Doctor Who
A Town Called Mercy

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: B | 4 USERS: B
How the West Was Won

He lets Jex cross back into town, but the Gunslinger has arrived. Jex recognizes him through all the implants. "Kahler-Tek, isn't it? I remember everyone's names, even now." He promises he'll never hurt anyone else, but the Gunslinger has run out of patience. Isaac jumps in the way, taking the shot that was meant for Jex. The Doctor kneels down beside him. "Protect Jex," Isaac says. "Protect my town. You're both good men... you just forget it sometimes." He passes his badge on to the Doctor and dies. Nooo! Ben Browder, don't go! The Doctor instructs the townspeople to take Jex back to the jail and turns to the Gunslinger. "This has gone on long enough." The Gunslinger seems sad, although it's kind of hard to tell when half his face is a video camera. Nonetheless, he gives the town until noon the next day to hand over Jex. "Or I'll kill you all."

Night. Some people want to hand Jex over to the Gunslinger. Others want to protect their friend. They show up outside the jail to confront the Doctor. He all but wags his finger at those in the "hand him over" camp, even though he could have been their leader not long ago. An 18-year-old kid threatens to shoot him. The Doctor talks him out of it: "Don't you see? Violence doesn't end violence -- it extends it." It's more that the Doctor doesn't want the town to turn into a bunch of killers than he's really protecting Jex, although he's doing that too, because of his promise to Isaac. Eventually, the crowd disperses.

The Doctor returns to the jail, where Jex is locked up in one of the cells. He suggests the Doctor let him go, turn a blind eye. "You'd be a hero," he says. The Doctor dismisses the idea. "I can't do that, because then Isaac's death would mean nothing. Just another casualty in your endless, bloody war." They argue back and forth about how it's kind of a pain when people aren't entirely good or entirely bad. It makes decisions so much trickier. The Doctor figures Jex has chosen this town as his own punishment for what he's done. "But justice doesn't work like that!" the Doctor rails. "You don't get to decide when and how your debt is paid!" Jex calmly explains the religious beliefs of his culture. When you die, you have to climb a mountain while carrying all the souls of all the people you've wronged. "Imagine the weight I will have to lift," he says. "The monsters I created. The people they killed. Isaac... can you see now why I fear death?" The Doctor looks thoughtful.

The next day at noon, the Gunslinger crosses the border and heads into the town. He faces down the Doctor like they're going to have a shootout, but the Doctor reaches for his sonic screwdriver instead of his gun. There's a piercing buzz and all the glass windows in town shatter. The Gunslinger roars in pain and starts shooting at random buildings. The crazy-ass plan is for a bunch of guys to run around with Jex's tattoo painted on their faces to distract the Gunslinger. Why did anyone think this was a good plan? The Gunslinger promised to kill everyone in town! They should probably work on the assumption that his "I don't kill innocents" directive is off the table. He blasts his way into the church, where a handful of the town's citizens are hiding out. The preacher hugs a frightened little girl. The Gunslinger looks at her and leaves.

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Doctor Who




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