I want to begin this review with a bit of personal information. The last episode that I watched of Torchwood was from Season 1 – Countrycide. My vcr that I bought from a co-worker from 15 years ago, simply died on me. I don’t have plans on buying Tivo or a DVR just yet but I might use Windows Vista Media Center to help in this matter. However, since Countrycide, I have not seen any other episodes including the season’s finale. All that I knew about Captain Jack was that he did find The Doctor again on Series Three – which I must say, I am eager to watch. It was no surprise watching the first episode of the 2nd season without Captain Jack. The opening scene with this blowfish guy being chased by the remaining Torchwood team was loads of great fun to watch. Bloody, Torchwood said by the elder female pedestrian was a great line to say that finally Torchwood was out in the open. Not to say they weren’t from the beginning but this line made Torchwood more like the pain in the ass and a thorn in everyone’s sides despite being the great protector they claim to be. Case in point, at the end of Doctor Who Series 2, Torchwood was responsible for the ills brought on by the Daleks and the Cybermen.
As we go on to see the return of Captain Jack, we see that the rest of the team was doing quite well without him. Just then, someone comes through the rift and before one could say what the frell it’s Adam Ant – the music artist not the cartoon character; it’s James Marsters as Captain John Hart. As Captain Jack races to intercept Captain John, I had a deep feeling that they shared a past and boy, did they ever. Jack comes in with venom in is eyes for John and then all of a sudden, they go at it first with the Kiss Kiss, and then a Bang, Bang. I know that bi-sexuality will be a big theme to be explored in this series but my god, it seemed that every episode I’ve seen, someone was getting their game on by the same member of their sex. I have no problem with it but it can get very tiresome after awhile when its in your face constantly.
Then we move on the the point of why Captain John is there. First, he lets Jack know that the Time Agency is no longer exists. This reaked of Doctor Who being the last of the Time Lords. Second, John claims the radiation cluster bombs will destroy the Earth. We head back back to the Hall of Justice Torchwood Institute where the plans to combat this was being formed. Jack and Gwen had a nice scene together as he tries to warn her to keep John in front of her at all time and to never let him kiss her. While this seemed like a cheap line, later it does prove to be almost deadly for Gwen as John’s kiss was poison. The rest of the team gets set up and get played for fools by John. As the last of the cluster bombs are collected, we find out the real plan for John which was to locate a rare diamond. This turned out to be a booby trap for John who killed his former lover to get this diamond. A device attaches to him and will explode in 10 minutes. I hated the fact that John had handcuff himself to Gwen in order to get the team to find a way to rescue him. Owen comes up with a plan and in the final seconds, Jack saves John but not before being thrown back in time when John first arrived with the explosion of the bomb. Jack sends off John back through same rift he came in but he threw a line at Jack, “I found Grey.” This invoked so type of connection to a possible child Jack had since we see a quick flash of hands holding each other and then letting go with one hand being an adult and the other a child. While Jack knew what John meant, he didn’t share with his team who was Grey.
Having been out of touch with Torchwood, I found this episode to be very well balanced with humor and pacing. James Marsters was not as annoying to watch as he was on Angel Season 5. He fits really well playing the bad guy to the Torchwood team that I’m sure we will not see the last of him. As for the rest of the gang, I was deeply impressed by how well the interplay and chemistry gelled together. I know in the Countrycide episode, this was the beginning out the bonding of the team but I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. Finally, Jack has lighten up greatly as he is not as broody as before. I would conclude that the visit with The Doctor was a partial reason for it. I’m glad Torchwood is really hitting my high expectations of good scifi fun and adventure.