually got something for myself!” but I was ducking out of the way of an anvil at the time. You know what’s stupid? Blaming the corporations. If you don’t like the way your food is being treated before death, don’t buy it.

Gwen’s all “Dale, stop, you can still walk away from this” and Dale says, “no, you’re lying to me” and swings his gun around and Rhys yells “no” and steps in front of Gwen and takes the bullet instaed and...NO RHYS, NOOOOOOO!!! What are you doing? She nearly got a bullet for God’s sake!! Excuse me; I just need a moment alone. No not long; just a moment to cope with the crushing disappointment. How cruel to give us that momentary spark of fleeting hope and then to shatter it so heartlessly.

Someone else yells, “no” and Ianto grabs the gun and shots are fired and Ianto beats the crap out of Dale and...the manatee with no legs is escaping?? What? How did that happen?, Dale has the advantage over Ianto and yells, “die” but there’re no bullets left in the gun so Dale legs it out of the warehouse...of Jack yells to Owen to get a sedative because mixing things up at the last minute is Owen’s main job (at least in this episode it isn’t someone’s blood) and Gwen’s all “no Rhys, don’t die” and... get the point. There’s some really dumb line where “slightly-less evil henchman 2” runs in and tells Owen that sedatives won’t work on the alien dugong now it’s free, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever but hell, what ever does in this world, right? Thankfully Ianto electrocutes him. Then Ianto electrocutes a lot of people and I try desperately not to think it’s totally hot. *sigh* just me and 500,000 other women then, hey? It’s nice to be original.

Owen runs into the warehouse...of death... and OMG that CGI sea cow looks RIDICULOUS. I mean it’s wailing and moving its head around but it very obviously can’t move and unless the warehouse has only one door how precisely are they trapped? So Owen jabs it with a bit syringe filled with something and it’s dead. Poor dead fake alien manatee. Owen’s upset. Tosh comforts him. Creature closes its eyes.

"Autopsy room of Clostridium perfringens": an injured Rhys is lying on a table that recently had raw alien meat on it and hasn’t been cleaned yet. Can you say sepsis? Blah blah, Rhys in pain, bad guy’s retconned, creature incinerated, Gwen’s all happy he’s alive and blah blah blah. You screwed around on him, hon. You’re a liar and completely faithless and no one believes you.

I really meant it about the sober. Next time I promise to drink.

Scene the nearly final: Jack says Rhys needs to be retconned, Gwen takes the pill but can’t do it. And they actually have this conversation:

RHYS: Look around us. Nobody else knows what we've been through. Or what else is out there. The sky won't be the same to me anymore. I used to look up and think, “Ah, looks like rain, man.” But now, oh, now I'll... I'll look and I'll think of all the other worlds and the planets and stuff spinning around out there. Oh! And I got to be a part of it all! Fantastic! Which puts worrying about unsigned dockets into perspective, I can tell you.

RANDOM PASSERBY: Except for all those invasions over the last two years, mate. How stupid are you? Oh hi, Gwen. I read the article you wrote in Torchwood magazine. If I renew my subscription by the end of the month can I get my free Torchwood bottle opener?

Scene the final: Gwen tells Jack she’s not going to retcon Rhys. Jack says ok. The end.