The Zygon Inversion – New Who Season 9 Episode 8 Review

Not sure why I even need to say this, but spoilers, lots of them, stupid amounts of details.  Here we go again.

This episode starts with Clara having some sort of dream in the Zygon pod where she can see Bonnie shooting at the Doctor’s plane.  She tries to throw off the aim but the plane is hit and blows up.

Next we see Bonnie touch a man in the temple and his arm starts to look like a Zygon’s.  Then he completely turns, asks people for help and runs.  Meanwhile, Bonnie records it all.  She then calls someone, said she changed the first one and is going to UNIT to retrieve the Osgood Box.

Clara replays the explosion and sees there were survivors.  Flash to Osgood and the Doctor.  Pointless scene to show they’re alive.  However, Clara has learned she has a little control over Bonnie’s body, enough to send the Doctor a quick text to say she’s awake in there.  And there are little things, like Bonnie walking by a mirror and Clara being reflected back.  She’s trying to take over.  But meanwhile Bonnie is looking for the Osgood Box.

The Doctor calls Bonnie and asks some questions of Clara, which she blinked the answers to.  This prompts Bonnie to visit Clara to try and probe her mind about the Osgood Box.  It really just gives Clara a chance to poke around some.  Clara is able to make Bonnie lose her shape.  Apparently because they are linked, they can’t lie to each other due to increases in things like pulse.  Bonnie thinks this will get her the information she wants.  So she starts asking questions about the location, and Clara tells her.  She also tells her how to access it and that the box contains a button that will unmask all Zygons for up to an hour.  That would cause mass panic and a war… Exactly what Bonnie wants.

The Doctor and Osgood find the Zygon that was forced to changed.  He’s terrified, doesn’t want a fight and just wants to live in peace.  Then he kills himself.  Moments later, “Kate” appears with a couple of Zygons wrapped up as UNIT.  The Doctor plays along.

Bonnie takes Clara’s pod with her to the Black Archives to grab the Osgood Box.  When she arrives, she finds 2 boxes, a blue one and a red one.  On a phone call to the Doctor, he says that one box normalizes all the Zygons while the other destroys them.  Bonnie opens Clara’s pod and removes her to use as a hostage.  So the Doctor says it’s the blue box that normalizes.  But there’s 2 buttons inside.  One says “Truth”, the other “Consequences”.  So she opens the red box and sees the same setup.  Bonnie demands they bring the Doctor to her.  When the Zygons advance, Kate shoots them both.  Turns out, Kate is actually Kate.  She’d shot the imposter in New Mexico to escape.

Now for the chat.  The Doctor reveals that the red box contains the nerve gas, which will turn the Zygons inside out.  The blue one will turn them to their true form.  Two boxes, one to protect each side.  Two Osgoods, to police and protect the ceasefire.  Kate had agreed to that and to having her memory wiped of the knowledge of it, so that’s what the Doctor had done.

For now, the Doctors group joins Clara and Bonnie’s group.  Kate stands at the red box, Bonnie the blue.  The Doctor tells Kate that one of her buttons releases the nerve gas while the other detonates the nuclear warhead under the black archives.  If you didn’t care about survival you could just push them at the same time, right?  He tells Bonnie that one of her buttons will unmask the Zygons while the other will “lock” them in the form they’re in, making it so they’re in human form forever.

On a side note, I’m really loving that shade of Bonnie’s lipstick 🙂

So the Doctor finally asks Bonnie what she actually wants, and the answer is war.  So there’s a lot of talking, about how war is bad basically, but we get some insight that the Doctor has done some very terrible things (for those who didn’t know) and that it haunts him.  Kate closes her box, while Bonnie realizes that both boxes are empty with a couple buttons that don’t do anything.  They say they can’t just forget the boxes are empty, but the Doctor informs them that they’ve said that the last 15 times… and then he wipes their memories.  Well, everyone’s but Bonnie’s.  She has to live with it so she doesn’t repeat her mistake.

We do a little wrap up and then the Doctor asks Osgood if she’d like to go in the TARDIS.  She turns him down and a second Osgood shows up.  Two were needed.  It seems like we kept the human one all along, assuming there’s still one human and one Zygon.  The second is Bonnie, now filling the empty space.  All is safe again.

It seems our Doctor is too attached to Clara.  I suspect the worst…

The Zygon Invasion – New Who Season 9 Episode 7 Review

Spoiler alert, starting NOW!

The 50th anniversary was supposed to be a stand alone episode.  Or so we thought.  Right away we see flashbacks about what happened with the Zygons.  We knew they’d have to address this eventually, and here it is.  Not when I was expecting it, just like Moffat wanted.

Osgood and her Zygon twin made a video to neatly explain current events for us.  It’s been decided that 20 million Zygons will take human form, live on Earth among the humans in peace and the treaty will be maintained.  In case anything happens to either or both Osgoods, this tape has been made to explain things.  There’s a box the Doctor(s) left behind in case things go south, but we aren’t told what’s in it.  At the beginning of the season when Missy killed Osgood, I kind of wondered if it was Osgood or a Zygon, but it wasn’t addressed.  Now we see an Osgood standing in front of her “sister’s” grave.  But which Osgood is still alive?  The one standing there is *not* wearing a scarf, so I wonder if we lost the human one?

We next see an Osgood running/hiding from a Zygon.  She attempts to text the Doctor but the Zygon catches/kills her.  Flash to the Doctor and he’s playing his guitar again (Amazing Grace) when the text “Nightmare Scenario” arrives.  He heads over to check things out.  By check things out, I mean he chases down a couple Zygons posing as 7 year olds and tells them he’s taking over.

We next see Kate Stewart making plans.  If you look carefully, there’s Easter eggs lurking in this scene, like a picture of the first Doctor on the wall.  It appears Osgood hasn’t been killed, just captured.  Unfortunately her data containing the location of every Zygon has also been compromised.  Kate tells the Doctor all of this, and he finishes up just in time to see the two girls snatched by some other Zygons.  It appears they’re collecting all of their “kind” for some reason.

The Doctor meets up with Kate (UNIT in general) and Clara’s still not answering her phone.  Wait, maybe Clara is a Zygon… We flash to Clara just in time to see her realize she has 127 missed calls from the Doctor.  She gets side tracked in her building with a little boy (who I think just got taken by Zygons) before returning his call and meeting up with him.  Once they head over to the Zygon command center to investigate we have time to find out that after the truce they never learned which Osgood was the human and which was the Zygon.  Turns out, they were both a bit of both.  When one died, the other went mad with grief and went into hiding… Could she be behind this?

The Zygons have been sending UNIT a series of videos, like with Osgood reading a threat.  Now there’s a new one with the two little girls (who are actually the Zygon high command) being vaporized.  The radicals have taken over.  Despite Kate’s first instinct to start a war, the Doctor sends her to New Mexico to investigate, Clara is going to stay to be a base of operations, and he wants to take the presidential plane to go negotiate peace.  Doubt that’ll work out.  Kate said that they had nerve gas that worked on just the Zygons but the Doctor had taken it.  If I remember correctly, that was actually during an “old Who” episode.

Clara wants to swing by home to grab some things with Kate;’s assistant (Jac).  The first thing I thought of was her neighbors and the potential Zygons.  Sure enough, within seconds we see the neighbors hauling a child-sized sack into the elevator.  They run to chase the elevator but it’s empty.  So they get in, discover a Zygon control panel behind the floor selector and end up in some underground base… of course the neighbors are just ahead.  Smartly they run away.

At the Doctor’s location he tries to stop UNIT from blowing up the town in New Mexico.  The agent that was supposed to be carrying out the order only stopped because she saw a man and child that looked like her family.  So would she be killing Zygons, or is it her family that are the Zygons?

In New Mexico, Kate meets the local law enforcement.  Meanwhile, Clara and Jac discover that elevators are going underground with bundles all over the UK.  Bouncing back to Kate (all this bouncing around is making my head spin) it appears a bunch of Brits appeared there a couple years prior then started taking Zygon form and came after the locals.  But Osgood was there just before everything went down.

The Doctor and UNIT head to a Zygon occupied village to try and collect Osgood.  The UNIT soldiers get tricked into believing the Zygon imposters are family members, follow them into a building and end up as piles of electrified remains.  The commander and the Doctor are all that’s left.  The commander leaves the building where the remains are, and the Doctor finds Osgood chained in the cellar.  Time to go…

The officer with Kate shows her a dumpster full of remains, left behind from the Zygons.  Close by, there are 4 more of them.  So a whole town basically.  The Doctor also has a chat with Osgood and we learn that Zygons no longer need to keep humans alive to keep their faces.  Now they can wear a memory, providing they don’t need any further information from the original.  So we still don’t know for sure which she is.

Clara’s group heads back underground and discovers a bunch of Zygon pods.  Clara leads a UNIT group in to neutralize them when she discovers *herself*.  YES! Jac is even smarter than she looks and quickly realizes it’s a trap.  But too late!  They’re all killed…

Flashback to Clara in the neighbor’s apartment, and she was actually captured and replaced by “Bonnie”.  Flash to the Doctor talking to a Zygon prisoner and they say they’ve already taken over… Flash to Kate and she finds out that her new friend is also a Zygon.  Not a surprise – why would a town full of Zygons leave one human?

Back to the Doctor and Clara (back and forth) and Clara (Bonnie) sends a missile at the Doctor’s plane…  Nice way to end an episode!

The Woman Who Lived – New Who Season 9 Episode 6 Review

Spoilers…

We open on what looks like a stagecoach robbery and flash over to the Doctor stepping out of the TARDIS tracking something.  This is the second part of the previous episode, so I’m expecting to see out “little girl” appear again.  Think she’ll be all grown up or still a child?

As usual, the Doctor mucks things up and accidentally lands in the middle of the robbery.  Whatever he was tracking was on the stagecoach, and he let it get away while arguing with the robber.  I noticed he said something about Clara being on holiday, so perhaps she’s not in this episode, which seems strange.  Anywho, the robber is our little Ashildr, and yes, she’s still a little girl.  Turns out she’s learned how to use a man’s voice when she wants, which is creepy…

She seemed disappointed that the Doctor didn’t come for her.  Maybe we’re setting up for our next companion?  Probably just for this episode… So we find out that Ashildr is 800 years old, and simply robs people for the excitement.  She has all kinds of money and a house with a servant.  Seems she’s bored, and a companion’s life *is* full of adventure.

And quite quickly, she actually asks to go.  Says she’s seen and done it all on Earth and can’t even remember most of it.  After all, she has a human brain and has lived much longer than a human ever should.  She’s pompous and arrogant but still sad.  She also knows way more about the Doctor than she should, and come comments lead me to believe she’d be willing to steal the TARDIS if given the opportunity.

She says she’ll help him find what he’s looking for and they’ll leave in an hour.  The Doctor reads her diaries to discover that she was once a wife, a mother.  She lost her love and her children and vowed to be alone to never suffer the pain again.  To avoid the heartbreak she hardened herself, much like many of us do.  Only things aren’t exactly as they seems.  Ashildr goes and visits her creature outside and eludes to some sort of plan.

Our duo goes to break into a house to find some artifact they’re both looking for, and we see the return of the sonic sunglasses.  Damn.  I was really hoping they were gone.  We also find she’s not used the second immortality charge.  Very quickly they find “The Eyes Of Hades”, which is a pretty ominous name.

They sneak out, only to get held up at gunpoint, then get out of that.  The Doctor discovers Ashildr’s “friend” Leandro.  Leandro was stuck on Earth and needs the amulet to escape.  They need to kill someone to make it work and Clayton the servant is the planned sacrifice.  The Doctor intervenes and gets himself captured while Ashildr decides to get her sacrifice at an execution instead.  Maybe there’s a bit of good left in her.

The Doctor talks (bribes) his way out of captivity and arrives just in time to start helping the condemned man entertain the crowd, then step in with his psychic paper and claim it’s a pardon.  It worked until Ashildr uses the amulet on him… so much for the good in her.  But the portal opens and it’s not an escape but an invasion.  Ashildr realizes she’s not as hard as she thought she was.

It’s hurtful, isn’t it?  It’s infuriating.  You think you don’t care, then you fall off the wagon.” – The Doctor

The only way to stop this, to close the portal, is to reverse the death of the man causing it.  Sam Swift, our condemned man… And we have an immortality charge which hasn’t been used.  Bingo.  So is he immortal now?  Is he not?  Who knows…

The Doctor chats with Ashildr and explains that he can’t take her because they need normal people around them to keep them grounded.  We even got a nod back to Captain Jack in the conversation.  They’re friends, and she plans to clean up the mess he keeps leaving behind.  I think it’s possible that this won’t be the last time we see her.

Sure enough, in the very next scene Clara comes to see the Doctor with a selfie from one of her students.  There, in the background, Ashildr.

This episode to me was mostly a reminder of who the Doctor is.  Who he turns people into, what he causes, and how people around him die.  There seemed to be a lot of foreshadowing to later episodes where we will perhaps see the demise of Clara and another appearance of Ashildr.  This entire episode basically felt like “something’s coming”.

The Girl Who Died – New Who Season 9 Episode 5 Review

I know, I’m so far behind it’s pathetic.  Life’s getting in the way again.  As usual, spoilers are expected here.  Time to watch an episode that *seems* to promise a dead girl…

We open with Clara floating through space with some sort of creature trying to kill her and the Doctor bouncing in and saving the day, all within the first minute.  Do we have an action packed episode in store, or are we foreshadowing to the death of Clara…?

Within the next couple minutes they’re captured by vikings and the sonic sunglasses are destroyed.  I’m *not* sorry to see those things go.  They were like the ones the theater gives you for a 3D movie.

Within seconds of showing the viking village I spot Maisie Williams (Arya Stark, for Game of Throne fans) and I have high hopes for the episode!  The Doctor seems to recognize her, so I suspect we’ll see a bit of her this episode.

The Doctor tries to pass himself off as their God Odin but the “real” Odin appears.  It appears to be some sort of invasion as the troop steals the strongest, including Clara and Arya-I-mean-Ashildr.  They’re put in a room where they’re zapped (and killed) if they leave, then the back wall starts pushing them out.  Typical brains-over-brawn kind of scene.  Next thing you know, the ladies are outside the enclosure and the men are nowhere to be seen.

Clara tries to bluff her captors into thinking that she’s a lot tougher than she is, with a lot more resources and a lot more backup.  It’s getting kind of old now, as we’ve seen this more that once previously.  It seems that Odin has been crushing up warriors to get their testosterone to drink it.  Mmmmm…

The universe is full of testosterone.  Trust me, it’s unbearable. – Clara

After a failed attempt at reasoning, Odin agrees to a war and sends the girls back down.  Not, however, before showing his true face to them (but not us).  So which baddie are we in for?  A known one or a new one?

Upon their return, Clara manages a hug out of the Doctor, and it was his idea.  I’m convinced something tragic is going to happen to her soon (this season?).  Once the villagers are filled in, the Doctor suggests running and they (the farmers who are left) want to stay and fight.  Because that seems like a good plan… So he gives up on them and Clara, as usual, manipulates him into staying to help.

That basically means a crash course in fighting, which doesn’t go so well.  It’s good for comic relief, if nothing else.  But eventually we need to get on with things and Clara gives the Doctor a pep talk to push him into figuring out what needs to be done.  As it turns out he just needed to talk to the baby to come up with a brilliant plan.

The village spends the night constructing their elaborate scheme.  Basically they steal a helmet, alter it and Ashildr puts it on and uses it to make a puppet appear to be a monster.  Oooo scared, running, threats from Odin, teleporting away and that’s that.

Only it wasn’t.  Because the little girl died.  The Doctor is quite upset, more so than normal.  But that leads him to the reason why he has the face he does (as well as some nice flashbacks).  It’s to remind himself that he saves people.  I love that we finally acknowledge that we’ve seen his face before.

With a field med kit he brings the girl back to life (feels like cheating to me).  He gave a second one to her to use on whomever she wants… I think he just created an immortal.  If the kit never stops repairing her, she can never die, right?  Would she age?  Clara seems oblivious.

Sure enough, in the next scene that’s exactly what the Doctor explains.  He gave her a second kit in case she meets someone she can’t live without.  Very unsubtley (is that even a word?), the Doctor suggests that Clara is his someone that *he* can’t live without.

To be continued… I didn’t expect it to keep going…

This one wasn’t too bad but they seem to be dropping a lot of hints about the potential demise of Clara.  What did you think?