azn_jack_fiend: (Jack Rex)
[personal profile] azn_jack_fiend
This episode felt so strange, so all over the place, but in the right way, because all the characters (at least, all the ones I empathize with, not Jilly and Oswald) were all out of place and so was the world.

I like a lot of gory-type black humor horror but it generally doesn't truly horrify me. There was one part this episode that did succeed in really disturbing me... the part about miscarriages not occurring and babies being born without brains and refusing to die. It was passed off as side note but damn, did it hit me hard. 

I love all the strong female characters in this show. It flies through the Bechdel test. And the two strong POC characters as well. It's just such a refreshing change from the vast majority of science fiction I see on television.

I don't know what's going to happen next, and I love not knowing.

Also, Jack made me cry. He was trying to connect to Gwen on a very deep level in that scene, trying to recover something he had with her and Ianto, and she... wasn't there for him. And I don't blame her in the slightest for hurting him so deeply, because her priority is totally natural for her at that moment. And I don't think Jack blames her in the slightest, either.

The lines were wonderful. The sex banter, the dialogue, is what really does it for me. The sex scenes were really very complicated and not about "pure" sex, whatever that means. In each case there were so many other people and ideas in the same bed at the same time.  

I love Rex's character, and I don't see him being terribly similar to Owen. Owen always struck me as very insecure in the way that he was putting on a performance of being an asshole. He was very much invested in making sure other people saw him a certain way. And I don't see that in terms of Rex. He's genuinely unconcerned about other people's feelings, but he doesn't attack them out of sheer maliciousness, either; he seems to treat everyone with an equal mixture of antagonism and wariness and places the same demands on them, and there's a certain admirable honesty to that.

In terms of the sex scene and shipping controversies around it: I'm not a J/I shipper and I don't care about mentions of Ianto. And when I say I don't care, that means I don't care either positively or negatively. I'm neutral on that point. I liked the mention of Ianto, though, because it underlined a complicated moment and connected Jack to history and also connected Gwen to that history as well. The sex scene and aftermath wasn't any sort of "casual sex is bad and meaningless" or "casual sex is awesome" statement. It wasn't any kind of statement at all. It was Jack looking for a physical connection, and finding it with wonderful style, and then wanting a different connection as well, one that wasn't necessarily sexual at all, but the physical connection didn't block that other connection.

In terms of the censorship issue, all I can say is that having seen the uncensored version, the gay sex is much more explicit than the straight sex, and that seems artistically justified. The Rex and Vera scene seemed more about h/c and the theme of honesty and less about passion, whereas Jack and Brad's scene was more about the connection between sex and death (and that gets underlined with Esther and Gwen's conversation about poetry afterwards).  And it didn't seem to me that it was in any kind of internal context that suggested gay sex is more death-related, because I know that's a homophobic stereotype. It seemed like the writing was aware of that stereotype, and skirted it with the "protection" mention. Sex, any sex at all, affirming life (real life as opposed to artificially prolonged life) was more the point.

Plus, it was hot. I really like how Jack was so toppy, and how his command of language parallels his command in, umm, bed. Yeaaaah.

ETA: the medical stuff and the drug hunting arc is also freaking me out a bit, what with my back issues. As soon as I heard the description of the Phicorp drug, my first thought was "hey I wonder if it's better than tramadol?" For a while about three months ago, a lot of my waking moments were occupied with figuring out how I could get the pain meds that would allow me to actually get out of bed and go to work and take care of my kids. I'm much better now and I use them only 1-2 times a week, but the whole theme of pain management is still pretty disturbing, and I'm terrified of being in a situation again where I just... can't get out of bed, and have to figure out a solution and then pay for that solution.

Date: 2011-07-23 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darthhellokitty.livejournal.com
The business about the unviable fetuses not miscarrying, and the babies living in pain, really horrified me.

Date: 2011-07-23 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] azn-jack-fiend.livejournal.com
Oh God yes.

A friend of my mother's had to have a ninth-month abortion because things were going drastically wrong and they found out the baby didn't have a brain, and if she'd carried it to term, she probably would have died.

Battlestar Galactica sort of went to this visceral place too in greater detail, I remember, with the baby farm and the horrifying fake motherhood arc on New Caprica.

Date: 2011-07-24 05:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neo-prodigy.livejournal.com
Excellent review.

Date: 2011-07-24 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bootoye.livejournal.com
I agree with you that this ep was more interesting in that it involved some character building. I am actually getting to like Rex a bit though he is truly a prick....but then I did like Owen too.

The sex scenes were hot and I like that they showed both at the same time to give equity to m/f and m/m

The casualness of the medical debates and discussions about miscarriages was horrifying because it was understated.

Nice review XD

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August 2011

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