See? Painless. Two kisses. Jack speaks to the strandees on Floor Zero, who are in no mood for a speech and have started to crazily babble with fear. Finally, Jack fires off a couple rounds and they finally get quiet: "One last time. Any more volunteers?" And I mean: these are the people the Doctor and the Daleks created. They like watching each other get blown up on TV and they don't have to stuff to get bugged about it. There aren't any Suki's left. I expected, last week, that Rose would do this, be the agent provocateur, because of her Hero's Quest stuff. That the search for knowledge would lead her to be the Sophia and cause a revolution against God. I was aiming...a bit low, last week. Near Jack stand a few volunteers -- Lynda, the programmers (glad to have you with us, Girl One) -- and the rest are very cagey about all this. Jack's very horror-movie exasperated, but keeps the burn quiet: "There's an army. About to invade this station. I need every last citizen to mount a defense." And who should start up out of nowhere bitching and getting all false prophet but fucking Rodrick: "Don't listen to him! There aren't any Daleks! They disappeared thousands of years ago!" And you know what, it scans emotionally. The dialogue's a bit thick, but it makes sense that Rodrick would have pushed himself this far. I guess I don't hate him anymore -- not that I won't giggle when he dies, but I mean: you wanna admit there are wolves at the door? When you just escaped certain death? Coming from the Fourth Still-Not-Great-But-Pretty-Bountiful? Who would? The PA from Rose's Weakest Link stint steps forward, out of nowhere but her grace. She nods at Jack, who is grateful in the eyes for her. Jack: "Thanks. As for the rest of you...the Daleks will enter the station at Floor 494 and as far as I can tell, they'll head up. Not down. But that's not a promise. So here's a few words of advice: keep quiet. And if you hear fighting up above -- if you hear us dying -- then tell me that the Daleks aren't real." Rings false, doesn't matter, but I mean: they're going to know either way. I say, fuck 'em. Can't expect better, so you shouldn't rub it in. Another Gaffer Davies activist moment, I think, which always hit my personal ears wrong and I know it's just my personal deal. "Don't make a sound," says Jack again, and orders his eight heroes back onto the elevator.
Rose and the Doctor sit alone on the floor, working peacefully together on the Delta futility. "Suppose..." begins Rose, but doesn't finish the thought, because of the information. He pushes her, and finally she admits -- Excellently indeed -- to wondering why he can't just TARDIS back to last week and blow some shit up or something. He keeps working, answering her mildly, because they both already know the answer, pretty much: "Soon as the TARDIS lands in that second, I become part of events. Stuck in the timeline." She's like, "Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought, but the TARDIS being magic and all, I thought maybe you just hadn't thought about it." The whole conversation is such a lovely human moment, like the sixth time you look for your keys in the same place -- thinking that it's worth a shot -- even though you're already a half-hour late for the interview. "There's another thing the TARDIS could do -- it could take us away," says the Doctor, and Rose smiles over at him with that cute, loving, small smile. "We could leave, let history take its course," he says. "We'd go to Marbella in 1989." (That's the year Spain joined NATO, and the Warsaw Pact and Iron Curtain ended, and that's all I got as far as Doctor-adjacent activities. Unless he means the neighborhood in Panama City, with Noriega and all that, but that's a pretty obscure, American reference.) "Yeah, but you'd never do that," she almost whispers. The Doctor finally looks into Rose's eyes: "No, but you could ask." She is silent, and he loves her, and says, "Never even occurred to you, did it?" Rose laughs it off like a shopgirl -- "Well, I'm just too good!" -- but that's not why he loves her, at this moment. Creu Gwir fel gwydr o ffwrnais awen. She's created her truth, in the furnace of inspiration, and doesn't even remember what it was like to be a petty human like that. She'd rather die than leave them behind. In her resolve, horizons sing. He loves her for her insignificance, reaching higher; and the fact that she'd die for a planet populated by veal: how many times has she watched her world die now? The wave of change begins to build.