The Doctor touches the woodwork and sees the mistletoe carving on the door: "Sir Robert, did you father put that there?" Sir Robert assumes so. The Doctor murmurs to himself: "On the other door, too...A carving wouldn't be enough." He licks the woodwork. "Viscum album, the oil of the mistletoe -- it's been worked into the wood like a varnish! How clever was your dad? I love him!" Careful, careful. Love the men that have already left your world, you get hollowed out. The Doctor mumbles the sci-fi part to Rose: "Powerful stuff, mistletoe. Bursting with lectins and viscotoxins." And so, she figures, the Wolf is allergic to it. It's funny to watch this show because you have to remember, the way Rose just automatically remembers now, that everything has an alien cause. No beasties or werewolves, just aliens trying to get home. I like that about the show, but it means an extra hoop, because you're just as likely to believe in magical shit, and it's never magical: just the science of the whole world. It's one of the fun things with this show, historically: find the balance between an obvious mythical thing and the science that makes it okay. Both of which are make-believe.
To Rose's allergy conjecture, the Doctor replies, "Well, it thinks it is. The monkey monk monks need a way of controlling the Wolf -- maybe they trained it to react against certain things." Sir Robert's like, "Science is fun, but also giant teeth and no weapons." The Doctor scoffs and says that MacLeish got all the brains in the family. Rose tells him that he's being rude again, and he nods, "Good. I meant that one." Jerkface. I'm allowed to hate him because I've always hated Don John the Sad Sack Bastard, but come on, be nice. You're from space! And time! The Doctor walks to the bookshelves: "You want weapons? We're in a library. Books! Best weapons in the world." Shut up, kind of. Totally a wolf that walks like a man outside the door. This isn't the time to get your dork arrogance all in a...oh. He puts his glasses on. I'll shut up now. Just keep those mothereffin' glasses on and you can be as rude as you want, I'll not speak a word. I'm not made of stone here. "This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself," the Doctor gruffs, tossing books to Rose.
The women chop mistletoe in the kitchen -- I like the parallel between feral Rose being awesome and Lady Isobel kicking ass, while their respective men are in the library reading creaky volumes and licking the walls. Flora doesn't hear the Wolf, but Isobel's not buying: "Perhaps it's toying with us. But my husband's up there, and if there's any chance he's still alive, then by God, I'll assist him." They boil the mistletoe -- no slouch in the mythic folklore, that: Sir Frazer wrote a book about it that you've probably read, at least boiled down -- and they don't even have time to think about how it's a symbol of sun worship. (We do, but I've already gone nuts on you with this recap a fair amount of times. I think part of it was making up for how last week's recap, looking back, seemed so rushed; rest assured that was because that particular episode is very fun to watch but shitty to write about, and this episode is...not the opposite exactly, because I do like it, but maybe a little more fun to write about than it is to watch, over and over.)