Monday, November 9, 2015

Doctor Who, Season Nine, Episode Eight: The Zygon Inversion

Clara is in her pod and dreams that she is waking up in her apartment.  The television is showing snow but she can hear the Doctor's voice telling her that the peace had broken down and that she is to get herself to the Tardis.  Clara hears Bonnie (Zygon Clara) inform the Doctor that she is dead.  In the pod, Clara starts to blink and in the dream, she runs around the apartment looking for an exit.  The television shows Bonnie taking aim at the Doctor's plane so Clara shakes it, throwing off Bonnie's aim.  Bonnie misses and when she takes aim again, Clara tries to stop her from pulling the trigger but fails this time, allowing Bonnie to blow up the Doctor's plane.

A man runs panicked through the London and even keeps moving after he drops his bag of groceries. Bonnie is in hot pursuit and breaks into his apartment saying that she is going to set him free. Bonnie says that the man is going to be the first to make the humans see.  Bonnie zaps the man's forehead and he runs outside to get away from her.  Back on the street with Bonnie hot on his heels, the man begins to lose his form and becomes a Zygon once again.  Bonnie records the whole thing as the man runs away.  On the phone, Bonnie announces that she is going to unit to retrieve the Osgood Box.

Clara watches the explosion on her television and smiles when she sees two parachutes in the sky.  The Doctor and Osgood are now safely on the ground.  The Doctor gives Osgood his sonic glasses when he notices that her glasses are broken. Please please let Osgood keep those damn wretched glasses. Osgood suggests that the Doctor is talking nonsense to avoid her from being scared. He simply walks away telling her not to look at his browser history. The two are on the move and Osgood wonders why Bonnie didn't blow them up but the Doctor points out that they were blown up. Osgood says that if she were taking over the earth, the first thing she would do is kill the Doctor, 12 times in rapid succession if she had to.  They talk about Clara and it seems that the Doctor hasn't given up hope yet.

From her pod, Clara moves her finger up and down and Bonnie does the same sending a text message to the Doctor.  Osgood believes that it's Bonnie but the message says, "I'm awake."  After seeing the message Osgood says that Clara is fighting back and that the Zygon doesn't know she text or why she misfired the bazooka.

Bonnie yanks out a hidden laptop and looks at the Osgood video about the Osgood box. On the tape Osgood says that she lied and that the Osgood Box is not there.  Osgood adds that there's a reason  the box is called the Osgood box and that it can start a war or bring peace. In frustration, Bonnie smashes the laptop on the ground.

The Doctor and Osgood approach two cops and when they get a blank look in response they decide to move along.  Osgood calls Clara's phone and gets Bonnie, as the cop car turns to follow them.  The Doctor asks Bonnie her plan and in return, Bonnie asks for the location of the Osgood Box.  Bonnie winks while she is talking and when the Doctor confronts her about it, she denies winking.  The Doctor asks where the pod is and Bonnie blinks furiously.  The Doctor then says that he coming to get Clara and warns Clara not to let Bonnie into her memories. The Doctor and Osgood grab a car and Osgood chases down the location of Bonnie's phone from South London.

Bonnie makes her way to Clara's pod and knocks on the glass. Inside, Clara tries to turn off the television and Bonnie threatens to erase her memories.  Clara forces Bonnie to take her original shape and informs her that their connection work two ways. Bonnie demands Clara's memories and threatens to kill her but Clara calls her bluff.  Bonnie holds up her hand saying that their hearts are linked and that the one thing they can never do is lie to each other. This causes Clara to sit up and take notice.

The Doctor and Osgood arrive in London at the Fleet Estate Center where Bonnie's video was shot. The first thing they notice is the smell which stinks.  They then notice two craters on the ground with electricity inside.

Bonnie threatens to kill Clara if she does not answer truthfully and promises to kill Clara if she does not answer. Clara says that the Osgood Box is in the black archive in UNIT.  Bonnie asks who has access and Clara says that the Osgoods have access.  Bonnie questions who else and after evading answering Clara is forced to admit that she also has access.  Bonnie wants the key code and Clara says that she cannot give her access, so Bonnie asks how she gets in. Clara responds that it's automatic because the door is keyed to her body print.  Bonnie realises that she has access already because she is Clara.  Bonnie then asks what is in the box and Clara says that the box ends the ceasefire and that the box will unmask every Zygon for over an hour. Clara argues that Bonnie cannot win the war and that most of her own kind don't want this.  Bonnie asks why it is called an Osgood box and Clara says that she is not telling Bonnie because when Bonnie gets to the archive, she is going to want to speak to her again.  A defiant Clara turns off the television.

The Doctor asks Osgood her first name and she says Petronella. The Doctor says that his is Basil. The doctor asks Osgood if she is human or Zygon but before she can answer, they run into the Zygon that Bonnie unmasked earlier.  He is still having trouble keeping his shape and says that the commander turned him back. Osgood promises that they can help him.  The Zygon runs as the Doctor and Osgood chase him.

Kate Lethbridge-Stewart is given instructions to locate the Doctor and duplicate him and kill him.

The Zygon shoots electricity against his will and he says repeatedly he was happy as a human. Osgood asks to help him but the Zygon says he never wanted to fight anyone and asks why he can't just live. The Zygon adds that earth is his home and that he cannot go home now because his life has been taken. The Doctor approaches slowly and the Zygon says that he will be killed and then shoots electricity at himself, committing suicide.  The Doctor tells Osgood that the splinter group's plan is to unmask everyone and provoke fear and a war.

Kate catches up with the Doctor informs him that she knows were Clara's pod is and can take him there.  The Doctor and Osgood decide to follow.

Bonnie walks into the black archive while two Zygons push Clara's pod behind her.

The Doctor is in the pod room looking for Clara's pod.  Osgood realises that the men with Kate are Zygons. The Doctor explains that there were two Osgoods to keep the secrets and the peace.

Bonnie orders the Zygons with her to normalize as she looks for the Osgood box.  Kate calls Bonnie to report that she is with the Doctor and Bonnie says that the Doctor cannot be killed because there are two Osgood boxes.  The Doctor says that there are two Osgoods and so two boxes are natural. One box normalises all of the Zygons and the other destroys them. Bonnie asks which is which but the Doctor is not keep to answer.  Bonnie orders Clara's pod opened.

Bonnie stands between the two boxes and threatens Clara's life, so the Doctor claims that the blue one normalizes all of the Zygons.  Bonnie questions if the Doctor is lying and he denies it. When Bonnie opens up the blue boxes their are two buttons: one marked consequences and the other truth.  Bonnie opens the red box and finds that it has the same two buttons.  Bonnie orders the Doctor brought to her but before the Zygons can attack, Kate shoots the Zygon soldiers.  The Doctor questions how Kate survived and we get a flash to her killing Zygons.  Naturally, the Doctor does not approve of her killing.  Kate asks if Osgood is human or Zygon and she answers me.  Kate asks about the gas that kills the Zygons and the Doctor snarks that daddy knows best.  The Doctor asks for the opportunity to negotiate peace, saying that the boxes are safe guards for both species. Apparently, it took Kate 15 times to get to this point, with the Doctor erasing her memory in between.

The Doctor has arrived at unit headquarters and says that he can take the boxes away and start the cease fire.  Kate asks which button to push.  The Doctor looks at the two women and says that in Kate's box, one of the buttons will destroy the Zygons and the other will release a nuclear warhead under the building. In Bonnie's box one button will unmask every Zygon and the other makes the Zygons human forever. There are safeguards within safeguards.  Bonnie says that the Doctor is responsible for all of the violence and suffering but the Doctor replies that it's Bonnie's fault. Bonnie argues that they have been treated like cattle and left to fend for themselves.  The Doctor is not sympathetic. The Doctor says the only way anyone can live in peace, is if they are prepared to forgive.  The Doctor asks the women what they want and Bonnie says war.  The Doctor questions what happens when the humans are gone and what the world will look like. The Doctor asks when the bad guys are gone and things are the way Bonnie wants it, what she will do with the people like her - the trouble makers.  The Doctor asks how Bonnie is going to protect her revolution from the next one because no one wins for long.  Bonnie and Kate both say that they have a 50% chance.  The Doctor tells them that the boxes are a scale model of war and no matter how right you feel when you fire the first shot, you don't know who is going to die. The Doctor offers Bonnie forgiveness but she accuses him of not understanding.  The Doctor talks about the time war and says that when he closes his eyes, he hears more screams than anyone will be able to count. Kate is the first to close her box and the Doctor thanks her. Kate says that she is sorry. Bonnie pauses and then says that both boxes are empty.  The Doctor says of course and that Bonnie knows that because she has started to think. Kate points out that now they know the boxes are empty, they cannot forget that.  The Doctor points out that Kate said that the last 15x

The Doctor wipes Kate's memory of what happened. Osgood tells Bonnie that she is one of them now. The Doctor tells Bonnie that he has been where she has.  The Doctor claims he didn't push the button because Clara got in his head and Clara doesn't leave.  Bonnie messages Zygon head command to say that the rebels are standing down and that everyone is safe.

Clara and Osgood are at the Tardis with the Doctor and he offers Osgood a chance to be a companion.  Osgood says that she wants to but has to stay to keep an eye on a couple of boxes.  The Doctor asks for a moment with Osgood and so Clara hugs her goodbye. The Doctor again asks Osgood if she is human or Zygon and she promises to answer the question one day.  A second Osgood appears and the Osgoods tell him to think it through and that it would't be right to keep using Clara's face when there's a vacancy. Neither Osgood will admit to being human or Zygon. The Doctor tells the  Osgoods that they are a  credit to both species and adds that  that he is a fan.

The Doctor enters the Tardis and Clara says that he must have thought she was dead for awhile. The Doctor calls it the longest month of his life and she counters that it was only five minutes. The doctor says that he will be the judge of time.  The tardis disappears as the Osgoods watch.

I absolutely loved every single minute of this episode.  I am absolutely sold on Capaldi as the Doctor. I must admit I had my doubts last season but as I watched his face change as he talked about the time war, I knew for a fact that no one could have shown the Doctor's pain and age so clearly.  In that moment, Capaldi was the Doctor in every way. I know that some feel that the scene at UNIT but to me it will go down as one of my favourite scenes from Doctor Who.

I found it interesting that the Doctor decided to let Bonnie keep her memories because she had been Clara for a time.  For the record, I think that he gave Clara too much credit for what happened in the 50th anniversary special.  I don't believe for one moment that he didn't choose to push the button because of Clara because destroying Gallifrey is something he regretted from the moment we met the 9th Doctor.  He made a different choice because he finally saw a way to save lives.

Okay to be a little nitpicky, I have to point out that to make this Zygon work, Harness and Moffat had to give the Zygons new abilities. First, Zygons were able to survive without a copy and then Zygons and their hosts were able to control each other. Yes, this is just like pulling a super power out of your ass.  It's not the first time writers in the Whoverse have had to manipulate abilities to make a story work but at least time, I didn't find it to be a distraction and I wasn't irritated.

So we still don't know which Osgood survived though I highly suspect the human one is the one that managed to survive Missy.  That being said, I so wanted Osgood to agree to travel with the Doctor.  I really hope that we get to see her again.  In fact, I am almost sure that we haven't seen the last of Osgood or Kate for that matter.

What were your thoughts on this episode?