"What are you suggesting? That a cull of ten percent will do us good?"
Day Four can be watched on the BBC iPlayer here. Expect spoilers here.
Better, much, much better. While I found Day Two to be fun filler and Day Three to be boring filler Day Four managed to hit the notes I was hoping for and paced itself very well. It's just a shame things had to be stretched out so much before reaching this.
Before I move on I'm going to have to shake a fist at the BBC as they spoilered Clem's death in this episode a while back - by removing him from the credit list for Day Five. So there was absolutely no surprises at his passing in this episode. On the other hand at least they didn't signal Ianto's death as well, so it wasn't a total wash out. But still, slightly annoying.
So Day Four was pretty much what Torchwood should be; energetic, tense, with action, politics, romance and loss. Also; finally, the Torchwood team stopped running about and pulled together a good plan to try and take charge. Only unforeseen circumstances turned it into a tragedy - unforeseen circumstances and Captain Jack's hubris really. So it was good to see the team actually acting instead of reacting as they normally do. A team created to handle the extra-normal should be more pro-active in my opinion, so it's good they finally settled down to do it.
At this point now the entire run really hinges on what's going to happen tomorrow, right now everything is so wonderfully bleak and desperate. That's where it should be at the end of the penultimate episode, the heroes should be at their lowest point, everything should look lost and impossible to solve. Which it did at the end of the episode with that wonderful image of the dead shrouded in red sheets with the occasional white one amongst them. Like human blood vessels, which is the price being demanded by the 456.
So yes, this was a good and enjoyable episode of Torchwood which hit the right notes, it's pretty much wiped the slate clean from the annoyances of the previous two Days and set things up well for one of the most exceptional endings to a UK series in recent times. Bravo Torchwood, all is forgiven - but I do hope RTD will avoid his Deus Ex Machina style of ending things for once.
For those of you still feeling a little wrung out about the loss of Ianto Jones at this point - here's a picture of him. But also, don't worry too much - it's Sci-Fi. People are hard to kill in Sci-Fi, remember Owen? His death didn't stick the first time. (Not that you should get your hopes up too much).
For some alternative takes on the episode check out Dan's Media Digest, Snark and Fury and Rullsenberg Rules.
(Does anyone else find themselves wondering what the heck the Doctor is up to letting things like this happen on Earth? It's not like him to neglect his favourite home from home this badly!)