(Alternatively Titled: OMGallifrey, Missy is…)
I know, I didn’t do a review of last week’s Who, “In the Forest of the Night”. I felt the majority of the episode was unremarkable, and the plot line was somewhat confusing. The only major things viewers gleaned from the episode were that Clara and Danny Pink finally told the school kids the truth about their relationship, that trees are smarter than mankind and can protect the Earth from solar flares, and that Danny really didn’t care that Clara was totally lying to him about spending time with the Doctor. Oh, and for some reason a math teacher and an English teacher are chaperones for an overnight lock-in at a Natural History museum, which likely has nothing to do with either of their subjects. Moving on.
This week in “Dark Waters,” as the series reaches its climax, we finally find out who Missy is and what all this business with the Nethersphere/Heaven/Promised Land is, and we get a return of one of the deadliest nemeses the Doctor has faced in the past: the Cybermen. (It’s not spoilery to say that, we saw the Cybermen pictures from the get-go of the season. We all knew they were coming.)
If you haven’t watched this week’s episode, hop in your Tardis and do that, because the rest of the article contains spoilers!
Dark Waters starts off innocently enough, with Clara on the phone with Danny telling him she loves him… and then he gets hit by a car and dies. Yep, they kill off Danny Pink in the first few minutes. (Cue shaking of fists and shouting “Moffatttttt!” like we Whovians are used to doing at this point in our fandom.) Danny wakes up in the Nethersphere intake office, because apparently the afterlife is a huge bureaucracy and forms need filling out. Meanwhile, Clara finally gets a hold of the Doctor and begs him to take her back in time to save Danny. To make her point perfectly clear, she finds all seven of the Tardis keys and hijacks the Tardis to the mouth of a volcano, because lava is the only way to destroy a Tardis key. She starts chucking the keys into the lava as the Doctor tells her he won’t take her back, even though–as she argues–time can be and has been re-written plenty of times before. However, the Doctor, in all his cleverness, has really put her in a dream state and let the whole thing play out in the console room of the Tardis, just to see how serious she was. He has Clara stick her hands into the consciousness of the Tardis like she had earlier in the season, to find where her and Danny’s timelines will re-intersect with one another. They land at the creepiest looking mausoleum, with skeletons in seated positions in some sort of blue liquid in a seemingly endless tower of tanks. Signs with “3w” adorn the walls, along with a slogan “Rest in Peace, we promise.” Lo and behold, who is there to greet them but Missy herself, although initially she leads them to believe she is a protocol android (hey, that sounds familiar), which lends itself to the best on-screen kiss in Whovian history. Missy introduces a doctor who demonstrates Dark Water that is used in the tanks, through which only organic matter can be seen. Clue number one. Then he tells them about the afterlife, that death is only a part of it and that life continues. Apparently the fuzz in the television was actually millions of voices from the recently deceased, pleading the three words on which their company name is based: Don’t cremate me. Way to be creepy, Moffat! Danny is getting the same lesson in the Nethersphere. The intake explains that his body in the previous stage of life is still connected to him now, and that’s why he’s cold (presumably he’s being kept in a morgue). That’s also why the dead don’t want to be cremated: ouch. Danny is forced to meet, face to face, the little boy he accidentally killed as a soldier. Cue massive feels. Then Danny receives a call from Clara on the other side. Clara tries to think of a way to tell if it’s the real Danny Pink, and after several “I love you’s”, Danny tearfully disconnects the call. He is handed an iPad (“We have Steve Jobs!”) with the choice to DELETE his feelings for his previous life. Clue number two. Finally, Missy and the Doctor have a one-on-one chat, as she drains the tanks of their Dark Water, revealing the non-organic Cybermen bodies. Surprise! (Really, who didn’t see it coming?) Fans are treated to the penultimate line we’ve been waiting for all season: “You know who I am.” Missy… short for Mistress… “Well, I couldn’t very well keep calling myself the Master.” GASP! The whole internet was right and caught on early. Now we’re left wondering how in the heck she regenerated, after in The Last of the Time Lords the Master refused to regenerate, to let the drums finally stop beating in his head. David Tennant cried! How? Why? Hopefully, next week’s finale Death in Heaven explains adequately. As the Cybermen leave their tanks and march on the world, the Doctor is left to consider the implications of the return of not only the Cybermen–inhabited by the dead, who obviously greatly outnumber the living– but the return of his greatest enemy. Will the Master finally win? Will Danny Pink push DELETE end up a Cyberman? Will we find out what Missy was up to during the Matt Smith regeneration? The series finale has much to accomplish!