A Great Love Story: Dark Water

MAJOR SPOILING SPOILERS….Don’t read if you haven’t seen Dark Water

Wow! I loved this episode!

There is little point in terms of analyzing this episode-the story is only half told. However,  I can indulge in some fan-girl gushing about the absolute wickedness of this episode- wicked Cybermen, wicked female Time Lords, and (most relevant to the point of this blog) wicked intense commitment between our main characters.

We open with Clara, having completed Step 4 of her TARDIS Recovery Program (Make a searching and fearless inventory of all of our time-warping and the lying we have done about it), and is embarking on Step 5 (Admit to ourselves and the person we have been duping about the exact nature of our traveling. That, in fact, we HAVE traveled to the end of time and space and back, and found ourselves in numerous life-threatening situations, and not said squat about it.)

In fact, while I poke fun, I found Clara’s declaration to Danny to be quite moving. “I love you…I will never say those words again. Not to anyone else, ever. Those words from me are yours now.” How beautiful is that? Clara seems to have finally chosen, as have so many companions before her. I wonder if she has chosen between the Doctor and Danny, or has just found clarity about the nature of her love for each man.

My favorite moments, however, occurred as the Doctor reaffirmed his commitment to Clara. These words now frame one of my all-time favorite DW lines:

“Do you I think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference? …. Stop it with the eyes. Don’t do that with the eyes.  How do they do that anyway? it’s like they inflate.”

I adore Moffat’s ability to make me laugh and cry at the same time.

Like or don’t like his plot choices, Moffat’s writing is brilliant. Look how carefully he has brought Clara and the Doctor full-circle (hee, hee, hee). In Deep Breath, Clara stayed with Twelve because Eleven asked her to. She was skeptical, scared and turned-off by Twelve’s cold, abandoning behavior. Yet, she stayed. Clara’s love and commitment to the Doctor transcended his transformation.

In Dark Water, the beginning of the end, we find their roles reversed. In her grief and devastation over Danny, Clara’s control-freakness has reached maniacal proportions. Despite her betrayal, the Doctor’s love for Clara transcends her bout of insanity, and he stays. This is one of the true love stories of Doctor Who. Bravo, Mr. Moffat. Beautiful.

Missy. Master. Cybermen. I am totally sold.

I haven’t been a big Master or Cybermen fan, but this story really got to me. Some of us may have seen the Master plot twist coming, but that did not weaken the reveal for me. Michelle Gomez nailed the Master perfectly. In fact, her twisted, evil, sarcastic, belligerent posture towards the Doctor is made even more compelling by the gender switch. The kiss is so very Masteresque, I am surprised she didn’t make that choice when she was a he.

So…up until this episode, I have been unable to pick Team Dalek OR Team Cybermen. However, something about watching these silver plated robots “crunch-ah, crunch-ah” down the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral really got my fan-girl heart a-pumpin’. I think because it so beauftifully harkened back to The Invasion and a huge draw for me about Doctor Who (and Star Trek for that matter) is the depth and breadth of the mythology. While we revisited the Daleks earlier this season, they didn’t thrill me the way these bad boys did. My Cybermen action figure is already in the mail.

That’s it for now. I am planning on a second post that explores the clever use of psychology on the part of script to move this episode along and hold it together.

Otherwise, looking forward to next week, when I’ll be watching the season finale with the San Diego Doctor Who meet-up at the local British pub. Can’t wait!

BTW-Anyone else notice that a TARDIS key was hidden inside a copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife? Hello, Spoilers?

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