Okay, so in my unholy obsession with one Ianto Jones, I've been going around snapping up all the meta, all the discussions, all the fan-alyses I can get my greasy paws on. Because I'm a loser that way, and I go on frenetic, whirlwind research binges when I find a character that really just hits every single one of my character kinks. Some things I agree with, some things I don't. As this wouldn't be a rant otherwise, this post is about the one thing I really don't agree with.
And that is that Ianto Jones is lowest in the Torchwood heirarchy. (That he can't effect change, I think were the words, but it amounts to the same thing.)
I vehemently disagree with this. He is not. He is, in fact, outside of the fucking heirarchy. Which isn't to say he doesn't follow orders, because he obviously does but his function in Torchwood is distinctly unique, distinctly other than that of his comrades.
I don't buy any of the shit going around that Gwen is Jack's confidante, or that he sees her as more of a "peer" or that Gwen is the only one that Jack will listen to.
I. Don't. Buy. It.
This is not the fangirl in me talking. It isn't. I do, occasionally, have opinions that are not based on that squeeing, heart-eyed, selectively-blind part of me.
I think that Jack admires Gwen. And I think that many of these so-called "confidences" were really just a matter of Gwen being in the right place at the right time.
Also that Gwen is/was supposed to represent the audience point of view, so naturally if she doesn't know, we theoretically wouldn't know. How many times does he actually tell her things of his own volition, without her having accidentally witnessed some example of it? I like Gwen (mostly). And I do think that Jack has a unique relationship with her; he has a unique relationship with all of his subordinates. I do think that she is most likely to affect change, but only because she is the one most likely to take issue with things as they are. That is her function. He hired her to "keep them human." He has to at least listen to her when she questions their practices. Just like he has to listen to Tosh when she has technical problems, or Owen when he has medical issues, and Ianto when he struggles with one of his many functions.
However! Jack obviously thinks he has to "protect" Gwen from certain aspects concerning Torchwood/himself--Flat Holm, for example. And I really, really can't buy all this stuff going around about him considering Gwen his equal when he doesn't think she's capable of handling something like this. It reeks of parent-child dynamic to me. A parent always wants to protect the child from the bad stuff, even when the child is old enough to take care of itself.
"Adrift" was my favorite episode of Series 2. Yeah, because of the hothouse scene, but for other reasons too!
1. Ianto knew about Flat Holm. I don't know if he's the only one in Torchwood (and I tend to think so), but in any case, he obviously knows what's out there and is familiar with it. Which means that Jack trusted him with the knowledge. (I'm gonna guess probably since S1 at least, because who else would have taken care of it while Jack was away with the Doctor?)
2. This is the episode where we really get to see Ianto's passive aggressive streak in all its glory. There has been conjecture that he did what he did "anonymously" so as not to incur the wrath of Jack. I call bullshit. There is absolutely no way he thought Jack wouldn't know. So why would he do it "anonymously"? Passive aggressive. Jack told him not to enlighten Gwen, however Ianto felt she needed to be enlightened, so he does it "anonymously" knowing both Jack and Gwen will know it was him, but by the time it gets linked back the issue will have already been resolved, one way or another. The key here, for everyone who thinks Ianto has this unhealthy subservience to Jack, is that he let Gwen know anyway. And he let Gwen know in such a way that neither she nor Jack could doubt he was the tattler. That is not subservience. That is getting the job done by means necessary. He couldn't do it straightforwardly, because nothing would get accomplished that way.You call it sneaky; I call it passive aggressiveness at its finest. (I have this feeling I'm not explaining myself well, but meh.)
3. This is really just reiterating the other two, but I firmly believe that Ianto is awesome. That Ianto knows he's awesome. And that he's perfectly content in his own awesomeness. He knows best because, duh, he knows everything.