Here we are at the midseason finale (I don't think those words fit together at all), and Steven Moffatt starts to pull some threads together. We have had a fake Amy all season long- now we learn why. The Doctor now knows about his impending (well, not so much impending as eventual) demise, and Rory is force-growing a spine as we watch.
So what does the finale hold for us?
Lots of stuff. Lots of good stuff.
As always, ridiculously complete synopsis including spoilers below the jump.
Rory the Roman (it was the Doctor's idea) walks into a Cyberman control room with a messaget and a question. The statement is from the Doctor… and it's the destruction of an immense Cyber fleet. The question is Rory's- "Where is my wife?". Turns out these Cybermen have a lot of intel on the sector, and Rory believes (rightly so) that these Cyberfolk have information that will lead him to Demon's Run, the site where Amy is being held.
Amy plays with her baby, Melody Pond. She tells her that someone is on his way to rescue her. She describes a man who will never let them down, who won't let an army stand in his way. He's the last of his kind, though he looks young, he's lived for hundreds of years. He will never leave Melody alone, He's the last of his kind, and he's her father- though on Earth he's known as ….
The Last Centurion.
Yup, Rory finally seems to get star billing in his own life.
At Demon's Run, the mercenaries are discussing the Doctor's destruction of the cyber fleet and other feats of might. The Headless Monks are the hosts of this shindig. We meet Lorna Bucket, a native of the Gamma Forests. She had an encounter with the Doctor as a small girl. He told her to 'run'. Go figure.
The Headless Monks apparently have a rather radical conversion method.
!n Victorian London, we meet a Siliurian consulting detective who tends to eat her prey. The Tardis lands in her drawing room, and she dreams of debts to be repaid.
In the future, a Sontaran nurse (It's a punishment. A particularly hilarious punishment) hears the call of the Tardis as well.
Rory tries to get River Song to join them, but she refuses. She's not able to come, as it's the day that the Doctor finds out who she is.
Dorium, the blue black market trader we met when River Song needed a vortex manipulator last year, is being interrogated by Madam Kovorian (eye patch lady). He tells her that the Doctor is calling in his markers, building an army. Kovorian leaves, and the Tardis engines sound. The Doctor has come for Dorium as well.
The Anglican Marines are getting a pep talk. Lorna takes this opportunity to take Amy a 'prayer leaf' - a bit of embroidery with Melody's name on it. She tells Amy that she, too, has met the Doctor. Amy warns her to be on the right side when the Doctor comes.
The Colonel in charge reveals that the Headless Monks are, indeed, headless. Except for one, who happens to be the Doctor. The Doctor causes some higgaldy-piggaldy and turns the clerics against the Monks, and vice versa.
Lorna figures out which of the cloaked figures is the Doctor and gives chase.
As the clerics disarm to defuse the situation with the Monks, a host of Silurians materialize in the catwalks; a platoon of Judoon transmat behind the Clerics and the space Spitfires attack the communications array. As Madam Kovorian attempts to escape, she is blocked by our friends the space pirates.
Rory recovers Melody and brings her back to Amy. The Doctor shows up, tells Melody not to call Amy "Big Milk Thing" (he speaks 'baby'). Madam Vastra (the Silurian) tells the Doctor that they've taken Demon's Run without a drop of blood- he has never risen higher….
The Doctor brings a cradle for Melody to use- it was once his.
Madam Vestra asks the Doctor if Melody is human- she has both human and Time Lord DNA. Apparently she was conceived while the Tardis was in flight through the Vortex and was exposed to the vortex at conception.
Suddenly, Dorium realizes that this was far too easy… and so it was. They are under attack by the Headless Monks (as they don't show up on scanners as life forms, being Headless and all.
Over commlink, Madame Kovorian taunts the Doctor, having fooled him the same way twice- Melody Pond is a Flesh avatar.
Strax, the Sontaran Nurse, dies in combat, but doesn't find it very satisfying. Lorna the Cleric is dying as well, and the Doctor goes to visit her, remembering together the time they ran. She dies, and the Doctor doesn't know who she was….
River shows up. and dresses the Doctor down- that the meaning of his very name is changing from Wise Healer to Warrior. She then reveals her identity to him. He jumps in the Tardis, giggling and very assured that he knows exactly where to find Melody.
River then reveals to Amy and Rory that she is Melody (Melody Pond-Pond, Melody-River Song).
The Doctor will Return in "Let's Kill Hitler"
Well, that kind of makes up for some of the set-up episodes earlier this year.
The Doctor is at his best, out thinking his enemy… except she has outthought him.
Very interesting chess game that Kovarian is playing with the Doctor- and they believe that River will be the end of the Doctor.
They very well may be right. Doesn't Kovarian resemble River quite a bit???
The production values on this episode were very good for Doctor Who- it felt very 'big'.
I really wish they hadn't killed Strax the Nurse- he was one of the best minor characters in a long time. This is not to discount Madame Vastra, who is also very memorable. (oh, she's great. How can you not love this exchange- "How did you find Jack the Ripper?" "Stringy")
I'm really wanting to hear what you guys think of this episode, so I'll shut up now.
Will Conservatives Like This Episode
Well, socons won't be crazy about the fat-and-skinny-gay-anglican-marines- but that is mercifully brief. There's a bit of navel gazing that I'm not philosophically inclined to swallow, but again, mercifully brief. But there was a lot of strategy and tactics and a lot of new old friends. Conservatives will like all but two minutes of this episode.