Hell Bent – New Who Season 9 Episode 12 Review

Season finale here we go!!  Spoilers as always.

We open up to the Doctor getting out of a truck in Nevada with a bag and a guitar.  Not how we left off, but I like the visual.  He enters a diner and there’s Clara working as a waitress.  Haven’t we seen this diner before?  I’ll come back to that later.  They chat while he plays, he says the song’s name is “Clara” and she says “tell me about her”.  Clara doesn’t know who Clara is?

After the credits we’re back to Gallifrey.  The Doctor marches through the desert while the Sisterhood of Karn join the High Council.  Well, he’s actually going to the barn that we saw in The Day of the Doctor, where he had the Moment.  An old woman comes in and looks very happy to see him.  His mother?  Next thing we know he’s at a small table eating with a massive group gathered around him.  He looks kind of happy until a ship comes down and points a giant gun at everyone.  The Doctor gets up, draws a line in the sand, then goes back to his meal.

First the head of the military arrives at his door.  He shuts it on him.  Next the high council. The same.  Next, the president.  When the president offers his hand, the Doctor drops the confession dial containing his torture chamber at his feet and tells him to leave the planet.  The president tells soldiers to aim at the Doctor and fire on his command, but because the Doctor is a war hero, the soldiers won’t do it right away.  We see them aim and fire and then we switch back to the diner.

So if you haven’t been following, this is the part where I tell you that the diner isn’t really a diner.  It’s more the in-your-own-head kind, where the Doctor is going to tell Clara how clever he is.  Right?

Okay, so all of the soldiers intentionally miss.  Then, a few at a time, they drop their weapons and join the Doctor.  Reinforcements arrive to aid the Doctor, and even the head of the military joins him.  The president is told to get off the planet, and later the head of the military points out that he may have nowhere to go because they’re at the far end of everything.  The Doctor says he doesn’t care, and he plans to send the high council off as well.

The Doctor has a chat with the military head and sisters.  Basically what we already knew about the Hybrid according to their prophecies.  He promises to save them but needs an extraction chamber to talk to an old friend.

Flash back to Clara’s death and time freezes just before the raven enters her.  She goes into the extraction chamber and it’s explained to her that she’s basically in a form of stasis and once they’re done with her she’ll be returned to the moment she was in previously and will die as she was supposed to.  The Doctor grabs a gun with the intent of saving her, but Clara tries to talk him out of it.  They say if they save her time will fracture. He asks the head of security how many regenerations he has left before shooting him, grabbing a human compatible neural block and taking Clara away.

The head of security regenerates into a woman, and the sisters come in.  They say he’s going to the Cloisters, and they were right.

Back at the diner, the Doctor is telling his waitress this story, though made less spacey and more Earthy.  She tells her that he had to wipe Clara’s memories of him to protect her.  So it looks like the diner isn’t in his mind after all.

With the Cloisters we see various creatures that tried to break in and were trapped, including a Dalek, several Weeping Angels and a Cyberman.  They find the hatch out but are trying to work out the key to open it.  While they chat, Clara realizes it’s been an extremely long time for the Doctor since he’s seen her.  You can see that makes her sad.  When this is all said and done they’ll most likely need to say goodbye again, and I’m not sure I can handle that twice in one day.  She asks lots of questions about what happened, and he downplayed it as he told the story.  While this was happening the military and sisters were arriving.  So Clara asked *them* how long he was trapped inside the confession dial.  The answer was 4.5 billion years… they *think*.  Clara was devastated.  She told the Doctor that her time was up and they needed to tell each other everything they needed to say because this was it.  I can’t handle this… Seriously.

She then goes back to the Time Lords and tells them they’re monsters.  She’s right though.  She gave them a short speech about how terrible they are and when they asked what she said to him she replied that she told him not to worry and that they’d all be looking at her.  Of course when they looked over he was gone.  They asked what he’d do and she told them he was stealing a TARDIS and running away, at about the time one materialized around her.

The Doctor said she should be “alive again” once they broke free of Gallifrey but she didn’t get a pulse back.  The tattoo is also still on her neck.  They head to the end of time and she still has no pulse.  There’s a knock at the door and the Doctor says it’s me.  He goes outside and there’s Ashildr.

“Do you know why we run, Doctor?  Because summer can’t last forever.” – Ashildr

Hmmmm, sounds very Game-of-Thrones-y to me.  In their quick little chat, Ashildr basically says that Clara died for who she was and they don’t have the right to change that.  Then inside the TARDIS Clara uses the sonic sunglasses to turn on the viewscreen, just in time for a conversation about the Hybrid.  The Doctor suggests it’s Ashildr and she suggests it’s him.  In reality, Ashildr thinks it’s actually a combination of two people – the Doctor and Clara.  She points out that Missy introduced the two of them.  The Doctor then tells Ashildr that he knows he went too far and he plans to save Clara by putting her on Earth somewhere in the middle of nowhere and wiping her memory of him.  He plans to tell her first, or so he says.

They both come inside the TARDIS and Clara says she was watching.  When the Doctor explains his intentions she says that she used the sonic sunglasses on the neural block and she’s keeping her memories.  The Doctor tells her she’s right.  But he’s gone too far to protect her so one of them has to go.  He says he doesn’t know what the block will do, but I think he does.  They push the button together.  The Doctor starts to pass out, then says goodbye to Clara and out he goes.  Damn it I’m crying again.

The Doctor wakes up in the desert with a man standing over him.  The man says Clara asked him to look out for him and that he might be a little upset.  At the diner, the Doctor explains that he knows there was a girl whose name was Clara, he knows they traveled together by the holes in his memory, knows the adventures, but can’t remember *her*.  Only her name.  I’m sad all over again…

He starts spinning in his chair saying he thinks they were there together once.  Just enough time for Clara to wipe the tears from her eyes and for me to start all out bawling.  He then remembers that it was Amy and Rory he was in the diner with.  Clara dropped a hint about maybe the memory of what she said to him in the Cloisters becoming a song… maybe the one he was playing.  She walks into the back room of the diner, which is now the inside of the TARDIS with Ashildr inside.  The diner disappears from around him as the TARDIS takes off and he’s left in the desert again.  And he’s standing in front of his own TARDIS.  The front of it has been decorated as a memorial to Clara… including her image.

In the other TARDIS Ashildr thinks the chameleon circuit is broken so the exterior will be stuck as a diner.  Must be a common problem with those things.  Clara still has no pulse, so she knows she has to die.  To do that she has to go back to Gallifrey so they can put her back in her time stream.  But she can take the long way round, so it looks like she’ll travel with Ashildr for a bit.  That means we could potentially see them again or even (I hope not) have a spinoff, although *someone* would need to get killed off of Game of Thrones first.

The Doctor steps inside his TARDIS while we listen to what I like to call “The Clara Music”.  I suppose we won’t be hearing that anymore, which makes me sad.  Everything lights up, and on Clara’s chalkboard we see “Run you clever boy… and be a Doctor”.  His velvet jacket is hanging there as well so he puts it on.  We also get a brand spanking new sonic screwdriver and the doors close with a snap of the fingers.  Then he goes off to his next adventure, which will be the Christmas special.

I really didn’t think I was this attached to Clara, but I guess I was.  That or I’m a stupid emotional woman, maybe both.  I have a ton of theories and things going on in my brain right now but because there could be about a million different things …

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”.