[Also, made a sincere attempt today to buy something new to wear for my sister's wedding, but seriously, every time I think fashion can't get any more hideous, somehow it still does. H&M was an unmitigated nightmare of ruffles and pastels. Pastel ruffles, even. *sigh*]
Do I even have to answer that?
After some consideration, the end of Ianto's story in Fragments, from the moment the pterodactyl drops Jack into Ianto's arms, to the end of the scene, when Ianto finally gets what he wanted and breaks down quietly as he walks out.
Because it's right. Because it captures their relationship perfectly.
This is perhaps an unpopular (or, not to be overdramatic, uncommon) fanish opinion, but I was never in it for the pretty, the suits, the snark, or whatever else made the ship so popular.
For me Cyberwoman and Fragments are the backbone of the relationship, without which I'd probably never have felt more than mild interest. That's what made it interesting and complicated. These are the episodes that define the power-dynamic of the relationship, and they are the reason why I always found fandom's tendency to woobify Ianto rather mystifying. Granted, he can be rather emotional, but he's also one of the most stubborn and uncompromising characters on the show. (One thing one can't say about Ianto's death is that it wasn't in character. Love and wanting to do the right thing, all mixed up, and no instinct for self-preservation whatsoever. [*]) His relationship with Jack is full of doubts and insecurities and it wasn't all hearts and flowers, but this is also the man whom Jack forgave an not insignificant amount of highly personal betrayal and manipulation as well nearly getting the whole team killed and endangering the entire planet, regardless of the fact that to the best of the audience's knowledge Ianto never apologised for any of that, at least not to Jack. At the heart of their relationship there isn't only a 'because', there's an equally or maybe even more powerful, 'in spite of', and the conflict between these two elements is what makes it so fascinating.
In a way these are also the episodes that reveal the most about the mutual connection Jack and Ianto do in fact have. At the end of Ianto's story in Fragments there's this one moment where everything falls away, Ianto's schemes, Jack's hatred of Torchwood and everyone connected to it, and there's just the two of them rolling on the floor, laughter and sex, a moment of pure honesty. Cyberwoman is the dark mirror image of this, because neither is holding back there either and it all just spills out, hurt and disappointment and rage. With two characters who are so guarded, so hesitant to talk about their feelings that much of the time one has to guess at them, who both have a tendency to hide behind their respective masks, such scenes where the masks do come off are rather important.
Ianto's story is perhaps my favourite one in Fragments, even before Jack's; it's one of those times when something fits just perfectly. Jack doing something as utterly mundane as asking Ianto out on a date in KKBB came as a genuine surprise, especially after the revelation at the end of LotTL. Fragments was a surprise only insofar as I hadn't actually expected that sleeping his way into Torchwood had always been part of Ianto's plan, although of course with the reputation Jack cultivates it's an obvious choice. Looking back, it almost feels as if Cyberwoman was written with that story in mind; if it wasn't, that's pretty brilliant retcon.
[*] Come to think about it, that's another of the terrible ironies of CoE, just as Alice condemned her son because she was worried about the state of the Earth and convinced Johnson to get Jack out of his cell. In Cyberwoman everyone survived because Jack didn't listen to Ianto's pleas and protests for a moment, but brutally overrode them. In CoE Ianto says 'You should have stood up to them', and Jack not just listens, but builds a plan based on that. Ianto, like Alice, is morally in the right, no doubt about that. It still kills him.
Day 01: Favourite Torchwood Member
Day 02: Least Favourite Torchwood Member
Day 03: Favourite Series
Day 04: Favourite Episode
Day 05: Least Favourite Episode
Day 06: Something You Liked That Most People Didn't
Day 07: Favourite Alien/Villain
Day 08: Favourite Minor Character
Day 09: A Scene That Made You Cry
Day 10: A Scene That Made You Smile
Day 11: A Scene That Made You Angry
Day 12: Favourite Quote
Day 13: Favourite Promo Picture
Day 14: Favourite Couple
Day 15: Favourite Couple Scene
Day 16: Favourite Piece of Music
Day 17: Something You’d Like To Re-write
Day 18: Character You Relate To The Most
Day 19: Favourite Outfit
Day 20: Favourite Gwen Moment
Day 21: Favourite Ianto Moment
Day 22: Favourite Jack Moment
Day 23: Favourite Owen Moment
Day 24: Favourite Toshiko Moment
Day 25: Shag/Cliff/Marry?
Day 26: A Torchwood Geek Moment You’ve Had
Day 27: Favourite Location Or Set
Day 28: Where You Think The Series Should Continue To
Day 29: Best Torchwood on Doctor Who Moment
Day 30: Why You Love Torchwood