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Okay, this one has probably been discussed up & down & sideways at the time somewhere else without me ever noticing, because I just wasn't very interested in Jack/Gwen other than not seeing it happen, but from Gwen's comment in Sleeper about Jack's manners in bed, with a hastily added 'Apparently, so I've heard,'did she ever sleep with Jack, or just talk to Ianto a lot while Jack was away? And if it's the former, when would that have happened?

I still find all the sudden Jack/Gwen not-even-subtext in S2 a bit odd, because as I saw it in S1 the sexual tension between them more or less evaporated after Ghost Machine when Jack let the silence stretch for a little too long after Gwen's 'Doesn't it get lonely at night?', and Gwen turned to Owen for comfort a couple of episodes later. But it's undeniably there in S2—and it's not even so much Jack, who may love her in whatever not-quite-platonic way he does, and may not be happy at the prospect of possibly losing her to her non-TW life, but I think has always been always realistic enough to know that he'll never be someone who'll make her happy; it's Gwen who does seem to be waiting for him to say something when she says 'Well, no one else will have me', only once again he doesn't. Or again when they talk about the wedding at the end of Sleeper. And Jack sends her home again—'Keep doing what we do', and in the looks exchanged between them there does seem to be a sort of understanding that it isn't going to happen, although it's definitely seems to be more his decision than hers.



Oct. 26th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I suspect this is one of those things everyone is doomed to be hopelessly subjective about, as with so much of Torchwood: it is a kind of beauty about the show, that we're shown enough to make synaptic subtext-supported connections between pretty much all of the characters, and yet seldom ever enough for anyone to say definitively, "my interpretation of X vs Y is unambiguously canonical, because blah blah". I liked the loosely meshed structure myself, lots of wriggle room to speculate around and write in.

So FWIW, my own subjective take is that in no way did Jack and Gwen ever get more physically intimate than during the shooting scene of Ghost Machine, no. In S2 especially, her previous betrayal of Rhys - the sexual relationship with Owen - is whitewashed out of canon, because her relationship with Rhys is being established as the absolute bedrock of her integrity, the tangible sign that Gwen alone is the only person able to work for (aka 'be in love with', if you like) Torchwood, but not be consumed wholly by it, as everyone else is shown to be, Jack included.

What I did see was an intense emotional subtext between them, that had grown throughout S1 ans was symbolised by Gwen being the one who steadfastly refuses to give Jack up for dead after Abbadon. Two-thirds of S2 show that emotional bond between them being tugged on pretty hard, with everything from Jack's capitulation to Gwen's will at the end of Meat (she gets to disobey him outright, because he can't let her get away from him), to Gwen's line in Adam of "I love him, but not in the way I love you".

There's definitely 'something' between them right up to the wedding: they both know it, they both use it, at times, to manipulate each other. And I think it's a perfectly sincere feeling on both sides, a desire that's intensified because the love and respect between Gwen and Rhys is established as such an innocent and positive thing, neither of them is going to harm it by giving in to the desire to reveal the depth of their feeling for each other, which becomes that thing you want but are morally forbidden to have.

I do feel like it's more of an emotional than a sexual craving, though. Maybe more sexual on Gwen's side: for her Jack is this super-sexy, super-unattainable hero, still fundamentally mysterious. I can absolutely see her indulging in gossip with Ianto about what Jack's like to fuck, and quietly both torturing and titillating herself at the same time. But with Jack, it feels to me like a deeper extension of the same kind of fierce possessive love he has for the whole team, a desire to be their lodestar. It's the same emotion that had him cheating Death to keep Owen with him, I think.


solitary summer

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