"The Doctor needs help," Jackson Lake says, and we'll hear it a dozen more times before the Doctor does: "I learnt that much about him, there should be someone at his side." She gives in, but he's talking about her: she's the Companion. She's more capable and readier for battle, and so she goes. Without a second thought, without a word.
It's children, being marched. When Rosita arrives asking what's up, the Doctor doesn't blink. "That's Mr. Cole, he's master of the Hazel Street Workhouse. Maybe he's taking them to prayers?" Nothing so holy. The Doctor speaks directly to the old man, irritating, but to no avail. "Mr. Cole, you seem to have something in your ear," he says, reaching for his screwdriver, but soon enough sees the Cybershade guarding against just this kind of tomfoolery. All five of the Creepy Old White Guys Of The Apocalypse lead their herds of children toward the Cyber Court, and ordering them to march. And the children do, crying and afraid -- but no more so than with regard to any other incomprehensible demand these men have made on them, okay, in their short lives, so probably less afraid than your very fortunate children would be in this circumstance -- with Cybershades nipping at their heels, in the middle of the night, in the snow.
JL weeps in his fake house, in his fake life, and I guess this is how long it takes to pull it together, because he eventually remembers something and goes tearing through the house for something and it's all very exciting and meaningful for some reason, and just the fact of him going "Where is it? Where is it?" means we've reached the part of most episodes, but especially Christmas episodes, where I remember how much I dislike this show. Which I thought we already did with the rope thing, but no. So there's much Doctor/Rosita talk about getting into the factory, gotta get into this sluice or whatever, but they get interrupted by two Cybermen -- "That's cheating, sneaking up! Did you have your legs on silent?" the Doctor adorably shrieks -- followed by Mercy, who appears just in the nick as usual.
The Doctor tries to tell her to be chill and not touch the Cybermen, and she laughs at him because she is the boss of them she thinks, and there are puns ("My knights in shining armor, quite literally," she has the audacity to say) and whatever, she's got free will, and she's like, "DUDE. I'm not a ROBOT. I keep telling you!" Actually, what she says is sort of cool, to the effect that nobody ever changed her mind about anything, and she's not about to start with stupid-looking robots.