I can’t believe we’re at the finale already! I’ve been away, and am just getting to watch the episode now. Again, a write-while-viewing…
We left off with “Missy” turning out to be our old friend the Master, and we appear to be at the start of a Cyber-invasion. My personal opinion is that although I love the Cybermen and the Master, I feel both villains need a rest. However, I do understand that with the potential return of Gallifrey it does make sense to bring back some old foes.
This week we jump right in with Clara talking her way out of being killed by a Cyberman by saying she’s the Doctor.
Back to the Doctor and Missy. Missy is playing on the fact that us poor stupid humans will assume the invasion is some sort of publicity stunt… sadly, I really believe this is what would happen in real life, especially if they were to look like something out of TV (like the Cybermen!). Although… don’t people already know what Cybermen look like? In the midst of trying to take a selfie, Missy is interrupted by Osgood! YES! I knew it was coming, but I didn’t expect her to jump in and offer to take a photo for them. Of course we know right away that she’s up to something… after all…:
“Bow ties are cool” – Osgood
Our tourists all pull out guns and now we know where we stand. Seconds later Kate is on the scene taking charge. Some banter, then she puts the Cybermen in their place, although it appears the Doctor has forgotten that he’s on the payroll. It doesn’t last long, since they then “blast off”. Now, I was wondering how they’d find a new way to upgrade the machines, but I feel like we’re starting to border on ridiculous. How far can we go with this? The problem is that they’re appearing so often that it’s becoming impossible to make them more and more dangerous.
Only it’s not just a blast off. The Cybermen are spreading out to every major city, “blowing up” and “pollinating” using the pieces. This doesn’t even make sense to me! There’s no plant or animal life left in them, right? If that’s the case then it’s just not possible… *sigh* Fine, I’ll go with it.
We flash to Danny long enough to find out that the minds are being downloaded into the “upgraded” bodies. AKA the new Cybermen.
For some as yet unknown reason UNIT knocks out both Missy and the Doctor. Just before passing out the Doctor tells Osgood to guard the graveyards. This would make sense, since the dead definitely outnumber the living. We flash to a giant cloud over just such a graveyard, where it begins to rain over the graves. The scene with the lighting reminds me of something I’d see in The Walking Dead, but before the zombies actually start jumping out from behind things. I take that back, because the water spreads to anywhere there are bodies and it even defies the laws of gravity to “upgrade” the dead. Perhaps this is the only way they could show us the Cyber-Danny seeing himself and realizing what he’s become.
Still no sign of Clara, so I’m sure we’ll flash back to her later.
The Doctor wakes up chained with the TARDIS having been moved as well. I’m not entirely sure why they bothered to chain him to release him as soon as he awoke, but at least they addressed the missing companion issue. The plan seems to be to put the Doctor on a plane and make sure he’s hard to find while they carry out a plan. They seem to have put him in charge of a bunch of soldiers, which is right up there with his worst nightmares.
“That’s your answer for everything, isn’t it? Vote for an idiot.” – The Doctor
Yup, they’ve elected him president of the WORLD. Well that’s interesting. He’s got an awesome shocked face going on. Plus it kind of looks like he’s drinking out of the saucer and not the teacup. Anyone care to clarify?
Finally back to Clara, who’s actually doing a good job rattling off facts for the three Cybermen who now decide her fate. A fourth Cyberman joins the party and when he says she really is Clara I’m assuming he’s Danny. Then he starts rattling off facts about her and my resolve strengthens. He knocks her out and now I’m certain, but just for confirmation he blows up the other three. Yup, definitely Danny! Poor guy. So how did he manage to not turn out like the rest of him? Why isn’t he controlled? I’d like to think it’s just because he has wicked resolve, but I suspect that later it’s going to come down to his love for Clara.
Side note: I really should quit making predictions while I watch the episode, because when I’m proven wrong (and it does happen) I look kind of stupid. Especially since I’m sure all of you who have read this far have already watched it.
Missy claims to know where Gallifrey is but won’t tell the Doctor, so he rubs it in that he’s ruling the world now. So is she telling the truth? Maybe, maybe not. I’d definitely believe she would be lying, but as a plot point it makes more sense that she would know. Right now though, Osgood shows she’s a smarty pants again and then points out the Cyber-clouds are expanding. The news shows that Cybermen are rising from graves and the public is advised to stay away from cemeteries.
Of course that’s where Clara wakes up. We have a bit of a suspense building scene with metal hands popping out from graves, although she doesn’t see them. At least not right away. We get a little cut scene where the Doctor explains that Missy is weaponizing the dead, but if you weren’t asleep so far you’ve already figured that out. What you may not have figured out already is that Missy has been collecting minds basically forever, since she can use her TARDIS to jump through time to grab them all.
“Well look at me, I’m bananas.” – Missy
That’s for sure. Missy uses that little gem to slip her handcuffs into Osgood’s pocket. Now here’s what I don’t get. Missy takes her handcuffs off, drops them in Osgood’s pocket and then puts on lipstick and the two armed guards behind her don’t notice? And they don’t do anything when she makes a move for Oswin? Come on now! She then seems to turn Osgood into dust (Really? That can’t be the end of her already) and set the plane all askew… or maybe that was the Cybermen outside? It doesn’t take the Doctor long to figure out Missy is loose and what she’s done to Osgood.
We’re back to Clara. She finds the one Cyberman that brought her there and gives him a piece of her mind. She goes on about being the Doctor’s best friend and how he’s the closest person to her but all she’s doing is pushing Danny away. He can’t shoot her, so he pulls off his mask. Coleman plays this beautifully, with this mix of relief and shock and horror and shame. It’s just well done. He has no blue light in the middle of his chest like the other Cybermen. At the moment he asks her to turn on his inhibitor I realize something I should have realized earlier. He still has emotions because he didn’t take the option to switch them off in the Nethersphere. I really want this to work out and to find a way to bring him back, but at the same time I think it would make a better episode for them to fail him and to not be able to help… Imagine the heartbreak, what it would do to Clara, what it would do to the Doctor to see what it would do to her. How would that affect their relationship? There are so many ways that could go.
Back on the plane Missy confirms my suspicions that she was the girl with his phone number all along. She was the one keeping them together (which we already knew, but this is confirmation) with the computer help line, the ad in the newspaper… We even get a wonderful flash from a Matt Smith episode in there. The whole time the phone is ringing, and who else would be calling? Clara, to ask for the advise of her best friend. Only she doesn’t want advise… she wants permission. She wants him to say it’s okay to destroy Danny’s emotions and turn him into one of them to make the pain stop, even knowing he’ll kill her as soon as she does it. Really though, she wants saving. She wants to destroy Danny’s emotions and then have the Doctor swoop in and save her.
But he has his own problems, like Missy throwing Kate out of a plane. I don’t see why he can’t jump in the TARDIS, grab Clara, grab Kate (and whoever else) then save the day. Maybe I’ve gotten used to expecting too much timey-wimey. While I ponder that, Missy zaps herself out of there. The plane blows up and the Doctor starts falling. He has a very Bond like scene where he chases his TARDIS in midair and jumps inside. Maybe I’ll get the ending I was expecting after all.
When the Doctor arrives, Clara and Danny both seem to be in denial about what he’ll do to her. Capaldi is wonderful here. As he looks over Danny he plays out beautifully human emotions. A nice little speech to convince him to keep his emotions but then we learn that Danny can’t see into the Cybermen hive mind without inhibiting his emotions. So what do you do now? You need to know what will happen but you don’t want to destroy the human being. Clara steps up and again tells the Doctor to do as he’s told. This wouldn’t be believable at all if we hadn’t been building up to it all season.
The Doctor needs to walk away, because this is actually killing him. It’s killing all of them, really. Clara says her goodbyes as she takes the screwdriver and does what she needs to do. Danny also gets his goodbyes in as he “dies” and the Cyberman is born. This scene was very well done. As he’s activating he tells the Doctor that the rain will fall again and kill the rest of humanity.
Missy gets a Mary-Poppins style entrance then demonstrates she has full control over the Cybermen. In the arrival scuffle Clara gets her device. I kept waiting for Missy to make the Cybermen do the Hokey Pokey but no such luck. As Missy was yakking, I noticed that none of the Cybermen in the cemetery had their inhibitors on. Maybe this is just an oversight, but I don’t find that likely seeing as how they made a major plot point out of Danny’s.
Missy wishes the Doctor “Happy Birthday” and appears to give him control of the Cyber-army. She tells him the only way to save the people of Earth is to conquer the universe. She wants him to know they’re not that different. She’s right in a way, they’re not. Missy has always wanted to rule over everything, and the Doctor has always wanted to be in charge even if he didn’t want to admit it. They’ll both go to unbelievably great lengths to get what they want, making huge sacrifices. We get great flashbacks showing that the Doctor may not be the good man he’s always wanted to be and that there is hate in his heart… but that’s true of most humans, even the good ones. But it’s what happens when faced with the tough decisions that really determine what kind of a person you are. In this case the Doctor is reminded that he isn’t a good man. He’s reminded that he’s “an idiot with a box and a screwdriver.”
We’re back to the love that Danny has for Clara. The Doctor gives control of the army to Danny, who he knows will never hurt Clara. To keep her safe, he orders his army to rise into the clouds and burn them. It’s the end of Danny Pink. However, we’ve seen the future. We know that he has decedents. So is time being rewritten here, is Clara pregnant, or will Danny return somehow?
Missy gives up the coordinates for Gallifrey. It seems she just wants her old friend back and doesn’t care if that means she’ll go back as a prisoner. I don’t buy that. Clara wants to kill her but the Doctor says he’ll do it to save her soul. Missy wants to know who will save his soul. He raises to fire and someone beats him to it. It looked like Danny, but this Cyberman was wearing a mask… The Cyberman points and they find Kate, alive, in the grass.
We quickly find out that this one is Kate’s father. His inhibitor isn’t active either, and it seems he saved Kate. He finally gets his salute from the Doctor before blasting off, but they never show what happens to him.
A couple of weeks later Danny visits Clara using the bracelet. We learn it has enough power to bring one person back, but instead of saving himself he sends through the boy he killed. To appease his conscious? I think that although I understand what he was trying to do, this is in many ways the wrong way to go. Assuming his parents are still alive, they’ve long ago accepted the death of their son, and by not saving himself he’s causing Clara pain for the rest of her life. To me that sounds as though it’s not the best option. But alas, it’s about dramatic impact. Danny tasks Clara with finding the boy’s parents.
The Doctor arrives, and assumes that Danny is back. He also assumes Clara is leaving the TARDIS to be with him. She has to tell him the heartbreaking truth, that Danny chose the boy over her. But first he tells her that he found Gallifrey… Only he’s actually lying so she won’t feel bad about leaving him behind. After all, he does love her and wants to spare her some pain. She loves him too, so she also lies. She lets him believe that she and Danny are together and everything is fine.
She even gets a hug goodbye.
“Never trust a hug. It’s just a way to hide your face.” – The Doctor
How true. They say their goodbyes and it made me a little weepy. He dematerializes, and Clara is alone. Really, truly, properly alone. I thought at first she was headed to the carousal to pick up the boy but no.
Then Santa barges into to TARDIS? I’m so confused!
So do I think that’s the end of it? No, I think he’ll be alone for the Christmas special (companionless, as usual) and then I think we’ll see her returning soon. I also think that maybe the Nethersphere (or some version of it) still exists, since Danny and the boy were still in there and one was able to return. But how did his body just materialize?
Overall I enjoyed the episode despite the crazy Cyberman powers. What do you think?