Rose holds Mickey's hands on the park bench, as Mickey's explaining that he's not so very slow as to think that she'll leave the Doctor -- and that he knows damn well it would be a shitty, unfair request: "But I just need something, yeah? Some sort of promise that when you do come back, you're coming back for me." That's valid. I'm proud of this moment. There's a low rumble in the distance, and Rose perks up: "Is that thunder?" Mickey, still under the impression that he signifies: "Does it matter?" "No" and "More than you," respectively.
What were the movies about the gay dudes on the mountain? The Lord Of The Rings? My favorite book has always been The Two Towers, and here's why: It's Sam's prerogative to hate Gollum; he's there to protect Frodo, and that's like his entire function. Gollum's the Slitheen: he's there to show Frodo what happens if you're not careful, and what his future looks like, and why that's scary. But hating Gollum is not Frodo's responsibility: loving him is. And no matter how many times Frodo tries to explain this, people look at him like he's crazy, but that's Gollum to Frodo: how easy he could have been like that. How Gollum's a sign of the potential inside Frodo, growing stronger every day. And the quickest way to hurry that transition up is to ignore the truth of that fact -- pushing Gollum off a mountainside like Sam wants to do is just another way of praying for a blank slate, and Frodo's too strong for that, and that's why I love The Two Towers. Gollum stays Gollum; he's not redeemed -- the snake is still a snake no matter whose pocket it's in -- but that isn't the point. The point is that Frodo knows better, and couldn't tell you why, because he's the special one that can do the job, because he's visited by grace. (Albeit a certain kind of grace than ends with him committing elfin suicide.)
But thank God Gollum stays Gollum and Margaret stays Margaret. Thank God for Mickey, that Rose stays Rose and keeps breaking his heart. The more I learn about this show, the more I get why the Daleks were such a big deal -- they never stopped. They were destruction. If grace is a wave that never breaks, if the search for God is the kind of search that doesn't ever end, then the Daleks were the opposite of that: an unending wave of destruction and...mm, not-grace. Anti-grace. All the stuff in "Dalek" that I felt hammered by is true here, but told slant, and I like it more in this scenario, but I've been reading the history and I know now why it had to be the Dalek. And why there have to be two stories like this: because one of them took place before the Blitz, and one of them afterwards, and you can see without binoculars how much the Doctor's changed. How much closer he is to loving Gollum. It's weird to miss them, but I kind of do -- another Dalek here, as much as I love Margaret, would have blown your ass off. It's why Willow's hair turns white -- okay, you in the back, I'll stop with the Buffy -- because good is always on the other side of massively destructive and selfish fuck-uppery, or else it's too easy. Truth is the glass that we make in the furnace of inspiration, and if you're talking about inner truth, the truth about you, then the inspiration is always the worst thing that you ever avoided admitting about yourself. Avoiding that thing, whatever it is, is such a large piece of lie that you can hide any amount of smaller lies behind it. Blon's best case scenario? Hide behind the Doctor's lie. Trick him out of loving you and into hating himself, and you can get anything you want. Grace doesn't save you, it just gets you ready to save yourself. Like the Doctor pushing Rose toward Pete on the ground, lending her strength: he can dance again, but that's not the end of it. It's the beginning of it. And now he's ready for the furnace.