Doctor Who
Season 3

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 6 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
You Are Not Alone

The continuity announcer introduced the episode with "Next up is Doctor Who, but first: travel news with Sally Calypso." That's a sign that we're dealing with information, with media and received wisdom; that's a sign we're going to be playing the long game again -- that we'll be asked to do some of the work ourselves. References to American Gothic, 2000AD ground the episode in reality, even as the ridiculous premise is taking it apart -- just like our last visit here, when metaphor overtook science. Alice and May Cassini, an elderly Boston marriage on the road, are named after the man who discovered Saturn's rings: Saturn rules the sphere of the Emperor, Trump IV, God the Father, the god of Peter's World, of hard truths and impossible decisions, rules and regulations; who must choose between the open hand and the closed fist, between Chesed and Gevurah, mercy and judgment, Doctor and Master. Between Peter's World and dancing for life, in the Spirit Of The Blitz.

Cat Nurse Nun Novice Hame has apprenticed herself to the Face of Boe, the mother and father of immortality, the opposing Face to Cassandra's stretched and mindless greed. Where Cassandra possesses bodies with her mind, Boe speaks from each to each. He sings, and when he sings, only the TARDIS could match him. His gift is the link, where Cassandra's failure was the inability to connect. So you have Cassandra, who destroys by preserving, and you have Boe, who creates by destroying. One of them is in tune with the universe; one of them isn't. One of them creates horrors out of beauty; the other creates beauty out of the natural cycle of things, horrible and wonderful. It's the same reversion from "The Long Secret" -- which is better, the God who keeps you bound, or the Devil who's in there with you, trying to get out? Calypso means "concealer." Odysseus was trapped in stupid faith. Apocalypse means revelation. The end of the world is also the end of the Long Game, the end of deception, where things appear to be exactly what they are. Heaven on Earth. So which if these two Faces is right this time? Or are we just looking at a very large vase? It depends on your perspective.

This is the song of the Motorway, the first hymn in this chapter. It is smart faith. It is the ability to rise above the trap, to surpass and transcend Sally Calypso: "Then He'll call me some day to my home far away/ Where His glory forever I'll share/ So I'll cherish the old rugged cross/ Till my trophies at last I lay down/ I will cling to the old rugged cross/ And exchange it some day for a crown." It's not the cross, not the song, not the Face of Boe doing the work: it's them, humanity, the Motorway, building love and faith in community, in the absence of a divine answer. That's one kind of smart faith. That's the LINDA kind, which reminds you you're not alone. It's the kind of faith that gives you strength out of nowhere, the kind that even us genius atheists can't really make fun of. These are the two kinds of faith that the endgame comes down to: the last three episodes are nothing but a war between these two very different things, homonymically connected by the accident of identical spelling and connotation.

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Doctor Who

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