Sunday, June 19, 2016

Recap: Doctor Who "Father's Day"

Happy Father's Day to all! ...Except for all the countries that don't celebrate Father's Day on the third Sunday in June. Or at all.

But even so, there's no better excuse to talk about the Doctor Who episode of the same name.

So hurry up and put on your ugly ties and your annual pair of khakis, because we're in for a long one today.
The episode begins with a still picture of a man who appears to be a British knockoff of Bruce Willis.

I can't be the only person who sees it.
Rose: "Peter Alan Tyler, my dad. The most wonderful man in the world. Born 15th September, 1954."

Elsewhen, a young Rose Tyler enters her mother's room while she looks at an old photo album. Jackie Tyler is definitely in one of those moods halfway between happy and sad, and I think she might have been drinking a little. Jackie calls young Rose close and shows her some pictures of her dad, showing us exactly why she's in this mood.

Jackie: "You weren't old enough to remember when he died. 1987, 7th November. Do you remember what I told you? The day that Stuart Hoskins and Sarah Clark got married."

It always sucks when one of the happiest days in somebody's life is marked by tragedy. (Though it doesn't suck as much as the tragedy itself, obviously.) This reminds me of that episode of M*A*S*H where B.J. tries to prolong a dying soldier’s life so his kids wouldn’t have to think of Christmas as the day their dad died.

…Yeah, another M*A*S*H reference. Look it up, kids.

Jackie: "He was always having adventures. He would have loved to have seen you now."

It turns out that Rose isn't telling this story to the audience, but to the Doctor. Because she has the opportunity of a lifetime.

Rose: "...Could we go and see my dad when he was still alive?"
Doctor: "Where's this come from, all of a sudden?"
Rose: "Alright, if we can't, if it goes against the laws of time or something, then never mind, just leave it."

But the Doctor's more worried about Rose than the space-time continuum.

Doctor: "Your wish is my command. But be careful what you wish for."

In the space of the opening credits, Rose and the Doctor have crashed the wedding between Jackie and Peter. It's a nice little affair, though it could be going better.

Pete: "I, Peter Alan Tyler, take you, Jacqueline... Suzanne, Suzette... Anita?"

Yeesh. Protip: Learn your girlfriend's full name. Jackie is understandably umamused.

Unlike the Doctor, who clearly wants popcorn.
Rose: "I thought he'd be taller."

The actor is 5' 10", Rose. What the heck did you expect? Andre the Giant?

Back in the past... future... past... um....

Back with young Rose, Jackie grows increasingly melancholic as she starts talking about how Pete died so close to home, alone and afraid, as the victim of a hit-and-run.

Jackie: "He was dead when the ambulance got there. I only wish there'd been someone there for him."

And with the power of the Doctor's TARDIS, Rose can ensure that her dad won't die alone. The Doctor punches in the coordinates and for once actually manages to get them to the right place at the right time, though it doesn't feel right to Rose.

Rose: "I thought it'd be all sort of grim and stormy. It's just an ordinary day."

They too often are, Rose.

Doctor: "The past is another country. 1987 is just the Isle of Wight."

Isle of What?

Never heard of it.
"Wait, why are you refusing to acknowledge the Isle of Wight?"
Because you left Michigan's upper peninsula out of a map of the United States in "Dalek"!

"Okay. So... wouldn't it make more sense to erase Wales off of a map? You know I'm Welsh, right?"
But I like Wales. It's a wonderful place with an awesome flag.

"You couldn't find Wales on that map, could you?"
Maybe.

"Despite the fact that the borders of Wales are clearly marked out."
...Maybe. But… don't you really like the Isle of Wight?

"S'okay."
I could have sworn there was someone on the Doctor Who staff who really liked the Isle of Wight....

"Hey, does anybody know why Douglas Adams is upset at somebody?"
Oh, no, Douglas Adams! What have I done? Why do we always hurt the ones we love?

Anyway, they stand near a bunch of posters decrying Margaret Thatcher and some BAD WOLF graffiti... and wait.

Rose: "He was late. He'd been to get a wedding present. A vase. Mum always said, 'That stupid vase.'"

At least he didn't die over chocolate milk like Uncle Ben did.

The green car pulls up as the inevitable begins. The Doctor holds Rose's hand for moral support as it happens.

Pete falls. The vase breaks. The car speeds away. And Rose... Rose can't bring herself to go and help him. They head around the corner to leave history to its business, and the arrival of the ambulance heralds Pete's death.

Rose: "It's too late now. By the time the ambulance got there, he was dead. ...He can't die on his own. Can I try again?"

The Doctor merely looks at her, but the question is clearly weighing on his soul as he internally struggles with the laws of time on one hand and his friend's request in the other.

I'm sorry, this is the same show that featured farting aliens trying to nuke the Earth three episodes back, right?
Where the heck is this well-acted, tragic, character-driven story coming from?
The Doctor and Rose soon end up watching themselves from around the corner, ready to try again.

Doctor: "It's a very bad idea, two sets of us being here at the same time."

But it's okay when four of you show up together, Doctor?
Doctor: "Just be careful they don't see us. Wait 'til she runs off and he follows, then go to your dad."

Rose begins to panic slightly as it all starts happening again, and the Doctor tells her that this is the last time they can try this. Suddenly, Rose bursts out of her hiding place and runs past the earlier version of herself and the Doctor. To everyone's shock, Rose tackles her father out of the way, to the confusion of their earlier selves.

Who promptly vanish in a puff of logic.
Pete, having no idea as to the deeper meaning of the events here, isn't exactly as flustered as Rose is.

Rose: "Oh my God, look at you, you're alive. That car was gonna kill ya!"
Pete: "Gimme some credit, I did see it coming. I wasn't gonna walk under it, was I?"

Oh the irony.

Rose blurts out her name, which Pete remarks is quite the coincidence, since that's his daughter's name. That's the cue for Rose to babble briefly on how great a name it is, making things a little awkward. But Pete gets ready to get to the wedding, and Rose claims that she was invited too. While he gives them a ride to his place so he can change his clothes real quick, something looks down upon the world with a red-tinted view. Must be a monster.

Once they arrive at his apartment, he tells them that the milk is in the fridge, in case they'd like some tea. Hopefully, it isn't lumpy this time.

Peter: "It would be, wouldn't it? Where else would you put the milk? Mind you, there's always the windowsill outside. I always though it someone invented a windowsill with special compartments, you know, one for milk, one for yogurt, make a lot of money out of that. Sell it to students and things."

So... would this contraption be refrigerated? Or are you hoping that the windowsill temperature stays within the safe zone for dairy?

As Pete goes to change, Rose looks at all her dad's stuff laying around instead of all boxed up and put away.

Rose: "She used to show me when she'd had a bit to drink."

Yep. Called it.

The Doctor hasn't said anything for quite a while, though, simply standing there with his arms folded. Rose continues without a care.

Rose: "Third prize at the bowling. First two got to go to Didcot."

Hope they like trains.

Rose: "Health drinks! 'Tonics,' Mum used to call them. He made his money selling this 'Vitex' stuff. He had all sorts of jobs, he was so clever. Solar power! Mum said he was gonna do this. Now he can."

Rose seems to be missing the bigger picture here. Apart from time having been knocked out in a back alley and roughed up a bit. But in case you, like Rose, haven't noticed it by now, I won't spoil it just yet. For now, Rose has to finally deal with the Doctor breaking his silence.

Doctor: "When we met I said, 'Travel with me in space.' You said, 'No.' Then I said 'Time machine.'"
Rose: "It wasn't some big plan."

Step 1: Wait for somebody to show up with a time machine.

Yeah, that doesn't seem like the kind of plan any rational human would have in the back of their mind. Except Batman. He prepares for anything.

Rose: "I just saw it happening, and I thought, 'I can stop it.'"
Doctor: "I did it again. I picked another stupid ape."

Whoa whoa whoa, the Doctor has never been this fundamentally angry at the behavior of a tried-and-true companion before. Who was the first "stupid ape"?

Doctor: "I shoulda known. It's not about showing you the universe; it never is. It's about the universe doing something for you."

Uh... bullcrap?

Ace never asked for you to try and cure her fear of clowns in "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy," that was all you. Same goes for taking her to that house that always creeped her out as a kid in "Ghost Light."

Victoria, Sarah Jane, Jamie, Peri, and all the rest, they never once tried to take advantage of your ability to time travel. Except for Adam, but you picked Rose first. And apart from Rose and Adam, no companion ever asked for anything greater than "I want to go to a certain time period" or "Can you take me home?" ...Except for that time Barbara Wright tried to abolish the Aztecs' human sacrifices.

Rose: "So it's okay when you go to other times and you save people's lives, but not when it's me saving my dad?"
Doctor: "I know what I'm doing. You don't. Two sets of us being there made that a vulnerable point."
Rose: "But he's alive!"
Doctor: "My entire planet died, my whole family."

Time out, Doctor. You left your granddaughter Susan on Earth in the year 2164. What, did she pop off back home only to get caught up in the Time War?

Doctor: "Do you think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?"

"If there's one thing I can guarantee, it's that I will never go back in time and save the Time Lords.
It can't possibly happen. Ever."
Rose: "But it's not like I've changed history. Not much. I mean, he's never gonna be a world leader, he's not gonna start World War III, or anything..."
Doctor: "Rose, there's a man alive in the world who wasn't alive before. An ordinary man. That's the most important thing in creation."

True. Both Rosa Parks and Adolf Hitler were just ordinary people at one point.

Doctor: "The whole world's different because he's alive!"
Rose: "What, would you rather him dead?"
Doctor: "I'm not saying that...."
Rose: "No, I get it. For once, you're not the most important man in my life."

Swing and a miss, Rose. The Doctor doesn't care how important he is to you; he's more concerned with the amateur chronectomy you've just performed.

But you should never argue with your ride home, and the Doctor proves how true this is by demanding the TARDIS key back. And once he gets it, he begins the walk back to the TARDIS.

Rose: "You'll be back in a minute. Or you'll hand around outside the TARDIS waiting for me. And I'll make you wait a long time!"

Not as long as he can make you wait for.

Pete: "Boyfriend trouble?"

As the Doctor walks along the sidewalk, the monster-vision returns to stalk and kill innocent townspeople while Rose cleans up the apartment as a force of habit until Pete asks her what she's doing. He also offers up some reassurance that her boyfriend will most certainly be back for her.

Rose: "I think he left me."
Pete: "What, a pretty girl like you? If I was going out with you...."
Rose: "Stop. Right there."
Pete: "I'm just saying...."
Rose: "I know what you're saying and we're not going there. At no point are we going anywhere near there. You aren't even aware that 'there' exists. I don't want to think about there and believe me, neither do you. There, for you, is like... pffffft, like the Bermuda Triangle."
Pete: "...Blimey, you know how to flatter a bloke."

Yeah, go easy on him, Rose. He doesn't know he's your dad. You know what they say. Incest is relative.

They head off to the car as Pete mutters that she seems so familiar. But as they make their way to the wedding, it seems to be already in progress, with the groom, Stuart Hoskins, and his father standing at the altar waiting for the bride to show up. Along with most of the guests, who should have been there by now.

Mr. Hoskins: "Maybe it's a godsend. Gives you time to think. You don't have to go through with it. Not these days. Live in sin for a bit."
Stuart: "Dad...."

What in the heck kind of fatherly advice is this?

"Go ahead and ditch your fiancé after we've already paid for the wedding. Play the field.
See if you can have a threesome. I know a few girls."
As the interior of the church gets oddly chilly, the Doctor arrives at the TARDIS, only to discover something horrible.

Oh, man, somebody stole the green screen.
As the Doctor runs off to find Rose, she's busy making a discovery of her own.

Rose: "But I thought you were a proper businessman."Pete: "I wish! I do a bit of this, bit of that. I scrape by."

Yep, Peter Tyler is a bit of a bum. Looks like Jackie doesn't speak ill of the dead.

When Rose's disappointment in Peter reminds him of his wife, Rose realizes that she'll be at the wedding. When Pete asks if she knows Jackie, Rose gives a non-committal "sort of," but goes on to say that Jackie refers to her husband as the most fantastic man in the world.

Pete: "Must be a different Jackie, then. She'd never say that."

But before the conversation can go further, a rap song from 2002 plays on the radio. Rose picks up on this, and checks her cell phone for any messages from the Doctor, to Pete's amazement.

Pete: "Is that a phone?"

But all of her voicemails say the same thing.

"Watson, come here. I need you."

As they drive to the church, things get even weirder when the familiar-looking car behind them disappears into nothingness. Which is odd, since it wasn't going 88 mph.

At the church, it seems as though the ceremony has been put on hold for a bit, as Mr. Hoskins blabs away on his brick of a cell phone.

Mr. Hoskins: "You're better off not being here, it's a disaster in the making. ...No, in this case, 'knocked her up' is a phrase I'd use."

Father of the year, 1987, here.

But without warning, Mr. Hoskins's phone call becomes an endless refrain of "Watson, come here. I need you." But enough of that weirdness, the beautiful bride is here!

Stuart: "Dad, get inside. We can't see the bride before the wedding. It's bad luck."
Mr. Hoskins: "Bad luck when you met her."

...Why are you even here if you disapprove of it all so much?

As they get back inside, the bride exits the car with Jackie, a bridesmaid, and certain baby named Rose.

Jackie: "Where's her useless article of a dad got to?"

Said article is narrowly swerving to avoid a suddenly-materializing car in the middle of the road, which scares Rose enough for her to yell out "Dad!" Pete gets out to get the license off the car, but can't find it anywhere. And then he suddenly realizes that Rose called him "Dad." But before Rose can give another flimsy excuse, Jackie comes up to greet her husband.

Jackie: "Oh, wonderful! Here he is, the accident waiting to happen."

Oh, crap. I forgot about this part of the episode.
There's a word very similar to "beach" that I will absolutely not using here. So let me instead say that in my opinion, Jackie Tyler is about to become the most unbearable character for this season of Doctor Who. Possibly even every season to come after it, too.

Jackie: "You'd be late for you own funeral, and it nearly was!"

Wow, you seem so relieved that your husband's okay. He said sarcastically. But not as sarcastic as Jackie, who seems to have emerged from some kind of TLC reality show.

Jackie: "And who's this? What are you looking at with your mouth open?"
Rose: "Your hair."
Jackie: "What?"
Rose: "I've never seen it like.... I mean, it's lovely, your hair's lovely. ...And that baby your holding... That would be your baby."

Rose, you're getting weird. You're acting like you'll start yelling nonsense and wrapping your head in foil.

Jackie: "'Nother one of yours, is she?"
Pete: "She saved my life."
Jackie: "Oh, that's a new one. What was it last time?"
Pete: "I didn't even know her. She was a cloakroom attendant. I was helping her look for my ticket. There were three duffle coats all the same. Somehow the rack collapsed. We were under all this stuff."
Rose: "Were you playing around?"
Jackie: "What's it got to do with you what he gets up to?"

Then maybe you shouldn't yell at him in the middle of the sidewalk if you don't want people listening to your conversation!

Rose: "What does he get up to?"
Jackie: "You'd know."

Right, because you saw your husband giving another woman a ride to a wedding they were both going to. Therefore, affair. Logic, right?

Pete: "Oh, 'cause I'm that stupid. I play around and I bring her home to meet the missus. You silly...."
Jackie: "But you are that stupid."

And you, Jackie, have no sense of human decency or tact.

Don't get me wrong, Jackie has every reason to be upset, but dragging the dirty laundry out right next to somebody else's wedding is inconsiderate, rude, and just plain crappy behavior.

Pete: "Can we keep this stuff for back home, just for now?"

That's a fair request.

This really isn't the best place for an argument.
Jackie: "What, with the rest of the rubbish? You bring home cut-price detergents, tonic water, Betamax tapes, and none of it works!"

This is neither the time nor the place. More importantly, them's fightin' words about the Betamax.

Jackie: "I'm drowning in your rubbish!"

Could you be a bit louder? I don't think they heard you over in Ireland.

Jackie: "What did he tell you? Did he say he's this big businessman? 'Cause he's not! He's a failure! Born failure, that one."

I’d look for help getting through this, but the Unshaved Mouse thinks I've been trapped within the belly of a shark for a while. And he’d probably be more offended by my map mutilation than Douglas Adams would be. Never mind. Looks like I'm still going at it.

Jackie: "Rose needs a proper father...."
Pete: "Jackie, I'm making a living. It keeps us fed, dunnit?"
Rose: "Stop it! You're not like this, you love each other."

Surely, this tearful outburst will be the thing that gets them to stop yelling in public?

Jackie: "Pete, you never used to like them mental. Or I don't know, maybe you did."

He married you, didn't he?

...Aw, geez, Jackie, now you've got me joining in.

Jackie: "If you're not careful, there'll be a wedding and a divorce on the same day!"

Mercifully, though, that's the end of that argument. Jackie and Pete head inside, but not before Pete hands Rose the keys and tells her to park the car 'round.

Elsewhere, a young boy on a playground suddenly runs off after noticing that everyone else there has disappeared. While he runs, Jackie and Pete manage to lower the volume of their discussion as Jackie actually manages to voice her concerns calmly and politely like a grown-up. As they talk, the little kid from the playground screams about monsters and runs inside the church.

But the 456 haven't returned to harvest more kids to use as recreational drugs, something else is happening. From the other direction, the Doctor comes running and yelling in an attempt to save people from it.

Doctor: "Get in the church!"

Not because the Doctor wants her to say a few Hail Marys before getting back in the TARDIS, but because the kid was absolutely right. There are monsters coming.

And in an unfortunate bit of monster design, their chests seem to feature fanged vaginas.
The Doctor gets as many people to head inside the church as he can, but a couple people get eaten while the others make it to safety. The Doctor quickly explains that the church is the safest place for them right now since it's really old, and old things will repel those creatures for the time being.

Jackie, scared and concerned, wants to know what those monsters are, so the Doctor quickly explains.

Doctor: "There's been an accident in time. A wound in time. They're like bacteria, taking advantage."
Jackie: "What do you mean? Time? What are you jabbering on about, 'time'?"
Doctor: "Oh, I might've known you'd argue."

If you think that's bad, you should have seen her earlier.

Doctor: "Jackie, I'm sick of you complaining."
Jackie: "How do you know my name?! I've never met you in my life!"
Doctor: "No! And you never will unless I sort this out. Now if you don't mind, I've waited a long time to say this, Jackie Tyler. Do as I say. Go and check the doors."

Miraculously, she does. So the Doctor moves on to the groom, who brings up his dad’s cell phone and hands it to the Doctor, saying that all that comes out the earpiece is some voice asking for Watson.

"Is it Sherlock Holmes?"
Doctor: "That's the very first phone call. Alexander Graham Bell. I don't think the telephone's gonna be much use."

Though the monsters outside are never named within the episode itself, they are officially named "Reapers." And the Doctor explains just what the Reapers are.

Doctor: "Nothing in this universe can harm those things. Time's been damaged and they've come to sterilize the wound. By consuming everything inside."

Uh, no, you said that they were like bacteria taking advantage of a wound. Bacteria are the things you try and kill through sterilization. You're mixing your metaphors.

Rose: "Is this my fault?"

"Oh, I dunno, show of hands, who else has caused massive temporal paradoxes today?"
"...Put your hand down, Stuart."
The Reapers take out a few passers-by outside as Pete and the Doctor look out the windows, finding smoke and screams. The Reapers are spreading. And a single car appears from nothingness, drives along, and disappears.

Pete: "Is that a car?"
Doctor: "It's not important. Don't worry about it."

A Reaper checks the stained glass window for weak points before flying off while Rose sits alone. Pete walks up and asks her a question.

Pete: "This mate of yours. What did he mean, this is your fault?"

Pete has been slowly piecing everything together. A very familiar woman with his daughter's name who yells out "Dad" to him in the midst of an open sore in time?

Pete: "You're my Rose. You're Rose, grown up."

They share a tearful embrace shortly before a Reaper repeatedly bonks its head on the backdoor of the church, which kind of ruins the moment.

I get that this is supposed to be scary, but all I can think of is...
This.
Elsewhere, the Doctor is making himself look busy in order to give the impression to the scared guests that he has a clever plan. At least, that's my interpretation.

Your sonic screwdriver doesn't work on wood, Doctor. You ain't foolin' me.
But the bride and groom come over with one simple question for the Doctor: "Can you save us?"

The Doctor walks up to these ordinary humans and asks for their story. And more specifically, the story of the bun in Sarah's oven.

Doctor: "How did all this get started?"

Well, you see, when a man and a woman love each other very much....

Stuart: "Outside the Beatbox Club, two in the morning."
Sarah: "Street corner. I'd lost my purse, didn't have money for a taxi."
Stuart: "I took her home."

So, this woman found herself in need of money, was left standing on a street corner, met a man, and now she's pregnant. ...I really hope there was a lot more to the middle of that story.

Sarah: "Wrote his number on the back of my hand."
Stuart: "Never got rid of her since. My dad said...."

Last time I checked, he said "Cancel the wedding."

Sarah: "I don't know what this is all about and I know we're not important...."
Doctor: "Who said you're not important? I've traveled to all sorts of places, done things you couldn't even imagine, but... you two. Street corner. Two in the morning. Getting a taxi home. I've never had a life like that. Yes. I'll try and save you."

What was this, some kind of screening process?

In the back of the church, Pete is coming to terms with the young lady Rose will become.

Pete: "I mean, I suppose I thought you'd be a bit useless, what with my useless genes and all, but.... Well, I mean, how did you get here?"
Rose: Do you really wanna know?"
Pete: "Yeah."
Rose: "A time machine."
Pete: "...Time machine."
Rose: "Cross my heart."

Pete asks the obvious question of what the future's like before changing it to the other obvious question of what he's like in the future. She doesn't answer.

Pete: "So, if-if this mate of yours isn't your boyfriend, and I have to say I'm glad, 'cause, being your dad and all, I think he's a bit old for you, have you got a bloke?"
Rose: "No, I did have, but...."
Jackie: "Mickey!"

And the little boy from earlier runs into Rose's arms.

Rose: "I just didn't recognize him in a suit. You have to let go of me, sweetheart. ...I'm always saying that."

Boy, ditching Mickey is the habit of a lifetime for you, isn't it, Rose?

Jackie: "He just grabs hold of what's passing and holds on for dear life. God help his poor girlfriend if he ever gets one."

Wow. Looks like the approaching end of the world has really put things in perspective for Jackie. What's the point of arguing during your potential last moments on Earth, you know?

Pete: "Me and Rose were just talking."
Jackie: "Oh, yeah? Talking? While the world comes to an end, what do you do? Cling to the youngest blonde."

Welp, spoke too soon.

She storms off with Mickey, with Pete attempting to go tell her the truth. But Rose stops her dad and tells him to keep the truth a secret.

Pete: "You don't want people to know?"
Rose: "Where I come from, Jackie doesn't know how to work the timer on the video recorder."
Pete: "I showed her that last week. ...Point taken."

Meanwhile, outside....

"Guys? Guys? Let me in; this isn't funny anymore!"
Back inside, the Doctor is having a bit of fun with baby Rose.

Doctor: "Rose, you're not going to bring about the end of the world, are you? Are you?"

So... later episodes will reveal that the Doctor can speak baby. Meaning that this infant might now know about the impending end of time. And also about time. And about endings.

Congrats, Doctor, you’ve traumatized a baby.
The Doctor explains to the older Rose that Jackie gave her to him to look after.

Doctor: "How times change."

Rose leans forward to see her younger self, but the Doctor keeps her away while the Reapers outside grow restless.

Doctor: "You're both the same person. That's a paradox."

I was going to debate the point, but... actually, yes it is. If Rose interacts with her younger self in a way that changes how she should end up in the future, then that's a paradox. But if she interacts with herself in such a way that she causes herself to be how she is, then that's a predestination paradox.

So either way, Rose holding her younger self is going to be a timey-wimey mess, which would make the Reapers even stronger.

Rose: "I can't do anything right, can I?"
Doctor: "Since you asked, no. So don't. Touch. The baby."
Rose: "I'm not stupid."
Doctor: "You coulda fooled me."

But since the Doctor has more than an ounce of human (Time Lord?) decency, he quickly apologizes and admits that he wasn't actually going to ditch Rose in 1987.

Doctor: "Between you and me, I haven't got a plan. No idea. No way out."
Rose: "You'll think of something."

Or the writer will come up with a deus ex machina.

Doctor: "The entire Earth's been sterilized. This, and other places like it, are all that's left of the human race. We might hold out for a while, but nothing can stop these creatures. They'll get through in the end. The walls aren't that old. And there's nothing I can do to stop them."

Which is probably why these nigh-invincible creatures will never show up again. But why haven't they shown up before?

Doctor: "There used to be laws stopping this kind of thing from happening. My people would have stopped this."

No, the Time Lords would have sent you to stop this, Doctor. That was kind of how they dealt with everything.

Rose feels like crap over ending the universe, but all the Doctor asks from her is an apology. She gives one, and they hug. As they embrace, Rose feels a red-hot deus ex machina in the Doctor's pocket, and it turns out to be the TARDIS key.

Doctor: "It's telling me it's still connected to the TARDIS!"

The Doctor gives a quick rundown to the survivors. Basically, the "bigger on the inside" of his TARDIS was tossed away after the paradox happened, but he can use his key to bring it back. Somehow. And then once the TARDIS is back, he can fix everything. Somehow. But in order to make it go, he needs some kind of battery. Stuart offers the battery out of his dad's cell phone, and the Doctor begins to sonic it until it's fully charged. Somehow.

With the battery hooked up to the TARDIS key as the Reapers attempt to get in, all they can do is wait. Pete and Rose wait together in the back as he wonders why Rose came back in the first place.

Pete: "If I had a time machine, I wouldn't have thought 1987 was anything special."

And when Rose makes up a story about how Pete is the best dad in the world, he knows she's lying. Because the responsible, dependable man she describes is the man he knows he could never be.

Up at the front, the Doctor stick his key into the air, and the TARDIS begins to materialize around it. Somehow. So the Doctor gives the order to not touch the key as they wait for the TARDIS to return. As the TARDIS slowly shimmers into view, Jackie looks in the pews far behind her at her husband, the Doctor, and Rose.

Don't you dare go back there and screw everything up, Jackie.
The Doctor tells Rose that after all is said and done, everyone will forget the incident as the timeline rights itself with one addition.

Doctor: "The thing that you changed will stay changed."
Pete: "You mean I'll still be alive."

Wow, he's good.

Pete starts to get a bit depressed that in the "proper" timeline, he was apparently destined to die a loser. And he couldn't even die properly.

Pete: "Now it's my fault all this has happened."
Rose: "This is my fault."
Pete: "No, love. I'm your dad. It's my job for it to be my fault."

That's actually a really good line of dialo...

Jackie: "Your dad? How are you her dad?"

Oh, Belgium.

Jackie: "How old were you, twelve? Oh that's disgusting."

The Doctor has the right idea as he gets up and walks away before things can get worse. Then they get worse.

Pete: "Jacks, listen. This is Rose."
Jackie: "Rose? How sick is that? Did you give my daughter a second-hand name?"

Jackie, you are dumber than a bag of hammers. People are disappearing, you've been told that time is going haywire, and your husband is talking to a young lady who he claims is his daughter who has the same name as your daughter.

Jackie: "How many are there? Do you call them all 'Rose'?"

You know, Doctor, you could have pushed Jackie in the way of a Reaper earlier. Just saying. She'd be fine after you reverted the timeline, and we wouldn't have had to put up with her.

Pete has finally had enough of Jackie's crap and tries to tell her that they're the same Rose. To illustrate this, he hands baby Rose to teenage Rose, causing enough of a paradox to let in a single Reaper.

Never thought I'd have to say this, but quit touching yourself, Rose!
The Doctor, the oldest thing in the church, attempts to protect the others, but ends up getting eaten. And when the Reaper finishes its meal and flies into the half-materialized TARDIS, both it and the TARDIS disappear as the key drops to the floor, having had all of its energy drained.

Pete holds Rose, who freaks out after having doomed the world again (though, to be fair, Pete's the one who handed her the baby) as the world outside darkens. And a single car endlessly drives around the church. Pete knows what he has to do in order to make things right.

Pete: "The Doctor really cared about you. He didn't want you to go through it again. Not if there was another way. Now there isn't."

Rose, quite understandably, doesn't want her dad to go through with it, and Jackie finally realizes who Rose is.

Pete: "I'm meant to be dead, Jackie. You're gonna get rid o' me at last."
Jackie: "Don't say that."

Well, at least she got some more time to spend with her husband. Which she mostly spent yelling at him.

With one last kiss goodbye, Pete prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice for Rose, Jackie, and the universe.

Rose: "But it's not fair."
Pete:
"I've had all these extra hours. No one else in the world has ever had that."

"Yeah, most of us get a lot more than that."
"Ain't that the truth."
"Silence! The man is saying goodbye to his son!"
"Yeah, let him have this moment."
"...Because a moment is all he gets, right?"
"Clara Oswald!"
"Sorry, sorry."
"Don't be. It was funny."
Pete: "And on top of that, I get to see you. And you're beautiful. How lucky am I, eh?"

With the world at stake, Pete takes the vase and runs past the Reapers into the road. As the Reapers disappear and the Doctor returns, Rose stays with her father in his final moments, changing the story that Jackie Tyler would later tell her daughter after having a bit to drink.

Jackie: "The driver was just a kid. He stopped, he waited for the police. It wasn't his fault. For some reason, Pete just ran out. People say there was this girl. And she sat with Pete while he was dying. She held his hand. Then she was gone. Never found out who she was."

And so, the episode ends with Rose's voiceover as she and the Doctor hold hands and head back to the TARDIS.

Rose: "Peter Alan Tyler. The most wonderful man in the world. Died 7th of November, 1987."

And with that, it's time to review this entirely unique episode of Doctor Who.... and why I might never watch it again.

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