In the end, the mysterious Osgood box was empty. Were you expecting that at all?
The Doctor talked his way out of a war with the Zygons in what has to be Capaldi's most impressive monologue to date. The actor was finally given his standout moment, and Twelve's reign is all the better for it. Clara survived and Bonnie took Osgood's form. Fun times!
Share your favorite moment or quote from The Zygon Inversion.
Kathleen: The Osgood box is empty. Figures that they'd come up with such a solution. It reminded me of the Butter Battle Book, actually.
Zach: Oh, the Butter Battle Book. I actually thought that the buttons might end up reversing everything and making humans into Zygons (an inversion) and we were literally going to get a Star Bellied Sneetches situation.
The Doctor's speech had to be the most memorable moment for me. It was intense and was a great bit of darkness shining through a character that is so often held firmly in the light. That and the line, "I'm over two-thousand years old. I'm old enough to be your messiah!" Will somebody please get Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner on this show already!
Hank: I'm with Zach, the Doctor's speech was sensational and boy did Capaldi nail it. Kathleen's got the entire quote below, but I loved the reference to the Time War, "You mean, you call this a war? This funny little thing? This is not a war! I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know."
What did you think of the fact Clara could influence Bonnie while in the cocoon?
Kathleen: It made me think of a line from Madame de Pompadour in "The Girl in the Fireplace" (Doctor Who Season 2 Episode 4): "A door once opened may be stepped through in either direction." Ha! Steven Moffat, you little sneak. That's one of yours!
Zach: It made sense. If you're going to form a psychic bond with someone, you're going to have to open your mind, so it makes sense that this would have that kind of consequence. More than anything, I really like the way they handled what we saw. They easily could have just put Clara in a black void, but the creepy apartment with the TV as her outward viewpoint was a very cool choice.
Hank: I found it a little convenient that Clara had so much control over Bonnie while inside the pod. I realize Clara's special, but imagine if the humans were influencing their Zygon duplicates all over the world. That would be a tad chaotic, no? It made sense as far as Clara's story, but I'm not sure about the bigger picture.
Did Capaldi's performance impress you? Was this his standout moment?
Kathleen: Capaldi's pretty much brilliant all the time, but I'd have to highlight the confrontation over the Osgood Boxes. "You mean, you call this a war? This funny little thing? This is not a war! I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know. I did worse things than you could ever imagine. And when I close my eyes… I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight… 'til it burns your hand, and you say this… No one else will ever have to live like this! No one else will have to feel this pain! Not on my watch!" Wow. Just wow.
Zach: Yeah, Kathleen pretty much nailed it. The rest of the episode he was good, as he usually is, but that speech was of the knock-your-socks-off variety. Powerful, unforgettable stuff.
Hank: I'll be honest, I haven't connected with Twelve the way I did with Matt Smith's Doctor. I mostly blame the writing for that though, because Capaldi is a wonderful actor. Still, he hadn't had a standout moment until this episode. The scene blew me away, and proved once and for all that Peter Capaldi deserved to be Doctor Who.
Were you surprised the Osgood box was empty?
Kathleen: Not even a little bit. This is the Doctor we're talking about, after all. Even more so, this is directly linked to the end of the Time War. Simply put, it wouldn't actually turn out to be a weapon of mass destruction. The Doctor's true ultimate weapon is words, which is what this all comes down to in the end.
Zach: I admittedly didn't see it coming. I did, however, expect that the Doctor had somehow rigged the box to do only what he wanted it do, which in effect, was also sort of right, since he wanted them to do nothing.
Hank: Kathleen's a long time fan, so she sees these things coming. Not me I was more like, "seriously it's empty? After all that?" Sure, it made sense in the end, but felt a little anticlimactic after all the build up. After rewatching the episode, I felt differently and actually loved the twist. Of course the boxes had to be empty.
Do you think Osgood would have made a good companion? Why didn't she know what TARDIS stands for?
Kathleen: Osgood is fun, and it might have been entertaining to see how the Doctor handled a fangirl like her full time. Plus, she's a brilliant scientist and generally clever person in her own right. As to why she didn't know what TARDIS stands for... well, I just assumed that was a self-referential joke like the UNIT Dating Controversy.
Zach: I think Osgood would have made an interesting companion. The fangirling out may not have been a sustainable character trait long-term. If she did go full time, I think it would have to be a plot point where she slowly drops it in favor of forming her own identity, which could be an interesting arc to watch (effectively making commentary on what it is to be a fan and be obsessed about something). She is very intelligent and clever, which would give her some overlap, I think, with Clara.
As for why she didn't know what TARDIS stood for: I assumed that it meant that this particular Osgood was actually Bonnie and that she hadn't completed the complete psychic download of a the Wikia of Doctor facts up in Osgood's head. Come on, the real Osgood knows what it stands for!
Hank: I don't think the fangirl shtick would work long-term either Zach. Don't get me wrong, I love Osgood but in smaller doses. She's brilliant and all but just not companion material. Which is why I was surprised the Doctor offered her the spot. He must already know that Clara's days are numbered. Zach, I thought the same thing when Osgood blanked out over what the TARDIS meant... that she wasn't the original.
NOTE: Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 9 is titled "Sleep No More" and airs on Saturday, November 14.