Bullet point reviews:
- KATE! Doctor on a payroll. Mostly KATE!
- Humans being stupid: the Doctor president. Well, it’s really no coincidence if aliens are always trying to invade us. We might be the dumbest sentient species to date. I’m not kidding. It’s not even cool. It’s the kind of idea that makes me pinch the bridge of my nose and shake my head in despair. Saruman, be kind to us.
- Clara, Clara, Clara. More lying! That never goes wrong. That said, I’ve got to give it to Moffat, he really made me think for a split second that in a Big Bang-like move, the Doctor had swapped body with Clara. Not exactly before the opening titles because her speech was pure Clara. But right after the opening titles and before she started listing evidence (because that also screamed Clara), I believed.
- “Not telling you.”
- Osgood not so much of a fansert anymore. I really like her.
- Weaponised the dead; nice call back to the Vashta Nerada.
- Old Brig. That’s completely not hilarious and over the top. Good. Now we can write threesomes involving Old Nate and Ma Mystère.
- “Look at me. I’m bananas.”
- “Hey Missy, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind.”
- “I’m proud of you sister.”
- “I’m accelerating for dramatic effect.”
- I need to stop, but Missy is clearly a goddess.
- Osgood dead? Okay, might have called it the moment the Doctor offered to add “all of time on space” on her bucket list. It’s just one of those blatant “she’s gonna die” lines. It’s a shame though; Moffat really rounded the “fan insert” edges. She was competent and adorable and seems to fit UNIT much more than the first time. I still cannot believe she’s dead? I thought her mind would be uploaded in the Nethersphere and that she would be somewhat saved. Epic death though. Love a good death scene.
- Missy killed Kate?! Okay, I might hate her now.
- The Doctor diving into the TARDIS River-style. Come on, Moffat, you wanted us to think about her!
- “Kill some Belgians. Might as well, they’re not even French.” The French heaved a collective sigh.
- Zombie Danny. Incidentally, Zombie Danny comes with the proof that this whole weaponised dead is wonky as hell. The cyber-exoskeleton clearly is attached to whatever is left inside. And I bet the most part of the buried humanity is dislocated bones. So how do you make it work? I mean it’s not Who only. One of the main reasons I don’t like Zombie movies is because they don’t bother to come up with solid explanations. If you integrate magic, everything works. If you remain within the realm of science-fiction, how do you explain that a bag of bones with half its tendrils stays up? And people are not the same built. Children died. Elderly died. And if the exoskeleton is a clever idea, I’m still left with the “What in the world do you think people buried for such a long time look like?!” Most skeletons are probably incomplete… Skeleton war is fun. In Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
- Clara was a pawn in the Mistress’ hands? Or rather a move. In fact, Clara really encouraged the irrational streak in the Doctor. Enough for him to ‘Go to Hell’. Enough for him to let her take control when she shouldn’t. That’s a really elaborated con you pulled here Missy. Come and talk about it to Nate and he will point you out everything you did wrong.
- As much as I adore the dead fighting for the living, I am a tad upset by the consequences. Basically, every person buried up to this date could have been turned into a Cyberman. Hundreds of graves empty. Like the moon being an egg, it’s the kind of information you’d rather jettison to make an awful lot of things work in-universe, especially in fanfiction. *shrugs*
- Every actor really rose to the challenge. It’s masterclass acting-fest.
- Missy Poppins!
- The fact she did it all for the Doctor makes me feel really bad.
- “I need my friend back!” Missy broke my heart there.
- “I am an idiot!” He said it.
- Bit nonplussed by the Doctor’s big speech. As much as it was moving and necessary, I fear it was somewhat ill-prepared writing-wise. It’s not exactly as if the Doctor had been blind and dishonest for the whole series. Instead he had been remarkably clear-eyed and honest. He didn’t skimp on a pragmatism close to cynicism, sure. But he obviously loved Clara and didn’t act that much like a soldier –except when Danny was there to point it out. In fact, it felt as if Twelve was making a speech for Eleven on Trenzalore rather than himself. You know, the old man who actually waged war for hundreds of years and manipulated and lied and refused to love far more than Twelve. That’s not the speech I expected him to make after this series, after the way Clara changed, after the way they were left unable to communicate, after the way he was out of depth most of the time. It’s confusing.
- “Love is a promise.” Also a psychopath. Enter the Mistress.
- Moffat spends a disproportionate amount of time in cemeteries. This episode is super dark. The cemetery scenes are just greyish-ly lit. It’s not going to be pleasant to gif.
- “I’m not a hero” but you still decide who lives or dies. Yeah. *lets it go because it’s the Doctor*Actually, no. It always bothers me, it always makes me sick, so I’m going to complain. Never sentence someone to be executed on your own. Even if it an unrepentant genocidal maniac. Even Clara asks you to. She’s raw, she’s been misguided for half a series now, she’s probably traumatised, but damn it, Doctor, you don’t get to make that call.
- Danny’s decision is not really a soldier’s decision at this point. It’s a hero’s one. You were a good man Danny Pink and I wish we had seen a little more of you and understood you better.
- OKAY, EVERYBODY GOT BURNT IN THE SKY! Have you any idea what will be snowing afterwards? That’s right, carbonised bits of your deceased relatives.
- KATE IS ALIVE!
- The Brig saving his daughter and being saluted by the Doctor. Okay, my eyes stung a little bit at that moment. Just a little. Probably still under the ‘carbonised bits of rotten relatives ash rain’ shock. Yikes.
- Missy lying about Gallifrey. HA! That’s why you don’t just execute criminals, you idiot.
- Danny saving the kid. Okay, despite questionable FX choice (I thought Danny was bringing Clara’s mother back O_O), this was beautiful. Just perfect. Although I’m not sure I understand how. But wonderful, wonderful bit. This episode should be called ‘The times Danny sacrificed himself a lot’.
- Clara and the Doctor lying to each other’s face. Nope. It’s rude. Part of me thinks the Doctor lied to Clara precisely because she changed him and he can’t allow her to change him more than she already did. He wanted to kill his former best friend for her. He believed in heaven and Gallifrey back, because of her. He had started his series as a sceptic and a pragmatic but Clara had been chosen for him; the girl who made her life a story and lives in lies. He started believing. Missy was the mastermind, Clara the confidence trickster. I did say in Listen that she was bad influence.
- Capaldi breaking down. YOU SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO THAT TWO YEARS ONLY AFTER THE HOUR. THE PAIN IS REAL AND RAW. WHY!
- Very nice ending of Clara sending the Doctor off. Not the end of her story though. Obviously. She’s as gone as Missy is.
- The ending is tonally odd; it’s The Flame Within all over again.
- Okay, I’m practically sure no one knows what The Flame Within is. It’s a 1930s picture with Ann Harding and Herbert Marshall. And the ending is directed as light, when story-wise it’s abysmally bleak and quite despairing. Which is a bit what happened.
- Danny and Clara’s story never really came across as an epic love story because it never was. Just like Danny died a ‘boring’ death, Danny and Clara had a pretty ‘unexciting’ story. Danny was completely straightforward as much in his attraction or discomfort with Clara. Clara was the one who kept coming back, quite literally pushing forward the love story narrative. Even the Eurydice path she prompted. In the end Danny performed his big epic sacrifices less out of love for Clara and more out of being at this point a ‘better man’ than the Doctor or Clara. Retrospectively, it makes a lot of decisions Clara and Danny had respectively taken work for me. At last.
- It wrapped very nicely the series, very very nicely. I missed Moffat’s timey-wimey acrobatics, but Missy somewhat made up for the more down-to-earth narration. She’s insanely fabulous. Scratch that. They all were. Moffat really managed to make his characters “peak” in this episode.
On the series as a whole: technically one of the best material written by Moffat. Themes, stories, character development, no more blockbusters. Excellent new writers. Episodes that really stick out (Listen, The Caretaker), some very nice blending of actual plots and character development (Flatline, Mummy on the Orient Express). Not the most exciting series for me though. Emotional arcs are not exactly my cup of tea and this was more of a season-long character study than classic ‘Who’ fun and adventures. I miss the lightness and a team. In terms of ambitions and completion of the latter, it was solid, adult and subtle (most of the time). Which is good. Of course Who can do it. I guess it only shows just how malleable Doctor who is.
Fortunately, I'm less talkative from now on.Kitty and Joan. Sherlock and Bell. That is all.
Actually, I have a bit more to ramble about. The toys being used as drug was rather extremely disturbing and I loved the fact that it was Kitty who practically came up with the solution. Apparently I have the sort of imagination that would make me an excellent criminal. The more you know… That’s not what I wanted to ramble about. I like how everyone’s relationship is trying to balance this series. It does not work perfectly yet and does not seem to aim for equilibrium as well, but it’s certainly not forced. Kitty broke my heart and now I just want Watson and Sherlock to teach her together. This show is still extremely satisfying when it comes to characters. It’s like a good play; it just flows, without a reef.
I need to watch the new one.For Grissom’s sake, it was Coulson whump from beginning to end; it’s embarrassing. And Ward is out and I have no desire to see him the focal point of the story as he was around the same time last series. No. Not again, show. You have interesting stories to tell about Skye, Jemma, May, TRIPLETT, hell, Fitz and Mack, begging to be told. Stop focusing on white fan favourite males. I am pissed off. Coulson has no arc, Ward is a good villain but why, oh, why narratively favour him against the rest of the team? When we want nothing but to learn more about Triplett who is criminally underused. I don’t even know what Hunter and Morse are doing there; I’m just as annoyed as May by their banter. I actually love Bobbi… when she’s far from Hunter. Hunter is only fun when he is being utterly despised by May. Show, you can do better.I’m behind with Korra.
Hum, in other news, it also has been Moffat appreciation week on tumblr, and I've (barely) done things:
In the best villain category: The Mistress - "I am in charge."
In the best underappreciated work category: Jekyll - "What's the big deal about Claire?"
(I absolutely did not draw this to see if I could manage Gina Bellman's face in a realistic manner. This is immensely spoilery and meta-ish of me. I apologise.)
Check this tag and bask in Moffat love with us all.