about that word... and another word: yeah, more Torchwood meta
Was anyone as struck (and oddly so) as I was with the word choice in "You yielded in the past. You will do so again" from the 4-5-6?
There were a million other words they could have used: submitted, agreed, obeyed, consented, etc.
But yield was such an interesting choice, both because it implied culpability (to yield is arguably a choice to be weak -- it's submission and the choice to submit), and because it immediately, without any conscious thought, from the first time I heard it uttered in the show, made me think of my own associations with its euphemistic use: romance novels, and, even more specifically, romantic gay narratives more than a few decades old.
Sadly, this is a gut thing, because I've not looked at language in this stuff in any systematic way to write you something totally awesome about this, it's just... where I hear the word, and I think I'm not so wrong about it.
So when the aliens said it to Jack and Ianto, to these men who are so clearly emotionally and sexually involved with each other, and they replied with "No," well, that's what the Whoniverse is all about, right? The supposedly powerless going, "Um, sorry, WRONG."
After 3 episodes of what I referred to yesterday in my meta about the word queer as Ianto's Very Bad Homosexual Day, and then him having that horrible fight with Jack at the beginning of 3.4 and then them going to fight a war as a way to make up with each other (stupid, stupid, stupid, but so them) after what was pretty much a "you make me be a better man" speech, I thought it was so interesting to have them say "No" to what struck me as an ever so particular word choice.
I really felt like it was RTD (probably unconsciously, but who knows) underlining that Jack and in this moment, Ianto, are queer action heroes (pause here and enjoy how awesome that is, folks!). They are not delicate or yielding or weak for their natures -- and it even manages not to be misogynist because Gwen and the assassin woman have also been so powerful in this series and are, in fact, intercut with this mess of events that lead to Ianto's death.
To me this episode (and to a given degree the whole series) has, despite the situation of the children, been all about how you should fear the people you were raised to believe were powerless -- they're not -- not the PAs or the women or the folks living on council estates or the fucking queers.
And I loved it. And it makes me cry.