Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 10 Review: Face the Raven

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Clara's gone to that great big TARDIS in the sky, and strangely I'm not upset about it.

I don't mean to take away from the wonderful performances in Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 10. However, when the Pond's made their exit it was totally devastating and somewhat shocking. There's been so much talk of Jenna Coleman leaving, not to mention putting Clara in danger each episode, that all the foreshadowing ruined her moment.

Sure I'll miss Clara, yet mostly I just feel relieved the teasing is finally over.

Magical Alien World - Doctor Who

The opening scene once again painted Clara as reckless, which ultimately led to her demise. I'm still processing what went down, but I'm a bit bothered by the way Clara died. More on that in a bit.

I'll be honest, when the phone rang I had no clue who Rigsy was. I've said this before, I can't recall what happened yesterday, let alone remember a character that appeared in one episode over a year ago. Yes, Joivan Wade looked familiar, but Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 9 is a total blank.

Anyway, it was fairly obvious the tattoo countdown meant the kid only had hours to live. I loved when the Doctor went for the card deck in an effort to be nice. "There's no nice way to say you're about to die" he said. I'm not sure how he figured out there must be "secret pockets of alien life" in London, but that lead to Clara dangling from the TARDIS wildly and enjoying every minute of it. They sure were laying it on thick.

The search for Trap Street made little sense, but the trio eventually wound up there.

Clara: Ashildr?
Ashildr/Me: Ashildr?
The Doctor: That's your name. I keep telling you that.
Ashildr/Me: Do you? Infinite lifespan, finite memory. It makes for an awkward social life.

While it was great to see Maisie Williams again, Ashildr went from sympathetic to spiteful in a handful of episodes. I realize the character is now woven into Who mythology, but I don't care for her much. It was no surprise she was responsible for the quantum-shade, but the evidence on Rigsy was ridiculously weak. The woman wasn't even dead, huh?

When Ashildr/Me offered Clara absolute protection, you just knew there would be a hitch. The quick flashes of Cyberman, Ood and other Who creatures in the refugee camp was cool.  

The moment I noticed Clara watching that elderly couple talk about transferring his death sentence, I knew she was going to pull something stupid. The purpose of that scene was basically for us to witness him "Face the Raven." Not a pleasant demise at all, despite the fact Ashildr claimed he was a Cyberman. I disliked her even more after that.

Why did they introduce Rigsy's child? That became clear soon enough.

Rigsy: You're serious? You actually expect me to give you my death sentence?
Clara: I've always wanted a tattoo. You know, something small. Discreet.
Rigsy: Clara, cut it out.
Clara: Why aren't you listening? I'm under the Mayor's personal protection and it's absolute, apparently. Look she controls the raven, so I will never have to face it.

Famous last words Clara, you definitely weren't as clever as you thought. I prefer to imagine that Clara wanted Rigsy reunited with his child or had a death wish, to just taking a stupid risk. Clara's personality changed so much after Danny Pink, that she's not the "impossible girl" I remember falling for. While I love Jenna, she probably should have been written out last season. Clara has been underused and poorly handled this year. What they've done to the character has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Anyway, so the tattoo transferred over to Clara and I waited patiently for the emotional whammy. It never came to be totally honest. I didn't shed a tear, and this coming from a guy who has been weeping consistently over Fitz-Simmons on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3. That's not to say Capaldi and Coleman didn't nail their final scenes together, they absolutely did. It's just the events and bizarre story failed to elicit an emotional response. Don't get me started on the double-faced aliens and that whole twist.

Ashildr played everyone brilliantly and in the final 10 minutes I hated her.

Ashildr/Me: I don't want your TARDIS. That's not what this is about. Rigsy come here, I'll remove your chronolock.
The Doctor: What is this Ashildr? You can't possibly think this is going to keep me here.
Ashildr/Me: It's not a restraint. It's a teleport bracelet.
Clara: What?
Ashildr/Me: I'll give you time to say goodbye, don't worry. No one will be hurt.

So, who did Ashildr makes this twisted deal with? The Doctor asked what we were all thinking, "They? Who are they?" Then, of course Clara revealed she had the tattoo and the shit hit the fan. It didn't matter that Ashildr felt badly, if I ever see the character again it's too soon. I had a feeling early on Ashildr would play a part in Clara's demise. Perhaps the fact they kept crying wolf, or that Ashildr would be involved lessened the impact. All I know for sure is Clara's death didn't hurt as much as it should have.

Capaldi's emotions were written all over his face and the Doctor's threats were pretty intense. Clara had to ask him not to insult her memory with revenge. She took responsibilty for her actions which was admirable, but she's still gone. I hope they don't tease us bringing her back, or revealing another version running around the Doctor’s timeline. Let Clara rest in peace and bring on the next companion.

Well, what did you think of "Face The Raven"? Will you miss Clara? Do you feel this was a fitting farewell? Your turn my friends, go ahead and sound off in the comments below. Look for our Doctor Who Round Table later this week.

Don't forget you can watch Doctor Who online via TV Fanatic at any time.

NOTE: Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 11 is titled "Heaven Sent" and airs on Saturday, November 28.

Face the Raven Review

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Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 10 Quotes

Rigsy: You're serious? You actually expect me to give you my death sentence?
Clara: I've always wanted a tattoo. You know, something small. Discreet.
Rigsy: Clara, cut it out.
Clara: Why aren't you listening? I'm under the Mayor's personal protection and it's absolute, apparently. Look she controls the raven, so I will never have to face it.

Clara: Ashildr?
Ashildr/Me: Ashildr?
The Doctor: That's your name. I keep telling you that.
Ashildr/Me: Do you? Infinite lifespan, finite memory. It makes for an awkward social life.