Are you still reeling from last week's Doctor Who? You're not alone! Out first shot of "The Witch's Familiar" is just as dizzying as this series' opener.
Clara and Missy are not dead. Missy has Clara strung upside down in a desert while she whittles a sharp stick. Missy tells a lovely bedtime story about The Doctor once upon a time.
She explains that The Doctor once escaped certain extermination by using android attacks to power up his teleporter. Clara figures out that it must be the same way Missy keeps escaping -- and how they got away from the Daleks when it looked like they died.
Missy's stick, which Clara seems to covet, looks a bit like a wand -- Is she the Witch to The Doctor's Magician? Is Clara the familiar or the apprentice?
Davros thinks that The Doctor is at his mercy, but he doesn't remember that he is an old, weak, dying man in a Dalek chair. The Daleks start yelling, "Davros is leaving the infirmary!" The Doctor is escaping. "Seek. Locate. Destroy."
The Daleks see Davros' chair approaching on their little map, so they demand the door open to assist him. Instead, it's DOCTOR DALEK! I'm not even going to pretend to be playing it cool. I am literally shouting "DOCTOR DALEK" at the TV, at my husband, at my dog.
Davros lying on the floor, half a body with all his undercables showing. He calls for Colony Sarff -- definitely missed his weird snakey face. The Daleks EXTERMINATE Doctor Dalek.
Missy introduces Clara to the concept of Dalek sewers and, in order to test the depth, throws her down into one. I can't imagine I'd want to know what's down there, but I think we're going to find out anyway.
The Doctor, again, isn't exterminated. He's sipping a nice cuppa instead. The Daleks surround him, obviously confused on why he's still there. "Of course, the real question is: where did I get the cup of tea? Answer: I'm The Doctor. Just accept it." His non-explanation is reminiscent of Missy's speech last week on how she's not dead (complete with "Never mind"). The Daleks think they are safe from The Doctor because he doesn't use weapons, but he brandishes the Dalek arm and makes them reconsider.
We get a little Expelliarmus moment in the sewer; Clara has taken Missy's sharp stick and is disarmed. Dalek sewers are alive? Ew, they are dying un-dying Daleks! Missy says that the Dalek word for 'sewer' is the same as their word for 'graveyard'. They can hear The Doctor threatening the Daleks over Clara, as he is transmitting through all of Skaro from Davros' chair. He declares that, if Clara is really dead, they had better be very careful how they tell him. Apparently, the Dalek way to be careful with this news is, "Clara Oswald is not alive." I still think that's a possibility - #ClaraIsDead. There have been too many iterations of Clara to fully believe she's survived.
Davros isn't dead yet, and Colony Sarff are suffocating The Doctor. Dual traps going on -- Davros and Colony Sarff are "entrapping a Time Lord" while Missy uses Clara as bait. Missy pokes holes in a Dalek, "murdering a Dalek -- I'm a Time Lady; it's our golf!" She can't quite pull off a Southern US accent, but it was a valiant effort on her part. She gets the Dalek sewers to murder the Dalek for her.
Flashback to Baby Dav, begging for help on the battlefield. The Doctor wakes up, Davros is back in his Dalek chair. He has provided The Doctor with "the only other chair on Skaro". Let that one sink in for a minute.
Davros is still alive after all these years because he's hooked to all the Daleks on Skaro. He's effectively a Dalek vampire! He gives The Doctor the opportunity to pull the plug on the Daleks, but he uses that word: "genocide". That word haunted The Doctor for too long to really consider it ... but he could kill Davros, perhaps. We get a hint that the cables aren't what they look like. He's not ashamed -- and he wouldn't be ashamed to be ashamed if he were -- but he came to Skaro because Davros asked. Compassion is a cancer in The Doctor, but he takes his name very seriously sometimes.
Missy dissects the murdered Dalek and insists that Clara gets in. We have whiffs of "Asylum of the Daleks as Clara is hooked up and then closed inside the Dalek. I wonder if she feels like making any souffles! "I am Clara Oswald" translates to "I am a Dalek!" "I love you" becomes "Exterminate!" -- as does "You are different from me".
Why did The Doctor run away from Gallifrey? It's boring, he was bored, blah blah. Davros knows there is more to the story, and he also has the Confession Dial! We see a box of confiscated items, including the CD and The Doctor's cool shades he was wearing in his 'axe fight'.
Missy considers becoming a Time Lady an 'upgrade'. She and the Claralek infiltrate the main pod of the building on Skaro. Missy is all attitude, and she is mouthing off again to the Daleks.
The Doctor tells Davros that Gallifrey still exists, and Davros appears to be moved -- he tells The Doctor that "a man should have a race, a people, an allegiance". He says, "I am happy for you. So happy" -- and you really almost want to believe him. He instructs The Doctor to protect Gallifrey and all his kind with everything he's got.
He wants to see The Doctor's face with his own eyes. He turns off Dalek eye and opens his old ones. He seems genuine, telling The Doctor to protect his people. "Did I do right, Doctor?" he asks, crying. "Am I a good man?"
The Doctor doubted that Davros was actually dying until just now. "You are not a good doctor", Davros says, and they share a laugh. Cue millions of Whovians questioning everything they ever knew about The Doctor and Davros' relationship.
Missy tells the Daleks that she has brought them a gift-wrapped Doctor companion. She is always ready to sell out someone good for her own escape and promotion.
Davros wants to see the sun rise one last time. He explains that the Daleks remade Skaro. Davros can't open his eyes again, so The Doctor offers him just a little regenergy. He grabs the Dalek cables, and it was a trap, of course! The Doctor is stuck to the cables -- actually part of Colony Sarff -- and regenergy is flowing into the machine.
The Daleks ask where Clara is. They all stop -- regenergy glow is coming off of the Daleks! Davros talks of a hybrid of two great races, a prophecy on Gallifrey. Did The Doctor not want to play his part, Davros teases.
Missy to the rescue! She rips the snake-cables away. Davros keeps monologuing about how The Doctor has increased the life force of both him and all the Daleks. The Doctor grabs his Confession Dial and starts a countdown. When he hits 1, there are big shakes, rumbles, earthquake-style. The Doctor knew what the plan was: "One word. No, two words actually. First word: moron. second word: sewers". The regenergy went to ALL Daleks -- including the sewers. They are not happy!
Missy pokes Davros in the Dal-eye and runs away with The Doctor. Claralek tries to approach The Doctor, and she tries to tell him she is Clara, but, of course, it comes out "I am a Dalek" over and over. Missy knows it's Clara, but she tells The Doctor that it is the Dalek who killed Clara. She puts a weapon in The Doctor's hand, encouraging him to kill the Dalek. "I am your friend" becomes "I am your enemy." Eventually she gets through with one word -- "Mercy" -- He is surprised, but I swear he's heard that before from a Dalek, back with his 9th face with Rose, but maybe it was just because it was dying. Missy acts surprised when casing opens, but The Doctor is clearly betrayed and tells her to run.
The building starts to explode -- there's that SFX budget! The Doctor and Clara are protected from yet another EXTERMINATION thanks to the TARDIS force field! The TARDIS hasn't been destroyed -- just redistributed. He's over the screwdrivers, mate; he's all about the wearable technology these days -- sonic sunglasses! That explains why he wasn't so bothered by losing the screwdriver. The TARDIS rematerialises as the Daleks EXTERMINATE.
Missy is surrounded by Daleks, but she gets very clever. We don't get to see what her very clever idea is yet, but I'm sure she'll be popping up sooner than later.
The Doctor and Clara watch the buildings on Skaro collapse. He still doesn't understand why she could make the Dalek say "mercy". He suddenly runs away.
Baby Dav is back. It's the ending scene from last week again. He exterminates all the handmines with the Dalek arm, teaching Baby Dav mercy. Baby Dav still isn't sure about The Doctor, asking "Which side are you on? Are you the enemy?" The Doctor replies, "I'm not sure that any of that matters -- friends, enemies -- so long as there's mercy. Always mercy." Mercy is now encoded in the future Dalek's DNA. Hand in hand, Baby Dav and The Doctor walk away.
Is Skaro -- and the Daleks -- now dunzo? Did you think that The Doctor would eventually kill Baby Dav after all he's experienced over all the years, thus following Davros' instructions to protect the Time Lords against all odds? Missy is clearly NOT GOOD, as she insisted, but are she and The Doctor on the outs forever now? And the screwdriver -- is it gone for good?