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Children of Earth: Day 2


Children of Earth: Day Two was the second episode in the third series of Torchwood. It was significant for showing the extent of Jack Harkness’ regeneration ability, as he survived being blown apart.


Synopsis


The Hub has blown up. As Gwen emerges from the rubble she is seized by an assassination squad and is dragged into an ambulance. The men pin her flat on a stretcher. One prepares a needle, but they let go of her when she bites one of them. Leaping to her feet, Gwen drives off in the ambulance with one of the men. Holding him at gunpoint, she is told that the government has ordered the destruction of Torchwood but he doesn’t have any further information. She makes it home and hurriedly wakes Rhys telling him what has happened and that they need to leave immediately. Just then she gets a call from Ianto, who has also survived, and tells him what she has learned. Neither can understand why the government has ordered their deaths; however they cannot set up a meeting point as the phones have likely been bugged. Gwen is forced to leave when the assassination squad show up. Shooting out the tires on the squad’s vehicle, she and Rhys go on the run.

The next morning, Johnson finds Jack Harkness’ remains in the ruins of the Hub, little more than an arm and a head. They are taken to a warehouse in London. His body begins to reconstruct itself. Meanwhile, Ianto sends a card to his sister through their newspaper, asking her to meet him at the park where his leg was broken as a child and to bring a laptop computer. Her son David knows Ianto left it and warns her they’ve probably been bugged. Typically, a car with two government agents is parked in the estate, and the men are listening to their conversations. Johnny decides to get back at the men by making them listen to obnoxious things, such as how David “pissed the bed” after the raid last night. Micah taunts his humiliated brother while he objects that his dad is lying. Rhiannon gets annoyed and goes upstairs to read Ianto’s message, soon joined by her husband after he drops the vulgar act. Meanwhile, the body bag containing Jack’s remains is now filled with a skeleton and muscles, as opposed to the few pieces of flesh from the explosion, showing that his body is regrowing.

Gwen and Rhys find that their bank accounts have been frozen, and with nowhere else to go decide to head to London as this is where everything is happening. The two sneak aboard a lorry, which is full of potatoes; during the trip, Gwen tries to announce her pregnancy to Rhys and lets him figure it out through her body language. He is excited to learn about their future child, but the thought of letting Gwen endure this danger while pregnant upsets him, and he expounds the reasons for him to stick with her while she’s on the run. At around the same time, Jack’s body has halfway completed regenerating, but his outer skin is still burnt, raw, and unformed, nor can he see. He has recovered enough to regain consciousness, and immediately bellows out in mind-numbing pain with a primal scream.

Later on that day, Johnny cleverly rounds up a posse of children from the estate and they surround the agents’ car. He accuses them of snooping, and when they deny it, he deems them perverts and rallies the kids to get the “paedos”. The group swamps the vehicle and rocks it aggressively, obstructing the agents’ view out the car windows. Given the unfriendly neighborhood, this creates a believable and convenient distraction for Rhiannon to drive away unnoticed. Rhiannon meets with Ianto in a park and discovers he has been wounded by the Hub’s explosion. While they speak, the kids in the park, along with the rest of the children in the world, suddenly stop moving again and declare another ominous message; “We are coming tomorrow.” Ianto approaches a girl in the park after the kids return to normal with the intent of learning what she felt during the moment she froze, but gets rebuffed by her protective mother, who thinks he’s doing something perverted. Ianto gives up on the kids and requests Johnny’s car and his sister’s laptop so he can track Jack down.

In London, Gwen tries to contact John Frobisher. Her call is taken by Lois Habiba. At MI5, Frobisher, Bridget and Lois see an unknown device being built by Mr Dekker to the 456’s specifications. Lois meets with Gwen and Rhys and tells them it was Frobisher who issued the kill order on Jack and several others. Gwen recognizes none of the names. Lois also gives Gwen information about the compound where Jack is being kept. She also suggests a way for Gwen and Rhys to gain entry.

Jack, now fully re-formed and no longer in acute pain, is sealed in concrete by Johnson to prevent his escape, who pragmatically refuses to reveal any information to him because he remains alive and a viable threat, which is why she has chosen to keep him contained. Gwen and Rhys, as Lois had suggested, pose as funeral directors come to fetch Rupesh Patanjali’s body, also held at the compound. Their plan initially works. The soldier who requested the retrieval, Camara Kodak is friendly and does not suspect Gwen or Rhys to be impostors. Rhys gets defensive when he flirts with his wife and lets him figure out they’re a married couple. It doesn’t give them away, but Gwen is unhappy with Rhys’s slip of the tongue.

When the group enters the cell with Patanjali’s body bag, Gwen disables the camera surveillance with the same pen she used in the mental care facility, then pistol whips Kodak to the back of the head while he isn’t looking, rendering him unconscious. Gwen snatches his keys and locks the guard inside the cell, while she and Rhys start opening the next one. Their disabling of the hallway camera attracts the suspicion of the guard watching the security footage. The second cell turns out to hold the body of the undercover soldier who was shot by the sniper attacking Gwen. When she disables the camera in this cell, the guard at the desk sees the act perpetrated and sounds the alarms. Not willing to waste time on Rhys finding the key for the third lock, Gwen breaks it open with several gunshots, only to find it blocked by a concrete slab.

The soldiers in the compound surround Gwen and Rhys and open fire. Gwen empties her gun defending herself and her husband as he declares they’ll have to surrender, while Johnson calmly marches forward with a patrol unit to corral them. Gwen discovers it was a mistake to waste her limited ammunition on the cell lock — her gun is out of bullets. Cornered, she lowers her weapons and kneels to the floor.

The room quakes and a pile of rubble begins falling from the ceiling as the concrete wall is forcefully yanked out of the wall. Ianto, who has also arrived in London and learned where Jack was taken, has stolen a forklift. He lifts Jack’s cell and pulls it out of the compound. Gwen and Rhys escape with Ianto in the forklift, chased by Johnson and many soldiers. The forklift isn’t fast enough to outrun them. Gwen pulls out her other gun and returns fire at the men shooting at the trio, Rhys ducking for cover. They find themselves blocked by the cement truck used to pour concrete in Jack’s cell. Rhys hops out and drives the truck out of the way, then Gwen turns it into a barricade by shooting its gas tank, igniting the vehicle and allowing the group to get away without being pursued. Johnson informs Frobisher they have run into a roadblock. He replies that they cannot let the Torchwood personnel escape and tell someone of the situation at hand or they’ll be on the chopping block.

Ianto drops the concrete block into a quarry where it breaks apart, releasing Jack. He revives and stands up, unclothed and covered in bits of mud and concrete. Rhys offered him the coat from the funeral director’s suit, and Gwen hands it off to him while trying not to stare at his nude body. Jack reunites with the group and learns about the message the children have spoken. Torchwood Three departs in Johnny’s car to figure out their next move.

Back at the MI5 headquarters, the mysterious device is completed: a sealed, glass-walled chamber filled with a concoction of gases poisonous to humans. Frobisher, Spears, and Decker contemplate its purpose. Bridget wonders what could possibly live inside that gas, but Dekker informs her they don’t have time to figure it out with the 456 arriving tomorrow. Frobisher indicates only Britain knows about the 456’s contact with Earth and their return will not concern a global level. Dekker sees that the room for the 456 is like an ambassadorial suite or throne room. As his colleagues walk out of the room, Dekker huffs on the glass walls and embraces the tank with an unnatural sense of welcoming anticipation.


Characters


Captain Jack Harkness
Gwen Cooper
Ianto Jones
Rhys Williams
John Frobisher