There were a lot of people who have been praising this season finale as the best ever. Now as a combination of two episodes for the season finale this would definitely be pretty high up there. As a stand alone I felt that the first part of the two-parter was actually stronger. This episode beautifully finished out what the previous episode had started, but it did not quite have me at the edge of my seat as part 1. I enjoyed it, but there was just not the same tension. At the same time they did a beautiful job of tying up some of the relationship drama that has been going on and showing more of the heart of the Doctor. Here are a some of the relationships that the season finale dealt with. (Spoilers for Doctor Who finale after the jump.)
Master and Doctor
There were so many relationships that came up in this episode. The big one obviously being the Master and the Doctor, the two friends that went their separate paths. One attempting to conquer worlds and one attempting to save them. They are always at odds with each other, but there is obviously desire by the Master to show the Doctor that they are not so different. The twist at the end with the Master giving the Doctor control over the risen dead who have become Cybermen was definitely an interesting twist. Think of all the worlds you could save and all the conflicts that you could be ultimate decider. Now this is often the situation the Doctor finds himself in, but is it really what he wants or desires. It really is an interesting deciding moment for the Doctor and him thinking about what can he do.
Danny and Clara
The way they dealt with this relationship is really fascinating. Danny being one of the dead is raised as a cyberman and since he did not delete his emotions before he was woken up he is feeling everything. The first thing he does is to go find Clara, he even ends up rescuing her from other cybermen who are under control. There are so many times Clara has lied to Danny, but she loved him and he loved her. At the same time he is in so much pain from everything that has happened and he just wants it to end, but he cannot do it himself. He asks that Clara do it for him. She agrees to do it because she knows that some of the pain is her fault and she cannot stand to see what has happened to him.
Danny and Doctor
I found this to be an intriguing relationship that was brought up in the episode. The Doctor finally got to see who Danny Pink really is. The Doctor kept calling him the soldier like that was a bad thing. Yet, in the moment when the Doctor is given an army to control, he realizes that he is not a leader. The Doctor is just a mad man in a box, but Danny Pink is a soldier and one who makes the right choices. Even after his feelings are technically turned off he will not harm Clara. It is a bit of love conquers all, but it is a sweet moment and kind of a great resolution of the Doctor trusting Danny to do the right thing because of Clara.
Clara and Doctor
The big thing that happened at the end of this episode is that the Doctor and Clara’s relationship has changed. They go through this whole experience and in the end they are no longer honest with each other. The Doctor knows that Clara cannot go on traveling with him and he does not want her to see him leaving saddened. Clara does not want to tell the Doctor that Danny Pink used the lifeline that he had to send a boy that died because of him during his army days. Danny Pink is a man who when given the choice chose to sacrifice himself. At the same time Clara and the Doctor try to act like everything is hunky dory and that they are not dealing with the worst pain imaginable. I think it is just an example of the fact that this experience has changed the way they interact.
This episode was really all about the various relationships that the Doctor has with people. Even the fact that he is made President of the World in a crisis situation says a lot about the various relationships that the Doctor has. The great moment came at the end where we are pretty sure that the Brigadier General has been raised as a Cyberman and saved his daughter from falling out of plane. She had mentioned to the Doctor that all he wanted was for the Doctor to salute him. So seeing the cyberman in the distance and believing it is the General the Doctor salutes. It is a beautiful moment and a great honoring of those that have served with the Doctor.