And on my third viewing of The Ghost Machine, I actually manage to… - Girl of Many Fandoms — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Oct. 30th, 2006|10:05 pm]
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And on my third viewing of The Ghost Machine, I actually manage to write down my reactions.

What's that shot of Toshiko with a knife to her neck in the titles?

Wow, hi-tech police chase.

"Go, Gwen!" Toshiko's so cute.

...Gwen, listen to Toshiko. Don't be stupid.

Gwen, don't activate the alien device when you don't know what it is or does.

The little boy is creepy even on a third viewing. Overtones of the Empty Child, and whatever they did to his voice, it's weird.

Why are you crying, you silly bint? I love their expressions.

Ha, Owen playing Scully and getting in a dig at the same time.

...and Owen punctures their tech reliance just like Ianto did last week.

Gwen gets payback for the dementia comment. "He's training." Heh.

...Owen, are you flirting with Motormouth?

People are bitching about the old man spilling everything to Gwen, but old people do that sometimes. Tell their stories to anyone who'll listen. I think it feels natural.

Owen, don't sulk.

Trouble in paradise. Poor Rhys.

....he referenced Secret Squirrel. :D!

I want that video game Owen's playing. And wow, Bernie's a crap criminal.

Jack's a geek.

Splott! And a great Ianto moment, about the only one he gets.

Nobody loves Bernie.

...fags?! How old is that kid?

....yes, Jack, appropriate punishment for failure is forcing one of your team to try out unknown alien tech. Don't like Owen much, do you?

Damn, this scene is creepy. And Owen looks terrified from the outset. Burn Gorman's good.

....*shudders at the voice*

She kisses him back, for a second before she realizes/remembers what's happening and pulls back. And then out comes the knife.

Is Owen actually capable of ending the vision by letting go of the machine or whatever? If so, why doesn't he? Wants to see it to the end, for her sake?

...Owen really looks like he actually felt that slap. Nice acting.

And the vision ends, with Owen actually saying "please" along with the girl. Good way to emphasise that he's feeling what she does.

He's not in good shape now. Not good at all. And Gwen's the first to get to him, quite probably the first to notice something's wrong. And he all but breaks down sobbing, though he's quite clearly trying very hard not to. Damn, Burn Gorman's good.

Owen's voice just sounds dead in this scene. And they're all just ignoring him, sitting on the couch there going through the papers while nobody pays any attention. Nobody cares about poor dead Lizzie as much as he does, they're all just caught up in the tech. Nobody even so much as looks at him except Toshiko, and only then when he talks.

....Jack, you bastard. Your employee just practically broke down in tears in front of you, and now you're yelling at him and ordering him home? You cold bastard. And Gwen, you bitch. He nearly broke down on you, and does he get one single kind word from you? What good does that look do anyone?

No one stops Owen taking home the papers about Lizzie, either, though they probably should. Someone should go home with him and make sure he sleeps.

...I hate this gun lesson scene. Hate hate hate. And it's not jealousy, it's just stupid.

...I did not want to like Owen this much. I really didn't. But now I do, and I kind of hate Gwen. Wasn't she supposed to be teaching them to be human?

Jack so lives at the base. Ianto probably does, too. And where the hell is Ianto?

Gwen, what the fuck are you doing? Alien tech off the base?

Owen's either sleeping and having nightmares about Lizzie, or not sleeping and he can't get her out of his head. Either way, eeek.

Rhys, don't you even vaguely wonder what that is in Gwen's hand?

Owen has a huge flat, and no furniture. And he's getting kind of creepily obsessive... and oh look. he's found Ed Morgan. Owen, put the whiskey down.

Owen's starting to scare me now. He's kind of psycho intense. *shivers at the whisper* Hello, Owen's psychotic break. does old Edwin think Owen knows exactly what the girl said to him the night he killed her?

Owen's voice still sounds downright dangerous when he sees Bernie.

...and everybody on this chase is rooting for Owen. Really, really, nobody in the neighbourhood loves Bernie.

...Bernie, you're pathetic. But you really believe in that moment Owen's about to beat the shit out of him... if he just wasn't out of breath.

...oh, Owen's face when Bernie mentions the bridge. *pets him*

Love how they all just snap round when they hear about the other half.

One half to show the past, the other to show the future. Makes sense, even if both the futures we see through it are violent ones.

...bit of a reverse there, Jack. Half an hour ago you were actively wanting them to try out the piece, now it's "GWEN. NOOOOOO."?

Hands up who initially thought in this scene that future!Gwen had accidentally killed Owen to stop him killing someone else?

Oh, now Toshiko's trying to look after Owen and listening to him.

Bernie's actually less human than Owen, in his way. He could experience that girl being raped and murdered and use it as impetus for blackmail, not want to bring the guy to justice?

Love Jack and Owen acting as a team for once to disarm him.

...oh, now hello, Owen's psychotic break. And he has a knife, yay. But he does stop - you can see it takes effort, but he does have the will to stop himself killing the guy when he wants to so much. And then he actually tries to save him, without a second's thought.

"I didn't kill him. I could've, but I didn't." The only reassurance Owen has left?

...I really really didn't want or expect to like Owen this much, this soon. *rueful* But I think he might just have become my favourite.
LinkLeave a comment

[User Picture]
Date:October 30th, 2006 - 11:19 pm
I completely loved Owen in this episode too. You just listed all my favourite things about it :D Nice review!
[User Picture]
Date:October 30th, 2006 - 11:21 pm
I'm still not sure if I like Owen or not. Sometimes I like him and then other times. Eurgh. No. Still, I prefer him to Gwen. She just annoys the HELL out of me.
[User Picture]
Date:October 30th, 2006 - 11:32 pm
Burn Gorman was probably the best thing about this episode, I keep wondering where he's been all my life because Bleak House and now this, he's obviously talented!)

Owen's the most interesting I think, or possibly Ianto because he really is so background at the moment. Tosh will have her moment I guess and Jack is being Mysterious with a capital M but Owen's the one who seems to have these odd switches between jokey rat jam and then the, as you said, almost psychotic breaks.
[User Picture]
Date:October 30th, 2006 - 11:34 pm
I really want to believe that's intentionally showing him as unstable, and not just inconsistent writing. So I will.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2006 - 12:16 am
Owen has a huge flat, and no furniture. And he's getting kind of creepily obsessive... and oh look. he's found Ed Morgan. Owen, put the whiskey down.

That's uncannily similar to my own reaction to that scene.

Overall, I really, really liked the development of Owen, throughout and yeah, Gorman totally got to prove his chops in this one.

I think that, emotionally, this was the "Large percentage of team loses perspective" eps, in that, yeah, Gwen and Jack were strangely unsympathetic, Owen went off the deep-end (although that was at least partially attributable to the device) and Ianto, luv him tho' I do, seemed prissier than usual.

Gwen, what the fuck are you doing? Alien tech off the base?

Amen! Is Jack the only guy who's obeying that rule? Oh wait, he hardly ever LEAVES the base. *sigh*

...bit of a reverse there, Jack. Half an hour ago you were actively wanting them to try out the piece, now it's "GWEN. NOOOOOO."?

I think Jack knew a HELL of a lot more about that device than he's admitting, just based on that reaction. *mutter*

I really liked how they turned Owen around (not completley, granted, but that would have been implausible) and forcing (some) Owen-haters to reconsider their opinion. I just wish it hadn't been quite so obvious - after all, Owen was set up as such a dickhead at the beginning, it was pretty obvious that the other shoe would have to drop at some point. However, I must admit that, when dropped, it was pretty deftly done.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2006 - 01:14 am
"Overtones of the Empty Child"

No joke! I was sitting there thinking, "OK, is this kid about to say 'Are you my mummy?'? Because that would just creep me the hell out."
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2006 - 01:27 am
how did you manage to read my mind? everything you said is pretty much exactly what i thought when i watched this ep, but you're funnier than i am, alas.
tosh with the knife to her throat in the teaser--i just figured they were doing past AND future bits. like jack on the roof of a church (?) with that clock behind him, ianto holding a gun (squee!), and that person in the hospital gown strapped to the chair--we haven't seen any of that yet. it looks like the person holding the knife to tosh is blond and female, but it's hard to tell.
jack teaches gwen how to handle his weapon--you CANNOT tell me that's standard protocol for firearm usage instruction! use both hands, gwen! make sure you have a firm grip! and squeeze...gently! i could only think in smutty innuendoes during that scene! it was just like those sappy romantic comedies where the guy teaches the girl to fish, or golf, or anything. is this fan service? that's what it looks like from here. v. tacky and tasteless, just as if some studio exec saw an early cut and said, "where's the sex gone to? we had so much of it last week!" and they went back and dropped it in cold. and gwen immediately became Gwen Cooper, Fastest Gun In The West?! as if. of course, i'll still admit to being horribly and disgustingly jealous of gwen. i'd much rather be in her shoes than sitting here bemoaning the poor and uneven writing.
i did a 180 on my feelings about owen this week, which i'm more than a little suspicious of. before i wanted to smack him. now, i want to give him a fuzzy teddy bear and pat his head (and take away the whiskey!). but then i feel all the characters were kinda different in this ep, except for poor ianto, whose hidden depths of anguish and darkness we have yet to witness. owen's came out (and then some!) just fine last night. i'm guessing we'll get all the ianto we crave in next week's ep. *crosses fingers*
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2006 - 01:31 am
Hi :D
I'm off the torch_wood lj and followed the link here. Love your running commentary, mirror mine too, plus osme interesting other instights!

I totally agree with what you said about Owen. I kinda liked him from Ep1, but there was still a git of dodgyness/not quite right about him, but know I totally dig his character. Burn Gorman is definately an incredible actor, the way he's managed to pull such a emotive ride this episode.

Looking forward to more of you reviews! (hope you don't mind me!)
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2006 - 10:02 am
Heh. I like the way you address your reactions to the characters. I agree about Burn Gorman, he was incredible in this.
Date:November 1st, 2006 - 05:04 pm

This was perfect.
[User Picture]
Date:November 2nd, 2006 - 04:57 pm
I loved reading all your comments. I loved this episode. I may have to watch it again just to see it 3 times as well. Burn Gorman's performance is superb. It must be, for us to actually like this character. I went to NHS training today, to deal with violence and agression, personal safety stuff etc, and I was totally freaked out. Owen may have his own doubts about himself, but there's no way they are portraying this character as an actual active predator. Despite his flat and car :D