I admit I might simply be a big softy with a bigger heart when it comes down to suffering. I could probably put it down to that quality in my character that made ‘Meat’ such an effective episode for me. Having spent the first three episodes in limbo, credited but no apparent, Rhys got his ample first outing for the season and did an effective job of stepping on toes and revealing the bad guys. The rest of the cast turned in fine performances, with Ianto continuing to shine with a couple of one liners and the CGI whale-alien doing a good job at roping in my sympathy and empathy.
A tale of just how callous humanity can be in pursuit of profit, ‘Meat’ showed Torchwood doing a very necessary task that, as Owen rightly highlighted, probably wouldn’t turn around the dark fate of Earth in the 21st Century. Like ‘Small Worlds‘ in the first season, Jack seemed resigned to taking the least pleasant but necessary path in the end, though Owen beat him to making the actual decision on the fate of the whale-alien. Poor thing.
Was there something ‘Countrycide’-like in the plotting? The team investigates, they get deep and end up captured, one of the team manages to crash into the midst of the proceedings and save the day… Maybe, or maybe not.