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MISS MARTHA JONES!

2x06, "Reset"
See post title.

The only way Martha really disappoints me is being a member of UNIT. Come on, ex-companions. HAVE NORMAL LIVES. Stop joining semi-secret government organizations for which I have immeasurable amounts of (irrational?) hate.

I think I read about this when the episode aired, but then I rejected the memory shortly afterwards, and for the last few weeks I've been somewhat comforted by the thought that if Martha had to leave, at least it was to pursue her pre-Doctor plans of becoming a proper doctor in her own right. With patients and all that. BUT NO. NOT EXACTLY. *grumps*

I wasn't especially fond of her quasi-bonding with Gwen, either. It rankled me. I'm actually not sure if it's because I think Martha is too awesome to hang out with skanky Gwen, or because I only have room for one alpha female in my heart per show and Gwen's already established her position here.

And, OK, I had issues with the return of snippy "I'll do what I like!" Martha disobeying orders to get to safety and getting herself all captured, thus indirectly leading to OWEN DYING. (more on this later) Defiant Martha is not the cool one. But for the most part, she was Bantering Martha, and I loved the rest of her interactions with the team. Because she's cooler than all of them and she knows it. :P

I also loved her performance to clinch her spot as a clinical volunteer. Impressive Companion-type work there. In fact, come to think of it, that whole getting-captured part was pretty Companion-like too. What with the being unconcious and strapped down to a table for lethal medical experimentation, I'm sure that Doctor/Martha shippers had a merry old time re-envisioning this scenario as a Doctor Who adventure, with fanfic embellishments.

Ah, hell, let's not even pretend I didn't just spend 15 minutes concocting a canon-compliant (i.e. non-shippy) version of the above. It's pretty great. Martha was never abused half that much in any of her adventures with him (*tilts head and runs things back* Nope, really, not that much near-death physical abuse in any of them); I imagine his thundercloud of rage at finding her in a situation like this would be incredible. And the post-rescue part would be very cute.

MARTHA MARTHA MARTHA MARTHA MARTHA, pretty much covers the rest of my thoughts in this section. To be concise.
(oh, and I loved the inclusion of her Theme's motif, by the way. One of the few times I've noticed background music in this show)
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1. Random question: why exactly can't anyone ever specify "The Doctor"? Why must it be a constant mystery, never more than alluded to? Is the anti-Doctor sentiment that founded Torchwood still beaten into the brains of even its post-Canary-Wharf members? Is there a clause that requires them to immediately execute any of his known associates? Because I can't figure out why else he has to remain this private in-joke between old friends. Unless Jack's afraid they'll think he sounds cooler and try to ditch him for TARDIS life.

2. Caleb Nichols! Slash Widmore! I love how this man routinely plays nothing but cold-blooded (insert prefix)-illionaires bent on monopolizing a market niche through any means necessary. Good to see he's not differing from his routine at all.

3. Ewwwwww. Why are people on TV ALWAYS getting needles in the eye?! THIS TREND NEEDS TO STOP NOW.

4. I highly approve of lobbing bombs at Ianto. (well, making things explode right behind him; same thing) I don't rewind on this show very often - read: almost never - but I went back over that at least 5 times because it made me laugh my ass off every time. Especially the much-macroed shot where he literally makes a :( face. The corners of his mouth are actually pointing down! I don't even know how you arrange your facial muscles to do that!

5. I'm going to do a Google search to see how many Jack/Martha fanthings exist with the title "Song of a Nightingale."

6. I'm aborting that plan after seeing "Donna" and "Stolen Earth" and/or "Journey's End" appear a lot in the results. Damn you, season four.

7. I really enjoyed Ianto's Christmas-colored tie with the matching red shirt. No one else seemed to notice. I found it amusing. I was also amused by how handy he appears to have gotten with that stun gun lately.

8. You say war crimes, I say animal experimentation. It gets us to the same page in the end, right? We highly disapprove and demand that it be shut down immediately for intolerable cruelty.

On that note, why do all these alien creatures have to be sentient? Why can't they just be animals? What even convinces our heroes that they're sentient in the first place; sad looking eyes? Because in that case, puppy dogs are the most advanced creatures on our planet. The point of all this is, I don't know what's going on in Gwen's head, but I'm kinda NOT FEELING SYMPATHY for the abnormally large insect no matter what they're doing to it.

And I highly approve of Jack's cyber-terrorism Plan O' Retribution. That was fantastic.

9. S.S. TOSH/OWEN: NOW SAILING IN FULL FORCE.
He brought up the pool tournament! And instead of putting her head down and making allowances, she stood her ground and told him flat-out it was supposed to be a date! And didn't reject her! Or, in fact, make things even 1/60th as awkward as they could have been! He agreed in a perfectly pleasant and charming way! I'm so pleased he actually was clueless back then, and not just being deliberately oblivious.

This wound up being so much nicer than I ever dreamed it could be, because it's even perfectly in character - he gets in that warning "I'm going to keep flirting with people" - because it's not like she awoke some sudden realization of 'My God, you ARE the perfect woman for me!", she just gets a surprisingly realistic "All right, never thought about it before, but sure, let's see" kind of response. I LOVE THIS. The fact that she throws her guards back up and tries to let him back out of it, and he has to convince her he's neither being sarcastic nor planning to stand her up...awwwwwwwww, Owen. You can be human when you want to be!

Did I mention that Tosh's breathless, nervous excitement over the prospect of a real live date with him kills my soul with cuteness? I will always love her best.

10. I'm still in a miserable ball of hurt over the ending. Which I knew was coming - although I didn't know in what capacity, and was relieved when it was a gunshot as opposed to, say, a displaced alien larva bursting out of his abdomen, which was my #1 legitimate fear by that point - but that doesn't make it suck any less. POOR TOSH. Second time she's seen him shot before her eyes, and this one has a much les satisfying outcome.

*curls up in a ball and cries - less obnoxiously than Ianto - as blood runs from Owen's mouth*

12. Yes, I know he's not gone yet. But what's coming next is almost as cruel to me-the-viewer as just killing him off completely.

Up Next: OMIGOD, MORE MARTHA! I forgot she was in more than one episode! WINCAKES.

Enjoy this sentiment now, cuz I'm pretty sure when she pops up on Doctor Who I will be feeling more along the lines of "GTFO and stop wasting Rose's screen time, H0R." Because I'm mature and logical like that.
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2x07, "Dead Man Walking"
Yeah, I'm still sad.

Really fast-paced episode, so I have no idea where to start. Although I really liked Owen's reaction to "wake up and say your goodbyes" - snarky even after being revived from death, excellent - and did not so much like him staying revived from death. Sci-fi? This is why I don't like you. It's creepy and weird. Though I giggled a lot when he realized what "no blood flow" meant in terms of bedding pretty ladies.

In terms of the Towenship (which has been rechristened from S.S. Tosh/Owen to align with a commenter on Recapist...why can't I think of clever monikers?), my fervent love for it has not diminished at all. I'm dealing with the zombie thing the same way I deal with the Time Lord thing, the vampire thing, and any other "thing" that hampers my ability to ship two people together in normal human ways: I blithely ignore it for purposes of my daydreams. I grant you this one's a bit trickier than the others, but if all else fails, I clap my hands and believe in Deus Ex Machina as a solution.

For example, when I was trying to skip forward once, I hopped too far and saw Owen tightly hugging a dark-haired woman, whereupon I had a moment of "aalskdfjklasdf!!" and was all excited for the emotional depth. And then it turned out to be Gwen. -.- Which kind of killed it, since up to this point I'd been doing nicely forgetting about their FILTHY TORRID AFFAIR last season, and this brought it all back.

Several scenes later: OOOOOOOOH, OKAY, THAT BEATS A HUG. Sure, turns out it's a cheap kiss played for strategic pocket-picking, but it still involves Owen grabbing Tosh and planting one on her, and this is BY FAR the most glorious thing I have ever seen on Torchwood. My brain's not happy that Gwen gets the emotional conection, but my eyes are pretty pleased with visual payoff.

The Towenship's in a complicated place, anyway. I don't think she really loves him, per se - although her feelings are close enough that I understand why she would have told him so, just before he died - but there's also more depth to it than what Owen brushes off as the explanation. Which I'm also pretty sure he's aware of, but being recently un-dead (and unable to shag) is probably not the time he wants to consider relationship potential of any sort. Hence just blocking it out entirely.

*pause, then grins broadly* They still make my heart do the flippy thing that I've always wished Gwen/Rhys would.

Other Stuff
Jack: I don't need to tell you that you're under quarantine.
Owen: You don't, and yet you still do.
-Teehee

-Creepy little girls are FTW, always. We get to see more of her, right? Because there was not nearly enough explanation to satisfy my curiosity about who she is.

-I'm really proud of myself for avoiding the gross scene. I realized just in time where upside-down-Owen was going, and I slapped that skip-forward button about 2 minutes ahead so I could be sure of landing in a safe zone. Yes!

-You know, I was going to avoid thinking about Rose in this part, but then you went and had Martha wrestle with a murderous glove. What am I supposed to do with that?

-"It must be death, because it stole my life" is the sort of dramatic line that looks very good on paper, and probably would work very well in a word-art oneshot, but in practice it makes Martha sound like a melodramatic drama queen. Fail. In fact, fail on warp-aging her in the first place. STOP MAKING PRETTY PEOPLE UGLY, FRANCHISE. That was not an appropriate use of Freema Agyeman's time.

-Kudos for 5 seconds of Rhys. In all the excitement of MISS MARTHA JONES (must always be written in caps), I'd forgotten he existed.

-Poor Jamie was the most pitiful kid ever, wandering back through the dark and scary hospital by himself, still clutching the brightly lit video game in his hand like a security blanket. That kind of broke my heart.

-Ianto. Hockey stick. Nuff said. (That's a lie. It can be made better.) (And then even better with a background story)

-I'm still generally upset about Owen being a zombie. In a way where I can't devote too much brainpower to it because I'll want to break things.

Up Next: Yet more Martha Jones! Can she just come back and be a permanent member of Team Torchwood in season 3? They have an opening! An opening for which she's impeccably well-qualified, even! I suppose that might conflict with Freema's new show, though. BRITISH LAW AND ORDER. YOU KNOW YOU'RE STOKED.



2x08, "A Day in the Death"
Holy mother of God, that was a trip through the emotional wringer.

I. Suicidal Widow
The moment we were shown her stumbling from the accident in a bloody wedding dress, I started crying.  A lot.  Like, every time we went back to her, I'd end up in a fresh round of tears.  I was approaching a Family-of-Blood level of misery there, that's how much of a sucker I am for stories of lost lovers.  This show knows how to write its guest stars, I'll give you that.  I had to take a couple of breaks because I was crying too hard to see the screen properly. 

II. Zombie!Owen, Now With 300% More Emo
But in a way that's less laughable than "oh my God, my heart cannot take this much breaking."  The opening monologue, the cruel and unusual demotion to Coffee Boy... *pets Owen* He's all wibbly and broken!  (*is still quite happy forgetting Season 1 Owen exists*) And I am hugely indignant at his demotion to such a menial role!  Nobody except Ianto deserves that position.  -.-

And sitting at the old man's beside, plus the whole talking things through with the Suicidal Widow...you know, my head still spins at the humanity Owen gained in this season.  It's beautiful and fantastic and wonderful, but it still makes me head spin.  Did I mention I love it?  Think maybe I'm finding a brand-new well of respect for the actor in the proess.

III. The Towenship

A. Conflict

I love that Tosh comes over, tells him to suck it up because he's not the only one with problems, and then launches into a Kelly-Kapoor-worthy monologue with barely pause to take a breath.  The idea of Tosh being a chatterbox is so hilarious to me, I can't even explain it, and yet it makes sense.  If you spend all your time in the background, of course you're going to be spilling over with thoughts, and when opportunity presents itself...

And I know Owen's rather cruel to her right here, back to the old ways, but somehow all I feel is the urge to justify it.  With those terms like "lashing out" and "misplaced hostility" because he is really, really in a psychologically messed-up place right now.  More so than usual.  I'd wager a lot of its fear-based, and thus he's relying on comfort zones/defense mechanisms like emotional walls and sarcasm.

I choose to latch onto that "I have got NOTHING to give to you!" line in a positive sense.  Watch me play junior pscyhologist and highlight the self-inadequecy (with a touch of justifiable self-centricism, with the whole "I'M BROKEN" preface).  Besides, "maybe that's what you want"?  Dude, she asked you out *before* you got killed; now I know you're just making excuses to drive her away.  Oh look, now he's breaking his finger, thus being self-destructive in every sense of the word.

And see, he knows he hurt her.  But rather than deal with that, in the face of all the other indescribable mess of issues going on in his psyche, he flees.  Oh, I love this scene.  Despite its hurting.    

B. OMG *SQUEE FWAM BLOWS UP* 

"I'm scared.  I'm scared that if I close my eyes, I'll get trapped.  In the darkness."
"I'm here." 
I got my emotional heart-to-heart.  And a handhold.  PAYOFF OF WIN.  *collapses in bliss*  (also on account of how my heart just exploded with overwhelming love and adoration for the pair of them)

In a related note, ahahaha, I totally just realized one of the reasons I might love them: they remind me of Angela & Hodgins on Bones, just with genders reversed.  In particular, this exchange right here niftily mirrors a bit of the last scene from the Gravedigger episode.
  
III. Martha
Thank you for the preview of seeing her as a full-time member of Torchwood! I enjoyed it exactly as much as I thought I would, and politely renew my request to bring this into fruition for season 3.  British Law & Order or not.  I feel like she still wasn't featured nearly as much as she should have been/was in the first episode, but it's just her bad luck that Owen happened to be in the middle of dominating all my interest & emotion.

I do appreciate that her kiss with Jack
a) was even less intense than the one with the Doctor,
b) not initiated by him, and
c) not remotely borne out of any physical attraction (beyond the eye candy factor which is evident to everyone except me), but was just a goodbye peck because "everyone else has had a go!"  That mischevious twinkle in her eye is love.

IV. The Music
Between the opening notes and the extended instrumental melody that played as he crept through the house and into the old man's bedroom, I was head-over-heels for the music in this ep.  In a way where I hit up Wikipedia's description of the soundtrack's episode placement with renewed determination to find a title to match it to, and am now both fond of "Woman on the Roof" and utterly swept away with love for "Owen's Theme."  Oh, of course.  I should know by now that it's always a character theme with me.

Special cookies if you bring it to me, by the way.  Constantly hitting the replay button on YouTube is getting tedious.  But I keep doing it because the music is JUST THAT GORGEOUS AND HAUNTING.  Someone compared it to the sound of "Doomsday."  They're not wrong.

*inserts YouTube video for everyone's listening convenience*


 
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Up Next: Well, now I'm thoroughly exhausted and should probably pack it up until next weekend.  *is reluctant and feeling somewhat contrary to doing the responsible thing just now*  Maybe I'll trick myself by reading the rest of Sense & Sensibility?  That's not technically due until Tuesday, but it is homework I have to do soon, and it's certainly more pleasant than research...

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