Jack blew up last episode, but his whole thing is he can’t die, so an episode like this one is more about what Gwen and Ianto can get done without him.
Turns out, they do quite well.
What makes this episode even better is not so much that Gwen and Ianto get some results, but that they do so working completely separately. After escaping the Hub before Jack blew up and took the base with him, they’re also shot at by snipers. Ianto goes one way, Gwen goes another, and they utilize their separate skills to stay free.
For Ianto, that means hanging back, writing down a license plate number when he sees the body bag with Jack’s remains taken away, and then asking his sister for computer help, plus a car to borrow.
For Gwen, it means ambushing one of the assassins after escaping in an ambulance, getting some information from the man at gunpoint (after putting a round through the man’s foot), and then going to get Rhys since he is almost certainly also in danger.
Ianto’s way of getting things done is mostly a lot quieter. He’s not trained as a cop the way Gwen is. Heck, Rhys’s own area of expertise comes in handy because he knows trucking, so he knows how to sneak himself and Gwen onto a potato truck, the worst place to learn he’s going to be a father, but he takes it well, and the way these two, who seemed so mismatched at first glance, get on as well as they do is a nice thing in a show that seems so serious this time around.
As for Jack, he does eventually regenerate in what is almost certainly a very painful manner, but by then, he’s chained up. Oh, and that woman running the assassinations, the one who works for the Home Office, who tried to get Constable Andy to show her where Gwen lived because she claimed Gwen was a “terrorist,” decided the thing to do is bury Jack in wet cement for all eternity.
Now, it turns out that Gwen, with Rhys, does make contact with a government office in their quest for answers. They don’t know it’s the same office looking to kill them, but the new receptionist there wants to help them, not kill them. So, she gives them some pointers to find Jack. They do, but they get surrounded by armed goons. You know, the worst kind of goons.
By then, Ianto had found some heavy construction equipment to bust Jack’s concrete tomb out and drive everyone to safety. Heck, Rhys even came in handy during the escape by blocking the road with a truck. Jack gets busted out and our heroes have some information. Granted, it isn’t much. All they know is the government is trying to kill them for some reason.
Then again, the government doesn’t seem to know either as all they know is a race of aliens calling themselves the 456 are coming back. These aliens left directions to build a cell of some kind with a specific combination of gases in it for some unknown reason.
Oh, and they sent a new message through the world’s children: “We are coming tomorrow.”
See, this is good stuff. I would have enjoyed Torchwood more if it was like this sooner.