Doctor Who
Father's Day

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

I resisted, last week, during the whole Gnostic rant, pointing out that the maintenance and restoration of the divine is another word for what some people might, in the realm of the personal, call "therapy." You take a wish or a lie and break it open; you accept the ugly things about it, and that lets the light out, which brings you closer to God. The reason I resisted saying this, of course, is that you're bound to go to a bullshit New Age therapy place when I say it, and I would ask that you hear me out. I've never been in therapy -- which should be bloody obvious by now -- but I have had some wishes come true. It's never a good thing.

TARDIS. The Doctor and Rose are both settled easily around in the main room, the Doctor leaning back in a chair. Rose asks the Doctor whether they can go back to see Pete when he was alive. "Where's this come from, all of a sudden?" the Doctor asks, which is a valid question, although it technically leaves out the darker parts of the wish. He'll bring it up again before all's said and done. Rose gets petulant; in her voice, a slight tinge of childish anger recalls when she realized what Pete's death meant: "All right, then, if we can't, if it goes against the laws of times or something, then never mind, we'll just leave it." Her little rant says that (1) she still sees the Doctor as an authority, which isn't necessarily how he sees himself; (2) she's admitting that there are limits on the Doctor's so-called freedom to be completely fantastic and wonderland all the time; and (3) she's nineteen years of age. "No, I can do anything," says the Doctor. Just in case she thought there were things he couldn't do. "I'm just more worried about you." Rose protests that she just wants to see Pete. The wish: to find out what she is. To find out how much of Rose comes from Pete. To know herself better. Why else would you have quests? Or wishes? "Your wish is my command," says the Doctor, "But be careful what you wish for."

Credits. Thanks to Paul Cornell for writing an episode which goes everywhere, 90% places that seem clichéd, and giving the unexpected result at every turn. On the script level, this is an amazing episode. I've got this rep for loving the emo in everything and I guess it's true: people are interesting, especially when they're nuts. But this script is good, regardless of how much you've invested in Rose. I think this one (like the next two) could be your first episode, and you'd end up almost as slain as I was. Weirdly, the effect this episode had on me was way more in terms of the relationship between Rose and the Doctor than the actual plot, which I would think would be the tearjerker. But no -- I imagine because not even our Jackie and Mickey, such as they are, really mean much in this episode. It's all about Rose, and the Doctor, and everyone else is like a figure in a dream. Parts of the story, Rose lays out for herself. I don't think the quest is a metaphor for therapy; therapy is a metaphor for the quest. And everybody knows you start in on the parents right away.

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