Stupid Things About Torchwood: Week 7

Just three more of these left. Thank god.

1 - Gwen Cooper: Coward, Villain.

When we left Gwen, she'd just discovered that, due to her own incompetence, her family had been grabbed by the evil conspiracy responsible for the Miracle. She's asked to bring Jack to the villains, which she immediately does. That's right - Gwen is faced with having to choose between betraying Jack and putting the whole world at risk, or putting her family at risk and working with Jack to get her family back another way. Her immediate reaction? "Screw the whole world, I'm looking out for me!"

So if you were looking to associate that behaviour with a certain archetype, would it be the hero, or the villain?

2 - The writers of Torchwood: Cretins.

Gwen announces, while kidnapping Jack at the beginning of the episode, that she's thought it through, and there's no possible way to defeat the scheming villains and rescue her family. Except the show needs the whole 'kidnapped family' thing to be resolved by the end of the episode, and since the writers aren't very good, they can't thing of a clever way to do it, so they have to make the villains out to be idiots.

Here are the circumstances of Gwen's pressganging.

1 - The villains can see what she sees, including reading the lips of people she's talking to, but can't hear anything.
2 - Despite the fact that this 'tracking the contacts' thing means that they should be able to find out where she lives and just grab Jack for themselves, or at least follow her, they do nothing of the sort, instead simply trusting her to follow their instructions.
3 - Gwen's family are all being held in their own home, with their entirely traceable cellphones sitting on the table in front of them.

I'm sure, given that situation, considering the fact that Gwen could literally pick up a cell phone, dial her friend in Cardiff PD and get the whole family thing sorted in a matter of minutes so long as she kept it out of her eyeline, literally anyone could think of a dozen clever ways to get out of this situation without turning evil and betraying their best friend.

Gwen comes up with none of them. She doesn't even try.

What's truly insulting is how the whole situation gets resolved. Rex and Esther are sitting around the office, literally doing nothing while the world burns around them, when the computer beeps with an alert, updating them to the fact that the contact lenses are receiving broadcasts. It's only the fact that the villains took no efforts to disguise their use of the heroes' technology that the team figures out to follow Jack and Gwen, as well as phone Cardiff PD and get the family rescued.

Which, again, Gwen could have just told them to do herself.

3 - FYI, people weren't smarter in the past.

The main body of the episode takes place in a series of flashbacks where we learn about Jack's affair with a random Italian petty criminal. What's the significance of this? Well, Jack inadvertently reveals his unkillability to the the guy, who promptly freaks out, and reveals the secret to dozens of other people.

After a few days of killing Jack for fun, the people have gathered enough of Jack's blood that they're able to use it to create the Miracle some 80 years later - or at least that's what we're led to believe by the fact that at the end of the episode, the still-living Italian guy is said to be the mastermind of the scheme.

I'm not here to criticize this plotting - although this really should have happened six episodes ago, really, the moment that Jack realized that he was the only person on the planet who WASN'T unkillable it should have been utterly clear that he was responsible for the whole thing somehow, and started looking to his own past. What I want to focus on is the reason Jack was in New York in the first place - he was hoping to kill an alien parasite that aliens wanted to use to drive Roosevelt insane so that Hitler would win the war.

Fun and Torchwood-y, right? Well, not so much in the execution. Here is Jack's plan for gaining access to the parasite: Deal bootleg wine in the territory of the local mobster who has the monster, get caught by him, offer himself as an employee for any 'weird jobs' that the mobster might have, assume that the mobster's first job will to be send Jack into a warehouse - completely unsupervised or escorted, mind you - to move the mobster's most valuable property to another warehouse.

Amazingly, this plan works. The mobster, who, as far as the show makes clear, could literally have anyone move this crate at any time, trusts a man he's never met before to deal with his biggest secret. Of course, he's immediately betrayed by Jack, as he profoundly deserved to be.

God, this show.

4 - Wait, but you said-

Are there different sub-conspiracies within this main group? Suddenly the villains want Jack turned over to them so that there can be a lovers' reunion. Which is all well and good, but wasn't the Reaper told to kill Jack just three episodes ago? Unless those orders came from someone else, this would be one hell of a poorly-conceived conspiracy - after all, the villains have supposedly been planning this for decades, and they can't figure out whether they want Jack dead or alive? What would they have done if the Reaper had just shot Jack the way he was supposed to?

5 - I'm sure this will be explained later.

This is the evil cabal who the 20s villains try to sell Jack to. We're not told if they're captains of industry or figures in organized crime, but do you notice anything funny about them?

No, not the ridiculous three-way handshake they perform at the end, the fact that they're comfortably integrated. Is this a very different 1928 than the one we're familiar with? Did racial tensions not exist? Are they the aliens who wanted to kill Roosevelt?

No comments: