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Massively spoilery Torchwood S3 Day Two thoughts:

Gwen: go you with the biting and fire extinguisher-fu.

Ianto, good form running but when dodging bullets maybe you should try ducking every now and then. And this makes, what, three times he's crawled out of the wreckage of a building.

I can't begin to say how much I love Rhiannon, and that Ianto comes by his sneakiness honestly. I am glad they waited to show his backstory, because it's been handled perfectly.

Having Gwen break the news about the baby to Rhys in a truck full of potatoes: priceless. It was so Torchwood: weirdly, visually impressive, and oddly touching. They had to have Gwen break the news and it could have been such a cliche, but the way the writer set up that scene was really impressive.

Watch out Ianto, Lois is going to be the new Torchwood PA. If she lives til the end of the series. Which, actually, she's probably more likely to do than you are. Meep.

First in what will doubtless be a long line of these: please don't die, Ianto!

Sorry Rhys, the undertaker's suit totally wouldn't fit you. But you look totally fine in a tie.

And the winner of the award for best dramatic entrance with heavy construction equipment: Ianto Jones, with the backhoe. My friend, James Bond has nothing on you.

Come on Jack, they impersonated undertakers and stole a hydraulic lift for you; the least you can do is show a little gratitude. Remember, nothing says "thank you for rescuing me from being encased in concrete" like a naked hug.

And now that the ep is done, so overall thoughts:

1. Jack was present in surprisingly few scenes this episode -- makes me wonder what /John Barrowman was filming. Despite that, I didn't miss him, as the ep made great use of the time with Gwen, Rhys, and Ianto.

2. Really enjoyed the parallels between Gwen and Ianto's storylines, and how their approaches to going renegade were so consistent with their characters. Gwen's investigative strengths got a workout in the first episode; here we saw her ability to work the system to get out of town, improvise through things, and motivate the people around her to help. As for Ianto is a bit more inductive -- he assesses a situation, evaluates his resources, and puts a plan into action. Rather than making allies, he gets what he wants from people, but works alone. I did find it very telling that while Gwen brings Rhys to protect him, Ianto leaves his family in Cardiff to protect them. (Loved that Ianto's nephew knew how his uncle thinks.) Mind you, you asked me who was most likely to follow an elaborate scheme to infiltrate a secret base with distiguish and trickery, and who would turn up randomly with a bulldozer, I would not have figured Gwen for the first and Ianto for the second.

3. Along those lines ... I do think the decision to put Ianto on his own for the ep* (in contrast to Gwen/Rhys) was really in character for him. One of the ongoing threads about Ianto's character is that as much as needs his families -- biologic and created -- he's also a lone wolf, and when it comes down to it, his first instinct is to work alone. From a performance standpoint, I think it was also the right choice for the story. GDL has his weaknesses, but his ability to tell a story in the absence of dialogue is unmatched in the Torchwood cast. By all rights, Ianto's dramatic appearance with the bulldozer should totally have been a deus ex machina -- how did Ianto go from watching a cement truck, to concluding he was going to rescue Jack with a forklift? But with no dialogue and one reaction shot, GDL totally sold Ianto having figured it out and made it credible that Ianto was going to get Jack out, by hook or by crook. If GDL can't find work after this series, there is no justice.

4, * Fine, Ianto wasn't really alone -- and his scenes with Rhiannon were fantastic. The dad broke my leg / he pushed me too hard lines managed to subtly establish his troubled relationship with his father without necessarily spelling out all the details or making either of them in the right or wrong. While he and his sister clearly have a loving relationship, his family relationships clearly have their problems as well. It makes him flawed, but also more human. Just really well done on the backstory.

5. At the end of S2, I suspected Owen and Tosh were killed off because the ensemble was just too big for the writers to service all the characters. The dynamic in S3 has been excellent so far, but I do think they could have done well with either Owen or Tosh being present as well.

6. I'm a bit ambivalent about PC Andy -- a couple funny lines with some really great delivery, but is he really that thick (to lead the SWAT team to Gwen's), or are the writers going somewhere with him? At first I thought he was secretly taking them the long way around to buy her time; when that wasn't the case he just seemed impossibly naive, and not in a good way.

7. Nicholas Farrell!

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