Season 2 Episode 12


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 21, 2008 on BBC Two

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

Write A Review
out of 10
311 votes
  • My Fave

    This is my favourite episode of the series, as we get to see what each member of TW did to be recruited ( apart from Gwen of course, we saw her recruitment in the episode 'Everything Changes' ). Each flashback was cleverly plotted, and for me Toshiko's past stood out the most. It was beautifully acted; and showed a side of Toshiko that we've never seen before. What I also like is seeing Owen, in love, rather than in the erratic state he normally is, it makes a nice change. I hope that in the future that there will more episodes like this!
  • *Spoilers* Brilliant episode, some very good character devlopment here! one of the best episodes in the series in my opinion!

    Very good episode! definatly come a long way from "From out of the rain"

    The episode starts with the team investigating some rift activity in an abandoned building, when they arrive, they do not find the aliens they are looking for, but bombs which blow up the building, and the episode shows how the Torchwood members end up in Torchwood, including Jack! I thought this episode was awesome! it was nice to see an entire episode based around the development of the Torchwood team!

    Toshiko steals some Minestry of defence plans to build a Sonic modulator, only the plans were wrong, but she still managed to make it work, so Jack hires her for her skills.

    lanto previously worked for Torchwood London, and after he stalks Jack at the Torchwood institute in Cardiff looking for a job, Jack helps lanto catch a Pterodactyl! He joins the team after this.

    Owen, is a Doctor who is getting married to a girl called Katie who has a amnesia, he tries to help and save her, only to find out that she has a brain tumor, she goes in for an operation, but kills everyone as it is not a brain tumor but an alien growing on her brain. Jack offers Owen a job as a medic.

    Jack is unable to die and i looking for the location of The Doctor, he gets captured by Torchwood, because he has died 14 times in the past few weeks, so they run tests on him, instead of thinking he is a threat they offer hiim jobs for cash, a bit like a bounty hunter, he gets his cards read by a girl and she says the one you are looking for is coming, but not for 100 years, so he takes on Torchwods offer of joining them to pass the time, and ends up being the only Torchwood member left at new year 1999, as one of his team members kills all the other member and then himself as he believes they were mercy kills because the 21st century is upon them and he thinks they will not survive!

    An interesting episode with great character bak stories! looking forward to "Exit wounds" at the end of April, we see the return of Captain John who is going to tear Jacks life apart, he also has Jacks long thought dead brother Grey!

    Should be interesting! :D
  • Wasted Opportunity

    I have had a very love/hate relationship with Torchwood this year, parts have made me jump out my seat in excitement some have bored me to tears luckily Fragments is on the better side of the quality scale. The episode was very interesting in theory, I could not wait to find out how our loveable anti heroes had come to join Torchwood. Unfortunately I didn't find any of them bar Itano's particularly interesting. Toshiko's story line seems very out of character and was executed in a tad over the top manner. Owen's was kind of moving but they seem to be hitting us over the head with the Owen is a nice guy message. Fragments is a decent installment of torchwood but nothing spectacular.
  • For everything there's a season; a time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep, a time to heal and for the next few minutes everyone on Torchwood experiences what is like to be caught up in between.

    Caught up in the middle of a blast each member's life flashes before their eyes in such a way the audience can't tell which discovery is more amazing: If the fact that once upon a time Owen Harper was a regular Gwen Cooper ready to get married with the most wonderful person, his whole life ahead of him until an alien creature that used his fiancé's brain to nest ends up killing her or the way Toshiko basically gave up her freedom to save her mother's life only to give up a life with her the minute her mother was saved, perhaps the slaughter of 1999's torchwood by their own boss (the only way a field operative named Jack Harkness became the leader of this unit) or how the desperate boyfriend of a cyberwoman gets more than he bargain for during his quest to find a cure for her.

    Each memory explains everything from the underlying loneliness Toshiko has experienced since she gave up her family to the fear that prevents Owen from getting emotionally involved again, the connection they've always shared forever severed by their respective experiences. The tragedy of Jack's immortality that kept him from study subject for 1896 torchwood, to field operative until 1999 to boss once there was no one else for the job and the tragedy that couldn't prevent Ianto from falling - both literally and figuratively – for someone that was not Lisa; their first moments together the last thing he did for her, the first thing they captured the last thing she fought and the unexpected connection that conflicted him what gave him meaning after she died. The irony being that weddings were indeed Owen's thing, that Toshiko would love enough to be alone, that Ianto could trick everyone but himself and Jack waited for him a lot longer than we could've ever imagined.
  • Could have been much better....

    Why cram the backstories of how each member of the team (xcept Gwen) came to join Torchwood into one episode? If your wondering about the same question then you wont find this episode a 10!

    The fact that the whole episode contains snippets of the backstory just isnt good enough for me. They could easily have spread this out over the last two seasons and focused on one character at a time. That would have been much better. As it was I got a brief glimpse into each character - though each ones story was quite exciting.

    I did get the feeling that it was a setup epsiode for what is to come - confirmed by the sneek peek at the next episode contents. That looks far more interesting.

    So if it was the writers goal to get us ready for the season finale - job done.

    As it was at times I felt cheated of any real storyline for 50mins.

    Could do a whole lot better, but definitely much better the the seasons start. Its climax is getting far stronger!
  • When your life flashes before your eyes, what do you see?

    This is now my new favorite episode. I watched it twice in two days. I'm a sucker for flashback episodes, especially when they are about characters I love, and reveal so much about their pasts. Jack's was interesting. I hadn't thought about him being in Torchwood all those years. I had thought it was a more recent thing. Hated his old timey coat though. The New Year's Eve killings, with that man, Alex, was quite good. Just enough emotion to not be overkill.

    Tosh's was dramatic, to say the least. I thought it was amazing that she could go through something like that and come out the beautiful person she is. It shows how caring she is, that she would do so much for her mother. Even after the arrest, she still asks Jack about her mother's safety.

    Ianto's kind of annoyed me. I was hoping it'd be more...I don't know, romantic, in a sense. I didn't think he'd have come from another Torchwood. But god, did he look good in those jeans.

    Owen's was my absolute favorite. He's always such a cynical guy, but you know there must be something underneath, something that precipitated that personality swing. His relationship with Katie was beautiful. Loving and sweet, you saw the inside of Owen, the side he tends to cover up. Knowing that he'd gone through such tragedy made me love him even more.
  • Let's flashback to 2007. Make this Ses 01 Eps 01.. THIS WORKS !!

    I like the torchwood team.. But..
    Naaaa, the writing is not that good. The good Doctor has all the aces..

    But this episode shows you what Torchwood can be..

    Ses 01 was so-so, the sex stuff was a bit to much. With a few high marks. Don't get me wrong, good old Jack and inc can be shacking who ever they like. But do make it clever, not cheap.. Ses02 eps 11 where Gwen found Yanto(?) and the Cap making out, was find and cute. It worked, else it feels just a bit to much.. Ses 02, so far have been predictable and a bit boring. But this eps. was AWESOME.. Everything worked.. The acting, the story, ect... Good stuff..

  • Flashbacks Written by Chris Chibnall Directed by Jonathan Fox Bassett

    Owen (to Jim, regarding Katie): "I am losing her. I don't know what to do. Please. What's the point of me doing this job if I can't help my own fiancé?"

    One of the many I wanted to see in Season Two was one episode dedicated to see everyone beside Gwen's journey into Torchwood and now that the season is coming to an end, that's exactly what is given with this episode. All I'll say – it's about damn time you guys.

    To start with the flashbacks we needed an event in the present and Jack, Owen, Toshiko and Ianto all heading to a warehouse is a good way of starting. For once Gwen is out of the picture and we get a taste of what the gang were possibly like before she joined Torchwood.

    The warehouse stuff seems mundane and not the kind of thing that would have 80% of the gang investigating all at once but at least when four nicely timed bombs go off, there's a suitable feeling of danger. However it was a bit stupid for everyone to just look at them before they went off. I would've at least tried to have run out of there.

    With all of the gang separated and seriously injured, the first flashback period that we hit up is Jack's. Had this Buffy or like the episode "Restless", he would've been the last person we'd see but in all fairness while his flashback is enjoyable, there are stronger ones in this episode.

    With Jack, it's in the late 1800's and he's stuck. Jack doesn't exactly deal with it well as he seems to spend most of his time boozing, getting into scraps, failing to die and generally ranting. I'm guessing at some point though he did use his more positive attributes but here he is slightly annoying.

    Of course being unable to die means that he attracts the attention of Torchwood, in particular two very tough cookies who feel Jack could be of use to them. Jack doesn't realise he's basically screwed and when he tries to use the charm offensive, well the result has Jack gagged and knocked out by the devious pair.

    Jack might have many abilities but back in the 1800's charm certainly wasn't one of them. The lesbian duo enjoys torturing the hell out of him before telling him to join Torchwood or become an enemy. They also weren't that particularly impressed with him not being helpful in tracking down The Doctor either. Jack's rant about wanting to kiss and kill The Doctor felt right however.

    Becoming Torchwood's butt monkey though had some interesting moments for Jack. We got see him captured that Blowfish creature from "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" but the ladies ended up dispatching of the damn thing in the end. It's good to see Jack actually voice his own oppositions to the way that Torchwood happens to run things.

    More interesting however was the return of Faith from "Dead Man Walking". Still as creepy as she was in her first episode, the girl did reassure Jack that he would meet up with The Doctor again. It might have helped if she had warned him about The Master too but hey, it must be tough to be a psychic. The look on Jack's face when he realised that he would have one hell of a wait is great though.

    The last significant part of Jack's flashbacks then lead up to New Year's Eve 1999 where his boss Alex reacts to the impending darkness by killing every single person in Torchwood Three as well as himself. Well at least Jack didn't have to sleep his way to the top but even still, it serves as a continuous reminder that Torchwood as an institute does more harm that actual good.

    However as many hiccups as Jack might have had with his entry into Torchwood; he manages to be first outshined by Toshiko. For those of you who have been sick to the back teeth of this woman getting nothing to do in recent episode, this is a God send of an episode. Not only does Toshiko play a vital role but we also learn much more about her too.

    In the present day, she's practically in agony as Gwen and Rhys, along with Jack attempt to remove the debris from her but in the past, things are more intense. Toshiko's always been a bit of a loner and here, it's not surprising to see her be the last one to leave her place of work.

    Of course it's not just the fact that Toshiko is a hermit and a work crazed person that's her motive for staying behind. No, she ends up stealing some secret files and then leaves to work on an impressive little device known as a sonic modulator.

    For anyone thinking that Toshiko might have villainous intentions, it seems that she's working on this object solely so she gets her mother back. Some nasty types have her mum hostage and are forcing Toshiko to help them in some unclear scheme. Toshiko does it unwilling but begs for her mother's release.

    Instead Toshiko and her mother nearly get killed by that sonic modulator and if that wasn't crappy enough, UNIT storm the place and arrest Toshiko. Man, that girl certainly gets crapped on more than anything. She's stuck in a small cell, denied all of her rights and isn't even interviewed about why she stole secret files. Has UNIT always been this harsh?

    Luckily for her, at least someone cares enough to make sure she isn't locked away forever and that's Jack. He's the only one who has copped on to what a technical genius Toshiko happens to be and his offer of five years serving Torchwood is damn more alluring than UNIT cells any day of the week. Naturally Toshiko takes the job.

    After false imprisonments and captive parents, Ianto's one is something more a cheat. Here would've been an opportunity to have shown us his place of work within Torchwood London before and during the events of "Army Of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" but instead Ianto is stalker mode.

    Ianto has never struck me as a doormat and it's always been heavily suggested to us as viewers that there's more than meets the eye with him as a character and his flashback plays up to that very well. I mean, something tells me he was watching Jack and the Weevil fight for a while before he stepped in to help his future boss/lover.

    Apart from a metal bar, Ianto wasn't exactly well armed but he was able to take on that Weevil without too much of a sweat. The dialogue between him and Jack is a delight. You know that there is an attractive but here it's Ianto who is pursuing Jack. Granted Lisa's cybernetic state at the time is the big motive but even still, there's some freaking hot chemistry between Gareth David-Lloyd and John Barrowman here.

    When Jack refuses to give Ianto a job, it's wonderful to see Ianto not take it lying down. In any other series, Ianto's stalking of Jack (which includes him getting straight into Jack's face with a cup of coffee) would annoy the heck out of me but it's cute. Wrong in other ways too but essentially cute.

    Ianto might have been using Jack to get a place into Torchwood to help Lisa but by the time the two of them are catching Myfanwy the pterodactyl and falling on top of each other at one point, it can be clearly seen that Ianto is also beginning to fall for Jack, despite his best intentions to help Lisa. After those three different but excellent looks at Torchwood, I was hoping that Owen's would maintain the excellence so far but his only went and became the best one of the bunch. Yes this is coming from a fella who wanted to kill Owen throughout most of Season One and began to felt for him this season.

    Owen might have been a womanising jerk but there was at least one woman that very nearly got him up the aisle and that was Katie. Seeing Owen in pre-marital bliss came across as a surprise but Katie's seeming Alzheimers was a bigger one to be honest. Owen raised a valid point with his doctor friend/boss Jim when he said that if he wasn't able to save Katie, then what is the point of him doing his job?

    The actress who played Katie was also terrific as well. She thought she was losing her mind and kept apologising to Owen, who was clearly devoted to her. Worse still is that instead of Alzheimers it turned out to be an alien that inside her brain and the aggressive bugger killed her and the doctors who were going to operate on her.

    As if losing your fiancé wasn't bad enough, Owen then had to deal with Jack being all very Torchwood on him. Instead of getting answers the outcome has Owen gagged and knocked out by Jack who then has everyone thinking Owen is a nut. Best way to win future employees – have everyone think they're insane and ruin their lives. Only goes to show how easy Gwen has had it in comparison.

    I'm not even sure if Owen got to bury Katie properly but at her graveside he does get a chance to royally punch Jack into the middle of next week before he decides to work for Torchwood. The link with all four people is that they seem to be drifting or stuck in horrible situations. Jack and Toshiko were viewed as traitors and both Ianto and Owen lost lovers. It makes think that Torchwood purposely preys on people who lack stability in some shape or form.

    With everyone getting their flashback, I won't lie in saying I was slightly disappointed with the lack of Suzie. This would've been a perfect episode to have brought back Indira Varma and while I appreciate that she is at least mentioned, a brief appearance really would've made this episode just that little bit more amazing.

    However with everyone managing to get out that building alive (even Death Becomes Him Owen doesn't seem to have anything broken), there is one more sting in the tail – Captain John, who orchestrated the whole thing.

    I just knew this guy would show up at the end of the episode and just like The Master, he's insane to the core. Not only did try to kill the gang here but he's made a big vow to ruin Jack's life, despite sounding like a crazed ex-boyfriend and the fact that Gray is also here doesn't make things look good for the gang.

    Also in "Fragments"

    This is the latest timed episode we've had with it being on at 10:30pm on BBC3. Torchwood Woman: "Why aren't you dead yet?"
    Captain Jack: "I've been trying to figure out that myself".

    Jack's been killed at least 1392 times before his recruitment into Torchwood. Surely not all of them can be deliberate.

    Torchwood Woman (to Captain Jack): "It's good money, Captain. How else are you going to earn?"

    Captain Jack: "It's going to be okay".
    Alex: "No, it's not. It's really not".

    Jack's clothing in the 1800s with the sideburns made me think they were viewing for the Angelus look.

    George: "When are you going to let me whisk you away from all of this?"
    Toshiko: "As soon as you clear it with you wife and grandchildren".
    George: "Always an excuse".

    Toshiko: "Who are you?"
    Captain Jack: "Nobody. I don't exist and for a man with my charisma, that's quite an achievement".

    Toshiko's mum had the same cut to her head here like the way she did in "End Of Days". I'm not sure why Jack didn't want Toshiko to see her mother though.

    Ianto: "Lucky escape".
    Captain Jack: "I had it under control".
    Ianto: "You think? Looked pretty vicious".

    Ianto: "You checked me out?"
    Captain Jack: "You knew what a Weevil was. Thought I might have to deal with you".

    Ianto's birth date here was confirmed as August 19th 1983 but in the Torchwood Magazine they had him down as December 2nd 1982.

    Ianto: "You smell au naturally?"
    Captain Jack: "51st Century pheromones. People have no idea".

    Ianto: "I should go".
    Captain Jack: "Hey report for work first thing tomorrow. Like the suit, by the way".

    Ianto had a conviction for shoplifting and Jack openly admitted to him that he was from the 51st Century.

    Katie: "I'm sorry Owen".
    Owen: "What have you got to be sorry for?"
    Katie: "I don't want to put you through this".

    Owen: "I don't know what happened to Katie. I don't know who you are but there are no such things as aliens".
    Captain Jack: "You think?"

    Owen and Ianto had something of a clothing reversal. Ianto went from casual clothing to smart and Owen went from smart to casual clothing.

    Captain Jack (upon seeing Gray): "No, it can't be".
    Captain John: "Been a while since you've seen your brother".

    Quick Note: BBC2 are airing the finale on April 4th, the day before Season 4 of Doctor Who begins on BBC1.

    This was by far my favourite episode of the season. "Fragments" gave satisfying and often amazing insights into every single character with Owen and Toshiko's tragic backgrounds and Ianto's dubious nature. Jack's felt the lightest of the bunch and while the John/Gray revelation might have felt a bit rushed, there's no denying the brilliance of this episode.
  • We find out how the gang (except for Gwen) joined Torchwood

    Jack, Tosh, Owen and Ianto are at a building inspecting 4 alien signals they've picked up. The alien signals all turn out to be bombs, exploding and renduring the team unconcious.

    JACK: Two torchwood members find Jack come back alive and get him to work for Torchwood. A fortune teller tells jack The Doctor will come in 1000 years, so he works for torchwood. During December 31st 1999, Jacks boss kills the other Torchwood members to save them from whats coming, gives Jack the hub and kills himself.

    Rhys and Gwen help Jack out of the wreckage and find Tosh stuck under a pillar.

    TOSH: Tosh steals plans for a sonic modulator, then builds it to save her mother. She is then taken prisoner by UNIT. Jack offers Tosh a position in Torchwood, or spend eternity in UNIT prison.;

    Rhys holds the pillar up while Gwen and jack look for Owen and Ianto. Ianto awakes from under a rubble of bricks and mortar, in pain.

    IANTO: Jack is fighting off a Weevil, when Ianto helps Jack stop it. The next day, Ianto greets Jack again, wanting a job in Torchwood. Jack says no. While the gang are driving off Ianto steps in front of the SUV, wanting help from Jack to capture the Pterodactyl. Jack and Ianto capture the Pterodactyl and Jack gives Ianto the job in Torchwood.

    Jack and Gwen help Ianto out of the rubble then go to find Owen, who is trapped under rubble and a glass panel is dangling above him.

    OWEN: Owen and his fiancee are planning for their wedding, but Owens fiancee has a problem. Owen gets the hospiutal to run a CTU scan, they find a tumor. As they are operating, Jack appears and Owen finds the doctors that were operating dead and the tumor is an alien, killing Owens fiancee. Owen is knocked out by Jack and tries to tell everyone what happened, but no-one believes him. Owen is at his fiancees grave when he sees Jack, and runs to beat him up. Jack offers Owen a job at Torchwood to help save more lives.

    Gwen manages to help Owen out and everyone gets Toshiko out, when they find their SUV gone. Jacks wrist communicator has a message on it, from Captain John Hart. He set off the bombs and is planning to take everything Jack has, one by one. He reveals he has Jacks brother, Gray, hostage. Oh man, next episode looks awesome. I can't wait for the final showdown between Jack and John. Just have tom wait 2 weeks.
  • The mother of all character related enlightenment episodes. Plus a fabulous cliffhanger. (There may be spoilers.)

    I was really surprised by how much I loved this episode. Normally I don't dig flashback episodes because they are essentially filler episodes but this one was very special and had a lot of heart.(And Hart, hee hee.) It really shows the viewer why the characters are the way that they are(Owen's loss of his fiance Kate.), and why they all have such an intense emotional commitment to Torchwood(Jack freeing Tosh from her inprisonment by UNIT). I found all of their stories to be equally moving because, each character finds a sense of purpose, and a reason to live through Torchwood. It was just a beautiful and fantastic episode to watch.
  • "Fragments" another episode written by Chris Chibnall, Direction by Jonathan Bassett. Well written, and exciting. Finally we get to see how the present team of torchwood gets formed. GOOD STUFF!

    I have said this many a time before, for me its not the Aliens or the action nor the weapons/tech that makes Torchwood such a great show.I love all that sort of thing but Its the personalities of the characters of Torchwood and how they interact to each other that keeps me coming back for more. So to do a episode of how the present team got together was just Bloody brilliant! On a mission that turns out to be a trap, the team ( minus Gwen ) gets caught in a explosion. Seeing death looking them in the face, ( yeah even Owen ) they relive how they each got to be a member of Torchwood Cardiff. Each back story on how the members of Torchwood 3 joined the team were very revealing. A great episode!
    This appears to be a great set up for the season finale!

    Samuraikuroi USA
  • OK - I am going to be controversial here and say this was a filler episode - but it was amazing because haven't you been wondering where they all came from in the first place? Well at last we know ... and we can move on to a definitely explosive finale!

    All this time I haven't really been able to comprehend why Tosh and Owen are like they are ... OK hands up all those who wanted to shout out "get over yourselves!" ... well not any more ... I have completely changed my outlook towards them and feel huge empathy ... the terrible loss they have both suffered and they both continue to fight the cause ... amazing people! Maybe they should get together ... but with so much pain in their past would it lead to their destruction? Plus of course Owen IS dead ... bit of a downer in any relationship!

    Of course we knew Captain Jack was the hero ... even with a woman sitting on his face he asked for a room! A gentleman to the end! When they threw cold water all over him, he look so hot I expected to see steam rising!! Now we know how long he has waited to find his doctor ... 100 years ... a lesser man would have given up ... all those years alone ... until he finds his Ianto! Now that for me was the funniest part ... only Ianto would have chocolate in his pocket to catch a Pterodactyl ... always the practical one! So it he who seduced Captain Jack! Didn't see that coming! And of course as they rolled on the ground together [to use Jack's word about Rhys ... very homoerotic!] we saw the moment they fell for each other ... and the guilt in Ianto's eyes ... still grieving for his Lisa. Or were the tears in his eyes tears of relief because he now had somewhere to keep Lisa hidden? But back in present day there was his Captain ready to look after him ... to click his dislocated shoulder back in ... any decent Welsh rugby player should be used to that! What a big girl! At least the Captain could have kissed him better!!

    I knew Captain John was coming back in the last episode but I had no idea that he was a man with a cause ... his revenge on Jack for not choosing him ... well you know what they say about a woman scorned ... and he was the wife! They had all better look out ... because he is aiming to get back on top ... and I don't mean on Jack!!! It's a killer that we have to wait TWO weeks for the finale ... totally out of order! What am I supposed to do until then? Get a life? Now that would be silly wouldn't it?