This episode is the second one this season to make me cry, and I’m not even a fan of Clara! I actually found this ending for Clara rather fitting with what her character has been during this season.
Clara has been reckless and it often seems that she has a kind of death wish. Mainly this comes from wanting to immolate the Doctor and how the Doctor often makes risky decisions in order to save others. This makes Clara’s sacrifice to save Rigsy understandable. It’s something that she believes the Doctor would have done, and assures Rigsy that the Doctor does this sort of thing all the time.
It’s this reckless behavior that ultimately leads to her death. While much on the episode isn’t anything too exciting, Clara’s final scene with the Doctor is heartbreaking and superbly acted. In this scene, Clara is the companion that I always wanted her to be.
Companions have a long history of making the Doctor better in some way. Many times is comes in the form of stopping him when he is about to go too far. You could say that they bring him back to humanity. However, there are times when Clara was a little touch and go in this aspect. There are times when she acts as his anchor, and these moments are great, but there are also many times when I questioned whether or not she was good for the Doctor. This was mostly in season 8 where the Doctor becomes kind of a jerk, and Clara doesn’t necessarily help.
But Clara’s final scene reflects those moments where I actually liked Clara. Those moments when she reminds the Doctor that saving people should always be his end goal. She reminds the Doctor that he is a good man, even if he sometimes doesn’t see it that way.
Clara tells the Doctor not to take revenge for her death. She doesn’t wan the Doctor to become an unforgiving force of nature and begs him to let her be strong. There is always a time when the Doctor has to let go and allow his companions to do what has to be done. Clara was brave, and she saved someones life. Clara’s final episode, at least her final scene, was a good send off, and honestly, the best we could expect from a character who, I feel, was never fully realized.
There were a few things that confused me while watching the episode. The main issue I had was with Rigsy. It wasn’t until I looked it up that I remembered him from an earlier episode. Rigsy wasn’t a very memorable character so the Doctor and Clara’s familiarity with him seemed odd. Maybe not Clara’s so much since I assumed that she was his schoolteacher at some point, but the Doctor’s was strange for me. Not once while I was watching did I remember him. Since Clara sacrifices her life to save him, it probably would have been better had Rigsy been in the show more than just the one time. Maybe if he came up just once or twice more. I feel that Clara’s sacrifice would have been more affecting and meaningful if the audience was a little more attached to Rigsy.
Also, I am supremely disappointed that there isn’t going to be a Jane Austen episode. At least, it doesn’t seem like there is going to be. Clara mentioned meeting her multiple times which generally means that it is going to be one adventure that we are never going to see. Being a huge Jane Austen fan, this makes me quite sad. The Dickens, Shakespeare, and Agatha Christie episodes are among some of my favorites, being a major book nerd and all, and it upsets me that I’m not going to see one of my favorite authors come alive in Doctor Who. Of all the authors they chose to not have an episode about, it’s Jane Austen!
Oh, well. Overall, I was pretty satisfied about this episode. Now we get to sit and wonder who could possibly be the next companion!