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Utena - Revolution

thebirdwoman in a_tangled_bank

Torchwood is bothering me.

I've started writing a little fic set after Countrycide, and season 1 is really bothering me. Get this for continuity:

Episode 4, Cyberwoman - Jack and the rest of the team kill Ianto's cyberised girlfriend. Ianto vows to watch Jack die slowly if he ever gets the chance.
Episode 6, Countrycide - Jack takes Ianto out on a field trip and Ianto gets the crap beaten out of him by Welsh cannibals.
Episdoe 7, Greeks Bearing Gifts - Tosh gets a psychic pendant that allows her to hear Ianto's innermost angsty pain (due to death of aforementioned girlfriend).
Episode 8, They Keep Killing Suzie - Ianto propositions Jack using a stopwatch.

Seriously, where did that come from?? It didn't particularly bother me the first time round because I wasn't very emotionally invested in Torchwood and as plot holes went it was a fairly small one. Now, however, I have been very thoroughly sucked in this time round and I really, desperately want to believe that the hints we've got so far are true and that Jack and Ianto are having a loving, mutually beneficial relationship. But I'm just finding myself completely unable to trust the writers.

Why am I so invested in season 2 of Torchwood? I'd been watching it out of general interest (and because, to parapharse davidmcn, I'd get my bisexual membership card taken off me if I didn't watch it) but without much real engagement (other than to coo about how sweet Ianto is every so often) until "Adam." And the whole sequence with Ianto and the false memories and Jack refusing to accept it just grabbed my brain and wouldn't let go. I put it down to my tendency to obsess about characters as a roleplayer, but whatever the reason I am now completely hooked on Ianto. The subtlety with which he's played by Gareth David Lloyd (in comparison to John Barrowman's often bordering-on-hammy acting and Jack's flamboyant character), the dry one-liners, the slightly paradoxical mixture of angst and quiet self-assurance. A character full of contrasts, and with an awful lot of hidden depths. And I love what we've seen so far of the relationship between him and Jack. I wonder, if I'd had Ianto as a role model ten years ago, would coming out to myself as bi have been such a tedious and long-drawn-out process?

All this is why I don't trust the writers. I have major continuity problems with the development of whatever was going on between Jack and Ianto in season 1, and there's a paranoid little part of my brain that's wondering if it's all going to turn out to be an elaborate stunt by Ianto to get his revenge on Jack. I don't for one moment believe that what we've seen so far in season 2 bears this out at all. I don't think it will happen. But I can't help worrying a little bit that RTD is trying to set something up for a big (and rubbish) twist. This post by rivier about the frustrating lack of tangible relatinship stuff between Jack and Ianto adds fuel to my paranoid little fire.

I know, I know, the coyness of the portrayal of their relationship is probably just to keep us watching. And maybe season 2 is just better than season 1, and the weird changes in various characters are just the series settling into its stride. I just hope we see more evidence of their feelings towards one another in the next few episodes (and the BBC3 showing is past my bedtime, so I won't get to watch "Something Borrowed" until tomorrow - bah!).

Comments

I don't have a huge amount to say - but I thought I'd say something about my reading of the stopwatch scene. For me that is a lot more about what Jack wants/needs than Ianto. I think from the start there was a mutual attraction, that Ianto was interested in exploring but that it was brought forward because Jack was upset/hurting at that moment and Ianto was trying to comfort/distract him. It seems to be a frequent pattern with Ianto - that he tries to reach out and help the people he cares about - I think it's particularly evident with Owen in 2.08 - the Tin Tin comment especially seemed an attempt to break the awkwardness of the situation for Owens benefit. So although he's clearly still hurting about Lisa, he's willing to put that aside to help Jack and because he's attracted to him. I'm not sure I'm explaining that very well and it's just gut instinct.

Also it's never clear how much time passes between episodes in-universe, for example, in the Captain's Blogs on BBC America it suggests that it's a month before Ianto returns to work, in which time Jack makes an effort to get to know him. Difficult to take as canon but...

I just wish I knew where this season was going.

P.S. I've just read your Torchwood fic and it's absolutely wonderful and so well written. :D
That's a good point. I know I'd expect someone initiating their first same-sex relationship (or any new relationship, really) to be a lot more nervous and less flippant (and maybe not do it over the body of a recently-deceased colleague), but then it's always the quiet types who surprise you and I wouldn't put anything past Ianto!

I watched TTKS for the second time yesterday and Jack really does look surprised at Ianto's suggestion - and it does have the effect of distracting him from moping about Susie. So I think that counts as evidence for your hypothesis!

I've been reading all the arguments about episode 9 with interest - I'm caught between the "Jack was out of order" and "Ianto knows what he's doing" camps. I might get round to writing a post about it sometime.

Thanks for your comment about my fic! I just had to get it out of my system. And I will have a proper read of chapter 3 of Had I the Heavens shortly.