"As it was written in the Secret Books of Saxon, these are the Potions of Life..." They combine their magic potions and the ring, everything, while Lucy screams in horror. Finally, they wipe her mouth: Like Donna and her coffee every morning, she became his vessel without ever knowing it. "You were Saxon's wife. You bore his imprint. That's all we needed, the final biometrical signature..." It's a kiss, on a napkin; they drop it into the mortar and the spell begins: Lightning, and a mad vortex above their heads. The ring, the potions, and the kiss. Everything reversed. The women of the cult begin to drop like flies, their souls taken up into the oncoming storm like so many archangel voices. They call on him, by his true name, and he appears, naked and beautiful, whirling above them.
"Never. Never. Never. Never. Never dying. Never dying! Never dying! Never dying! Never dying!"
The TARDIS goes mad on her way to stop him, shooting sparks and dropping wires. The Master laughs, and holds out his arms to his wife. "Did the widow's kiss bring me back to life?" He watches the cult fall, dying one by one, and laughs down at poor Lucy: "They're just the first. The whole stupid stinking human disgrace can fall into the pit." The drums return, louder than ever before, as he clutches at his head. "Oh, I have missed them!" he laughs. Like Donna was, once: Lonely and in love with what makes him lonely, offering only clemency without redemption. Lucy stands up, suddenly, smiling.
"But no one knew you better than I did. I knew you'd come back. And all this time, your disciples have prepared -- but so have we!" One of her guards hands her a tiny vial. "The Secret Books of Saxon spoke of the Potions of Life. And I was never that bright, but my family had contacts, people who were clever enough to calculate the opposite." As he screams, she uncorks the little bottle, and hurls the mess into the cauldron. "Till death do us part, Harry!" Begging for obedience, he explodes in the light.
By the time the Doctor arrives at the prison, it's empty and burnt out, like a field of war.
Next morning, Joshua Naismith stares at the fires on his computer, summoning someone he calls "darling" to his side and showing her the wreckage. In one split-second of the footage, a man runs wild, darting across the screen like a feral thing. "That would be such a Christmas present!" his partner gasps, just as did Wilf when he saw the blue box. "You just leave it to Daddy," Naismith laughs, and calls out to their staff. In the great room, a giant alien gate begins to spark. "Christmas is cancelled. Prepare the Gate!" Two scientists work, sneaking looks at each other. Once we said that to refer to the Companions as children -- as the Master called his monsters children, as Davros called the Daleks and Companions both -- was a perversion. I don't think it's a mistake that Joshua Naismith's relationship to Abigail is confusing at first. The greatest perversion on this show, in the last five years, has been to seek the end of time. Lazarus, Doctor Yana, Cassandra: All of them wanted to end time, to reach immortality. We'll never really get to know the Naismiths, but their broad strokes fill in the thematic links: They're worse than even Torchwood One. They fight the future.