Jackie is filling her kettle at the kitchen sink when she hears the TARDIS VWORPing into her living room; Rose opens the door and tackles her: "You're alive. Oh, Mum." Jackie is happy, if confused, to see her daughter: "Well, I was the last time I looked..." Rose won't let go, can't speak, can't answer as Jackie asks her what's wrong. "That was...far away," the Doctor explains, and Jackie asks where Mickey is. The Doctor's eyes are sad, but proud. "Where's Mickey?" Jackie repeats. He's gone home, the Doctor says. Having burned off the last of what wasn't working. Jackie holds her daughter.
Once there was a boy named Mickey Smith, who became a man, and then a hero. On the other side of Hell, he saw himself perfected, and he saw that twin go down in blue fire. He touched his face, and his reflection, and the knowledge burned. It felt like dying. Change is death; and then you come back as somebody else. Somebody better. Unprogrammed. He became a hero in fits and starts, but that was the moment he couldn't look back, because it burned off what didn't work. He wasn't a hero because he was ordinary -- I realize that's a very British concept, the working-class hero, but it's tripe; there is no such thing as an ordinary person. Mickey Smith walked with a god, and the experience warped his life out of joint, and burned off what didn't work. Heroism is gerundial, easy as pie: always becoming a hero and never arriving at complacency. Heroism, humanity, manhood: they are dynamic, not static. You get better, you keep moving, you die and die again. You keep changing, and every time, it feels like dying. This is the story of how Mickey died, and came home. Mickey and Jake sit in the Preachers' van, breathing. "I know it's not easy, with my face looking exactly like Rickey," says Mickey. "But I'm a different man. I'm not replacing him, but we can remember him by fighting in his name." Jake nods. Mickey pushes his luck a little bit: "With all those Cyber factories out there, do you think there'll be one in Paris?" Jake nods. "Then, let's go and liberate Paris," says Mickey. Jake's skeptical; he doesn't understand that this pain, and this knowledge -- the knowledge of the hero -- are the Doctor's only gift: "What, you and me? In a van?" Mickey tells Jake there's nothing wrong with a van: "I once saved the universe with a big yellow truck." It's not a joke; it was the first half of the equation we're solving now. Jake smiles, finally. He and Mickey drive away. In the sky, there is a half moon. A shooting star flashes across the sky. Everything starts over.