The seventh episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day.
Gwen kidnaps Jack, planning to take him to whoever's speaking to her through her lenses. Jack convinces her to look at him in the rear view mirror so he can talk to the kidnappers through her eyes.Flashback. In 1927, Jack was on a mission in the USA. At immigration, a handsome young Italian named Angelo tried to steal his identity. Jack was intrigued by the young man and used his vortex manipulator to fake Angelo's visa and grant him access to the USA. Angelo, being a devout small-town catholic, was quite freaked out.Gwen tells Jack that she loves him, of course she loves him, but it's time for her family to finally come first. Because Torchwood has made her into too much of a Shell-Shocked Veteran. It made her feel like every death of every monster, villain and Torchwood member made her life that much more special and significant. And she doesn't want to feel that way any longer, not now that she's a mom.1927. Jack and Angelo found an apartment in New York, Little Italy. There was only one bed. Jack quite magnificently seduced Angelo, and after one rather nice sex scene, Angelo was surprised to learn that gay sex could also be followed by gay cuddles and gay pillow talk. Jack showed him the tenderness and love that Angelo never got from his catholic community.Gwen tells Jack that she'll gladly kill him if it means protecting her family. Jack returns the sentiment.1927. Jack decided that if the Doctor can take on Companions, so can he. After confessing (quite hilariously) at a catholic church, he started to work as a wine runner for some church-based smugglers and effortlessly worked his way up into larger smuggler activity. It turned out that he was hunting for one specific piece of smuggled cargo: an alien beasty, which the Trickster Brigade planned to use to make Roosevelt go insane and subsequently make Hitler win the war. With a few gunshots, Jack saved the regular timeline. Angelo was duly impressed. Their happiness didn't last long, because Jack was shot in the head by the police and only woke up after Angelo had already been carted off.1928, one year later. Angelo was out of prison again, and found Jack waiting for him. He freaked the hell out. Because despite aliens, time travel, vortex manipulators and all that gay romance, he still believed in God and the Devil, and Jack was quite obviously the second one. After some hesitation, he killed Jack and handed him over to the priests of Little Italy's community. Jack was hung up by his hands and killed over and over (and over and over and over...) for a few days. The Italians collected his blood as a relic. One day, he woke up, the blood patterns on his torso indicating that his throat had just been slit, and saw three men making a pact to buy him. Angelo freed him after that, wrecked with guilt, and asked for forgiveness. Jack wouldn't have it, and escaped from Angelo by quite pragmatically taking a shortcut off the building's roof while Angelo was forced to take the stairs. By the time he reached the street, Jack had woken up from his fall and was nowhere to be seen.Esther realises that Gwen's family is in trouble, and contacts the Welsh police. Andy barges in with the Big Damn Heroes and shoots one kidnapper in the head. He'd never killed anyone before, and gets a bit shaky.Gwen and Jack arrive at the agreed location, and share some very sweet final moments. The group is led by a woman. Rex and Esther turn out to have followed Gwen, and force the woman to come clean. She reveals that someone is waiting for Jack... a man named Angelo.
- Anguished Declaration of Love:
- A weird inversion with Jack and Gwen — they love each other, but there are things stronger than that love:Gwen: What I'm saying is no more! Because I know exactly what you're thinking, Jack Harkness, I know it! "She won't do this, not really, not my Gwen. Gwen can't do this, can't hurt me — she loves me. She'd never harm me." But this is about my daughter. And I swear, for her sake, I will see you killed like a dog in front of me if it sees her back in my arms. Understood?
Jack: Understood. But let me tell you, now that I'm mortal, I'm going to hang onto this with everything that I've got. I love you, Gwen Cooper, but I will rip your skin from your skull before I let you take this away from me. Understood?
- With a lovely callback at the end:Gwen: You're gonna live!
Jack: It's a talent of mine.
Gwen: (hugs him) I meant every word I said.
Jack: (hugs her back) So did I.
- A weird inversion with Jack and Gwen — they love each other, but there are things stronger than that love:
- Author Appeal: Russell T Davies finally — finally — gets to show the world John Barrowman's naked bum. He'd been wanting to do so ever since "Bad Wolf".
- Big Damn Heroes: Rex and Esther save Jack and Gwen from the Families' representatives, while Gwen's family is saved by Andy.
- Continuity Nod: The alien parasite that Jack and Angelo kill was smuggled in by the Trickster's Brigade (which works for the Trickster).
- In addition, Jack outright references the Doctor and his conversation with Angelo is very similar to the Doctor's first conversation with Rose, right down to "RUN!"
- Continuity Snarl: Jack refers to himself as a fixed point in time in the 1920s. He won't discover that until he reaches the present day and meets up with the Doctor again.
- Jane Espenson suggested that Jack has run through his timeline more than once. Alternatively, it's possible that Jack, being a former time agent, would know about this kind of stuff and suspected this, but needed the Doctor to confirm it.
- 1920s Jack is also wearing his WWII coat, despite WWII starting over a decade later. He probably just couldn't wait for the garment to actually be brought into service and had it custom-made instead.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: The brain parasite reproduces by injecting its larvae into a host's brain, driving them insane as the larvae burrow deeper.
- Gayngst: Angelo has a big heaping dose of this, and it makes him do terrible things to Jack.
- I Will Wait for You: Implied by Angelo still being alive 84 years after Jack disappeared on him and still wanting to see him.
- Laser Sight: Rex's sniper rifle uses one, which helps Gwen and Jack convince their opponents to stand down.
- Latin Lover: Angelo
- One-Woman Wail: plays while Jack is tortured because of Angelo.
- Make Wrong What Once Went Right: The Trickster's Brigade intends to use the parasite to infect Franklin D. Roosevelt, causing a chain of events that would ultimately lead to Germany winning World War II.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Jack tries to make a companion out of Angelo, but Angelo's negative reaction to his immortality convinces him that it's not a good idea.
- Noodle Incident: Jack's love life, what else?"It's been about - oh, 700 years since my last confession. Where do I start? How about the triplets? Or the naked circus? Or that Sapphic Leapfrog Jamboree?"
- Shoo Out the Clowns: One alien monster shows up in a flashback and is just as quickly killed by Jack. And that's all the silly aliens we're going to see this season.
- They Would Cut You Up: In a somewhat more crude version of this trope, Jack gets discovered by a family of butchers in 1928. Assuming him to be the devil, they kill him several times, drawing larger crowds. Eventually, the entire crowd just starts whaling on him with knives.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jack calls Angelo for killing him and causing him to be subjected to near endless torture at the hands of sadistic, ignorant New Yorkers and leaves him behind forever.
- Whole Episode Flashback: Mostly.
- You Just Told Me: Angelo does this to get Jack to admit to forging his Visa.