It seems like just yesterday we were first introduced to Capaldi’s Doctor and his attack eyebrows, but just like that, season 8 is over. If you haven’t checked out my post about Part I of the season finale, be sure to do that. Also, for those not caught up on Doctor Who: spoiler alert.
We ended last week with Danny trapped in the Nethersphere, about to delete himself, Missy revealing her identity as The Master, and Cybermen invading the universe, reanimating (or upgrading, I guess) dead bodies via a giant cloud raining cyberman pollen on everything.
So, you know, typical day for the Doctor.
Before we get started, can we just talk about how much I love Missy?
I adore her. I loved John Simm’s version of the Master, but Michelle Gomez’s version just has something special. I’m not sure what it is, but she’s absolutely brilliant. She was a hoot to watch in this episode, even when she was being evilly evil.
That is, however, the only real happy bit I can glean from this episode. The rest was completely tragic. Starting off with Mr. Danny Pink. Our horrors were confirmed when we started off the episode seeing Danny in a full-on Cyberman suit.
It’s totally cool. It wasn’t like I was kind of a giant fan of Danny’s. It’s not like I wanted Danny and Clara to go on and have beautiful, time-traveling babies together. It isn’t like Moffat totally got my hopes up for these guys being the best thing to happen to the TARDIS since the Ponds. It’s cool. No harm done.
Really though, Danny’s part of the story was tragic. We saw him contemplating “deleting” his emotions at the end of last episode, and he never got the chance as people were moved out of the Nethersphere rather quickly. Because of this, Danny had a full range of emotions and feelings while being forced to be a Cyberman, and it (plus listening to Clara say things like “The Doctor is the only man I’d never lie to”) was crushing his soul.
He asks Clara to help him “delete” himself to help him end his suffering, but she needs the Doctor’s help to do it. Initially, the Doctor refuses, telling Danny that he would become a dangerous Cyberman, and try to kill Clara. Then the Doctor realizes that Danny’s connection to the Cyberman hive mind is the Doctor’s only way to figure out how to stop the Cybermen from raining their Cyberman pollen down on the city, upgrading the dead. Ultimately, the choice is made, and Clara agrees to “delete” Danny and “activate” Cyber Danny. A quick wave of the Doctor’s sonic, and Danny is instantly transformed, but…not entirely. Because love.
While Clara and Danny are engaged in the World’s Most Tragic Hug, the Doctor is busy confronting Missy–who, if you were curious, was brought back when the Doctor saved Gallifrey. Missy tells the Doctor she is handing over the army of Cyberman to the Doctor to rule the universe with, and finally, finally, the Doctor has his humble pie moment. I’ve been talking all season about how the Doctor needed to be knocked down a few pegs, and how he was obviously feeling a bit untouchable after Trenzalore. The episode started with UNIT naming the Doctor President of the World, which freaks the Doctor out a bit, but after Missy presents him with his army of Cybermen, the Doctor finally sees himself clearly. He sees the “officer” tendencies in him that Danny noticed. He sees the qualities that made him UNIT’s sole candidate for world leader. He sees the choices he has been making, the things he has been doing, he remembers Clara not being able to tell the Doctor if he was a good man or not, and finally, something clicks. He realizes who he truly is. He is not a good man, but he isn’t a bad man. He isn’t an officer or a world leader either. No, the Doctor is an idiot with a box and a screwdriver. Finally, he remembers.
Danny is able to call upon the other Cybermen to fly into the Cybercloud and detonate themselves in it, destroying the cloud and saving earth, but ultimately destroying themselves–also destroying me and my soul, as I was desperately clinging to some sort of crazy hope that Danny could still be saved. Nope. Instead, Danny goes out in a literal blaze of glory, bidding Clara farewell with the most tragically sweet goodbye ever.
Of course, after this is finished, Missy is still around. Clara threatens to kill Missy to avenge Danny, but of course the Doctor doesn’t let her. Missy lets him know that she found Gallifrey, telling the Doctor the coordinates of the planet. Just as the Doctor is about to kill Missy, she is presumably shot by another Cyberman (who turns out to be Kate Lethbridge-Stewart’s father). I saw presumably because 1. The color of the ray that zaps Missy is the same color as her teleporter and 2. The last time we saw the Master, he was shot to death and still managed to come back to life. I have a hard time believing Missy would go out so quickly and easily. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until at least next season to see if I’m right. Dead or transported, it seems as though the danger has passed.
Long after the ordeal is over, Clara is awoken from sleep by Danny whispering her name. When he flew into the cloud, he had a transporter on his wrist that would allow him to return to earth and the land of the living, safe and sound, and allows Danny to communicate with Clara. Of course, there is only enough juice for one person to return, and because Danny Pink is Danny Pink, he decides not to send himself back, instead sending the boy he killed when he was a soldier.
Thanks for that, Moffat.
A few weeks after Danny decides to not return to earth, the Doctor and Clara meet for coffee, and just as Clara is about to tell the Doctor what happened with Danny, he blurts out…
…which is, of course, a big fat lie. Missy’s coordinates proved to be a giant fake. In fact, the Doctor discovering Missy had once again screwed with him drove him into a bit of a rage. However, he knew about Danny’s transporter, and assumed that after Danny’s return, Clara was planning to stop traveling with the Doctor to be with Danny–because a couple wouldn’t want to travel with him, I guess?
Anyway, this is of course not true, and Clara is fully destroyed that Danny is not only dead, but that he had the chance to return and instead sent back someone else. But if we’ve seen anything this season, it is that Clara makes a really great Doctor, and what is rule one about the Doctor?
Yep. Santa showed up to say what we were all thinking–not the what do you want for Christmas bit, of course–how the heck could you end the season like that?!? Clara’s departure from the show was made public over the summer, so I wasn’t totally surprised that she was leaving. Still, their ending was a brutal one. I’m hoping we can get a bit of a better farewell over the Christmas special, of course, that may be the end of Clara’s journey with the Doctor. After all, the Doctor has lost companions in a similar fashion before. Rose’s farewell was also tragic and sort of abrupt, and the Doctor’s mourning was also interrupted by a random TARDIS intruder in a memorable outfit.
So it’s possible we won’t get any more closure on Clara’s exit. Of course, she isn’t in an alternate universe like Rose, so it will be quite a bit easier for the Doctor and Clara to get back together again. Besides, the Doctor does like to see former companions when he can.
I would be remiss if I ended this post without mentioning the two other deaths (both killed by Missy) in the episode that really tore me up. The death of the Nethersphere AI, Seb, who went out fangirling:
…and my favorite asthmatic, Whovian scientist, Osgood. Of course, she went out moments after the Doctor all but promised to take her on the TARDIS, and I had all by set my hopes on her becoming the Doctor’s next companion. Oh, Osgood, we hardly knew ye.
Season 8 is officially in the bag. Capaldi has finished his first run as Doctor. Though I don’t think we’ll see the end to the grumpy, snarky Doctor, I am hoping we’re finally done with the version of the Doctor who thinks he is better, wiser, and worth more than everyone else. Here’s to getting back to the idiot with a box and a screwdriver in season 9. Twelve is a very different Doctor from Smith, Tennant, and Eccleston, but after a season getting to know him, I have to say I am officially a fan. What did you think of this season and the season finale? What do you think of the Twelfth Doctor? Do you think Missy is really dead? Let me know in the comments!