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MD ep.10 — Oh, sigh. Good parts, a couple of really brilliant, powerful scenes, especially for Gwen, some ridiculous parts, liked it overall, but seriously, the ending? ... [Oh, God, I was just typing lj-cut death="" here... *facepalm*] WTF? Seriously, RTD, I love you and everything, but what the hell were you thinking there? The ending could have been powerful if the story had just ended with the deaths to emphasise the point that it's now business as usual again and what that means, but suddenly!immortal!Rex as a version of the DW running gag? This kind of thing maybe works if you've already got a signed contract for a next season and know what to do with that story arc, but even then it wouldn't fit the tone of the show. This is most definitely not something you just randomly throw in, because it's one hell of a loose end to remain loose for presumably forever, especially after the entire story made a point about how wrong immortality is, not to mention the whole immortality related angst Jack went through. Will it be forever? Will it wear off again? What?! I need to know, damn it.

I find this jarring especially after the (comparative) finality of CoE .


What I also thought was missing was how Jack feels about becoming immortal again, although that in a way makes sense. People die again, and Jack is immortal again, the world is back to normal. And in between he got the chance to look at his life and realise it wasn't quite that bad. I hope he'll remember that, and the moment where he wanted to live.

Loved Gwen when she tells Rex to keep going, and in fact the whole part about how she brings back death to the world... that's when MD really rang true. That was the moment when I felt that this was what MD was all about and why it was written, and that there's a whole arc starting with The Second Coming and spanning the whole of RTD's DW, as well as TW, that comes to an end here.


Mostly, what makes me a bit sad is that MD could have been a lot better. On the balance, I'm glad it happened, because it gave me closure for Jack, which I really needed after CoE and that the snippet in The End of Time didn't provide, but I was hoping for something more, especially with that theme.


More when I find the time to rewatch the whole thing.


As an afterthought, though... there's something that occurred to me. CoE was essentially, or at least partly, written so that it would work as an ending for TW. Maybe bringing TW back to life was the problem? Everything has its time, and everything dies, and maybe RTD is simply better at killing/ending than he is at resurrecting? Come to think of it, the Doctor/Rose arc had the same problem. It should have ended with Doomsday, everything that came afterwards was mediocre at best, and RTD kept fighting with an ending that refused to work. Hm. Maybe he should start paying attention to his own motifs?

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
topaz_eyes
Sep. 10th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Heh, I saw your post just before I posted mine.

What I also thought was missing was how Jack feels about becoming immortal again, although that in a way makes sense. People die again, and Jack is immortal again, the world is back to normal. And in between he got the chance to look at his life and realise it wasn't quite that bad. I hope he'll remember that, and the moment where he wanted to live.

I don't think Jack's feelings about immortality matter anymore. I wrote in my post that when he stared into the abyss the Blessing he came to peace. Hence his death to reset the world set him free. So when he revived, he could leave without guilt.

Maybe he should start paying attention to his own motifs?

*snerk* RTD should pay attention to his instincts. Every time he listens to them the results are sublime. When he doesn't--we get TEoT. *g*
solitary_summer
Sep. 10th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
You're more articulate than I am... I'll have to think about this, because right now I have lots of conflicting feelings I can't really define and need to sort out first.

I do love what RTD did with Jack's arc — it wasn't quite what I expected, but I'm happy he came out of it more at peace with himself. He's come along way in this story, and it's been entirely believable throughout. (On some level I wonder, though — did he really expect to die, after all this time? Or was it more of an acceptance of whatever might come, either way? The thought that he might revert to his previous state surely must have crossed his mind?)

And there's Gwen...There were a lot of people who suddenly liked her in CoE, but for me MD was where she really became a fascinating character.

Edited at 2011-09-10 10:06 pm (UTC)
tigercheetah
Sep. 11th, 2011 06:48 am (UTC)
The first slow 30 minutes were redemmed by the final 20 minutes for me, which is pretty much how MD has been since the first episode. This series has been good and entertaining drama overall but it certainly isn't in the same class as COE and it looks like many people in fandom agree. The story has been dragged out over 10 episodes when it could have been easily done in about 8, there's been a number of secondary storyarcs that weren't developed as fully as they could have been and Gwen 'coming and going' between the US and the UK didn't always feel right.

And that ending? It added a comic element to what should have been a somber ending - everyones dying again, including Gwen's father and Esther - and I'm not sure what I think of it. I'm sure there's comic relief to be had from Jack having someone he once considered 'a pain up the butt' sharing his position and maybe there'll be contrasts to be had between Rex enjoying his situation to begin with, whilst Jack continues to view his own immortality as a mixed blessing...

BUT at the same time, Jack's meant to be unique and alone and having Rex possibly facing the same situation does undermine one of the biggest things about Jack as a character. And not to state the obvious - but I will - unlike in Doctor Who, RTD has often said that death in Torchwood is more likely to stick because it's an adult show (Ianto ain't coming back because it's an adult show that treats death in an adult way) but now that another main character has escaped death in such a big way, it's just taken one step closer to being less serious about death. (Rex coming back to life and everyone going "what? what? whhhhhhat?" made ESTHER's death slightly less serious IMO)

Torchwood is still one of the best things on television at the moment - it's arguebly addictive :) - but MD's quality has been up and down like a yoyo.
solitary_summer
Sep. 11th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I'm still processing and don't have the time to rewatch now or for the next few weeks, but I'm willing to forgive a lot just for Jack's arc and the way Jack and Gwen's relationship developed. And it's definitely interesting to look at MD in connection with the rest of RTD's work...

I really hated the 'What?!' Apparently Benjamin Cook convinced RTD to drop it at the end of JE because it didn't fit the serious tone of the ending, and this is where he thought it was a good idea to reintroduce it? Torchwood?

Clearly they wanted to keep at least one new character for a potential next season, but that's a dangerous game to play if you don't even know it'll happen, and they should have found another way, IMO. It should have ended with the deaths, because this is what the world became again... It'd have made a better point, IMO.

Ianto ain't coming back because it's an adult show that treats death in an adult way

I haven't even thought about that. Does RTD have a death wish, deciding to actually bring a character back from death after that?

Torchwood is still one of the best things on television at the moment - it's arguebly addictive :) - but MD's quality has been up and down like a yoyo.

Oh, it definitely is addictive. I'm already hoping there will be another series, although looking at the general reaction that's probably highly doubtful...

Edited at 2011-09-11 09:26 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
solitary_summer
Sep. 11th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
To be fair, while I was (more or less) right, or at least not completely wrong about some things, I was spectacularly wrong about others, most noticeable ep.7 where I was so certain...

And I never, ever expected this to happen.

It makes sense, but I'm still not loving it. Immortality isn't something to be passed on, just like that, as a throwaway gag at the end... At this point, I've already started to hope that there'll be a fifth season, and that RTD has a plan for this.
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