The whole thing's been about telling stories about Doctor Who through the context of the show itself. The Doctor is all Doctors, Rose is all Companions. The Doctor starts out low, post-suicide, and slowly gets his act together, only to flame out at the last second. The Companion starts out a shopgirl and becomes God, and then ramps down again. The Doctor is reborn and depends upon his Companion to a worrisome degree. I like this season better than the first, because it has a stronger through-line: thirteen stories about exactly the same thing -- what's not so great about being a Companion, because to be a Companion is to let a fallible demigod lift you up off the ground and take you away, like the faeries. Forgetting that everything ends and thinking you're part of the story forever. We've had a story about the world ending, so many of those, each time declaring a different piece of the puzzle. We've had a story about the wolf of loneliness, the harbinger of Ragnarok, and we've been through Hell and back, only to find that it looked almost exactly like the real world. We've had a two-parter about Who comes directly after you get through Hell, after your trip through the Bleed. We've plunged from the heights of divinity and grace down through level after level of the mundane, like a goddess descending into the underworld. We've had stories about lost Companions digging in the dirt and building lives out of garbage, and stories about what happens when the Doctor falls in love with somebody else. This episode should be my monkey crack the same way last week's was: a story about everybody who isn't a Companion; a story about everybody who loves the Doctor from the outside, which is us; a story about what happens when you get left behind. I think the reason I hate this so much is that it should be the best one of the lot, but it fails and irritates on such basic levels that it takes half the episode to get over the anger. So there's that. But what we're left with is loneliness and the bliss you find when you force connections anyway. When you remember that loneliness is always a choice, a failure to jump: whether you're a God, or a girl, or a lonely little boy.
Episode Report CardJacob Clifton: B+ | 1390 USERS: C+
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