Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Review of Torchwood's 4x08: "End Of The Road"

Written by Ryan Scott And Jane Espenson
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Oswald: “They want to burn me alive.”
Jilly: “Oswald, you were always sentenced to death. What you had was a wonderful delay and now it’s time for that adventure to come to an end.”

And with that sentence, I recommend that Jilly probably should never be in a position to tell people when their loved one have passed away. Still though, I can’t help but love the idea that scumbags like Oswald still get the module treatment after all.

This really wasn’t Oswald’s week at all, was it? The man deluded himself into actually believing that because he became a TV celebrity, he got a ‘get out of jail’ free clause forever. Jilly was right to scold him about his fate and even more so when he turned on her.

Oswald and Jilly’s partnership has always depended on them needing each other, so it bound to end in violence at the same time. Maybe Jilly shouldn’t have told him about the Category Zero situation being set up in place for people like Oswald but at the same time, thanks to Claire, she didn’t really have a choice.

The scenes with Oswald and Claire were actually quite chilling in their own way. For a girl who was willing to re-enact a schoolgirl fantasy with Oswald, Claire certainly had a bigger problem when he tried to have a normal conversation with him. Not that you could blame her but even still, would you really want to even consider taking Oswald on as a client? Claire certainly changed her mind pretty sharpish, didn’t she?

It’s interesting that Claire also talked about women her age fighting back. Jilly certainly tried to physically take Oswald down when he assaulted her and then tried to set her own witch hunt on the guy after he stole from her too. Of course, being smacked around by Oswald wasn’t the only dilemma for Jilly this week.

For some reason, the Families seem to be interested in getting her on their team and that Blue Eyed Guy managed to get her into accepting an offer from them. Now, I like Jilly heaps as a character but what is it about her that the Families find especially interesting for recruiting, aside from her ruthlessness and cunning?

Speaking of the Families, we got enough of an information dump on them this week as well, courtesy of Olivia. Of course she was going to turn out to be Angelo’s granddaughter and her own divisiveness on Jack aside, it’s interesting that the Families disapproved of Angelo’s relationship with Jack but were happy to experiment with his blood for the last nine decades in preparation for Miracle Day.

Jack’s scenes with the older Angelo provided a nice emotional hook to the action heavy-ish hour. Despite Angelo betraying him in the worst way possible, it did seem like Jack really cared for the man that he even tried to conceal why Angelo was alive for so long/suddenly able to die from Shapiro for as long as he could.

Much as I love Esther, she kind of dropped the ball here by insisting on asking Jack about his cryptic behaviour. Soon enough then, we ended up with a dangerous piece of alien technology and Gwen ended up being deported. In all fairness, Gwen being deported back to Wales is the least dramatic thing to happen in this episode.

And funnily enough, so is Jack getting shot too. I know I should be worried about him, given that he’s currently mortal and being driven away by Esther but I’m not. Apart from Gwen, he’s the only character who’ll definitely make it out of this whole saga alive and I’d also like to think that Esther will get him some medical attention too.

In terms of operations skills, this was classic Torchwood at its murkiest. You had Rex being a genius at the start of the episode by tricking Friedkin into revealing his allegiance to the Families but you also had Esther still making rookie mistakes too, while Jack and Gwen were trying to keep secrets or mouthing off at Shapiro. I hope for their sakes, they actually do come through with fixing the world in the last two episodes.

As for Friedkin, I so did not miss him one bit and was pretty happy when he blew himself to smithereens. It’s kind of a shame that he had to take Olivia with him because while she was a bit of a bitch, her snarky banter was delightful. At least we still have Jilly and Charlotte’s suddenly become a more interesting character now that we’ve learned she’s in cahoots with the Families.

Also in “End Of The Road”

I know that there were a lot of flashbacks to the previous episode, but I could’ve sworn at least one scene with younger Angelo was new.

Rex: “You’re telling me the whole world got screwed over because two gay guys had a hissy fit?”
Gwen: “Rex, get back in your cave.”

Rex’s Neanderthal comments aside, I noticed that him and Gwen seemed to have a mutual respect for each other in this one.

Jack: “I’m not as special as I thought.”
Olivia: “You never were.”

Shapiro (re Gwen): “People seem to be talking over me, which is fascinating and rare and forbidden. I’ll come back to you.”

We met Sarah again, who seems to have volunteered herself for a Category 1. I know some fans don’t care about Esther’s personal life but I do, so it was a nice scene. Oh and there was a reference to Ianto.

Gwen: “Jack, did we just join the CIA?”
Jack: “I think we did.”

Oswald: “Get me a girl.”
Jilly: “How old?”
Oswald: “Legal age.”
Jilly: “Seriously?”

Oswald made off with Jilly’s iPad after he assaulted her and Charlotte (when she isn’t working for the Families) also helped Sarah out as well at the psych ward.

Rhys (re Gwen): “Tell her yourself.”
Mary: “I’m watching TV.”

Claire (to Oswald): “I think I should warn you, the girl my age fight back but you know that already, don’t you? That’s why you prefer kids.”

Why did Shapiro assume that both Gwen and Esther had slept with Rex? Also the names of Ablemarch, Costerdane and Frines didn’t exist and the blessing occurred again.

Blue Eyed Man: “We’re way above PhiCorp.”
Jilly: “Then who are you?”
Blue Eyed Man: “We’re a family business. Are you interested?”
Jilly: “Yes. Yes.”

Chronology: From where “Immortal Sins” left off.

It may have started shaky (and lost some viewers as a result) but the series has more than found it’s groove back. The events of “End Of The Road” were certainly the most compelling we’ve had and the last two episodes look nothing short of amazing.

Rating: 9 out of 10


Anonymous said...

Nana Visitor as Olivia reminded me here of her character in Dark Angel, Madame X, though not so evil.

shawnlunn2002 said...

I liked her in Dark Angel.