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Finally finished CoE

I knew going in -- thanks to some spoiler-happy person, don't remember who -- that Jack would ultimately kill his grandson. I didn't know why or how, though. So I didn't have a "no, Jack, don't do it!" dawning of horror. I knew he would.

As soon as Frobisher spoke to Bridget after his meeting with PM ("Mr. Greene" -- ha!) I knew what he was going to do. And I can't blame him for it. I very much liked the valediction Bridget gave him -- the eulogy, essentially. (She knew what he was going to do, I'm sure of it.)

When Lois told Bridget that Frobisher had said he wanted Lois by his side, I interpreted Bridget's reaction as assuming Frobisher and Lois were having some kind of liason, especially when she told Lois, "Don't think you're the first!" But she meant, the first PA he'd asked for specifically. Though I am certain as I can be that their relationship was chaste and not particularly intimate, she knew him and watched him for years and years, and, I think, loved him -- silently, discreetly, and without desire -- very much. He was important to her as he was to almost no one else not surnamed Frobisher.

I did feel horror, and pride in RTD, in realizing what the 456 wanted the children for. And, though it's not said, it can be assumed that once they get their 10% of human children, they'll be back in a few years for another harvest. Giving them the children wouldn't get rid of them permanently. I doubt whatever it was Jack turned on them through the children's screams got rid of them permanently, either.

I doubt the New Testament resonance of Jack shaking the dirt of Earth from his feet is coincidental. (The Magic Answer Box tells me that the phrase occurs in three of the Gospels.) And yet, though there were plenty of fetid, corrupted people on display during this, all of them were put in an impossible position by the 456. Barring a magical intervention by someone like the Doctor, the only other alternative was to accept extermination (though I like to think that Churchill, given the choice, would have chosen extermination.) It's not Earth and its people that Jack is shaking from his thoughts, it's his sense of himself as one of them.

I loved the way Rhys upped his game and did his bit, how he went undercover into the lion's den with Gwen (though he wouldn't have let her go alone) and how he used his knowledge of the hauling industry to find a safe, untraceable way for himself and Gwen to get to London. The Torchies have always looked down on Rhys, but he's a good, brave, capable man. (He is, thank goodness, not given Mickey-the-idiot pratfalls with buckets and such: the snobbery of the Torchies is clear for what it is.)

I also liked the characterization of Ianto's sister and brother-in-law. The brother-in-law -- Johnny -- is crass and boorish, but he's loyal to Ianto (he says to his sister, "We're the only family he has!") and arranges a distraction so Ianto's sister can meet him, and he more than stands up for his family and the other kids on the estate. Yeah, his first thought is his ten quid a head for minding the kids, but he's a decent and resourceful man.

(I liked P.C. Andy's throwing in with the estate residents, too, though it took him long enough! I was certain when the unnamed anti-terrorist squad put him in the car in Day Two, that he wouldn't survive the trip. I was glad he did.)

I would like to see some comparison of the Jack-Gwen-Rhys triangle to that of Rose, the Doctor, and Rose's connections on Earth. Gwen, unlike Rose, wants a normal life with a stable man as well as adventure, and knows it. She says so, several times. She finds Jack as appealing as Rose finds the Doctor, but, though she dallies with Owen, she never lets go of Rhys. I find this believable and human, though I know many don't, or claim not to. (Perhaps I'm more sympathetic than most to the desire to have it both ways.)

So Jack has turned on his sub-etha waveband signaling device, and is out to forget his troubles and see the galaxy. Good luck to him, on both fronts.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
kalleah
Dec. 6th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
I think the idea that the 456 wanted the children for drugs (essentially) is a brilliant storytelling move, because there is no justification that can be provided for that. If it had been that the 456 needed them to cure some horrendous disease or some other worthy cause, it would have made it easier to justify what was happening. The fact that there was NO justification at all, that these children were being subverted simply for the pleasure of others, made it starkly horrifying.
np_complete
Dec. 8th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
Oh, I completely agree. And, although some people have said, "Oh, they're addicts!" we don't know that. They may be doing this just because they can.
np_complete
Dec. 8th, 2009 10:03 am (UTC)
(Further thought) I suppose we can assume that the 456 were offered synthetic hormones, baby chimps, and every other possible substitute, off stage, after the revelation of their purpose, and rejected them all. I'd hate to think that the only quibbling done was about the numbers of children to be sacrificed.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )