“Relax. Do as you’re told. Your future is taken care of.”
The Monks have spent the last six months at the fore of a totalitarian regime, and Bill has taken to talking to her long deceased mother to keep top of mind that the world’s history according to the Monks is a lie. Nardole recovered from his bout of biochemical poisoning and got a new hat and coat. It’s now quite a challenge to discern what’s real from what’s not.
After delivering an impassioned speech about free will and literally going ballistic after The Doctor reveals that he’s joined the Monks, Bill learns that The Doctor has been testing her and is introduced to Missy. Missy has had previous experience with the Monks, and defeated them. Her solution? The lynchpin – the link binding the Monks to the rest of the world – ideally needs to be rendered into a brain-dead husk. Which is Bill. In a word, to quote Missy herself: awkward. It totally flies against the work The Doctor has been doing to help her turn good. Oi, not so, says Missy.
You know, back in the day, I’d burn an entire city to the ground just to see the pretty shapes the smoke made. I’m sorry your plus one doesn’t get a happy ending, but, like it or not, I just saved this world because I want to change.
Your version of good is not absolute. It’s vain, arrogant, and sentimental. If you’re waiting for me to become all that, I’m going to be here for a long time yet.
The Doctor then decides that a more expedient solution is to plug himself into the databank – “the eye of the storm” – that’s been transmitting the Monks’ revisionist history of the world, and thereby collapsing their hold on humanity. “The things that I could change just by thinking. Racism. People who talk in cinemas!”
The plan is effective, briefly. It isn’t long before the Monks completely overwhelm The Doctor, and after Bill ties him up and props him in a corner of the control room, she takes it upon herself to break their signal with the unfettered memories she’s created of her mother over time, including the photographs The Doctor took and gave to Bill in “The Pilot.” Thankfully, she is successful, even as The Doctor ruminates that humanity is inevitably doomed because it will never learn from its mistakes.
Rating: 8/10 destroyed Monk statues
Next week: With four episodes remaining until Peter Capaldi ends his run as The Doctor, we take our leave of Fake News and Other Popular Problems to engage with an old foe, the Ice Warriors, in Empress Of Mars.