Dark Water Review

For the record, after last week’s episode I made a fan video tracking what we know about Missy so far.  I uploaded it to YouTube, and within seconds it was down for copyright infringement.  There were a couple small clips of episodes but by no means was it whole shows.  In fact, it had less than most other fan videos I’ve seen, and the entire thing was only around 2 minutes in lengeth.  I’m quite disappointed as the entire reason I was signing up for an account was to share fan videos, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to do that now.  So if anyone has an alternate site that you think I’ll have better luck with, please let me know.

Now that my rant is out of the way, here we go.  Another type-as-I-watch review.  I’ve realized that sometimes sections of these don’t make much sense, but bear with me…

We start out with a very cryptic phone call from Clara to Danny.  She tells him she loves him and is greeted with silence.  Someone picks up the phone and it seems Danny has been hit by a car.  Has he met his demise?  They didn’t actually show his face, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s a “kids show” or because it’s not actually him.  But then Clara runs to the scene and I think we’ll see him but they still don’t show him.  They do show a memorial, so it seems it’s true.  My suspicions are that Danny will be in the Nethersphere, and that’s how Missy is going to get her claws into Clara.  After all, Clara must be facing considerable guilt because she didn’t get to come clean to Danny, and we now know that she’s completely in love with him.

While her grandmother tries to make her feel better, Clara seems to have a bit of a mental break.  Not something obvious, but she says she’s “owed” better.  I feel that this is a clue, and it almost feels as if this anger is directed at the Doctor, although I can’t be entirely sure.  When he calls, she acts like everything is fine and doesn’t mention Danny.  Is that because she feels as though he’ll be cold and callous and his normal seemingly uncaring self?

Wow, I write a lot more when nobody else it watching the episode with me and I can pause to type… Sorry guys, this may be a long one…  Seeing as how we’re only to the opening credits.  I’ll try to par it down a bit, but no promises. 🙂

We’re getting flashes to somewhere fiery with Clara and the Doctor, and I suspect we’ll either later this episode or even early next (depending on the timeline), so I won’t harp on it.  Now, though, Clara bounds into the TARDIS and wants to run away from her problems, even though she’s not telling the Doctor that.  She wants to see a volcano, and runs around taking all the TARDIS keys.  Hmmmmm….  She then takes a sleep patch and slaps it on the Doctor’s neck.  I feel like we’ve missed something!  And here’s our flash-forward scene.  The Doctor wakes up at the volcano from the sleeping patch.

Clara tells the Doctor he has to change history.  That he has to go back and save Danny or she’s destroying his TARDIS keys.  He explains that he can’t do it without causing a paradox.  She throws away all his keys but one.  He says no again, and she tosses the last key.  Is it really the last?  Or does she have another one hidden away in her pocket?  It certainly doesn’t seem like it.  But then we find out that the patches aren’t dream patches.  They induce a dream state, and the Doctor slid the patch onto Clara when she thought she was putting it on his neck.  Ahhh, tricky!

In a surprising turn of events, the Doctor says they’re going to hell (or the afterlife, or whatever – I suppose that means the Nethersphere) and they’re going to try to bring Danny back.  He even musters a smile for Clara.  It’s a nice bonding moment.  His personality thus far has been very alien, and he’s showing just a bit of humanity.  He’s showing that he cares enough for Clara to go get her love so she can put her heart back together, no matter what he actually thinks of Danny Pink.  He’s acting like a father, in my opinion.  He does a wonderful job talking her through taking the TARDIS where it needs to be, and off we go!

Flash to Danny, and he’s definitely in the Nethersphere.  Forms?  Really?  Anyway, we finally get a glimpse out the window.  It’s the inside of an actual sphere, which looks like a giant city.  Poor Danny is realizing what’s happening to him, and it’s not pretty.

Back to the TARDIS, we’re apparently hitting a place where Danny and Clara’s timelines intersect.  They’re in a mausoleum, where we see fish tanks full of skeletons.  Moving skeletons, apparently.  We find a little information video, which starts out with a very familiar voice… but then we get to see her.  Well, at least a version of her.  The “official 3W welcome package” is a kiss, which made for an interesting viewing.  Capaldi couldn’t have looked more uncomfortable, and it was fantastic.  We find out that Missy is actually MISI.  It stands for Mobile Intelligent Systems Interface.  She’s self maintaining…

“My heart is maintained by the Doctor” – MISI

“Doctor Who?” – The Doctor

Heehee!  Doctor Chang, which is not the answer I was hoping for.  I guess we’re going to go talk to dead people next.

“Are you okay?” – The Doctor

“No” – Clara

“Good.  There would be something very wrong if you were” – The Doctor

The dialogue through here is fantastic.  And can I just say that this whole thing is very creepy?  I mean, skeletons that move to stare at you, a creepy “MISI” and a disco ball looking thing in the ceiling…  It’s weird, right?  It feels like MISI is actually Missy after all, and she was just looking for an excuse to kiss the Doctor.

Back to it.  Danny is getting more questions from the… well… whatever he is.  We find out a bit more about Mr. Pink, and it appears he may have killed a child.  If that’s the case, it may be that he is a teacher to appease his guilt.

Meanwhile the Doctor and Clara are learning that each skeleton in the tanks are held together by an exoskeleton which can’t be seen in the water.  At this point I’m certain that means they’re cybermen.  I had my suspicions before, but now I’d be shocked if they weren’t.  So the water (the dark water) is actually x-ray water where only organic material can be seen through it.

We bounce back and forth between Danny and the Doctor/Clara to find out what is going on.  Basically your consciousness is in the Nethersphere in a “fake body” while you’re still connected to your old body in the real world.  So you’re cold, and if you get cremated or donate your body to science or something you’ll feel what happens to it.  This is an absolutely brilliant and absolutely terrifying possibility.  Can you imagine if it was true?  Maybe I should rethink my death plans…

Danny is getting a call from Clara before our annoying commercial break.  Wait, if Clara and the Doctor find themselves in this mausoleum and can call Danny, does it mean that he is a cyberman now?  Possibilities…

Okay, back on track.  The Doctor goes to check out the tanks because he doesn’t feel right about them.  When he goes to leave we see the doors close and oh yes, they do look like cyberman eyes.  Ha!  Clara stays behind to talk to Danny so she can be sure it’s him.

The dead are standing and the tanks are “activating”.  Turns out that yup, we were right and MISI is actually Missy after all and she kills off Doctor Chang as the tanks drain.  Sure enough, there’s our cybermen.  Sometimes I hate being right, but love it all at the same time.  Missy has been uploading dying minds into the “Nethersphere”, which is actually a Gallifreyan hard drive, stripping the emotions, and downloading them into “upgraded” Cyberman bodies.  Sounds like the work of an evil genius to me.  Oh look, we’re back on Earth… More of the UK again…

Clara tells Danny that he needs to say something that only she would know, and if he keeps saying that he loves her she’ll hang up on him.  He realizes that she may just kill herself to be with him, so that’s exactly what he says.  He does it for her own good, and this is the first time I’ve felt a really strong connection between the characters.  He’s willing to let her believe it’s not him to keep her safe, even though it’s destroying him.  It doesn’t last for long, because he’s given the chance to choose to delete his emotions.  He’s choosing to be a cyberman, but doesn’t even know it.

Back with Clara… they’ve arrived… and we learn more about Missy.  Mistress for short.  And the big reveal (for those who don’t want to get spoiled but for some reason are still reading):  She’s our old he.  The MASTER is back.  This is something I’ve suspected for a long time, but didn’t really expect to see.  After all, time lords don’t normally change gender without reason.  Maybe they’re laying the groundwork for a female Doctor in the future.

I found this episode went by rather quickly and actually enjoyed the episode more than the last few..  I suspect the second part of this to be more action packed than this one was.  After all, there’s a lot to cover.  I feel like the beginning of the episode didn’t give Clara enough to work with to make us feel devastated by Danny’s death, but their relationship hasn’t really been handled that well so I can certainly let that slide.  This episode was very dark and I found that (minus a few little things) was fantastic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts?  What do you think is coming next week?

Note that I’ll be away, so my review will definitely be late.

Dark Water Trailer