New Show Recap: Doctor Who 8×05, “Time Heist”

The Doctor and Clara are robbing a bank? What could possibly go wrong? (Spoilers, sweetie!)

We start with more evidence of Twelve’s non-humanity—Clara’s getting ready for her second date with Danny Pink; the Doctor wonders why her face is all colored-in and thinks she’s wearing high heels to get something off a high shelf. Then the phone rings on the TARDIS, which is weird because who has the number? Clara doesn’t want him to answer because she knows that means she’s going to miss her date, but does the Doctor listen?

Gif from Time Heist of the Doctor saying "It's just a phone, Clara. Nothing happens when you answer the phone."

Gif from Time Heist of the Doctor and Clara taking creepy worms away from their faces and screaming.
Nope. He didn’t listen.

Yeah, shouldn’t have answered. The TARDIS phone needs some intergalactic caller ID or something. The Doctor and Clara find themselves in some sort of bunker with Psi, a hacker/bank robber with a memory bank embedded in his brain, and Saibra, who is basically a cross between Rogue and Polyjuice Potion; she can take on anyone’s appearance with a single touch. A recording plays that they’ve all willingly had their memory wiped, and now The Architect tells them they have to rob the Bank of Karabraxos or die trying. And it’s the most secure bank in the galaxy. Fun times.

With Saibra disguised as a customer, they make their way into the lobby, but then the bank goes on lockdown and Ms. Delphox, the bank manager, calls out the Teller, a minotaur-looking mindreader who can detect guilt and then turn the guilty party’s brain into soup.

Fortunately for our crew they aren’t the only guilty party on premises, but they get a rather gruesome display of what awaits them if they get caught. There’s a bit of a scuffle over why the Doctor is automatically in charge of the mission, but he has a simple explanation:

As they make their way through the bank, The Architect has left them suitcases with all sorts of devices to help them along: A dimensional shift bomb that lets them disappear through the floor and then replace the molecules to leave no trace of their passage, memory chips for Psi to upload new information, and mysterious syringes that the Doctor thinks are suicide devices (but we later learn are transporters, after Saibra and Psi have both deployed them to avoid having their brains turned to soup). When a solar storm unlocks a vault that defies even the sonic screwdriver, the Doctor realizes that the Architect had to have sent them back through time so they’d be in the right place at the right time.

The Doctor and Clara find the rewards that led Psi and Saibra to join the crew—a serum that will restore the memories of Psi’s family and friends, which he deleted in a panic while being interrogated in prison, and a genetic therapy for Saibra that will allow her to touch others without turning into them, which will allow her to have normal relationships—but they get captured before they get to the private vault that presumably holds the Doctor’s reward. (Poor Clara doesn’t seem to have a planned reward; she just got schlepped along.) Fortunately, the guards who are supposed to execute them turn out to be Psi and Saibra, and they break into the vault to find Madame Karabraxos, who looks exactly like Ms. Delphox. How paranoid do you have to be to staff the bank with your own clones? (At least until they disappoint you and earn a trip to the incinerator.)

And now it’s time for the Moffat ex Machina. Karabraxos hates her clones because she can’t stand to see herself reflected back at her; the Doctor hates the Architect because, well, it’s him. The real mission was never to rob the bank, but he can’t remember what it was and he needs the Teller to unlock them. Paradox time! The Doctor gave Karabraxos his phone number and a note that said he was a time traveller; she was the one who called him from her deathbed so he could fix something she’d regretted her whole life. The Teller wasn’t the last of his species and had only agreed to melt people’s brains because his partner was being held hostage in the bank. The mission wasn’t about robbing a bank after all. Awwwww. Everyone hops back to the TARDIS, the aliens go back to their world, Psi and Saibra get their rewards, and Clara gets home in time to go on her date after all.

Most of Twitter seems to have loved the show, but there were a few critics. It is, after all, Twitter. I personally loved the twist at the end, even while being kinda mad at myself for falling for the obvious stab in the feels. Whatever. I’m a sap.

And of course, the villains had to get the last word in.

(Gifs via riverrory)

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

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