They're camping! How awesome is that? I mean, it's totally a fanfic-premise. This show runs so close to the id vortex, closer than Buffy even, and I love it for it so much.
And they're playing "Who did I snog last"! (Although, Gwen? Considering it was your idea and you know you snogged Owen? Really not your shining moment. Or did you underestimate Owen's playerness?) But really, what's next? Truth or dare? Never have I ever? We are so in a fanfic.
And then passions are enflamed in the woods. Even more awesome.
Seriously, I was afraid that they'd pull back from the characterization of Owen-as-potential-rapist from 1x01, but they so haven't and I love them for it. Last week's ep aside (and this post by beccaelizabeth has helped me to reconcile it with the rest of the series), the series has been remarkably consistent in tone and characterization and I'm glad to see they are still carrying through on the "these are not very nice people" thing.
But Gwen's already begun to be corrupted by Torchwood, by the allure of absolute power: no rules, beyond good or evil. Which is why she is susceptible to Owen's assholery--she's beginning to think that maybe it is okay to do whatever she wants in the moment, and forget about the people it will hurt.
And then they try to turn on a dime and go into super secret agent spy mode and of course they fail miserably and can I say awesome enough times?
Owen actually being a doctor and useful: Awesome!
Ianto putting up "crime scene" tape: Awesome!
And then Gwen gets shot so we can go the whole hurt/comfort route. Still totally in a fanfic.
Ianto's the one who gets to say it: that they get off on situations being out of control, get a high from it. "Don't you wonder how long it'll be until you get mad, or get killed, or lose a loved one?" he asks. Tosh argues that it's worth the risk in order to protect people. We don't know enough about her to know if she's telling the truth about herself, but protecting people is so not what Torchwood 3 is in it for.
Oh, and they've already all gone mad.
"You are wounded."/"Do you think that's going to stop me?"/"Be careful." It's so already gone to her head. No rules, beyond good and evil.
"The Harvest." Where's Mark Metcalf?
Usually interrogation scenes like the one here (where Jack puts the tourniquette on the guy) are a huge squick for me, since I'm such a big proponent of civil liberties and all. I can't watch shows like Law and Order at all; I'm talking major squick. But since I've already decided that Torchwood aren't the good guys (and it's not like the writers aren't keeping throwing more evidence at me), it's okay.
Then Jack comes busting in, playing judge, jury, and immortal executioner. He's about to kill the man, and Gwen makes him stop, not because it's wrong, not because the man is a British subject and deserves a fair trial, not because she is in Torchwood to protect people, even sick twisted people like him, but because she wants something. Because she wants to understand.
When confronted with the extremes of the "beyond good and evil" attitude--people who torture, kill, and eat other people because they can--she claims not to understand, but is enticed; she wants to understand.
Does she see that she is looking into a mirror?
In short? Best episode yet. Sorry, Veronica: Torchwood is absolutely my favorite (currently airing) show now.
ETA: It has come to my attention that my reading isn't exactly the popular one. Am I missing something? Or am I watching a different show than everybody else?