Day Two

Posted in Episode by - February 05, 2023
Day Two

Aired 07 July 2009


After the blistering pace of ‘Day One,’ it was all but certain that John Fay’s ‘Day Two’ would need to unfold more deliberately in order to more fully delve into the mystery and humanity at the core of Children of Earth. With the Torchwood Three Hub blown up by the bomb inside of Jack on the orders of the Government Home Office minister, Gwen, Rhys, and Ianto are on the run, attempting to elude the government to save the planet from the mysterious 456.

Given how effectively Jack was weaponized, it’s something of a contrivance that the supposedly expert sharpshooters targeting Gwen and Ianto prove to be anything but, a necessary evil to start the episode that only becomes more glaring as events unfold. Nonetheless, ‘Day Two’ spectacularly showcases the restorative properties of Jack’s immortality following the explosion while also emphasizing just how agonizing it can be in certain circumstances. To their credit, the Torchwood members’ pursuers quickly realize that Jack apparently cannot be killed by even the most explosive means, and the plan to entrap him in a block of concrete is a dramatic but necessary step that would ordinarily permanently sideline this hero. However, following a somewhat circumspect meeting between Gwen and Lois Habiba who is far more involved and knowledgeable that anyone on her second day dealing with these affairs rightfully should be, the villains again prove to be wholly ineffective when one obstacle and a painfully slowly-moving forklift carrying the concrete block holding Jack manage to be too much for them to handle. Yes, Ianto bursting through the wall to save Jack is a boldly heroic moment with great visuals in support, but that means of escape should hardly prove problematic to these hired mercenaries.

Even with Clem, Alice, and- aside from one warning chant in unison that the threat will arrive tomorrow- even the titular children absent from affairs, the strength of ‘Day Two’ is due to the raw emotions fueling its core characters and the exploration of just how deeply involved these governmental higher-ups truly are. Gwen has no qualms about giving into her rage and shooting to harm when necessary, and although there is no mention of Gwen’s prior interactions with team members that variably touched on romantic notions, the escape featuring Gwen and Rhys in which she informs him of her pregnancy is wonderfully executed and again instills a needed element of humanity into this ever-burgeoning plot. Rhys was not always written as the most likable character during the initial two series, but Eve Myles and Kai Owen are again truly brilliant alongside each other here and genuinely make this couple believable and wholly relatable, marking a distinct contrast from Frobisher whom the Prime Minister has placed on the front lines and who in addition to greenlighting the complete destruction of Torchwood has also quickly followed instructions to have an ominous gas-filled chamber constructed for reasons not yet wholly known.

With the team back together and a heartfelt cameo from Andy Davidson along the way, the majority of ‘Day Two’ amounts to filler material no matter how dynamic and tense it may be, material that is buoyed by the emotional extremes of the main characters but also let down by baffling shows of incompetence from their pursuers. However, the incredible visuals and strong direction that complement the overall 456 and governmental plot nudging forward maintain a fair sense of momentum that should only further escalate as the proclaimed time of arrival draws near.

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