The Caretaker Review

Okay, okay! I know I’m late with this one, but I just got around to watching the episode.  Don’t hate me too much… I’m a busy woman!  As an extra added reminder, this site is not my job.  I have a full time job on top of this and am attempting to hold down some sort of life.  So cut me a little slack, hmmmm?

All right, with that bit of whining out of the way, on to the good stuff!  I’m writing this on my first viewing of the episode (as I’m watching), so it’s first impressions only.

We start out with the Doctor and Clara in trouble.

“Why do you have two jackets?  Is one of them faulty?” – The Doctor

Good, a little humor with our danger right off the bat.  Already I’m a happy girl.  So we get to see what Clara has been up to lately, and it looks exhausting!  She’s been balancing her adventures with the Doctor with her relationship with Danny, keeping her time travelling secret… wonder how long that will last now that “John Smith” is working at the school?

The look on Clara’s face when he shows up is priceless.*

ClaraPanic

 “Did you see those eyebrows?” – Danny Pink

So the Doctor is going to try to pass himself off as an actual person in the school.  This should end well…

“River and I, we had this big fight” – The Doctor

I love the nod to the past, without making a big thing about it.  However, it feels like 12 is sometimes making more references to the past than actually living in the present.  Maybe I just notice it more, but it feels that way.

We next see our monster-of-the-week and a death.  Just enough to show us the kids aren’t safe before heading back to the school.  The Doctor can’t keep his nose out of Clara’s class and Clara gets annoyed.  Still no real story development, but it makes for some amusing banter.  The Doctor and Danny finally meet.  It causes much panic for Clara, especially when she sees the Doctor being his usual rude self (continuously calling Danny a PE teacher) but I noticed she didn’t immediately come out and say who he was.

When the Doctor thinks another teacher is Clara’s boyfriend, he follows the couple around like an interested yet amused puppy.  It’s actually quite adorable!

The annoying kid that’s been making fun of Clara all episode has a little run in with the Doctor, but then it’s time to get some answers…

“Why do I keep you around?” – The Doctor “Because the alternative would be developing a conscious of your own” – Clara

When the Doctor pulled out his new toy, I immediately thought of Q (from the James Bond movies).  I feel like he needs his own Q…  Anyway, Clara and the Doctor finally have a conversation about her “boyfriend”.  It’s painfully apparent from the get-go that they aren’t talking about the same person, but I enjoyed watching it play out anyway.  I’m sure it’ll blow up soon.

Danny cancels plans with Clara, and I have a weird feeling we’ll see him in some sort of a non-teachery role later in this episode or soon after (military, companion, something else?).  It was very mysterious, and it made for a very awkward conversation.  Without plans, we see both Danny and Clara at the school.  Danny seems to be investigating some alien tech while Clara searches for the Doctor, who’s already gone on his mission.

Now that Danny has messed with things, the Doctor’s plans aren’t going to work out very well.  We wind up in danger yet again, but it only lasts for seconds.  I feel like the baddie wasn’t there enough for me to care about anyone’s safety or the Doctor’s mission.  I know this is mostly meant to be a character driven episode, but the lack of action to this point has been a little disappointing.  It wouldn’t be bad if I’d felt like we were advancing the overall arc more, but after the last episode I’m finding this lackluster at best.  However, with half the episode left it does have time to redeem itself.

It doesn’t take long for me to get some satisfaction… Danny realizes what’s going on and we finally get to have this out!

“You’ve made a boyfriend error” – The Doctor

Clara finally spills her feelings for Danny, the Doctor has his anger out and poor Danny is just confused.  He finally gets the truth.  He finally gets to see the TARDIS, but it doesn’t get to be wondrous or exciting.  Instead there’s a lot of anger, Clara is uncomfortable and the Doctor is demanding an explanation for her choice in men.  I actually found this part quite well done, and in my opinion the best part of the episode so far.

Clara and Dannie finally have a heart to heart about the whole time travel thing and the Doctor.  She has to express her feelings about him and why she does what she does, even if she doesn’t fully understand it herself.  More importantly, she has to realize that she’s been hiding her real self from Danny and cheating him out of an honest relationship.  He’s obviously hurt, and I can’t say I wouldn’t feel the same in his position.

As a good faith gesture she sneaks Danny into the TARDIS so he can see what really goes on.  Only the Doctor isn’t that stupid and calls her bluff.  Danny reveals himself and there’s a fight.  Now, yes, the Doctor is being a complete jerk.  Danny is just as guilty though, and poor Clara is caught in the middle.  Stuck between your friend and boyfriend.  As someone who’s been there, I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling.

Unfortunately for our teachers, it’s parents night.  It’s also the night when our baddie returns.  Clara will be our decoy while the Doctor gets his contraption working… but what about Danny?  Guess he finally gets to see Clara in action… or he gets to jump in and help.  That man can do a serious flip.  I do have a bit of an issue with nice strong Clara running straight into his arms while the danger is still going on, but I’ll let that slide I guess.

Everyone has reached an understanding, and I’ve got some of that development I wanted.  We see that Danny really cares for Clara, and the Doctor just wants him to be good enough for her… which shows how much he also cares for her.  Really, there’s a lot of love beneath all that anger.

We get another flash of Missy, but this time our dead guy didn’t die for the Doctor so maybe that’s why they weren’t meeting officially.  I felt like this was a wasted scene, as there was no progress at all.

So overall I wasn’t really happy with the episode, but I’m glad the whole secret life thing is out and the meeting between Danny and the Doctor is over.  I really do like Clara better this season, though it feels like they’re setting her up to leave the TARDIS for a life with Danny.  I find Danny to be a bit dull, but if they let Samuel Anderson give the character a bit of life (he was really charming for a split second this week) I think he could be really enjoyable.

What are your opinions?  Feel free to let me know in the comments!

*Yes.  I totally paused the ep to make this!
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