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Luckylyn

Jack and Ianto: Not a Blip in Time

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The progression of Jack/Ianto was inconsistent.  Too much happened off screen and what viewers saw could be contradictory.

 

Everything Changes,  The flirtatious "Looks good in a suit/careful that's harassment" scene caught my attention.  Jack flirts with everyone and reactions vary.  Ianto isn't flustered and is able to banter right back at Jack.  It's attraction and doesn't have to be more at this point.  It did make a shipper out of me in seconds.

 

Cyberwoman,  Jack has an intense reaction to Ianto's betrayal.  Jack is at his angriest.  Is this because he felt manipulated by his attraction to Ianto?  Was it just flirting or were they sexually involved?  Viewers will never know for sure.  All we know is that Jack/Ianto shoot a lot of ugly at each other, but they also kiss.  We've got anger and passion.  Ianto's torn between loyalty/love for Lisa and saving the world.

 

WKKS,  When Ianto sees Jack depressed over Suzie, Ianto hits on Jack.  I consider this the canon beginning of their sexual relationship because I can't be sure what went on between them pre-Cyberwoman.  How Ianto when from wishing death on Jack to hitting on him is not shown on screen.  I accept that Ianto came to the realization that Lisa couldn't be saved, and Jack's need to kill her was understandable.  Maybe Ianto's anger in Cyberwoman was misdirected at Jack and was really about the situation itself and Ianto's intense denial about Lisa.

 

CJH, Jack says he has no one when asked by the real Captain Jack.   He may be sleeping with Ianto but he doesn't see it as a relationship.  In the same episode, Owen calls Ianto Jack's part time shag which Ianto refutes this.  He insists Jack needs him.  I find it interesting that Ianto talks about need and not love.   I think he feels a strong connection to Jack but doesn't view it as love.

 

EOD, I think this shows Ianto learned his lesson from what happened to Lisa.  Saving the world is more important than personal relationships and that's why he joins the mutiny.  Ianto has a strong reaction to the idea that Jack might be dead for good, weeping over his coat.  I feel like however casual Ianto and Jack were about each other this episode is the beginning of a shift.  I don't think Ianto knows he loves Jack until he's dead.  Jack kisses Ianto in front of everyone which can be an implied declaration of how he feels but then Jack takes off to chase the doctor without bothering to leave any message.

 

KKBB, Jack tells everyone he came back for Ianto but quickly takes it back to make it that he came back for all of them. Then he privately tells Gwen he came back for her and seems affected by her engagement. Then, he asks Ianto out. So Jack is still acting like he feels something for both Ianto and Gwen.  Is Ianto Jack's choice or consolation prize?

 

TTLM, has Jack and Ianto at their most romantic. It's basically a declaration of love.   Jack is at his most expressive about how he feels for Ianto and it's wonderful to see that it's not just Ianto feeling something powerful.

 

In Meat, we've got those scenes that seem to be the show runners attempt to show sexual tension between Gwen and Jack. Ianto's a bad ass, but then we've got Jack all desperate over the idea of Gwen quitting Torchwood. I do wonder if we're supposed to be contrasting Ianto/Jack's ability to be professional while working in a relationship with Gwen/Rhys's relationship interfering with the job. Still in the end it's all about Jack and Gwen and Gwen and Rhys. Ianto gets shot, and Jack is not that concerned. Gwen threatens to quit, and Jack is devastated at the thought.  Yet, there's a scene where Tosh and Owen are discussing relationships and they make a point to show Jack and Ianto staring at each other that is supposed to convey I don't know what.

 

Adam, Jack's love and faith in Ianto ends up saving the day, but Ianto will never remember Jack's display of devotion.

Reset, Ianto tells Martha that he and Jack are just dabbling which seemed odd. Why does he imply that he and Jack are casual? Did Ianto take Jack asking Martha for the unit cap as some sort of indication that Jack thinks that it's just a fun fling?

 

DMW, Owen claims Jack and Ianto are just shagging, and Ianto corrects him. So, Ianto goes from acting like the relationship is casual to implying it's something more serious. There are no Jack/Ianto scenes to explain this shift.

 

Something Borrowed, Ianto in front of a group of people asks Jack to dance making it clear he's fine with the relationship going public. Meanwhile Jack spends the dance fixated on Gwen. Is this an indication that Gwen/Jack have moved on from their big emotional affair? Is Jack quietly saying goodbye to the possibility of him and Gwen as a couple? Does that mean he is picking Ianto or settling for Ianto? Who knows? The show doesn't really clue us in to what's going on in these characters heads.

 

Adrift, I do love how happy Jack is to go Weevil hunting with Ianto, and we get naked hide and seek. Ianto chooses to help Gwen in defiance of Jack's wishes, but Jack forgives which is what he always does for all of them. I wish the show had used the scene in the captain's log of Jack just holding Ianto. That seemed more intimate and a show of an emotional bond better than sex in the hub. I don't know if the captain's log is supposed to be canon. Still, I think Ianto's a plot device, and the episode is more about Gwen's relationships with Jack and Rhys. The impact of Ianto's choice on his relationship with Jack is not given a thought.

 

Fragments,  This episode fills in the blanks for me.  Ianto definitely used Jack's attraction to Jack to get into Torchwood.  The interesting thing for me is that up until Jack and Ianto are trying to catch Myfanwy Ianto is playing a character to entice Jack.  Once they are going after Myfanwy, Ianto drops the act and has a true moment of connection with Jack.  He's exhilarated and devastated at the same time.  Jack seems to alternate between interest and wariness torwards  Ianto until the Myfanwy moment.  Those seconds of true connection seem to get Jack to lower his guard enough to let Ianto on the team.  It gives a frame to Jack's anger in Cyberwoman.

 

EW, Ianto being all blood thirsty in defense of Jack was great. Ianto's the one in the group John Hart has to worry about most because he seriously wants John dead.

 

COE, Ianto apparently is okay with going out on dates with Jack in public, and so I don't think he's struggling with his sexuality. He's struggling to figure out where exactly he stands with Jack. Are they a casual couple or a serious couple? Does he bring Jack home to meet the family or are they not that type of relationship? Jack simply wants to be with Ianto without having the "where are we going in this relationship" conversation. Reminding us that things ended badly between him and Lucia might be a clue why Jack doesn't want to think past the present when dealing with Ianto. Once again we don't have clarity on the characters motivations and have to rely on breadcrumbs.  There are indications that Jack and Ianto were serious about each other but also indications that Jack was not as engaged in the relationship as Ianto.

 

Then we get HOD, where Jack makes it clear exactly how much he loves Ianto but are the radio plays canon? Was HOD just a way to shut up fans who were pissed over Ianto's death and/or Jack not saying "I love you" in Day Four? 

 

Was Jack trying to keep Ianto at distance to keep from feeling pain when he died only to discover he hadn't succeed and loved Ianto anyway?  That's my theory.

Edited by Luckylyn

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Was Jack trying to keep Ianto at distance to keep from feeling pain when he died only to discover he hadn't succeed and loved Ianto anyway?  That's my theory.

 

 

Mine, too.

 

I saw the first couple of seasons out of order well after they aired so I'm sure your version of their relationship is more logical than my own headcanon. I always had the impression that Jack was the first time Ianto had ever been attracted to a guy, and that he was trying to make sense of it.  In the flashback, after capturing Myfanwy, Ianto looks disturbed - I took it to be that he was taken off-guard by finding himself attracted to Jack.  I figured that Pre-Cyberwoman, they were just at the flirting stage, with neither really planning to take it further than that yet still already feeling more than that for each other. And that the rest of the first season, both were still becoming more deeply interested in each other - not doing much about it, but aware that whatever they were feeling was mutual.

 

I thought they didn't become sexually involved until after Jack asks Ianto out in KKBB.

 

And I always thought that Ianto wouldn't want to consider the idea that he loved Jack, because he didn't think Jack's feelings for him would be equally strong, and that Jack loved Ianto but was so used to losing the people he loved that he tried not let that love become too much of an investment in him.  So Jack knew that Ianto loved him, but Ianto wasn't as sure that Jack really loved him, but at least knew Jack needed him.

 

How much of all of that is a result of watching the eps out of order and how much is due to the breadcrumbs-only approach the show takes to the relationship, I don't know.

 

I honestly don't know what to do with the scene in KKBB when Jack tells Gwen he came back for her.  I've tried convincing myself that it's just a follow-up to his "I came back for all of you" bit, but really it just bugs me.  It really just feels like the writers couldn't allow things NOT to be about Gwen.  So I pretend it didn't happen.  But of course that's not fair when looking at the canon relationships, so I try to shrug it off to Jack just caring about all of his team.

 

My single favorite moment in their relationship is from Adam, when Jack's confidence in who Ianto is turns out to be what makes them realize what they're dealing with.  

 

I hate, viciously hate, that they killed off Ianto.

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I'm of the school that Ianto seduced Jack before Cyberwoman and that that deal had already been sealed.  However, there is a wide expanse between "sex" and love.

 

I'm completely with you, ElleryAnne that the love didn't come (ha) until later.

 

Also?  


My single favorite moment in their relationship is from Adam, when Jack's confidence in who Ianto is turns out to be what makes them realize what they're dealing with.  

 

I hate, viciously hate, that they killed off Ianto.

 

Both of these points cannot possibly be repeated enough.

 

ETA:  Thanks, Luckylyn, for doing that big recap.  That must've been a labour of love.  :-)

Edited by Captanne
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I'm on the fence over the whole did Ianto and Jack have sex before Cyberwoman issue.  I can see how it could have just been a flirtation but could also see Jack and Ianto easily falling into bed. 

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Well, it's the whole Rent Boy thing I fall back on.  I think RTD meant us to believe Jack and Ianto were sexually attracted to each other and that Ianto made it clear (for his own reasons) that he was available.

 

The "debate", I believe, is culturally fueled.  Americans don't have the cultural baggage about "gay hookups in dark parks" that is so ingrained in British culture.  To me, growing up with a Welsh mother, it's patently obvious what RTD was implying.  To Americans, it's not.

 

ETA:  I also fall back on my love of "Cyberwoman" and how devastated Jack is when he discovers what (and who with) Ianto has been up to.  Jack had no idea there was a secret woman involved and how that impacted him on so many different levels.  To me, given the way I read JB's performance, Jack had to be devastated and the only reason I can come up with for his level of hurt was that he was "involved" with Ianto in ways that meant a lot to him -- more than merely emotional.

Edited by Captanne
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Jack had to be devastated and the only reason I can come up with for his level of hurt was that he was "involved" with Ianto in ways that meant a lot to him -- more than merely emotional.

See I think that's more JB's over acting and the idea that cybermen are supposed to be the most terrifying creatures around (See Owen's reaction when he first sees the conversion machine). I don't necessarily think it's because he's been sleeping with Ianto. I mean it's not as if we're given the sense he has all that much of an attachment to Ianto in s1 even as a member of his team. There are even a couple of times when he references his team and its like Ianto doesn't even factor lol. I find it funny that they seem so keen insist that they were having sexy funtimes almost from the get go and yet are so reluctant to show them interacting sexyfuntimes or otherwise on-screen. It's almost like pulling teeth to get the show to acknowledge them on-screen.

 

In fanfiction I'm definitely open to the idea that they had sex pre Lisa's demise. Some of my favourite stories work on that presumption. I tend to enjoy those stories not least because unlike the show they often seem willing to acknowledge the complexities and conflicts at the heart of their relationship and that's what makes them such an interesting couple to me and why the writing on the show for them is just so disappointing. Because both as colleagues and as lovers there's so much there to mine, particularly in the wake of the Lisa reveal, and the show does absolutely nothing with any of it either in terms of this relationship or in terms of Ianto as an individual character.  But considering how guilty he seems to feel about just being attracted to Jack and having fun with him in Fragments I can't really see him basically having sex with Jack literally over Lisa's head while she's strapped down and in pain and him not feeling guilty or conflicted about that. Not unless it was with her consent. And then just hooking back up with Jack the moment she dies as if it was no big thing? I'd definitely need a whole lot more than what they give us to not think considerably less of Ianto. At least after I can fanwank he believes he did all he could for Lisa and that he'd reconciled himself that she'd been lost a long time ago and even then the way its written I still get whiplash. Plus they certainly didn't write like they were and apparently didn't even bother to give the actors a heads up so they could at least play it like they were and saying it off screen when you clearly aren't interested enough to make it so on screen isn't enough to make it so. Not for me. It's a bit the idea of Ianto and Jack flirting even before we knew they were likely to be a thing could have been fun.

 

As for the rentboy or not argument. Lol!  I don't think that's a cultural divide issue at all. I just think there's way too much focus on what Ianto wears, which doesn't seem all that remarkable especially since he wears pretty much the same clothes outside the Tourist Office (is he planning to offer sex then too?) and not on what he actually says and does in Fragments.

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There really is some great fanfiction that did the job of developing the Jack/Ianto dynamic in ways the writers didn't bother to on the show.  There's one whose title I don't remember where Ianto's about to have sex with Jack for the first time, and he keeps repeating to himself that he's doing it for Lisa.  The subtext is that he wants Jack but can't admit it to himself because it would be betrayal of Lisa.

 

There's a lot of complicated issues that Cyberwoman brought up that should have been dealt with on screen but was just glossed over.

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If Cyberwoman and Fragments were alone together, we would have SO many easy answers.  The rest of the series and lack of continuity puts us all over the map.  (I love Cyberwoman and most of Fragments -- particularly Ianto's and Tosh's stories.)

 

There are some great fanfics out there -- the one I like about a point in time during this topic's subject is very cynical and dark but I love it.  If I can find it again, I'll post it over in the fanfic thread.

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On the show, I lean toward no hanky-panky pre-Cyberwoman because, to me, that would be too much of a risk for Ianto to potentially lose Jack's interest. Better to flirt and keep that fish on the hook than to play all of his cards too soon (mixing metaphors!). But, yes, the fanfic either way and especially during this period is usually quite good.

Edited by indeed
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I feel like Fragments improved on Cyberwoman and filled in some of the blanks for me.

Edited by Luckylyn
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On the show, I lean toward no hanky-panky pre-Cyberwoman because, to me, that would be too much of a risk for Ianto to potentially lose Jack's interest. Better to flirt and keep that fish on the hook than to play all of his cards too soon (mixing metaphors!).

I just figured his job title seemed broad enough to justify him hanging around the Hub late at night and the last thing he'd want or need was to give Jack an excuse to hang around the Hub by basically offering sex on tap instead of Jack having to step outside the Hub to get his rocks off which would pretty much give Ianto the Hub to himself to do what he wants.

 

 

I feel like Fragments improved on Cyberwoman and filled in some the the blanks for me.

I really love their segment in Fragment. I think it's probably the best development Ianto gets in all three seasons and it really does crystallize their relationship. 

Edited by Swansong
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I think there is also a bit of "what the viewer brings" to the show and their own interpretation.  I'm older -- grew up during the Free Love 60s and 70s so sex (for sex itself or for ulterior motives) just isn't that "taboo" to me.  

 

Iow, it's a good tool (pun intended) if it needs to be.  When you mix Love into the game, it's a whole different thing altogether.

 

Which is why I think Ianto used sex to lure Jack in (because Jack wouldn't think twice about it) and gain his trust as just another arrow in his quiver to get Lisa cured.

 

It just seems obvious to me and not that big a deal.

 

When it becomes a big deal, however, is when Ianto starts to realize he's fallen in love with Jack.  (And changes the game for Jack when he realizes what Ianto means to him -- but that is for another thread.)

Edited by Captanne

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Which is why I think Ianto used sex to lure Jack in (because Jack wouldn't think twice about it) and gain his trust as just another arrow in his quiver to get Lisa cured.

Maybe once he's in Torchwood and he's trying to keep Jack sweet. But I just don't see how Ianto thinks, without being extraordinarily dumb, all he has to do is have random sex in a park with Jack and Jack will give him a job at Torchwood which is the whole point. Why would that even be Jack's first thought when he can pretty much get sex anywhere he wants and Ianto has shown willing to give it up without any incentives at the drop of a hat? That isn't liberation. That just sounds like a really dumb plan..

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I don't think anyone is saying or implying that sex is taboo here or couldn't be in love with Lisa while shagging Jack. I just don't think Ianto would have to go that far to manipulate Jack. In fact, he would be in a better position if he kept that move for when he absolutely needed to go there. As swansong said, getting involved in a physical way could keep Jack sniffing around the Hub instead of going out elsewhere. Ianto needed to be as under the radar as possible--not unnecessarily complicating things. Once he turned things physical Jack could lose interest or get in Ianto's way or other, leading Ianto to lose his advantage. Anyway, that's just my impression in show.

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COE, Ianto apparently is okay with going out on dates with Jack in public, and so I don't think he's struggling with his sexuality. He's struggling to figure out where exactly he stands with Jack. Are they a casual couple or a serious couple? Does he bring Jack home to meet the family or are they not that type of relationship? Jack simply wants to be with Ianto without having the "where are we going in this relationship" conversation. Reminding us that things ended badly between him and Lucia might be a clue why Jack doesn't want to think past the present when dealing with Ianto. Once again we don't have clarity on the characters motivations and have to rely on breadcrumbs.  There are indications that Jack and Ianto were serious about each other but also indications that Jack was not as engaged in the relationship as Ianto.

I see him more as struggling to figure out where he stands with Jack too which is basically what he admits to his sister. I can buy him being awkward about his family finding out because we've never seen his family dynamic, but him going on about strangers the way he does in the first episode just seems bizarre to me. For one we've already seen him apparently willing to discuss his sex life with a relative stranger because while the audience knows Martha and she's Jack's friend she's still a stranger to Ianto (and sometimes I think the show forgets that distinction that just because we, the audience, know a character or an event doesn't mean the characters are meant to) not to mention asking Jack to dance in front of relative strangers. Plus even in COE they tell us that they have intimate enough dinners in public hence the reason he's outed to his sister in the first place so why would the Doctor noticing they're a couple even be a new experience for him. RTD says he loved Ianto as a character so why does he write him as so dumb in his episode. Him going on about the Doctor noticing they were a couple when they're acting like a couple so he will think they're a couple just makes him seem a bit slow.

 

Jack's lack of motivation or any real sense of his feelings for Ianto especially when they were so clear about Jack's feelings in his other relationships really hurt this relationship, I think. I have to admit it was hard for me to care about Jack losing Ianto when the show had never given any real indication whether the relationship actually meant anything to him or not. His attitude towards it seemed to change according to the whims of the particular writer and COE would have been the time to rectify that, but somehow COE chooses to be even move vague and non-affectionate with them, treating them more like comic relief most of the time than something to take seriously. I do tend to wonder what non-fandom people, the people seasons like COE are supposedly aimed at, think of this relationship because I have a hard time imagining they come away thinking all that much about it with what we're given over the course of three seasons.

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I think that's what hurt the most -- the build up of this neat relationship between Jack and Ianto (what little we got of that in canon) and then in CoE Jack acted like Ianto was either delusional, immature or smelly.

 

It was just painful to watch.

 

ETA:  I remember watching that hospital scene with my jaw on the floor -- dumbfounded by what I had just witnessed.

Edited by Captanne

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I have to admit it was hard for me to care about Jack losing Ianto when the show had never given any real indication whether the relationship actually meant anything to him or not. [\quote]

I don't know what the writers wanted us to understand about what Ianto means to Jack. He feelings aren't made clear until HOD.

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In Meat, we've got those scenes that seem to be the show runners attempt to show sexual tension between Gwen and Jack. Ianto's a bad ass, but then we've got Jack all desperate over the idea of Gwen quitting Torchwood. I do wonder if we're supposed to be contrasting Ianto/Jack's ability to be professional while working in a relationship with Gwen/Rhys's relationship interfering with the job. Still in the end it's all about Jack and Gwen and Gwen and Rhys. Ianto gets shot, and Jack is not that concerned. Gwen threatens to quit, and Jack is devastated at the thought.  Yet, there's a scene where Tosh and Owen are discussing relationships and they make a point to show Jack and Ianto staring at each other that is supposed to convey I don't know what.

I like to think they're showing the contrast between the relationships on the job, but it's Torchwood so I suspect it's really there to  show how awesome Gwen's love for Rhys is that she'll risk everything for him and visa versa. There does seem to be a definite slant in that direction and even if there isn't as you say this episode is once again all about Gwen, Rhys and Jack. Ianto never seems to factor into that equation at all and there aren't really any scenes between Jack and Ianto in this episode to give any sense of what's going on or what they might be feeling. At least none that I remember. Plus I never got the impression the writer was much of a fan of their relationship so I suspect if there's supposed to be any meaning in the contrast I doubt its to suggest anything positive about Jack and Ianto as a couple.

 

It's an interesting idea though because I can't imagine Ianto and Jack's relationship would work all that well if they weren't capable of separating the personal and the professional and i like seeing that here. And I like the idea that when they're on the job they're  personal relationship takes a back seat But since its not something that's really being explored its hard to take much meaning from it. The other problem is that because we only ever see them on the job whatever is personal between them only ever really happens off camera so its hard to make much distinction between the professional Jack and Ianto and the personal Jack and Ianto anyway. Are they supposed to be one and the same? 

 

It's the same problem I have with Adam. Ianto suggests that something has changed in their relationship with Jack, but without that line it's hard as an audience member to really notice any difference. Even with it too really because what are we supposed to be comparing it too? All the other times we don't really see much interaction between them? They're basically telling us something's changed rather than showing us.

Edited by Swansong

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It seems like there is lots of problems with their relationship and it could be overly confusing but if you take Gwen out of it, it becomes so simple. Unfortunately the writers weren't willing to do that, cause she is the star of the show. Which in turn hurts Gwen and Rhys just as much.

 

Just talking about TLM and aside from the romantic convo which is nice but there is a closeness between them throughout this ep and i wonder if it's because of time stuff or what Tommy will go back to. But Ianto is the only one who truly seems to get that Jack was alive back then and in the future. And i wonder if Jack has ever had anyone who understood it all or if they are more like Gwen or even Owen and Tosh to a degree. They know it now but their attitudes towards Jack don't change, they don't seemed to notice Jack change his attitudes dependent on which time frame is happening.

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Ianto seems to have an understanding of the entirety of who/what Jack is that the others don't.  He gets there's a wealth of life experience with Jack.

 

It's a shame the show was so focused on Gwen and her connection to Jack that Ianto's connection to him is something we only got glimpses of.

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It's strange cause i never really felt like i needed to see more of Jack and Ianto, cause they made sense to me. It was only when Gwen was in the mix, it made no sense from anyones POV.

 

Both Jack and Gwen seem to be in love with an image that doesn't exist and are quite cruel selfish people as they totally disregard anybody else. Yet once away from one another, Jack's not really like that. It's like Gwen is some sort of bewitching Siren or something except no sex allowed LOL

 

And when Jack is with Ianto, it took time and from their beginnings it would take time and a whole lot of trust but they both give each other another try, all the time. You can see that there is understanding and caring and dependence and need that they both do but will also shrug it off with a smile or a joke. Which you would need with some of the stuff the deal with. But it seems real, like they see who each other is flaws and all.

 

Maybe it's just the way JB/GDL played them, but i buy that there is a work relationship and a personal relationship and it's different, Jack seems more relaxed with Ianto.

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I have been keeping away from this thread because my thoughts tend to be all over the place when thinking about the dynamics of this relationship.  For a long time I went back and forth about my view on things and at some points, became very frustrated with what I had to work with.  When viewing the show alone, this relationship leaves me feeling unsatisfied because I feel that the writers didn't consistently write for it and because as mentioned already, they just didn't like taking the focus away from Gwen.  Both issues really hurt the natural progression of the Jack/Ianto relationship.

 

So, once I was done watching everything (and I watched it all in order), I read a lot of discussions and comments from other fans trying to get their take on things.  It was nice to see that tons of other fans had some of the same issues/questions that I did.  Some people saw the relationship as being less serious than I did but some people saw things as being more stable than I could account for simply watching the show.  Turned out, fans were talking about novels and radio plays and extras that I hadn't read or seen - and they were adding those bits of outside canon to help form a picture.  So I wanted to investigate to see if it would help me come up with a solid opinion on where I stood with the relationship.  Hoping, that it would help settle some of the frustration I had.

 

I won't go through everything, but honestly the biggest factor in helping me decide what I thought was going on with Jack and Ianto were the Captian's Blog done for the first 2 series.  Not only did that help me see a bit more progression happening in the relationship, but it also helped me formulate and idea on how things could have really been between Jack and Gwen.  See, in the Captain's Blog, the three most problematic Jack/Gwen moments were discussed in a way that made it seem like Jack wasn't pining after Gwen in some romantic way but that he really felt her to be an important person in his life.  Each moment (when he finds out she's engaged, when they argue about rectonning Rhys, and when he's dancing with her at the wedding reception) are written as if Jack is afraid that the more she gets settled with Rhys into that normal life, the more she'll be pulled away from Torchwood, the team, and him.  Reading the blog entries, Jack's relationship with Gwen seems more like a best friend who I love sort of thing and not a woman who I love romantically but feel deserves better than I can give her. I know that JB played those scenes as if Gwen's feelings were reciprocated on some level and so I can't completely ignore them.  But the blog entries help me to give it a little less weight and so I end up with Jack knowing that they wouldn't be right for each other but sometimes...sometimes he could get a little distracted with "what might have been." 

 

Side note: I also want to point out that Jack's comments on Owen's death and how he isn't loosing anyone on his team until he's good and ready supports the theory that he's just very attached to the members of his team and because he eventually looses everyone, he gets really clingy when he has to loose one of them be it death or an outside relationship that's growing to the point of becoming more important than him and the team. I think Jack may have some abandonment issues.

 

As for Jack and Ianto, the blog entries aren't perfect and they are still a bit lacking but they are a little more consistent than the show.  For series 1, we get a glimpse of Jack regretting not looking after Ianto's needs more when he joined the team.  We see that immediately progress to making sure he spends more times with Ianto in hopes of establishing a better working relationship.  Apparently it starts getting better because Jack expresses that Ianto is the only one on the team still talking to him (after Small Worlds).  Then we have him talking about wanting Ianto to feel more included on the team.  That leads to Tosh mentioning what she heard from Ianto while wearing the alien necklace and Jack making it a priority to take Ianto out to dinner away from the hub in order to talk (because he had thought that Ianto was doing a bit better).  That brings us to TKKS and the stopwatch.  For me, this is definitely when the sexual relationship started (though like I've said elsewhere, I can be persuaded to believe that a kiss or two might have happened before this point).  After this, Jack still seems to be making sure that Ianto is coping and doing better.  Not much is said about their personal relationship after Random Shoes.  I wish there were but basically, I just get the sense that from Jack at least, Ianto has become a friend who he cares about and sleeps with.  I don't get the sense that any formal relationship was happening for either of them.

 

The tone changes a bit for series 2.  From the start, Jack realizes that Ianto was the person that took his leaving the hardest and admits that it's going to take a while to make it up to him.  He also notes that Ianto's a good decent man.  Later, during TTLM, Jack writes that he and Ianto talked things through and made progress. After Jack's gone and gotten the second glove, he writes that he's in trouble with Ianto for risking everything to get it.  What I find particularly interesting is that Jack thinks he should have told Ianto what he was doing before he went to do it.  To me, series 1 Jack wouldn't have cared much about something like that.  This one little mention feels the most relationshippy to me - but that's just me. 

 

Side note 2: Even though this isn't part of the Captain's Blog I wanted to point out that for the next episode, there is an email sent from Jack to Ianto informing him that Martha is coming and to ask if he would take care of hotel arrangements and maybe make a dinner reservation for her and Jack.  Jack makes a point of telling Ianto that she's just a good friend and that he doesn't have need to get jealous.  I point this out because it too feels like something one would say while in a relationship and although we actually get to see/hear Jack make a similar statement when he's telling Ianto that he really only talked to that soldier in the bar, series 1 Jack wouldn't have felt the need to clarify things.

 

Although we don't actually get to see Jack take Ianto out on that date or hear anything about them dating until COE when Rhiannon mentions her friend seeing the two of them at that French restaurant, the blogs make a couple of attempts to suggest that they are going out on dates.  The entry for FOOTR has Jack writing that he's convinced Ianto to take him to a normal cinema to see an actual movie and Exit Wounds has Jack directly talking to Ianto (cause he knows he's reading over his shoulder) demanding he just take him out somewhere. 

 

Lastly, we have a moment where Jack talks about taking comfort in Ianto and just "[holding] on to Ianto for a couple of hours, as tightly as I could."  This bit seems to be a favorite of fans and I have to agree that it would have been nice to see this played out on the show.  We also have Jack singling out Ianto from the rest of the team.  John Hart messing with his team was bad but if any of them had been killed, he would have done real damage to John.  The singling out comes outside of Owen or Tosh getting killed, Ianto being seriously hurt would have produced the same kind of anger.

 

Sorry that I wrote all of this out but it was the best way I could think of to walk you through what I use to help form my Jack/Ianto head canon.  As you can see, there is still so much that could have been said but going through and reading these bits and pieces in order along with the episodes, it paints a much better picture than the show itself.

 

Now, all of this is from Jack's point of view and I think that although Ianto noticed that they are more than they started off as, he and Jack not really talking about things beyond whatever kind of talk they had after Tommy got sent back, left him a little clueless on exactly what they were.  I could write another whole post about their communication issues and how they are both to blame for the misunderstandings but I do think that misunderstandings were a big problem and lead to Ianto not knowing if they were a real couple while Jack gets mad/annoyed that Ianto is even asking such a thing.

Edited by Dizzy76
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Marvelous write up, Dizzy.  In about a month, I will be able to write more in one sitting but, for now, I agree with almost everything you've said and observed.  Including the order you've put those observations in and how you've interpreted them.  I have some reservations but they really aren't important.

 

This, especially, made me laugh:

 

Dizzy  I think Jack may have some abandonment issues.

 italics yours

 

Edited to fix format

Edited by Captanne

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It's a real shame that so much of the Ianto/Jack relationship is developed better elsewhere than on the show.  Fans shouldn't have to read the Captain's Blog to get an understanding of the relationship especially since TPTB have removed that content.   Does anyone know who was wrting the Captain's Blog?  I assume they had to get approval from RTD or were they allowed more independence and that's why the online Janto has more development.

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It's a real shame that so much of the Ianto/Jack relationship is developed better elsewhere than on the show.  Fans shouldn't have to read the Captain's Blog to get an understanding of the relationship especially since TPTB have removed that content.   Does anyone know who was wrting the Captain's Blog?  I assume they had to get approval from RTD or were they allowed more independence and that's why the online Janto has more development.

The Captain's Blog was written by James Moran back in s2 I believe. I'm sure they got approval from RTD, but I'm not sure how much they bothered about whether it gelled with what happened on the show. I mean it's not as if they bother with that on the show.

 

If RTD writes Torchwood mainly with the casual viewer in mind who isn't likely to read or even know about the web content and books etc. then I can't really imagine how he expects them to respond to a story line that barely develops onscreen and the bits that are shown are often contradictory except with indifference. They aren't likely to be the type to pour over minute details and come up with theories to explain the huge gaps. I thought it was weird that ultimately the relationship didn't give us much insight into the characters involved. I mean I can guess reasons why Jack might have behaved in certain ways, but there's no real sense of what motivates him onscreen.

 

I will say like the idea that it started casual and developed into something more serious almost without them meaning too. Part of the appeal of this relationship for me was that it wasn't love at first sight, it wasn't fated in the stars. It was just two people who happened to be attracted to one another and decided to give it a go. Those kinds of relationships don't get a lot of respect in fiction. I don't think it got all that much respect on this show. I also like the idea that when it came to the job their professional duties took priority over the personal. I just think it's a pity we only ever got to see them on the job. We didn't even get to see them hanging out at the pub the way we got to see with the rest of the team.

 

 

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Thank you Captanne!  I was a bit afraid that I'd gotten a bit too wordy.  I miss your lengthy comments and look forward to a the time when you can write more freely without pain.

 

 

And yes Indeed, James Moran wrote the Captain's blogs so I'm not sure how approval went.  Was the idea brought to RTD and he just did a, "cool, go with it" type of thing or were the entries something he actually looked over and approved for each one?  I'm with Swansong on the likelihood that RTD cared enough to look over things based on the attitude that seemed to be taken with the actual shows.  I do remember reading though that James wrote the blogs to try and fill in stuff they couldn't include in the show (for time) or to clear up moments in the show that didn't play out well or were confusing.  I remember reading that last bit and thinking that it was sad that theywere even needed as much as it was. 

 

Now, this is not something that was stated but I also believe that James was one of the writers/Torchwood staff that was pro Jack/Ianto and that's why the blog entries slant that way.

 

 

Edited because I can't seem to write properly this morning.

Edited by Dizzy76

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I wanted to add that RTD has said that all official Torchwood extra content is canon (novels, web, radio plays, audio books) but when I first learned that, it was hard to understand because it all kind of contradicted each other.  One example: the books have Ianto identiflying as bi but COE comes around and it's only a Jack thing not all men. 

 

But then I thought about the show and realized that all content, whether show or extra, suffered from the same handling.  RTD didn't seem to really care if contridictions like that happened from episode to episode, from novel to novel, from episode to radio play, and so on.  So now, it's just one of those things that I live with and try to work around it as best as I can.  On the Ianto front, I choose to go with him being bi but not really having been serious with any other male outside of Jack.  I choose this because I love the conversation Ianto has with Gwen about his sexuality in the novel Twilight Streets.

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I feel like a relationship snuck up on Jack and Ianto.  I got a friends with benefits vibe in Season 1.  Since Ianto was still recovering from the loss of Lisa and Jack didn't seem like the relationship type, they may have each viewed other as a safe outlet for sex and friendship without being a couple.   Feelings developed unexpectedly with Jack being the least able to handle it from what I saw on screen.  He's so hot and cold which I blame the writers for.  I think EOD was the moment where it started to feel more like a relationship with KKBB having Jack make his intentions a bit more clear by outright asking for a date which is something I gathered they hadn't done before.  Interestingly Jack's the one who seems to push for more publicly while at the same time pulling away.  Jack's the one who initiated the EOD kiss, and he's the one who asks for the date.  Ianto seems more laid back just going along in the relationship and doesn't seem to expect more until COE where he wants some clarification from Jack who stubbornly acts obtuse.

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Thanks, Dizzy.  Right now my left arm is in a fingers & thumb all the way to elbow cast.  Poot.  I'll write too much when I'm back in the game.  Just ask Luckylyn, indeed or Swansong -- or any other old TWoPers who are here.  Heh.

 

Like:  How I think Ianto was playing the rent boy when he met Jack in Bute Park and I'll never say no.  So, I also think that he and Jack had a sexal relationship a lot earlier than most fans do.  I'm just not a romantic when it comes to the reality of Ianto's predicament and the lengths he was willing to go to.

 

I agree with the common belief that "Love" snuck up on them.

 

As for Ianto's sexuality?  It works for me that he was straight and Jack caught him off guard.  I'll admit, I'm straight but once met a woman who completely swept me off my feet.  We never took action on it, but I'm here to tell you I would have.  Mr. C knows.  She's the only woman who has ever had that effect on me.  OTH, I'm also cool with Ianto being bisexual.  I just think human sexuality is more fluid than we can ever put into easily defined categories.  Love is love, man.

Edited by Captanne
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I'm just not a romantic when it comes to the reality of Ianto's predicament and the lengths he was willing to go to.

I don't think you have to be a romantic to stand on the side of the argument that they didn't have sex pre TKKS.

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I think generally we all agree, it started out as comfort sex or lonliness whatever and became something more.  I also think it's unexpected on both of their behaves. I don't think Ianto is looking for a relationship or wants one to be honest and with Jack's reputation , Jack would seem like the right person. As Jack knows why ianto isn't interested and Ianto doesn't have to make up a story as to why it can't be more.

 

Jack is also waiting for the Doctor  , so i don't imagine a serious relationship is on his mind at the round about time the Doctor should be showing up. Also Jack is trying though badly sometimes LOL but he is trying to be the Head of TW and it's not natural for him. Out in the field Jack is in his element, office politics and how to run things not so much. Which i think is part of Ianto's attraction for Jack, having someone to share the burden with is unexpected but needed for Jack.

 

As for extras that help with the Jack and Ianto relationship, the two that do the most for me are Deadline the radio play and it's not for Ianto's beautiful chat with Jack.

It's listening to how differently Ianto and Gwen react to what has happened to Jack, to Ianto it's about the man, it's personal. For Gwen it's about the hero, her rock.

And Jack it's about being vunerable and when he is , Jack depends on Ianto to help. Second one is the audio book In The Shadows, this book is the only one that makes me think i sorta get Jack, once you get a glimpse of what hell is for Jack. And once again it's Ianto seeing the person and Jack depending and needing that, even when that need scares him. Because i truly think ianto is the first person, who truly gets Jack and all the baggage that comes with him.

 

Going by the history we know of Jack he either doesn't allow people in to understand or they don't understand in the end and hence even more abandonment issues LOL

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I don't think you have to be a romantic to stand on the side of the argument that they didn't have sex pre TKKS.

This wasn't what i was talking about but while i understand where the idea comes from i don't beleive there was anything sexual between them before TKKS. And it comes more from Jack and who he is supposed to be. Why would having sex with Jack give you an in ? I think Jack would just see it as sex and that's it. If anything i would think Jack would have his guard up even more if you approached him in that way.

 

Is Ianto desperate enough ? Sure but his honest attraction to Jack is what makes him leave. So I don't even see Ianto going there once in TW3. Harmless flirting and being the perfect employee that blends into the background, give Ianto much more opportunities to do what he needs to help Lisa. Servicing Jack would complicates way too much to keep it up for months. Ianto still only has 24 hours in his day and i don't think it would work.

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I think if the sex was good enough, Jack would be immature* enough to totally keep you around.  I do.  Until you betrayed him (ahem, Cyberwoman) and then he'd be crushed because he didn't see it.

 

*And that's an observation of a cultural difference; not a judgement call.  I just don't think Jack looks at sex the same way as humans do.  (I can't explain that but when I think of Jack's opinion of sex I think of the US 1960s flower children and their "free love" mantra.  No commitment, no head games -- just two adults having fun.  The better the sex, the better the fun.  No harm, no foul.)

Edited by Captanne

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That's all fine and dandy, but that wouldn't guarantee Ianto a job. There seem to be more risks involved for Ianto to get sexually involved with Jack than to just act open to the idea. That has nothing to do with cultural perspectives or other views about sex, just with what would be the best approach in a long con.

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Yeah, but we also have to bear in mind RTD's perspective and his desire to make this an "adult" addition to the Doctor Who franchise.  I think implying sex between Jack and Ianto was there and intentional for that reason, as well.

 

Who knows, really?  It's all conjecture.  Thanks to the spotty continuity and drive behind the series, we'll never know.  I bet even the actors don't know.

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Of course, it's all conjecture. I just don't think it's a matter of being prudish or not whether one think it's plausible based on what was presented what actually went on between those two and when. Sure, Jack sleeps with whomever he wants whenever he wants-- no judgment. That's part of his character. Ianto would probably know that. I believe GDL seems to think they did it before TKKS...but I don't know when he actually started saying that or if he ever used that theory while acting. It seems more like something he said/says during his time on the con circuit after the fans got on board with that theory. Fragments kept the speculation alive (Yay! for that), but I doubt we'll ever get a definitive answer in canon.

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I doubt they planned Jack and Ianto regardless of whether they were supposed to have been having sex all along or not. They didn't even plan on keeping Ianto around initially. And honestly I think the writing bears that out. Ianto is barely developed, they barely interact on screen even as colleagues. Jack randomly kisses an unconscious Ianto in Cyberwoman, but then they barely interact in the episodes after they supposedly have sex. Then Ianto goes from offering to stopwatch with Jack to sniffing his coat emotionally with almost none of the build up in between. I'd say they were pretty much winging it and not even all that well. And they were clearly surprised by that relationship taking off over Gwen and Jack.

 

I don't think it's prudish to think Ianto and Jack didn't have sex before TKKS. TKKS is pretty much the first time the show actually suggests they are having sex and that stopwatch scene while fun doesn't exactly play out like these are two people who are in the middle of an affair. So if they were involved before all along it's never made clear when that ends or when it starts back up again. Or whether we're supposed to think it's always on-going? Was it a one off thing? Are they routinely having sex? It only happened a few times? I mean it's all very well them saying after the fact off-screen 'oh they were having sex all along', but if it doesn't actually happen on-screen it's as good as it not happening. You'd think RTD would get that considering how heavy-handedly he chose to be when it came to Gwen.

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Honestly, outside of Gwen and Gwen's issues I don't think any character or situation was handled properly or with consistent care.  I wish I could have just look at and discuss the show as is and just based on the episodes/scenes aired but I just can't do it.  Knowing too much about how the writing was handled and the show put together taints things and so in the back of my head, whenever we talked about stuff like this, I am reminding myself that what they wanted to show and tell is often not executed well or given the proper attention.

 

And I'll stop now because I can definitely feel a bad ramble coming on...

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I had brought up in the Gwen thread my belief that the sexual tension between Jack and Gwen was decidedly overplayed in the show, given that Gwen would have been on her back in a heartbeat if Jack had given her the word. If he was holding back out of respect for her relationship with Rhys, then he was wasting his consideration as Gwen had already shown that she was not above cheating (and the judicious use of retcon to cover her ass).

 

It's a shame that so little time in the show was actually spent on Jack's relationship with Ianto, which would have been easily as fascinating to play out properly. For Ianto to go from mourning Lisa to sleeping with Jack to actually being in love with Jack needed a lot more than the few seconds of screen time it was afforded here and there. I think that made Ianto and Jack work was that Ianto wasn't operating under any illusions when it came to Jack. This was someone who had survived some of the worst that Torchwood had seen in his own right and was about as much an equal as Jack would find in this day and age. There wasn't blind hero worship  and he didn't expect Jack to meet his standards. He accepted Jack, and even though it hurt, he accepted the limitations that naturally came with loving someone that was immortal. And we still saw that Ianto was willing to risk being hurt in order to keep Jack in his life.

 

Jack's feelings are a bit harder to read since they had so much of his focus on Gwen, but I think that he did love Ianto as much as he is capable of loving another person. He knew that he would lose Ianto one day and when he did, it was enough for him to do the unthinkable in the aftermath. It's always been the great tragedy for me that he never told Ianto that he loved him while Ianto was alive (out of self-preservation, IMO) and we only find out after Ianto is gone that Jack did indeed love him.

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I agree the that transititon fromt he anger in Cyberwoman to the stop watch in TKKS is not given enought screen time and development.  I keept thingking that SW could have been a good transittion episode  if Ianto had been the one to go with Jack to meet Estelle.

 

 

I think that made Ianto and Jack work was that Ianto wasn't operating under any illusions when it came to Jack. This was someone who had survived some of the worst that Torchwood had seen in his own right and was about as much an equal as Jack would find in this day and age. There wasn't blind hero worship  and he didn't expect Jack to meet his standards. He accepted Jack, and even though it hurt, he accepted the limitations that naturally came with loving someone that was immortal. And we still saw that Ianto was willing to risk being hurt in order to keep Jack in his life.

I totally agree.  Ianto had no illusions with Jack and loved him anyway.

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I agree the that transititon fromt he anger in Cyberwoman to the stop watch in TKKS is not given enought screen time and development.  I keept thingking that SW could have been a good transittion episode  if Ianto had been the one to go with Jack to meet Estelle.

 

I totally agree.  Ianto had no illusions with Jack and loved him anyway.

Interestingly Luckylyn ther has been a couple of fanfics that have Ianto arrange Estelle funeral for Jack, so people think they connect in some way in the ep more than we got to see, which i think was pretty gentle and quiet and sorta needed to be.

 

But about Ianto and Jack that both you and Hanna mentioned with Ianto have no illusions and knowing exactly who Jack was. I have always wondered if Ianto was the first person to know all about Jack and still love him and Jack kept waiting for the moment when Ianto rejected him. Like in COE and the "beans" convo Jack looks like Ianto will reject him and is pleasantly surprised when Ianto doesn't.

 

From the little we know about Jack's confusing love life before the Doctor, Jack's not really a settle down type of guy. But once stuck on Earth he tried a few times and would either leave before they found out the truth or it didn't work even when they knew the truth about the not staying dead part. But it's not clear if anyone ever also knew Jack was from the future. It didn't seem like it, so Ianto has  a lot to take on with Jack then they have their own deal , let alone the Gwack stuff.. But was that part of Jack's worries that Ianto would in the end reject him like everyone else.

 

They sorta have that as Jack's fears in the Audiobook In The Shadows but that's more about being abandoned like the Doctor did to Jack or Ianto betraying him again and Ianto really doesn't love Jack

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Mousey, that's a good point about Jack being rejected by past loves and on some level waiting for Ianto to reject him too.  Jack's immortality is something that people in his past struggled with, and I think Jack's push/pull with Ianto could have been because of that negative romantic history.  I do think the beans conversation in Day 4 was the beginning of Jack starting to get that Ianto was different from the others and more able to handle Jack's immortality.  It's like Jack's on this precipice of trust and love with Ianto, but Ianto dies before Jack is able to express his feelings.

 

In Submission and The Deadline, Ianto makes it clear that he expects that Jack breaking up with him at some point is inevitable.  So both Jack and Ianto are on some level waiting for the other to end things.  Ianto doesn't hesitate to jump into things with Jack even believing they have an expiration date while Jack guards himself more while not being to help getting involved with Ianto.   I so wish these issues had been dealt with on the show in more than a breadcrumb fashion.

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It's a shame that so little time in the show was actually spent on Jack's relationship with Ianto, which would have been easily as fascinating to play out properly. For Ianto to go from mourning Lisa to sleeping with Jack to actually being in love with Jack needed a lot more than the few seconds of screen time it was afforded here and there. I think that made Ianto and Jack work was that Ianto wasn't operating under any illusions when it came to Jack. This was someone who had survived some of the worst that Torchwood had seen in his own right and was about as much an equal as Jack would find in this day and age. There wasn't blind hero worship  and he didn't expect Jack to meet his standards. He accepted Jack, and even though it hurt, he accepted the limitations that naturally came with loving someone that was immortal. And we still saw that Ianto was willing to risk being hurt in order to keep Jack in his life.

This is so true. I think this is a relationship that shouldn't really work on any level, but at the same time I can see why it would work, but the show sadly never explores any of that. Despite being in a relationship in some capacity with Ianto for two and a half seasons so much of the focus on Jack's romantic feelings is filtered through his relationship with Gwen which I think really hurts how his relationship with Ianto comes across I think it's hard to separate one for the other and not because of Jack's pansexuality, but because the show clearly very much writes according to the hierarchy of its character's positions on the show. Trying to assess whether Jack loves Ianto or not feels almost irrelevant because until they kill Ianto off that's not something show ever seems all that interested in. How are you even supposed to go about even making that assessment? Even in COE we don't really get that which has always been weird to me because their building up to Jack losing Ianto mattering. At no point do we ever really get Jack's pov on this relationship. 

 

I think because I never really understand Jack's motivation for getting back involved with Ianto in s2 it's always hard for me to have much sympathy for him getting involved with Ianto at that point on the proviso that he won't expect things. That strikes me as a pretty shitty motivation for getting involved with someone especially since it's made pretty clear this isn't exactly casual for Ianto at that point and I have to presume Jack gets that because I doubt he would have suggested the date otherwise. 

 

I get why someone like Jack with his history might be reluctant to get involved again or why there might be trust issues between them (there should be trust issues Ianto betrayed Jack and Jack abandoned them) and emotional back and forth, but we don't see that on screen. We get Jack getting involved with Ianto and then kind of mooning every once in a while over Gwen without much explanation for or exploration of that except in terms of how it affects her relationship with Rhys.

 

I do like the idea that there aren't too many illusions about one another , but they're still able to kind of see the best in each other. Their relationship does kind of begin after they've revealed at least some of the worst about each other (and kind of the best) and more than any others Ianto and Jack seem wedded to the idea of being Torchwood so there's that. 

Edited by Swansong

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I do like the idea that there aren't too many illusions about one another , but they're still able to kind of see the best in each other. Their relationship does kind of begin after they've revealed at least some of the worst about each other (and kind of the best) and more than any others Ianto and Jack seem wedded to the idea of being Torchwood so there's that. 

I love that Swansong , the worst and the best in each other.

 

I have never had a problem with their relationship or needing to see more than we did. I think they work despite their many issues which they choose to overcome. It's complex yet so easy, i think because there is this unlying trust between them.

 

It's only when other people are shoved in ie: Gwen that it makes no sense. I think you take away 4 scenes from season 2 and there isn't any problems KKBB Jack's reaction to Gwen getting married. Meat the kissing and looking one  and the end one and SB the dance. Because all of those it's Jack and Gwen. The other Gwack scenes are full on Gwen and not Jack's feelings. And it would have made sense to who Jack was, yes he fancied Gwen but during his time away he made a choice at that was Ianto but still some moments that indicates Jack's old feelings. Instead we get arsehole Jack for no reason other than Gwen is all then next scene it's all gone again.

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The focus on Gwen's POV rather that Jack's really makes reading these scenes difficult because we can't really be sure if Jack really is that attached to Gwen in a romantic/sexual tension sense or if that's merely how Gwen sees things. Because as I've said previously, Jack could have easily had Gwen if he really wanted to.

 

I may be reading this wrong (and if I am, someone please correct me), but I always felt that Gwen (and to a far lesser degree Ianto) were trying to hold a 51st century man who developed under a very difficult culture and set of experiences to 21st century mores. Jack chuckled about their "quaint labels" but I think that there is a lot of validity to that disconnect. For someone like Jack, there might very well be no conflict between loving Ianto and loving Gwen, each in their own ways. If Jack came from a culture where polyamory was the norm, then he would see no problem with loving more than one person at a time. And because Jack was immortal and even under the very best of circumstances would only be with Gwen and Ianto for a very, very brief period of time (in comparison to his expected life expectancy), then it would make even more sense for Jack to be able to form multiple attachments because losing those he had deep feelings would be devastating, as losing Ianto proved.

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On the other hand Jack also spent over 100 years living through and presumably having to adapt to the social more of the 19th, 20th and 21st century. I have a hard time buying that didn't influence his thinking in someways. If anything he should have a greater understanding of our social mores than either Ianto or Gwen because they grew up during a comparatively permissive time in comparison to the times Jack lived through. And granted he's trying to wind them up at that point, but he gets oddly judgmental about Gwen sleeping with Owen while proclaiming to be in love with Rhys in EOD. 

 

If anything Jack is the one who seems determined to set the parameters in both of these relationships, insisting Gwen keep to her 21st century life as much as possible, actively pushing her towards Rhys and he never suggests there might be an alternative to that. He comes off as pretty paternalistic with her. And as far as I can tell Ianto seems less concerned with Gwen's role in Jack's life as much as his own significance. As far as I can tell he's fine with Jack loving Gwen or anyone as long as his significance is defined. And it's not as if the idea of loving more than one person is that unusual even now so I'm not sure either Gwen or Ianto would have a hard time grasping that particular concept especially since they've both experienced that in one form or another.  

 

Also we're told Jack comes from a more permissive time with less rigid social mores than ours, but then they have him and Captain John joking about, who was the wife, so those kind of defined roles still matter in the 51st century? Otherwise, even jokingly, why would it matter who was the wife (apparently still a negative connotation) or not. And why would those kinds of jokes even still exist? Plus when we see Jack's family they have a chance to show us the kind of society Jack lives in and the ways it may be different and yet we get a fairly conventional family structure of two kids, a mother, and a father.

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I found Ianto's lack of jealousy over Gwen really interesting.  I remember speculating earlier in the series about whether or not the show would have Ianto/Jack/Gwen in a polygamous relationship.  I feel like that presented Jack as having these forward 51st century ideas, but they end up being anecdotes.

 

Ianto only seemed to show jealousy over The Doctor and John Hart.  I wonder if its because The Doctor and JH are people who if Jack ended up with them would most likely take Jack away from Cardiff while if Jack were to get involved with Gwen he would still be around.  So Ianto isn't threatened by Jack with someone unless that someone else would keep him and Jack apart.  There's that scene in the Doctor Show crossover where Ianto seems jealous but I'm convinced that only happens so nonTorchwood viewers would figure out that Ianto and Jack are an item.

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