The Doctor comes leaping from the door just as the whole house goes up. Rose looks at him, scared and a little angry that Gwyneth isn't with him. "She didn't make it," she murmurs questioningly. "I'm sorry," says the Doctor. "She closed the Rift." Dickens hums, "At such a cost. The poor child." Rose continues to look at the Doctor, not taking her eyes off him. "I did try, Rose," he begins apologetically, "but Gwyneth was already dead. She had been for at least five minutes....I think she was dead from the minute she stood in that arch." Rose is weirded out by that: "She helped us -- she saved us. How could she have done that?" Instead of somebody pointing out that it's just like the Sexton and his funeral, or Grandma and the Dickens performance, or Redpath and his...choking British pop stars, I guess, and that Gwyneth's last thought was to help set the Gelth aright, Dickens dickenses it up: "There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Cheesy!) "...Even for you, Doctor." (Cheesier!) Rose: "She saved the world. A servant girl. No one will ever know." The three of them stare up at the house, thinking about -- she would assume -- how this means that Rose is terribly important and just now realizing how simultaneously important and not-important she, and we, actually are. Well, the Doctor is actually doing that. Dickens is probably thinking about getting a drink. Rose is probably by this point thinking about how she'd like some chips. The Doctor watches Rose's face, lit by fire and hugeness and death and context and sorrow, for a moment. He looks up with them, witnesses to Gwyneth's kindness, her duty, her sacrifice. At least they'll know.
The Doctor, Rose, and Dickens arrive back at the TARDIS, which of course Dickens doesn't get, so the Doctor keeps referring to it as his "shed," and Rose asks what Dickens will be doing now. "I shall take the mail coach back to London," he says, and then the groaning in my house gets so loud I don't even know what this episode is about: "Quite literally post-haste." He vows to make amends with his family and spend Christmas with them. (Cheesiest!) "After all I've learned tonight, there can be nothing more vital." (Cheesiest times two! I hope he quotes Tiny Tim in the next five minutes!) The Doctor wonders that he's cheered up, and Dickens's laughter is like choking: "Exceedingly! This morning, I thought I knew everything in the world...and now I know I've just started. All these huge and wonderful notions, Doctor! I'm inspired. I must write about them!" Rose asks if that's wise, considering what they did to nutters back then, but he promises to be "subtle" at first. Because if Charles Dickens was good at any one thing, it was subtlety. "The Mystery of Edwin Drood still lacks an ending. Perhaps the killer was not the boy's uncle -- perhaps he was not of this Earth! The Mystery of Edwin Drood And The Blue Elementals. I can spread the word! Tell the truth!" The Doctor wishes him luck and dispatches him with an extra "Fantastic," and Rose kisses him goodbye. "Oh, my dear," he wriggles, "how modern!" He gets all questiony about the "shed," and they wave him off, and he's now gone from utter skepticism to chummy befuddlement: "Oh, my soul. Doctor, it's one riddle after another with you. But after all these revelations, there's one mystery you still haven't explained." (Cheesier still! Is there no end?) "Answer me this -- who are you?" Is there some kind of rule where they have to do this every episode? I don't mind, but I like it when it's a bit more interwoven -- or when instead of asking, they tell instead. "Just a friend," the Doctor smiles after a beat. "Passing through." The Dickens gets all "how do you know about the future" and "I hate to impose" and "how do my books do in the future." The Doctor tells him they last "forever," and it's touching. The Dickens is both overly pleased and vain, and heart-pluckingly modest, finally looking down bashfully. The Doctor and Rose enter the TARDIS, and I think Dickens is assuming that they're going to do it, because the Doctor and Rose giggle at him. That's some shed. "If the TARDIS is a-rockin', don't come a knockin'."