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“I wasn’t very good at it, but I did love you.”

– Clara Oswald

I had mixed feeling on the finale.

On the bright side, I loved that Missy’s plan was essentially to corrupt the Doctor into becoming her. It’s easy to make the two enemies, but it makes the Master seem both more human and more menacing if her goal is to prove that she and the Doctor are the same at their core. It totally fits with the character and it actually makes you feel a bit bad for her.

It also (hopefully) definitively answered the question of whether or not the Doctor is a good man. He was named the President of Earth and had a chance to command his own metal army, controling the outcome of every battle in the history of the universe and he gave it up. Any further examination of whether or not he’s a general or a warmonger will just have diminishing returns.

I’m honestly hoping that the way the events of the 50th anniversary special changed the Doctor into the less flirty, more stoic Peter Capaldi version of the character, I’m hoping the finale of this episode will have lasting effects on the character. During Steven Moffat’s tenure of the show, the Doctor has gotten pretty cavalier about the use of guns and murdering bad guys in general. I’d like to see him dialed back more and returned to a more thoughtful, less violent Doctor.

I also really loved the sendoff that Danny Pink got. From his rousing speech to the troupes to his moment of redemption sacrificing himself to bring the young boy back, it was a really sweet and tragic end for the character. I wonder what they are going to do with Clara know that they’ve taken him away, but maybe Santa Claus will have a way to bring him back in the Christmas special.

Missy scene with the bowtie wearing, lovable Osgood was quite amazing too. I’m a sucker for intellectual, ruthless supervillains and it really sold me on Missy as the Master. I liked Osgood and was sad to see her go, but that was a pretty great TV show death.

But in spite of all the moments I really enjoyed, I still felt underwhelmed by the episode as a whole. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but it just never really felt as epic as I wanted it to. Maybe it was because of the general public’s cavalier response to the Cybermen or the fact that Missy’s plan was to just hand over the army to the Doctor, but the global threat never really felt like much of a threat. It never really seemed like everyone was in danger … or, at least, not danger befitting a season finale. Moffat has given us so many epic finales and this one just didn’t match the battles he’s given us in the past.

My feelings on the finale mirror my feelings as the season as a whole. It had it’s moments, but ultimately it left me feeling underwhelmed. Here’s hoping the Christmas special ends things on a stronger note.

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And another thing …

  • If Danny Pink and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart were able to keep their emotions intact and overcome the Cybermen programming, wouldn’t more people have been able to as well? I feel like a large percentage of the troops would have been ignoring commands and looking for their loved ones.
  • Obviously, I’m not counting on the shot from Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart killing Missy for good, but I do wonder if Michelle Gomez will be playing the character the next time we see her/him? I like her take on the character and would really like to see more of it.
  • Beyond the fact that I love him as an actor, I think it’s fitting that a man named Nick Frost is playing Santa Claus in the Christmas special.

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Written by Joel Murphy. If you enjoy his recaps, he also writes a weekly pop culture column called Murphy’s Law, which you can find here. Follow Joel on Twitter @FreeMisterClark or email him at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

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