Let's ask Rose. No, because on second thought, like a moron, she's searching "PETER TYLER" on her stupid Cybus-networked phone. Listen to her, that means we stop listening to the Doctor, and surely one of the two of them must be right. This week it's him.
The Doctor and Mickey are very happy about the power cell's surging, staring as the light ebbs and flows. It gets brighter, and then goes darker again. That's how things work. "It's on a recharging cycle," the Doctor explains. "It grows brighter again, and then back to dim and so on. It'll loop round, power back up and be ready to take us home in -- oh, twenty-four hours?" He kisses it. "So that gives us twenty-four hours on a parallel world?" Oh, yes. "As long as we keep our heads down. Easy! No problem." He tosses it in the air and catches it. Easy. "Let's go and tell her."
The boys find Rose, sitting on her bench, and hop around and act like boys. "You all right? No applause, I fixed it!" The Doctor shows off the cell, and Mickey. "Twenty-four hours, then we're flying back to reality." Like "reality" is better. (It's like a gingerbread house, all those temptations calling out: who would you rather be? Rose with a Pete, or Rose with nothing? Which world is better? Lies and Steel or pain and real? How tempting is the Stasis paradigm, really?) Rose barely glances, if at all. An infant crying for the light. The Doctor's smile fades: "What is it?" She explains about her new sense of network: "Cybus Network, it finds your phone. It gave me internet access." The Doctor begs her to think, to avoid the Cathica route, the Adam route, to taste the information before she swallows it: "Rose, whatever it says, this is the wrong world." She shakes her head at him, at a loss. "I don't exist. There's no Rose Tyler. I was never born. There's Pete, my dad, and Jackie -- he still married Mum -- but they never had kids." The Doctor snatches at the phone, three steps ahead of us all: "Give me that phone." But these Tylers are rich. They've got a house, and cars, and everything they want: "But they haven't got me." Rose is close to tears. She's close to damnation and she can't even see it. Whatever "Father's Day" taught us about getting back the things we lost, whatever we learned at Deffry Vale about changing history, this is the final: there are the true things that connect you to the world, and the fake things that keep you from it, and the truth is always worse, because that's how fantasies work. And the sick thing is, Rose knows it, but she can't help herself.