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The first time I saw ep.1 I naturally assumed that Jack knew what John meant by 'I found Grey.', but it's true that the whole Adam episode and Jack's anger at Adam for bringing up the memories - 'raising the dead' - would make little sense if that was the case and Jack had remembered more than maybe a meaningless image without any context, that flashed through his mind at the mention of the name.

But if so, what happened?

Now I would understand if the boy Jack had repressed the memory; but Jack had, as grown man, been looking for his brother for years, he'd talked about this with John who apparently even helped him with his search. (And went on with it after he and Jack parted ways/split up/Jack quit the Time Agency.) Is it possible for an adult to simply and naturally truly forget something so significant that has occupied and troubled one for a good part of one's life? Granted, the human brain is a strange thing, but I hardly think this is likely, unless Jack at one point, and for whatever reason, made a conscious decision to erase, with the help of whatever means were available in the 51st century, that specific memory. And it's not as if Jack has no memories of his earlier past whatsoever; the one about going to war with his best friend 'when I was a boy' can't be too far removed from the events around his brother's disappearance.

'I buried the memory over 150 years ago.'

Jack ended up in 1869 after escaping from Satellite 5; assuming that Torchwood's setting is more or less contemporary 'over 150 years ago' would be about 10 years before he met the Doctor, give or take a few, but presumably during the time he worked for the Time Agency, which would explain John knowing about Grey.

And I may be mistaken, but I think the one possibility that never even occurred to John was that Jack might have forgotten and not even know what he was talking about. The way he delivered his news as a parting shot seemed calculated to either make Jack come running after him, or (depending on whether he knew about Jack's Vortex Manipulator not working) to keep Jack on the edge until John chose to return and give him more information, and be properly grateful when he did.

'It was meant to be buried.'

'I can't afford to remember.'

The way Jack puts it, it certainly suggests a conscious effort as well as determination beyond not wanting to think about something painful.

But why, all of a sudden? What happened that made Jack think he couldn't afford to remember, even if he'd lived with the memory before, boy and man? Simply being tired and wanting to get rid of the ever present guilt is always a possibility, but apparently not one that occurred to John, and, although it's hard to say, it'd seem a bit out of character for Jack. And how, if at all, is this related to Jack's missing two years?

But I guess we'll find out in the next six episodes...


solitary summer

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