The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for “Something Borrowed,” the nineth episode of the second season of BBC?s “Torchwood.”
Wedding bells, alien pregnancies, a guy called Banana and men buying wedding dresses … its just another day in the Torchwood hub.
In a stark contrast from the previous three episodes, ?Something Borrowed? applies a lighter shade to the palette as after a night out on the town for her hen night Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) awakens to find herself pregnant with a weird alien creature. But pregnancy or no pregnancy, Gwen isn?t willing to postpone her wedding, even if it does mean building up the hopes of all her friends and family.
Drawing on the shows knack for taking strange aliens and placing them in the routine and mundane, the parent of the alien child slip into the wedding to ensure that its child comes to term. Unfortunately, that?s about all the episode has to offer as instead of a carefully plotted adventure the entire episode feels like a lot of ideas have been thrown into a pot and mixed up with all the ?Torchwood? goodness.
By luck more than skill the story managed to hold together to the end and provided a lot of laughs and some wild fun ? which all ends in a barn with a chainsaw.
Despite being a more fun-filled episode, the very aptly named ?Something Borrowed? features some sinister and scary looking shape shifters, not to mention some visual sexual activity of the likes that were once trademarked by ?Torchwood.? It was a welcome change and helped bring an adult touch to the comedic episode.
The dialogue was running with its usual high standards for wit and humor, the highlight being Ianto?s response to Jack?s question on why he has been agreeing with Owen since his death: ?I was brought up never to speak ill of the dead.? Coming in at a close second is Jack?s cry of ?get back you ugly bitch!? to Rhys? mother.
And the final moments also had a nice little epilogue for Jack that simply screams backstory.
What Didn?t Work
The parents were underplayed terribly and Gwen?s revelation to her father about the rift and aliens could have had a larger significance. In the end, they were relegated to a B-class story that was quickly cast aside through a mass-retcon.
In a similar fashion, the alien gate-crashing of the wedding could have gone farther but was greatly restricted as a MacGuffin to keep Tosh out of the picture for twenty minutes while the rest of the team tried to deal with Gwen?s unexpected condition. A similar story was tried before on ?Angel,? only that episode was continually pushed forward thanks to the perpetual mystery as to how such a rapid pregnancy is possible.
And then there was Gwen?s emotional scenes with Rhys which lacked the usual blend of real anguish and angst, and instead come off as a crazy pregnant lady shouting things on her wedding day. On those terms it does sounds very ?Torchwood? (because those are the sorts of bizarre tales the series tends to work with) but there were a few missed opportunities for some more intense character moments between Gwen and Rhys that doesn?t involve the job getting in the way. You know the ones, ?Torchwood?s? first season had them aplenty.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Torchwood” stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Gareth David-Lloyd and Naoko Mori and airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. GMT on BBC 2 with next episode showings on BBC 3, and then on at Saturday nights at 9 p.m ET on BBC America. “Something Borrowed” was written by Phil Ford and was directed by Ashley Way.
Alan Stanley Blair is the assistant news editor for Airlock Alpha and its sister site Rabid Doll. Contributing from his home country of Scotland, he is currently studying for a diploma in freelance journalism and can be reached at anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org>