The Sycorax ask for the leader of this world, and without thinking, Harriet Jones steps forward: "I'm proud to represent this planet." Hero. Caliban, son and scion of the Sycorax, speaks through Alex, right-hand man and their voice. It's about words. The living blue fire bathes them: Harriet Jones, Major Blake, Llewellyn, and Alex. Llewellyn wonders what is happening, and the PM, matter-of-factly, delighting as ever in Llewellyn's trepidation, in knowing more, in her title, says: "I would imagine it's called a teleport." They appear in the Sycorax ship suddenly, a whole parliament of them staring down like the Senate in Star Wars, niches in the wall a thousand miles high. (Well, not a parliament, that's owls. What's ravens? An Unkindness. An Unkindness of Sycorax, staring down.) Caliban steps forward, and they step toward him. He reaches up to his head, and Llewellyn realizes that it's just a helmet: "They might be like us!" Under his helmet, Caliban's head is ten times creepier, like exposed muscle and bone, and blood. "...Or not." For some reason I even like the silly jokes in this episode. Caliban growls and howls and talks dirty.
Rose and Mickey carry the Doctor out the front door; Jackie follows up with shopping bags, struggling. Rose finally yells at her to drop the food and help them with the Doctor. She's being a total asshole. Jackie's like, "Um, a second ago you said get food? And also if you talk to your mother like that again you're gonna wish you were A+?" And Rose is like, "I am the boss of the universe!" But it's really just something she picked up from the Doctor, isn't it, this acting like a prick when you don't know what to do. It's cute, looking at it that way, but I just don't like to see Jackie looking stupid. I like her too much.
Alex: "You will surrender, or I will release the final curse. And your people will jump." Llewellyn pushes his way to the front of the humans and asks to speak. Major Blake tries to hold him back, because he's a civilian -- politics of location; even if they're all going to die, Major Blake is responsible for Llewellyn -- but Llewellyn is sick and tired of the alien bullshit: "No! I sent out the probe, I started it. I made contact with these people. This whole thing's my responsibility." He pulls free of Blake and steps forward to address Caliban, who slowly approaches down a stair. "With respect, sir, the human race is taking its first step towards the stars, but we are like children compared to you. Children who need help. Children who need compassion. I beg of you now: show that compassion." To put it lightly, Caliban does not do so. He lashes little Llewellyn with a bright and electrified whip, which encircles his neck and causes him to scream and turn into a skeleton on fire. Major Blake is so totally appalled: "That man was your prisoner! Even your species must have articles of war!" Whipperoony. Blake's skeleton, also on fire, drops to the floor. Alex is about to step forward, but Harriet stops him, fully flashing her ID. "Harriet Jones, Prime Minister." Even Caliban is like, "Lady, we know." "Surrender or they will die," says Caliban, taking up position next to A Great Big Threatening Button Which Must Not Be Pressed Under Any Circumstances. Harriet asks what could make surrender more attractive or better at all, and he holds his hand over the Button. "Half is sold into slavery," says Alex, "or one-third dies. Your choice." Harriet closes her eyes, thinks about safety, about the wide world of alien mystery, about areas of responsibility. Caliban hisses at her.