Doctor Who season 9, episode 10 just aired, and now we are all huddled masses of quivering emotion. Send tissues and send them now.
The episode starts with Clara and the Doctor’s old friend Rigsy calling them. He’s lost an entire day in his memory, and now he’s sporting a tattoo that is counting down.
The Doctor and Clara do some research and everything about Rigsy’s last 24 hours have been wiped: his phone, his memory, etc. The Doctor decides that whatever happened, occurred in
Diagon Alley a hidden street, called a “Trap Street” (cue symbolism). Clara, the Doctor and Rigsy trace this missing Trap Street. Just as they find it, Clara receives data from Rigsy’s phone. It would appear that he witnessed or committed a murder on the Trap Street 24 hours ago, and the person who died was a Janus.
As the three of them enter the street they come to realize that everyone considers Rigsy a murderer of the Janus, even though he remembers nothing. The street isn’t an ordinary one. It’s a refugee camp of sorts where the broken aliens of the worlds, who appear human, have gone to heal, and it is being run by none other than Ashildr. The countdown clock tattoo is a countdown to Rigsy’s death. The street’s justice is swift, you get time to say good-bye and then a raven ends your life.
The Doctor, Clara, and Rigsy proceed to investigate. None of them can imagine that Rigsy is a murderer. They find the Janus that Rigsy is supposed to have killed, and the Janus’ daughter. The daughter, though disguised as a boy to hide her psychic abilities, knows the truth. Rigsy is innocent. The Doctor uses his TARDIS key to try to save the Janus’ mother and his key is taken. It was all a plot to steal his TARDIS key all along, and put a transporter cuff him.
The plan would have been flawless except Clara intervened. Apparently Ashildr made a deal with a higher power, who we are betting are the Time Lords of Gallifrey, but this remains to be seen. As part of the deal, Rigsy was bait to lure in the Doctor. After the Doctor was captured, Rigsy was to go free. Unfortunately, Clara, via her own free will, assumed the countdown timer rendering Ashildur’s deal null and void. Ashildr is powerless to stop the timer from counting down to kill Clara.
Ashildr demands the Doctor’s Confession Dial (his will from the first episode this season). The Doctor hands it over, but he threatens Ashildr that he will reign down hell to make her fix the situation, but she truly can’t. Clara then has an emotional goodbye with the Doctor. She tells him that she is ready to go, and asks him to be strong, and not to seek revenge in her name.
Clara: “I did this. Your reign of terror will end with the sign of the first crying child, and you know it. If Danny Pink can do it, so can I– die right; face the raven. You, you listen to me. You’re going to be alone now and you’re very bad at that. You’re going to be furious, and you’re going to be sad. But listen to me, don’t let this change you. No, listen, whatever happens next, wherever she is sending you, I know what you are capable of. You don’t be a warrior, promise me. Be a doctor.”
Doctor: “What’s the point if I can’t be a Doctor, if I can’t cure yo–”
Clara: “Heal yourself. You have to. You can’t let this turn you into a monster. So, I’m not asking you for a promise, I’m giving you an order. Do not insult my memory! There will be no revenge. I will die and no one else here or anywhere will suffer.”
Doctor: “What about me?”
Clara: “If there was something I could do about that I would. I guess we’re both just going to have to be brave.”
Clara: “Everything you’re about to say I already know. Don’t do it now, we’ve had enough bad timing.”
Doctor: “Don’t run, stay with me.”
Clara: “Nah, you stay here. In the end everybody does this alone. This is as brave as I know how to be. I know it’s going to hurt you, but please be a little proud of me. Goodbye, Doctor.”
(Clara exits the building and walks to the street to face the raven)
“Let me be brave, let me be brave.”
Clara dies and Ashildhr seems truly remorseful. The Doctor, before he is sent to points unknown, lets Ashildr know that she should stay out of his path. It is only because of Clara’s words that he has not ended her life; however, he is not done with her by a longshot should they ever meet again.
Doctor Who returns next Saturday on BBC America for the penultimate episode of season 9.