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Feb. 28th, 2011

# Was successfully babysitting the niece on Friday when my sister and her husband (and that still feels so odd writing...) went to a ball. I was actually more than a bit scared because of all the things that could go wrong, and what if I suddenly have a screaming four year old on my hands who wants to be consoled only by her Mama? It went surprisingly well, though, except that I got maybe four hours of sleep that night (not the niece's fault) and pretty much sleepwalked through a seemingly endless six hours of work on Saturday.

# Saw The King's Speech with R. yesterday, and on the whole really liked it. Colin Firth definitely deserved the Oscar as far as I can say that without having seen any of the other films, but, although I can't quite put my finger on it, as a film it struck me as just a bit too much on the conventional side, sometimes coming dangerously close to being formulaic and borderline kitsch. Which isn't to say that it didn't have plenty of touching moments or that I wasn't choking up as he struggled through the speech in the end, but I can't quite shake off the feeling that the movie is carried by the actors' performances more than anything else.

(On a somewhat related note, I just watched TR's Oscar acceptance speech on YouTube and it was... faintly bizarre in a way. Not the speech itself, which was completely run of the mill, thanking his wife etc, but the circumstances. Good for him, obviously, but... *shakes head* No, strike that, good for him, full stop. Everything.)

# In TW rewatching news, when I did the 30 days meme I picked Adam as my favourite S2 episode, but Adrift is actually a very close runner up. It's an episode that somehow continues to grow on me, and at this point I'm inclined to say that it's maybe the best written and best realised S2 episode overall. Chris Chibnall's episode tend to be a bit over the top and uneven, which can work, but doesn't always, but Adrift maintains its pace and tone throughout and tells a good story quietly, subtly and very, very effectively. Monsters, cannibals, gore and everything, Nikki's self-help group meeting suddenly filling up is one of the most chilling scenes on the whole of TW, including CoE. I get goosebumps every time.

It's really a very layered story with a lot of characterisation, especially when it comes to Jack. The compulsive lying and covering up in an equally desperate and futile attempt to protect Gwen and himself, his earnest, but in the end half-hearted attempts to make things at least a bit better, and his fundamental conviction that some things (like Beth in Sleeper, like he himself) can't be fixed. Gwen and Ianto, the idealistic ones, who don't want to accept this, but in the end have to. Gwen, who may love Jack, but when it comes right down to it, doesn't trust him at all. So much about Gwen and Rhys's relationship in this episode is about talking and listening to each other, even if they're fighting and yelling. And Jack... can't. Not until it's too late. Even when he tries to, on the island, he's still not telling her enough, still not telling her what she needs to know. And in the end it's really too late, and he can only watch her, helplessly, silently, from the distance. The episode also clicks fantastically with Jack's story in Fragments as well as Exit Wounds. The shame of a century in Torchwood he joined under such circumstances is already foreshadowed in this episode, and Nikki's story—whether it's better to know, or to still have hope—foreshadows Jack and Grey's story in EW.

The triangle between Jack, Gwen and Ianto and Gwen's relationship with Rhys are also very well done. Sadly it's also an episode that is easily ruined and distorted once you're watching it with any kind of shipping agenda—I still remember various fandom theories about how Ianto actually gave Gwen the GPS with Jack's knowledge, that they were effectively playing her, never mind that this makes very little sense and would make both Jack and Ianto look terrible. *sigh*

Fragments is still good, but already more uneven. I'd have liked for Jack's story to be just a tad more serious, considering how serious the implications actually are, but it's still brilliant with all the potential for all kinds of moral ambiguity it opened up. CoE would never have worked believably without that scene, or Adrift.

# Has someone knowledgeable about tarot ever written about the reading the girl does for Jack in Fragments? I looked up the cards on wikipedia and a couple of other sites, and the first three from left to right are: The Tower (sudden change, chaos, crisis, disillusionment, release, downfall, revelation, realising the truth), then Jack as a the Knight of Swords (confident, impetuous, dynamic, valiant, blunt, fearless, logical, unfeeling), then Three of Swords (sorrow, heartbreak, loneliness, betrayal, loss). All of which seem to say a lot more about Jack and his past/current situation than about the Doctor's eventual arrival. The vertical row is (from top to bottom): Ace of Cups (emotional force, intuition, intimacy, love), The Moon (lack of clarity, doubt, deception, psychological conflict, fear, illusion, imagination, bewilderment) and The World (fulfilment, accomplishment, involvement, prospering, wholeness). Nothing there exactly says 'the century will turn twice', but it could indeed refer to the century ahead of Jack (whereas the first three cards seem to refer to his past). But then again, I know nothing about tarot.

# The picture that gets pinned into Jack's first Torchwood file is the last one above the wedding picture in SB, so it's conceivable that the wedding picture is indeed meant to be from a time before Jack died the first time, regardless of the style of the dress.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
elisi
Mar. 1st, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
I wish I had clever thoughts, but I don't. So I'll just say that I love it when you talk about TW!
solitary_summer
Mar. 1st, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)

To be honest, I find it somewhat surprising that I still can find something to talk about. I'm really starting to look forward to new canon...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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