Face The Raven – New Who Season 9 Episode 10 Review

My “free time” will be coming to an end sooner than I’d like, so I’m trying to get as many of these done as I can.  So here we go, and remember: Spoilers sweetie.

We start with the Doctor and Clara running back into the TARDIS after what sounds like quite an adventure when the phone rings.  Yes, *that* phone.  She answers and it’s Rigsy.  He has a number tattoo on the back of his neck and it’s counting down.  Well we can’t just ignore something that strange now can we?  When we arrive we see that he has a child.  His wife had told him that he left the previous day before dawn and came back after midnight, but he remembers nothing and apparently skipped work.  His phone got a crack during that day, but there’s nothing on the phone to indicate that day existed at all.

After some scans, the Doctor tells Rigsy he’s had significant contact with aliens in the last day… and that he’s been retconned (TORCHWOOD!!!!  I just did a little happy dance).  He then tells him he’s going to die.  Rigsy says he has to fix it because saving people is what he does, and the Doctor says he will but I don’t feel like his heart is really in it.

They start looking for a street that’s gone “missing” because the Doctor believes this is how they’ll find out what happened to Rigsy.  This does involve a bit of a cool scene with Clara hanging out of the TARDIS wearing the sonic glasses while they fly over London, but it really is just filler.  They find three potential areas that could contain the street so they split up.  Never a good idea but they do converge on the area.  Clara runs back to the TARDIS for some things but winds up just grabbing Rigsy’s phone, on which the data was recovered.  When he touches it he starts remembering things.  Aliens, a body, and then they find the street they’re looking for.

The floor locks them in place, and some aliens in disguise (human holograms basically) come out and ask them why they need asylum.  They say this is a refugee camp… and then we see Ashildr.  She seems to be a running theme this season.  So why do I feel like she’ll be the one to end Clara’s time with the Doctor?  Maybe I’m wrong, but back to topic.  We find out that Ashildr is responsible for the tattoo on Rigsy, that he committed some sort of crime.  She said she sentenced him to death, wiped his memory and sent him home to say goodbye to his family even though he didn’t remember any of it… She also plans to wipe the memories of the Doctor and Clara.  One of the others calls Rigsy a murderer, so we must be to believe that he killed the woman we saw on the ground earlier.

The street lamps are actually causing a telepathic field which makes us see everything the way we want.  When Ashildr pinches the Doctor he sees an Ood working on a Cyberman instead of a person wrapping another person’s head.  We’re taken to a room where we see a body in what looks like a cage.  Apparently she was found at the entrance to the street, with Rigsy standing over her.  That assume he caused the head wound which killed her, but Clara disagrees.

On the street, a man begs Ashildr for his life.  He was sentenced to death after stealing medicine for his wife.  She shows no mercy, and a raven comes out of its cage and kills him painfully.  Ashildr says that if they can convince the crowd that Rigsy didn’t kill the woman she’ll spare him.  Clara finds out that Rigsy has two options.  He can get her to remove the tattoo, or he can give it to someone else if he can get them to take it willingly.  Clara’s plan is to get Rigsy to give her the death sentence.  Since Ashildr promised the Doctor she wouldn’t be harmed when they arrived, she figures she won’t have to face the raven at all.  After some convincing he agrees, and the tattoo moves to her.

Meanwhile the Doctor is questioning people on the street.  One of them says that when they found Rigsy with the woman he asked them to call him a doctor.  In other words, he wanted to call *the* Doctor.  Only they didn’t know that… But Ashildr did.  Now the Doctor knows that Ashildr knew that Rigsy knew him and she lied about it.  Follow that?  Good.

The dead woman could see people’s pasts and so could the women of her whole species.  The woman had a son so that wouldn’t help.  Only Clara knew better.  The son is actually a daughter dressed as a boy, and she can see that Rigsy didn’t do anything wrong.  She can’t see what Ashildr is doing because it involves the Doctor, but she does know that she’s afraid of something.

Ashildr had told the Doctor that the dead woman was being kept there until someone could take her home to be buried.  Their species actually burn the dead, so another lie.  At the body, the Doctor discovers that she’s actually being held in a status chamber, meaning she’s actually alive.  The machine is set up so the Doctor has to use the TARDIS key to unlock it.  When he does, it puts a metal band on his arm.  Ashildr arrives in time to say it’s a teleport bracelet and he’ll be given time to say goodbye.  She has made a deal with someone.  In exchange for delivering the Doctor her street will be kept safe.  She also takes his confession dial, but she doesn’t seem to know what it is or how it works.

Ashildr moves to take the tattoo from Rigsy but it then comes out that Clara has it.  When Clara took the lock from Rigsy it changed the way this all works.  She can’t give it back and Ashildr can’t remove the lock, at least that’s what Ashildr says.  The Doctor tells Clara he can’t fix it but then tells Ashildr that she will or he’ll destroy everything she has and put her in her own personal hell for all of eternity.  But Clara steps in and then things are just sad for a moment.  She says her goodbyes and tells the Doctor to go on and be a good person about it and not to take revence.  I don’t expect her to die now, but I’ll admit I got a bit teary.

She walks into the street, the raven enters her, and that’s the end of Clara Oswald.

The Doctor threatens Ashildr and then he’s teleported away… and the episode will be continued…

Wow, okay, I didn’t expect that at all.  I expected them to find a way to save Clara before the raven got her and I expected some quick resolution to the while lets-kidnap-the-Doctor thing.  However, I didn’t realize it was a two part episode.  I suspect that’s not quite the end of Clara, but maybe I’m wrong.  I guess we’ll see soon enough.