There are times, when I am watching a TV show, or a film, or even reading a book, that I am not immediately hooked, but there is a twist halfway that is so gripping I have to see it through. Is it worth it, to endure the not-so-great to get to the juicy bits? Who knows, but that was definitely my case with this penultimate episode of the season.
You see, the team lands in present day Norway, which was a welcome addition, because present day always tends to happen in the UK. But I wasn’t immediately sold on the story. We meet Hanne, a blind kid in a barricaded cottage whose dad has disappeared and who claims there is a “thing” that has taken said dad. I wasn’t too interested at first, although I’m glad in a way that Ryan was right about her dad from the start -because everyone was quick to antagonise him.
To skip the least interesting part as fast as I can, we discover a mirror in the house that leads to the portal. In the portal (the Antizone) we meet Ribbons, who looks like the bad guy from Guardians of the Galaxy and acts like Gollum. I still found this not too great. But then we reach the end of the portal and we enter an alternate reality, the good part of the episode.
It is here we learn that Erik, Hanne’s dad, has in fact abandoned her (from time to time), like Ryan had suggested, because his dead wife is alive in this reality. He really sounded like a dick who doesn’t care about his daughter. But the heartbreaking thing was Graham finding Grace in there.
Of course, nothing is real, as the Doctor discovers. It is basically the plot of the final Capaldi episode, in a way. In a reveal that had too many words and terms for me to fully understand, this new reality was the Solitract, and the Antizone was keeping the realities apart. Long story short, the “dead” women were a trap to bring the guys from the other reality, and the Doctor has to make sure everyone leaves, which is hard because it takes Graham a while to realise that woman is not Grace, and there is also a hilarious scene with a talking frog that felt like someone had taken LSD while watching that Dumbledore scene from Deathly Hallows Part 2.
I never really cared about the Norwegian family, though, but this whole mess ends up with Ryan calling Graham “granddad,” and I am here for that.
When is a mirror not a mirror
-I love how sub-plots are never dropped – here, we learn that Graham carries sandwiches because he never knows when they might eat again.
-I feel like we need a longer explanation about the Doctor’s grannies.
-“He’s got a shedload of them in the… shed.”
-“Is that string? Very high-tech.”
-“There’s three of us and only one of him. Not counting the rats.”
-“The monsters in the woods were just recordings. I reckon your dad did that to keep you inside. Should have just got wi-fi.”
-“Right. Me and a conscious universe masquerading as a frog. BFFs.”
Let’s all get ready for the finale whose title I will never remember, ‘The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos’!