Here it is, all secrets revealed, the mysterious pasts unveiled. At long last, we find out what Ianto did with Lisa, why Tosh was at the hospital when the space pig was taken there, how Owen forced his way into the team, and where was Jack when he didn’t know anything about what Torchwood did at a hospital during World War One…
Oh, hang on, scratch that. We don’t find out any of those things, and we do find out negates most of those things! Well done chaps, anyone want to try again? Or, on second thoughts, considering that one of the creators couldn’t even get it right, don’t try again, and pretend this never happened. People complain about continuity and canon, usually in regards to the books, etc., but what happens when episodes from earlier in the current series are blatantly contradicted?
Leaving that point alone, what do we find out? Tosh was brilliant, Ianto is nearly capable (this is new!), Owen is a doctor, and Jack lived a long time and beats up on aliens… Uh, really detailed character histories there. There is the “show don’t tell” principle, but there’s nothing shown here that couldn’t have been told (and dealt better than way) in five words or less. And thinking about it, if Jack was really around that long, working for Torchwood (which might have been “outside the government, beyond the police, denied by the Queen” with those two in charge), he really isn’t saying what he knows and is pretending ignorance, so comes out tops for being revealed as a total twat.
(As for the only interesting member of Torchwood, namely Suzie, what do we get? Jack issuing an order, but interrupted before she could reply. Fine, the actress probably wasn’t available, or it wasn’t worth getting her back in (or the production team didn’t care), but it would have been nice to fill that out with actual real details. Maybe even a CGI appearance a la the pterodactyl? However, probably find out she really cared about life and never had a mean bone in her body…)
Finding out about people’s histories can be interesting, and some people have been asking “how did these people end up in Torchwood?” On the other hand, pretending to blow up people and then spending the episode finding out nothing happened (on any level) is just annoying. (To be honest, just watch the Declassified. A lot shorter, clearer about events, and far more interesting.) Anyone really up for a third series of this?