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Doctor Who

"Time Heist" (Aired September 20, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

WARNING: "Game of Thrones" Spoiler near the end of this recap. 

 

We begin with the Doctor at Clara's apartment attempting to convince her to go on an adventure with him. He seems awfully need sometimes. Clara says she has a date. Her cheeks are rosy and we can tell she's absolutely smitten with Danny Pink. The Doctor comments on Clara's coloring, her level of smitten perplexes the Doctor. 

 

As Clara is headed out the door, the phone on the TARDIS rings, stopping both Clara and the Doctor. As the Doctor goes to answer the phone, Clara begs him not to. She says if he answers something will happen and they'll be taken somewhere. The Doctor reminds Clara that very few people in the universe have that number and tells her nothing happens from answering a phone. Well that's just dumb because we know that's not the case. 

 

Next thing we see, the Doctor and Clara are sitting at a table with two others. All four of them are holding worms that have wiped their memories. When the woman sitting with them at the table asks who they are, an audio recording begins, in which all four present give audible consent to having their memories wiped. We found out the man at the table is named Psi and the female is named Saibra. A screen opens in the middle of the table, and a video from a mysterious figure who calls himself The Architect appears. He has hired the four of them to break into the most secure bank in the universe, Karabroxos. The Architect tells them that in order to succeed and survive, they'll have to follow his instructions. As he says this, bank guards are already banging down the door of the room they are in, so they have no choice but to trust The Architect.

 

As they take off down the hall, Clara and the Doctor begin to learn more about their fellow bank heisters. Psi is a human cyborg who is a hacker and has a computer for a brain. Saibra is able to replicate DNA she touches and has a hologram shell to project the same clothing. Alright, now that we know everyone's skills, time to rob a bank.

 

The four heisters enter the lobby of the bank with Saibra transformed into a business man, presumably a customer of the bank. As they're walking along, the Doctor makes a comment that using the TARDIS would make the heist a lot easier, so why aren't they using it. Clara brings up the more important question: where is the TARDIS? As this discussion is occurring, we see the head of the bank's security, Ms. Delphox appear. We think she's coming for the four heisters, but it's too early in the episode for that. She approaches another bank customer. Delphox has her pet, a creature called a Teller, scan the customer's mind and feed off of the guilty thoughts. It is explained that in order to avoid the power of the Teller, someone must keep their mind blank. Psi warns Clara she may have to do this someday. OBVIOUS FORESHADOWING. We then see the customer's head shrink as the Teller feeds off of his thoughts. It's actually quite disturbing to watch.

 

With that close call out of the way, the four heisters are back on their mission. Because Saibra is able to replicate DNA, her finger print works to unlock one of the vaults to get the group to the next stage. There, they find a suitcase placed by the Architect. Saibra points out that if the Architect was able to place items in the bank, why couldn't he have just stolen the thing to begin with. Good point, Saibra. I also find it interesting that Twelve went along with the heist with no questions asked. I feel like Ten and Eleven would have been more hesitant to complete a heist, at least without trying to find more answers. Anyway, the four open the suitcase and find what appears to be a bomb. They're trying to figure out it's use, and the Doctor realizes they are supposed to explode the floor. When Psi shows some hesitation, the Doctor says they all agreed to this heist, which means there is something in this for all of them. The Doctor detonates the device, which turns out to be a dimensional shift bomb, casing the floor to disappear, then reappear once they're through. They successfully complete this step right as the bank guards enter the vault. 

 

The four heisters reconvene once they're through the floor and the Doctor has Psi open the next case. The Doctor is worried there may be information that can implicate all of them, and Psi has the ability to wipe his mind and clear out the guilt. The Doctor also explains they all had their minds wiped, as there are no more obviously guilty people than those robbing banks. Psi opens the case and it's four devices.  Psi says he doesn't know what it is, and so does the Doctor, but Saibra knows the Doctor is lying. 

 

The group then splits into pairs of two, Psi and Clara and the Doctor and Saibra. It's so we can find out more about Psi and Saibra so that when they are killed off we feel a little bit more than we would. Too harsh? Sorry 'bout it.  

Psi explains to Clara that he was in prison, and in order to protect his friends and family, he deleted all memories of them. Meanwhile, Saibra tells the Doctor she knows he was lying about what was in the case, and he merely says, "An exit strategy of sorts." He asks her how she knew he was lying, and she says with her ability to mutate, she gets good at reading faces. He makes a comment about this being a gift, but this upset Saibr. She explains that she can't touch anyone she cares about because she'll change. So, she's Rogue from X-Men, right? She's even got the gloves! Saibra also says, "Could you trust someone who looked back at you out of your own eyes?" This resonates with the Doctor which mean's it's coming back before the end of the episode!

 

The four heisters end up back together and see the man who's brain was sucked out by the Teller earlier. An alarm is tripped, and in their attempt to escape, the four actually end up in the room containing the holding cell of the Teller. Clara's thoughts awaken the Teller. The Doctor tells Clara to keep her mind blank because once it's locked in on your thoughts, it won't let go. The Doctor says this repeatedly and all I could think was STFU Doctor! You telling Clara to keep her mind blank only focuses her mind on you and causes her to think even more. Making the situation worse! The four heisters attempt to escape, but Saibra gets caught up in the Teller's mind sucking stream. She doesn't want her brain sucked out the way she saw the customer's earlier, so she asks the Doctor about that exit strategy. He hands her one, and before she  uses it she tells the Doctor he's a good man. Just the thing he's been wondering all along. Then Saibra uses the device where she appears to disintegrate. Painful. 

 

Now it is just Psi, the Doctor, and Clara headed to the vaults. Clara asks the Doctor if he is ok after what just happened with Saibra and the Doctor, with what I think is false bravado says, "Saibra is dead, we are alive, and we need to prioritize to stay that way." This upsets Psi, and I imagine some viewers. This adds to the idea that Twelve is uncaring, callous, and calculated. But I disagree. There's pain in the Doctor's eyes at losing Saibra. He's not happy about it, but unlike Ten and Eleven, he's not dwelling on it. Dwelling on Saibra's death may slow them down and put them even more at risk. Perhaps Twelve is better at compartmentalizing than Ten and Eleven were. I'm not saying it's healthy, but I don't think he's any less caring. I may have thought this at the beginning of the series, but the hurt in Twelve's eyes is too present for him to be a non-caring and callous monster. 

 

As Clara, the Doctor, and Psi find a new case from The Architect, we see Ms. Delphox tell her security team to release the Teller into the vents to find the heisters. Psi downloads the information in the case, while Clara grabs a card she sees with some numbers and letters on it. Psi takes off down the hall to try and crack the codes for the vaults. The Doctor realizes the Teller is after them, and suggests he and Clara go different ways from Psi to keep the thought paths from being too strong. Before the Doctor leaves, Psi requests a suicide device just in case. 

 

Clara and the Doctor are roaming the tunnels, trying to avoid the Teller, but it manages to catch up to Clara. She tries to keep her mind blank (knew that would come back!), and once she thinks she's in the clear, she takes off running. But the Teller catches her and she screams. The Doctor and Psi both take off to try and find her, but not before Psi download all the information possible on bank robbers. Psi then yells at the Teller to come after him for this information. The Teller releases Clara from his mind stream, and goes in search for Psi. Clara and the Doctor meet up at the vault, but it's still locked. Clara is furious, she thinks Psi died for no reason. 

 

The Doctor runs back to the computer where Psi thought he had cracked the code, but the Doctor says there are even more locks and the screwdriver can't help him. But The Architect would have known that, so why bring them all this way for nothing? There has to be something else. Right then, a solar storm begins to flare up and the Doctor understands this is the exact moment when the bank is the most vulnerable, which means that whoever sent them is from the future and knows the exact moment of the storm. Right then, the vault door opens and Clara and the Doctor are in. 

 

As they are in the room with all of the valuables, the Doctor explains landing the TARDIS in the solar storm would have been impossible, and therefore, that's why it wasn't used. Clara then shows the Doctor the card she pulled from the last case, and the two of them are off finding what is in the boxes. They find a circuit which would help Psi replace any lost date and a serum for Saibra that would keep her from transforming when she touched another. As Clara and the Doctor are trying to figure out why they're there, he turns and runs right into the Teller. OOPS.

 

The Teller apparently decides he needs to bring the Doctor and Clara to Delphox. Delphox is cocky about catching them, which means she's gonna die before the end of the episode (cockiness= death. See: The Viper in "Game of Thrones"). She orders the Doctor and Clara to death by incineration, as apparently the Doctor's statement about all the secrets would be too much for the Teller made Delphox concerned enough to not use the Teller on him. Delphox leaves her two security guards to handle Clara and the Doctor. It turns out, those security guards are Psi and Saibra. It turns out the suicide pill/bombs were actually transporers that took them to a ship. 

 

Psi is able to get the group down to the private vault, where they come across the owner of the bank, Karabroxos. It turns out, Delphox was a clone of Karabroxos, and Karabroxos has the bank run by her clones. When her clones fail her, she has them incinerated. Seems reasonable. When Karabroxos orders that Delphox be incinerated, everything clicks with the Doctor. Saibra's statement about not trusting someone with your own eyes comes back to him (Duh!), and he hands Karabroxos his phone number telling her to call him someday when she's on her death bed. He remembers earlier he said he hated the Architect, but it turns out HE is The Architect. IT makes sense, we know the Doctor isn't particularly found of himself. Karabroxos leaves to escape the storm, as she knows the bank won't survive. The Doctor then invites the Teller into his brain. 

 

Perhaps because there's no guilt the Teller isn't sufficiently sucking the Doctor's brain, but all of the memories come back. We see the Doctor answering the phone, and it was Karabroxos on her death bed saying she made a huge mistake and needs the Doctor to fix it. We see him finding Psi and Saibra, and setting up the heist. The Doctor then tells the Teller he's free to do what he wants. Another secret vault is unlocked, ad we see another Teller chained up by Karabroxos in order to have the Teller do her biding. The Doctor tells Clara that it was never a heist, but "a rescue mission for a whole species."

 

Clara and the Doctor then drop the Tellers back off on their home planet. They then take Psi and Saibra home as well, with Psis memory restored and Saibra's mutation problem solved. The Doctor drops Clara off in time for her date. As Clara is leaving, she tells the Doctor not to rob any banks without her. When she leaves, the Doctor states, "Robbing a bank, robbing a whole bank. Beat that for a date."

 

Is the Doctor jealous?!? I have mixed emotions about this. I'm not an anti Doctor-Companion shipper. In fact, I was a HUGE proponent of Rose and the Doctor. But I was kind of excited about this being a friendship, or perhaps a parental relationship between the Doctor and Clara (though which one is the parent is entirely unclear). I don't want another love triangle like there was with the Tenth Doctor, Rose, and Mickey. I really want Clara and Danny Pink to have a meaningful relationship without the Doctor being all broody about it.