Nancy hears the all-clear and takes off. A little boy in a gas mask jumps out in front of Nancy, causing her to scream and fall back, until he takes it off. Nancy yells, "I thought you were Jamie!" The kid stares, and she leaves through the back, with the boy following her and calling for his father. It's the unpleasant Mr. Lloyd, in point of fact, shouting, who grabs Nancy, as his wife shouts at them all to get inside.
Rose and Captain Jack are now separated from the Doctor, somehow, and he pops around a corner asking Jack for his blaster. "The night your space-junk landed, someone was hurt," the Doctor explains, pointing at the door of Room 802. "This was where they were taken." Captain Jack points his blaster at the door and cuts a perfectly square hole around the lock. "Sonic blaster, fifty-first century -- weapon Factories of Villengard?" the Doctor asks, and Captain Jack asks him whether he's been. "Once," the Doctor says, distractedly, and checks out the blaster. "Well, they're gone now -- destroyed," Captain Jack says. "The main reactor went critical. Vaporized the lot." The Doctor hands the blaster back with a smile: "Like I said: once. There's a banana grove there now. I like bananas. Bananas are good." Rose, desperate to get in there, admires the square hole. "Nice blast pattern," she says, and Jack "explains" that the gun is digital. "Squareness gun," she murmurs. "I like it." He giggles. He's back in. Loneliness again. These two are a tough fucking crowd to crack, but at least they recognize an ended world when they see it.
The Doctor switches a light on in Room 802: broken window, stuff all over the floor, all very Hulk Smash. Captain Jack offers the theory that "something got out...something powerful. Angry." The Doctor faux-thinks aloud: "Powerful and angry." OMG, just say it. Captain Jack enters a smaller room off to the side, which is covered in a child's crude drawings of a woman; there's a tiny bed in the corner, some scattered toys on the floor. "How could a child do this?" asks Rose, because she doesn't know about the Danny Torrance shit Jamie was pulling on Nancy a second ago. The Doctor hits "play" on a tape of Dr. Constantine's sessions with Jamie, where Dr. Constantine is interviewing the child: "Do you know where you are? Are you aware of what's around you? Can you...see?" The whole time, the child asks again and again about the whole "mummy" thing, but "What do you want?" provokes a new answer: "I want my mummy." The Empty Child wants. It's a running theme, this confusion of what you are with what you do: most of the time it's zombies, motivated by their last desire, or by the desires of something higher, or used as masks for other desires. One in ten bad guys isn't doing it for the money. But in this context, in the context of the show, I don't think it's the usual form/function binary. I know I've been hitting the Aurelius and Augustine ("The Angelic Doctor"!) a bit hard the last few weeks, but try this. I rediscovered it while I was writing something about Battlestar, in Epictetus ("The Acquired"): "First, decide who you would be. Then, do what you must do." And given that so much of what goes on in these stories is the direct result of people doing shit they shouldn't be doing, I wonder if the point isn't closer to this: that being a zombie is the default setting, and that you have to choose to be more. If you met the Doctor, you'd want to give him a hug. Possibly a kiss with tongue. But if you read his résumé? Madman. Warrior. Killer of peoples, of worlds, of heroes, and soldiers. A living genocide. Nine is about the choice: whom would you be? Then, what must you do? The Doctor distrusts Jack, but he loves Nancy for the same reason. Her heroism and apparent selflessness in the end of the world. How could he do less?