Flatline Review (Spoilers)

I feel like it’s a running theme now that we start the episode with a death or an attack or something.  Maybe it’s not so much with the episodes… I’ve been listening to the 8th Doctor Big Finish audio books lately, and I think that everything’s starting to blend together.  It also just occurred to me that I haven’t been sharing those here like I was planning to.  Well… That’s for another day I suppose.

In the meantime, it seems as though Clara is still lying to Danny about travelling with the Doctor, and to the Doctor about Danny being okay with it.  It seems that Clara has asked the Doctor to return her to the exact time and place she left.  Only this time something is wrong.  The TARDIS door is smaller than it should be.  Upon exiting, we find that the entire TARDIS is now child-sized.  I definitely see marketing of this come Christmas.

“Could you just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something?  I mean, they happen so rarely.” – The Doctor

No ego there…

Clara goes to explore while the Doctor works on things from the mini-TARDIS.  This never ends well.  So Clara discovers people are missing and when she returns to the TARDIS she finds it’s now the size of one of those cookie jars you can buy.  When 12 looks out the doors it’s fantastic!  And the hand sticking out?  I seriously lost it.

Clara gets a bit power crazy and starts referring to herself as the Doctor.  This may get confusing.  Doctor-Oswald doesn’t have quite the ring to it as Doctor-Donna, but I guess it is what it is.  The scene with Rigsy is great comic relief, with Clara poking fun at the Doctor and him just being grumpy but not able to do anything about it.  Clara looks like she’s having some serious fun wielding the sonic screwdriver.  Although I’m enjoying it, I also feel as if we’re putting too much importance on Clara.  Not just in this episode, but overall.  At the same time, I think if we hadn’t had that sort of background, this episode would feel forced, like it was out of character.

Anyhow, we go looking at the residence of the last man who disappeared.  Poor Rigsy is introduced to the tiny TARDIS and the Doctor, and we get the expected “it’s bigger on the inside” before having to run.  Next we look at another place and decide to start knocking down walls.  That lasts until the accompanying officer is sucked into the carpet.  The Doctor realizes she’s been turned into a mural on the wall and the unidentified threat starts coming after Clara and Rigsy.  Danny decides to call about then and Clara does a miserable job of lying to him.  Hopefully this means that it won’t be long before her double life is again exposed.  If so, it could mean the end of her travels with the Doctor or the end of her relationship with Danny.  Either way, it will definitely be interesting to watch.  The Doctor now knows that she’s been lying to him, and he doesn’t seem very happy about it.  It seems that he’s more upset about the act of lying than who she was lying to.

There isn’t much time to dwell on this because the Doctor realizes the missing people are actually murals on the walls… Very dangerous murals.  Clara tries to get everyone away, but the leader of the work group sees a blank page on the psychic paper.  That made me instantly suspicious of him.  Is he an alien?  We have no time to think about it because the murals start chasing them and everyone needs to run.

Clara finds herself the leader of our little group.  Although that seems like a good thing, it’s a role filled with difficult decisions.  She has to choose what to say and do to keep the group alive, which isn’t always the clearest choice or the most honest one.  It’s the Doctor’s world, and she’s squarely in the middle of it.  I like the idea that we’re finally seeing her put in a truly difficult place, one that’s not Clara-like at all, one where she can’t just yell at the Doctor to save them all.  Even though he’s kind of there to help.

Another person has been picked off and the group runs into the tunnels.  The next person is grabbed by a large 3D hand… They’re evolving.  As the images of the dead rise from the ground I’m reminded of a bad zombie movie.  Clara restores a door handle with a de-flattening device, which the Doctor gets to work just in time.  I feel like this is the beginning of our resolution to the episode, but maybe it’s just a convenient toy.

“We’re in the bad news!  I’m living the bad news!” – Clara, while running

Sometimes I love Clara.

So the leader of the work group grabs the TARDIS from Clara’s bad and it gets knocked over the edge of… well, whatever it is they’re running over.  I knew that guy was bad news.  The TARDIS lands on the train tracks with a train coming, and it feels like one of those old-timey movies with the girl roped to the tracks.  Clara has an Aadams family idea (I love that reference) and the Doctor tries to get the TARDIS out of the way in time.  There’s a bit of tension and we move back to the group without seeing what happened… at least for a moment.

Clara stops a train using the sonic (I have a problem with the overuse of the sonic in this episode) and sets it up to ram our fake zombies.  Of course it does no good, but this allows her to find the TARDIS in lock down mode.  He kept saying no power, and personally I feel like a set of jumper cables would fix that.

Clara is on her own now and she seems to have come up with an idea involving paint and Rigsy.  It appears that we’re tricking the Flatliners into pouring energy into the TARDIS.  The Doctor, of course, isn’t aware of this and is recording his final message to Clara.  I feel like he could have done better, but it was the best we could expect from this incarnation I believe.  However, once we get him back we’re treated to a nice little “this place is protected” speech, which we haven’t seen much of from this Doctor.  As an added treat we find out Clara heard his goodbye.

Everyone gets dropped off and Clara ignores a call from Danny… Does this means she’s choosing the Doctor over him?  Maybe I’m reading too much into this.  We’re also treated to another few seconds of Missy.  She’s “chosen” Clara?  What?  Something is definitely weird here, and I’m sure we’ll see more of it soon.

I definitely enjoyed the episode, and the “monsters” were a refreshing change.  What did you think?  Comments are welcome!

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