Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 8 Review: The Zygon InversionHenry A. Otero at . Updated at .
Capaldi's a great actor, that's a given. I'm thrilled he finally got a standout moment.
While this Zygon two-parter is probably my least favorite of the ninth season (so far), it tackled some serious real world issues. Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 8 wasn't as fast-paced as part one, but it managed to give us a decent resolution.
I don't know about you, but I still want to know if Osgood was human or Zygon.
I was surprised the cold open picked up with the real Clara inside the Zygon cocoon. Shouldn't they have hinted at this dream state or her influence over Bonnie in the first part? It just seemed like a quick way to resolve the big cliffhanger with the plane, once again cheating their way out of a sticky situation.
I did like that the plane went down though, forcing the Doctor and Osgood to parachute to safety.
Bonnie forcing that Zygon out of his human form was freaky, but the morphing was not smooth at all. It would have been preferable for the man to stay in that inbetween state, which was fairly disturbing. True, the point was for the alien footage to go viral. Still, I'm just not a fan of the Zygons #sorrynotsorry
Then, off Bonnie went to find the Osgood box which turned out to be empty. What?!? Sure, Capaldi was given a moment to shine, but the whole thing was a tad anticlimactic. More on that in a minute.
The Doctor giving Osgood his sonic shades was fun, especially the bit about the browser history. No, I'm not getting used to the glasses, I still want the screwdriver back. Anyway, so Clara managed to text the Doctor via the Zygon.
Osgood: Never really met Clara. Pretty strong, yeah?
The Doctor: She was amazing.
Osgood: No, not was... is. It's not from the Zygon. It's from Clara.
The Doctor: How?
Osgood: She's not dead. She's in a pod somewhere.
It was strange the Doctor lead Bonnie straight to Clara for the Osgood box. I particularly liked the whole winking thing. Jenna Coleman had a ball playing evil Clara, didn't she? It's a shame that's all over and done with. Wouldn't it have been fun if Bonnie traveled with the Doctor on the next few adventures?
The second act stalled quite a bit for me. I think this is the first two-parter where I actually preferred the first part more. Don't get me wrong, the ending was powerful and Capaldi nailed it. It's just most of the episode was pure filler until the finale confrontation. It made sense there were two Osgood boxes, but I'm still kind of bummed there was nothing in them. It was all smoke and mirrors in the end.
The fact Kate wasn't a duplicate was a nice twist. Had she been a Zygon it would have complicated matters further. It's an hour show after all.
The Doctor: Let me negotiate peace. You can't commit mass murder...
Kate: Then why did you leave the gas with us?
The Doctor: The boxes are safeguards for both species.
It all came down to a standoff between Kate at the red Osgood box and Bonnie and the blue Osgood box. "This is a scale model of war" the Doctor shouted. Again, Capaldi's performance was absolutely brilliant and it was easy to see how Bonnie would have a change of heart. Jenna's work might have been subtle, but she held her own in the scene. Man, I'm going to miss her.
While the statement Moffat and company made here couldn't be more timely, the simplicity of it is definitely the stuff of science fiction. Though real human beings might understand the Doctor's point, neither side would give in so easily.
Luckily, Bonnie didn't turn out to be as unreasonable as I expected.
Bonnie: It's empty, isn't it? Both boxes. There's nothing in them, just buttons.
The Doctor: Of course, and you know how you know that? Because you've started to think like me.
Kate closed her box first, yet everyone's minds were wiped except Bonnie. That didn't seem fair, Kate was the most level-headed the entire time. So, the cease fire was back in play and all's well that ends well.
Was anyone else surprised Osgood asked what TARDIS stands for? It was a bit of a shock that the Doctor asked her to be his companion. I could totally get behind that to be honest. Though Bonnie taking Osgood's shape tied everything together pretty neatly. Clara's death came up again in the final moments. It's getting close, isn't it? I'm dreading Jenna's last scene.
What did you think of "The Zygon Inversion"? Did you prefer the first part? Are you glad Osgood is sticking around? You're up guys, sound off in the comments below. Keep an eye out for our Doctor Who Round Table later this week.
Don't forget Whovians, you can watch Doctor Who online anytime via TV Fanatic.
NOTE: Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 9 is titled "Sleep No More" and airs on Saturday, November 14.