Season 2 Episode 4


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 06, 2008 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
297 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Rhys discovers the truth about Torchwood, he helps the gang to find the source of an unusual alien meat supply.

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  • No one else finds Rhys nearly unbearable!?!

    This was a great episode. It had a whacky plot, interesting and honest escalation between Gwen and Rhys, and enough style to wrap it all up in a well-put way. The only thing that is really starting to get on my nerves is Rhys. I never loved him, I think he is not smart or interesting enough for Gwen. I understand she needs someone to keep her grounded, but he is just SO ORDINARY it's painful. Him jabbering on with that ice cream on his chin was the last straw for me. I know his character is intentionally that way, but i'm ready for him to be out of the picture. Also, I'm tired of the fact that Gwen still acts so impulsively sometimes even though she should know better by now, although these decisions were related to her love and she is yuong so I guess I understand it a little.

    Lol it sounds like I don't even like this show. I really really do like it, it just seems like the writers are focusing on things that I don't like or care about (Rhys, Tosh pining for Owen for 2 seasons and not acting on it) and spending less on the things I'd love to explore and learn more about (Jack and Ianto, Gwen maturing as a character).moreless
  • "Gladiator, ARE you READY?" "Sock monster, ARE you READY?"

    Come on, that's what it was. A big cuddly sock monster. LOL. I agree with whoever that was who said he nearly gave it a "painful to watch" rating. Those Jack and Gwen scenes were just TOO much.

    Other than that, it was just an alright episode I guess. I thought however, that they were going to kill off Rhys to allow Gwen to be free for more frolicking with Jack and Owen. And if Rhys died, this would have been a perfect opportunity for this to happen. Oh well...... The fight scene with Ianto was awesome, so too, the scene with Gwen and Rhys giving each other a verbal "raking." Some great acting there...

    But overall, not a great action packed episode. Episode 2 is still the best so far......

    The bad guys seemed somewhat "not-bad-enough."moreless
  • Yet another example of how dangerous humans really are.

    The team has to stop and save an alien who is being abused by humans. Typically, the team battle aliens to protect humans, but in this ep, it's the reverse. Humans abusing an alien life form, without really knowing what it is, only what it can give them generates some interesting ideas in relation to the real world and abuses done here.

    I talked about a previous ep being just one of the show's examples of how humans are just as dangerous as aliens in a previous review, and this is another one of those examples.

    All during the ep, we get hints of the team's own emotional views on the situation; Jack's being the strongest in terms of the abuse. Tosh asks a question about how saving the alien would help protect humanity, and Jack comes back with a question about why shouldn't they help it, just because it's an alien? After seeing the creature, the rest of the team changes their mind in terms of making assumptions about aliens. We also get to see Owen's compassion when he has to put the alien down when it breaks free. Some might see that as the only way to save the team, but the creature was in pain, and when something is hurting as much as it was, then Owen's actions are the only best action to take to stop the pain as well as save the team. He says, "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." after he's done so.

    As dark and gory as this ep is, it's also a great ep in terms of seeing the emotional toll their work can have on them.moreless
  • If one can be led to care about the crappy CG alien sperm whale blob-thing that features in this episode, then I'd call that conclusive proof on what a great writer Catherine Tregenna is, and why she needs to become this series script editor.moreless

    It's around the point where Gwen and Rhys are arguing about all the secrets the former kept from the latter that I realised how uncharacteristically well-written this episode is, especially in relation to some of the other episodes this series has produced; in particular during the first series.

    Having seen every episode so far, I've become used to the cheesy dialogue that features quite frequently ("Ianto, we've got another dose of darkness", ect) in the show, but since there are some great lines as well, that doesn't really bother me so much.

    But it is odd just to see an episode in which, when people are arguing, it seems...natural, rather than just forced.

    It's so good it doesn't even feel like dialogue.

    And when aformentioned alien whale thing is killed, it actually triggered an emotional response in me, a rarity for Torchwood.

    Well, I have suddenly become aware that this hasn't been much of a review so far, and I haven't even discussed the plot.

    Well, the plot, as you have most likely read other reviews and/or seen the episode for yourself, should be already known to you; but basically it involves a group of people harvesting a sentient alien for meat (while it's still alive), which, after a series of events, involves Rhys finding out about Gwen's job.

    While this is quite an interesting concept, the real strength in the episode lies in the excellent characterisation and dialogue.

    (Oh, that was a bit of a mess, wasn't it? Sorry about that. I'm sort of tired at the moment.)moreless
  • Torchwood meets the in-law.

    As the human race adds alien carving to the whale slaughter, poor brave Rhys is confronted with Gwen's world as he discovers his delivery trucks have been used to transport meat from a sentient alien. Outraged by these findings, he's even more upset when he discovers that Gwen has been lying to him all along none of which changes his mind as he's set on stopping this even if he must offer himself as torchwood's way in to free the alien kept captive for its meat.

    You have to give this one to Jack, even if Gwen is right there's no place for Rhys on their world and having him does make them more vulnerable if only because Gwen is not ready to handle the sight of her boyfriend in danger the way Jack does. On the other hand, it isn't fair that Ianto gets to have Jack to talk to at the end of each day when Rhys is just as ready to take a bullet for his lover as he is and maybe because Jack himself recognizes a little bit of him in Gwen is that Rhys officially becomes the first in-law that hasn't been retconned by Torchwood at the end of this episode.moreless
Colin Baxter

Colin Baxter


Guest Star

Patti Clare

Patti Clare


Guest Star

Garry Lake

Garry Lake


Guest Star

Kai Owen

Kai Owen

Rhys Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Ianto is struggling with Dale during the big fight scene, Dale's Glock pistol discharges twice. After the second shot, if you look closely, the slide locks back indicating that he has an empty magazine. The camera pulls back and he then discharges the weapon two more times. Additionally, when the two are shown again, Ianto is on the ground and Dale is standing above him with the pistol. He then pulls the trigger twice and you hear two clicks. This would be impossible with a Glock because the slide would have locked back when the last round had been fired, and the Glock's firing mechanism only allows for the trigger to be pulled once on an empty magazine.

    • When Rhys is shot, he instinctively puts his arms out when hit, despite the fact he's supposedly got them tied behind his back. The goof is made much clearer on the accompanying Torchwood Declassified.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Rhys: Look around us. Nobody else knows what we've been through. Or what else is out there. They sky won't be the same to me any more. I used to look up and think, "Ah, looks like rain, man," but now, oh, now I'll... I'll look and I'll think of all the other worlds and the planets and stuff spinning around out there. And I got to be a part of it all. Fantastic! Which puts worrying about unsigned dockets into perspective, I can tell you.

    • Jack: Imprisoned, chained, and drugged. Welcome to Planet Earth.

    • Rhys: Yeah, she's an amazing girl. I'm a lucky man, Jack.
      Jack: Yeah, you said it.
      Rhys: I just wish you were a bit uglier. (they share a laugh) You're not gay by any chance, are you?

    • Ruth: Here's your tea. And I got you a Danish, your favourite.
      Jack: I'm in the wrong job.
      Ruth: (suggestively) We have go job vacancies.
      Jack: Ah, maybe you could fit me in.
      Ruth: I'd be delighted to.
      Jack: Would I need a license for trucking?
      Ruth: Yes. Takes four weeks, and then you can go long distance.
      Jack: Ha. That wouldn't be a problem.

    • (discussing an alien whale)
      Jack: We're going to save it. Stabilise it, wait fro the rift to open and send it back.
      Ianto: Guess who'll have to look after it in the meantime.
      Tosh: Tell me exactly how we are going to use it to arm ourselves against the future?
      Owen: We could always hide behind it.
      Jack: Why shouldn't we save it? Because it's an alien? It needs our protection.
      Rhys: You didn't hear its cry. Heartbreaking.
      Ianto: Listen to Ahab.
      Owen: Jack, it's growing.
      Jack: Well, we'll find a way to stop it mutating. We are doing this. That's an order.
      Owen: Fine.
      Ianto: I'll stock up on plankton.

    • (The team is discussing how to get into the meat packers' operation)
      Jack: Stun guns only.
      Owen: We've handled bigger than this. Why don't we just storm in, guns in the air, and arrest them?
      Jack: Those men aren't organized criminals. If we go in, guns blazing, they'll kill the evidence and run.
      Owen: Well, I wasn't suggesting blazing, just waving.

    • Ianto: Pizza's arrived. I presumed it would be a late one.
      Owen: What did you get me?
      Ianto: Your usual, Meat Feast.
      Owen: (Looking disdainfully at newly discovered alien meat) Lovely.

    • Rhys: Well if you stopped and asked me exactly what I saw in there instead of showing off round the place.
      Captain Jack: Do I show off?
      Ianto: Just a bit.
      Rhys: You'd know that I got out by telling them I wanted a job as a delivery boy. So rather than cock things up, I've found you a way to get in. But if you can't handle that, big boy, then you can stuff it!
      Captain Jack: This is quite homoerotic.

    • Tosh: If we understood how it worked, we could feed the world!
      Ianto: We could release a single.

    • Ianto: (Regarding Gwen): Next time, let her take the bullet.
      Rhys: Never.

    • Gwen: So you do have a heart then.
      Captain Jack: We've seen enough deaths.

    • Captain Jack: You really think you could go back to your old life before Torchwood?
      Gwen: I wouldn't know anything different.
      Captain Jack: I would.

    • Gwen: (To Rhys) Have you never seen something so mad, so extraordinary that just for one second you think there might be more out there?

    • Ianto: Did you bring the alarm deactivator?
      (Owen shoots the lock with an unnecessarily over-the-top flourish)
      Ianto: Well, that's one way of doing it.

    • Gwen: Have you ever eaten alien meat?
      Jack: Yeah.
      Gwen: What was it like?
      Jack: He seemed to enjoy it.

    • (Rhys and Gwen start arguing)
      Owen: Oh, joy, a domestic.

    • Ianto: Well, this is unprecedented. The fiancé finding out.
      Toshiko: Mainly because we're all sad and single.

  • NOTES (1)

    • International air dates:
      United States: February 16, 2008
      Finland: March 31, 2008
      Sweden: July 27, 2008 on TV4+
      Canada: August 22, 2008
      Germany: July 01, 2009
      Australia: October 10, 2009


    • Ianto: We could release a single.
      Ianto is making this comment in reference to the 1984 charity hit single "Do they know It's Christmas?" by Band-Aid which contained the lyrics "Feed the World".

    • Rhys: You lot can hide in the back of the van.
      Gwen: What is this? Scooby-Doo?
      This is an allusion to the American cartoon series "Scooby-Doo" about a gang of teenage detectives whose mode of transportation is a van called the Mystery Machine.

    • Ianto: Listen to Ahab.
      This is a reference to the character Captain Ahab from the 1851 novel "Moby Dick" written by Herman Melville.