It's Saturday night, so once again the TARDIS is veering off course. This time, the Doctor, Rory and Amy wind up in a labyrinthine hotel and immediately notice things are all kinds of wrong. The other "guests" in the hotel include a young Muslim woman, a geeky blogger and a fellow from the most-conquered planet in the universe. Not one of them knows how they got there, but they quickly figure out that the rooms in the hotel are tailored to their fears. Once they meet their fears, they naturally start freaking out. But then they also start experiencing a religious rapture and spouting off devotional praise like they're channeling John Donne. Once they're "ripe," as one beatific victim puts it, they're devoured by some mysterious monster.
At first the Doctor thinks that the monster is feeding on fear, so he keeps telling everyone to have faith in his ability to save them. Then it turns out that the monster is actually feeding on faith, so doom ensues. (You know the young Muslim woman is marked for death as soon as the Doctor sees her as Companion material.) Amy is left vulnerable to the monster because of her faith in the Doctor, so he sits her down and points out how dangerous and crazy he really is. Somehow, this wakes her up better than the two years she's spent being nearly killed every week. The monster is some kind of minotaur-like creature who's been feeding against his will. He wants it to end. So when the Doctor breaks Amy's unwavering faith, it starves the minotaur and sets him free. The hotel dissolves around them, revealing its true identity as a sort of spaceship prison/holodeck.
The Doctor takes Amy and Rory back home to Earth. Better to part ways now than at their funerals. It's all on pretty good terms, though, and no one hates anyone or is mentally devastated for life. Plus, the Doctor gives Rory a pretty new car! That's almost as good as a TARDIS, right? Stay tuned for the weecap!
Tinny muzak plays over a hotel's speaker system. The dining room and lobby are empty. A young woman -- an English police officer, by her attire -- wanders down a corridor. We see a monstrous, slowly blinking eye as she opens the door to room 214. A sad clown sits on the bed, holding a single red balloon. I almost checked out of the episode right there, but the young woman continues her exploration. In voice-over, she tells us she's Lucy Hayward. "I'm the last one left," she says. "You don't know what's going to be in your room until you see it, then you realize it could never have been anything else." She opens two more doors, and then goes back to 214 for some reason. The clown is gone, thank goodness. A gorilla trundles out of the bathroom carrying a roll of toilet paper. Lucy screams. First, it was those crapping Charmin bears and now gorillas are in on the action! She sees a flash of the inside of a book and a sketch of a gorilla. She slumps down in the hallway, takes out her notepad and jots down her final words. "The gaps between my worship are getting shorter," she writes. At first as she scribbles, she's terrified and then becomes blissfully happy. "Praise him," she writes as a burbling, snorting monster appears in the shadows. Instead of running, she drops her notes and smiles at her impending doom.
After the opening credits, the Doctor and Companions are standing in the hotel's winding stairwell. Amy thought they were going to a planet full of 600-foot-tall people, so she's a little confused that they're in this dinky motel. Why do any of these people continue to be surprised that they rarely end up where they're supposed to? Just last week they ended up on a quarantined planet and Rory was all "I don't want to travel with you anymore!" but here he is now, gawping at the stairwell with his wife. The Doctor, on the other hand, is nearly breathless with excitement. Although the place looks like a mundane Earth hotel, it's just been made to look that way. The Doctor has a mental orgasm imagining the craftsmanship involved. He grabs an apple from a bowl and chomps into it without spitting it out.
They spy a wall of framed photos. They look like school pictures, with everyone wearing a crisp white shirt and stripey tie. Each subject has a short caption under his or her name. A Sontaran's caption is "defeat." One of those cat nurses: "Saberwolves." The recently departed Lucy's caption is "that brutal gorilla." It's all very puzzling, so the Doctor dings a bell at the reception desk. At once, three people charge into the room. A woman in scrubs wields a chair leg like a weapon. A man with a rodent's face immediately offers to surrender. A young man named Howie clutches a lamp. Rita, the woman in scrubs, quickly discerns that the newcomers are just as frightened and confused as they are. The Doctor is impressed with her. "Amy, with regret, you're fired." He's sort of kidding. The rodent-man is from Tivoli, the most invaded planet in the universe. This will become a running joke. It soon comes out that the hotel shifts and changes, rooms disappear and reappear somewhere else and there's no way out. "Did you try the front door?" Rory asks. "No," says the clever Rita, "two days here and it never occurred to us to try the front door. Thank God you're here." Amy laughs. Rory scowls.