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Oh, Well Done, You!

I said "flash review," and I probably should say "flashlet." Is there a word that doesn't simply map out to "static electricity"?

But I digress.

This one was good, for me. It was chewy. It was tasty. It was everything that, for me, the episode last week was not.

It was well constructed - and yes, I may be boring when it comes to the bricks and mortar and the plans and the design of the words, the paragraphs, the scenes and the way they are numbered, how they play out, but these things matter to me. I am not an artist when it comes to these things, but I am a dedicated craftsman.

It had an emotional resonance that felt real. It had a solid Who-type plot.

Now, some people don't like their Who all mixed up with emotions. Other folks find it really tiresome when the plot interferes with emotional interaction. Well, either both types really liked this episode, which would put them in the living room with me, or both types hated this episode. If that's the case, I apologize to them for my happiness at having seen this episode, but only a little. Because I'm very, very happy about this one. It had plot, it had heart, and the vessel which carried both halves of the treasure was a sturdy thing, not apt to sink.

More, later. Now, however? Martini No. 2 and some anime.

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/327273.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
ladymercury_10
Oct. 12th, 2014 04:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this episode handled the emotional stuff, and without sacrificing the plot either.
kaffyr
Oct. 12th, 2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
I put it at a personal B to B+ (it's silly to grade things, but I'm like that); BB put it at a B. Interestingly, he said that, had it been a Matt episode, he would have called it a C or C+ episode. We are not overly taken with S08 currently. Sigh.
ladymercury_10
Oct. 12th, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not overly fond of it myself.

Interestingly, he said that, had it been a Matt episode, he would have called it a C or C+ episode
Oh, how so? Is he grading on a curve to compare it against other episodes from the same season?
kaffyr
Oct. 12th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
Is he grading on a curve to compare it against other episodes from the same season?

I don't think it's quite that specific. I can't be sure without specifically asking him, but I think he's just responding to what he feels was a higher overall quality to the writing for S05-S07. He may be able to explain it better than I can, if he drops by the post.
ljgeoff
Oct. 12th, 2014 12:10 pm (UTC)
I'm staying a couple of days with my client and client's mom has cable so I got to watch 12 for the first time. First, I saw the crazy moon-is-an-egg episode and then the Orient Express in Space.

It was a weird experience. Still thinking about it. My main complaint is that I missed quite a bit of dialog. But that's why there's transcripts.

Ok, here's a thing: I find Jenna Coleman so lovely that she pulls me out of the story. I dunno, I just can't stop watching her face. She looks just a little bit like my birth mother, so that might be it (she died when I was 18 mos). I just haven't been able to click with Clara.
kaffyr
Oct. 12th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
I find Jenna Coleman so lovely that she pulls me out of the story.

I read this and nodded a lot. She doesn't pull me out of the story, but her face is exquisite, and I could listen to her talk all day, so I understand that her physical presentation could indeed pull someone out of the narrative.

I just haven't been able to click with Clara.

I've been relating to her more this season than I did last season, but a couple of the episodes have been so badly put together that it's threatened all the progress I had made with her. I still don't have enough of a handle on her.
a_phoenixdragon
Oct. 13th, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
This was, indeed, a marvelous episode!! Made me happy all around! And it showed some consistency with his previous regeneration (Eleven not liking being whistled to do someone's biding - though he did it all the time! - and his bad habit of not landing where he is suppose to). This was a perfect Twelve episode and it just thrilled me to pieces!

*HUGS*
kaffyr
Oct. 13th, 2014 01:58 pm (UTC)
Eleven not liking being whistled to do someone's biding

Yes - and with the little comments he gave about being invited to the train before, a lot of people have mentioned that that ties in with ... one of the minisodes, I want to say, in which Eleven answers the TARDIS console phone and talks about an Egyptian queen being let loose on the Orient Express. That must have been one of the times he was invited but eventually decided against going.

I had wondered whether my liking for the episode would fade, but thus far it hasn't, and I'm so relieved!

*hugs right back*
a_phoenixdragon
Oct. 13th, 2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
T'was the end of The Big Bang/The Pandorica opens - after Amy and Rory re-entered the TARDIS as a married couple. I think he fully intended to go, but likely missed a few times, then said 'hell with it, didn't want to go anyway!' Because Typical!Eleven. He always said he never liked being jerked around, but whenever Clara said 'boo' he'd roll over like a puppy. Ever an enigma, Eleventy.

He did have tickets. As in plural. But he always had a hard time steering Sexy. Then again, with his convoluted time-lines it was no wonder, really!

Right?! This was surprisingly awesome and I must say, it is second only to Time-Heist for me (hands down my fav of the season).
namarie24
Oct. 15th, 2014 01:58 am (UTC)
I really, really liked this one. One of only a few this season that I have liked, but I think it might be my favorite so far. It helped that there was a lot less of the Doctor shouting angrily/in frustration (and I say that as someone who loves or at least wants to love Twelve), and that its treatment of soldiers was actually sympathetic.
kaffyr
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:04 am (UTC)
and that its treatment of soldiers was actually sympathetic.

Oh, goodness, yes! I am at least a partial pacifist (although I know people out there who would tell me that one is either all or nothing.) I strongly believe that there should be no use for armies, and that we should not be training young men and women to do what is, at its core, a job of frightening away or killing away our perceived enemies.

But I'm also someone who has National Guard members save flood victims and forests, rescue wrecked villages and yes, just as Danny did, dig wells for those villages. I know that there have been battles that have had to be fought. I also know that soldiers are not the enemy. Commanders, yes; decision makers; enablers of brutality, yes; those are people with whom we have to vie for the soul of soldiers. But soldiers themselves, unless they have been carefully taught to ignore their own humanity, are not the enemy. And, not too surprisingly, there are remarkably few soldiers who willingly or unwillingly give up their humanity.

End of rant. And yes, I agree. I think I enjoyed Time Heist even more than this, and Robots of Sherwood, but this one is definitely in my top three for this season.



Edited at 2014-10-15 02:04 am (UTC)
namarie24
Oct. 15th, 2014 05:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, I definitely lean towards pacifism, too, but the way most of this season has been treating soldiers (primarily Danny) has really rubbed me the wrong way. But there wasn't even a hint of that in this ep, even when the Doctor was commenting on the PTSD guy before we found out he had PTSD. So that was a refreshing change.
mack_the_spoon
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, if the rest of the season is like this, I will be greatly pleased. (If the rest of the season is like 'The Caretaker', I will be displeased.)
kaffyr
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
As I said to namarie24, this episode is in my current top three for S08; Time Heist, Robots of Sherwood, and this one. I note that they're all very "traditional" Who adventures; normally I'm the person who cheers for the deep, or arc-heavy episodes, but not this year. I did like portions of Listen, and smaller portions of Into the Dalek, while being disappointed with other parts of both. I loathed The Caretaker and Kill the Moon, although I find myself in the minority about those two, apparently.
mack_the_spoon
Oct. 16th, 2014 04:08 am (UTC)
Those are my top three for this season, too (interesting, because I've noted that we don't always agree on favorite DW episodes!).

It's been a weird season for me so far. I don't remember another season where I consistently felt such a dramatic difference in how much I liked and disliked episodes from week to week.

Edited at 2014-10-16 04:08 am (UTC)
kaffyr
Oct. 16th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
(interesting, because I've noted that we don't always agree on favorite DW episodes!).

You're right about that, if I remember correctly, which I suppose makes us like any number of fannish friends who have slightly different tastes. One of the things I like about Who is that its episodes can appeal to so many different people for so many reasons.

But I do agree with you that it's been a weird season, for exactly the reason you state. In thinking back through all seven (!) previous seasons, I can only think of two seasons where I had a similar response to at least one episode (S03, with "42" and S05, with the two part Silurian episode, for slightly different reasons.) This year, I've had at least two, and possibly three episodes that were significantly disappointing to me.
flowsoffire
Oct. 16th, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
Yessssss! I really, really enjoyed it too, and it makes me even happier to see that a lot of you guys also did. Definitely better that way. I completely agree with you about the balance between emotions and plot—I am loving the fact that there is a stronger focus on emotions (for instance, they completely made Deep Breath for me, since I wasn't very convinced by its plot), yet here both sides seemed quite well handled and that is really the best thing.

Also, this time I could really connect with Clara in a way I very rarely have this season. She just felt… well, like Clara. Exactly like the character I used to love so much, that I'd felt like I could only catch glimpses of throughout the season. AND… that is when she's about to stop. The last hurrah. Which kind of ties together with my whole psychological interpretation of her problems this season… she is done pretending and compartmentalizing. It is their last adventure and she got fully into it—emotional, thoughtful, torn, finding it all bittersweet… invested. (Well, I don't really know about the ending because it was so fast it left me confused: in her interactions with Danny, and then the Doctor, I wasn't sure how honest she'd been. She definitely didn't mention anything to Danny but is she planning to explain later and when? What's with putting all the emphasis on Danny "not minding" when a) it was not his decision but hers and b) he is apparently still unaware? She says it like it's something that changed. And like Danny's opinion is what makes the decision. That's not really the truth. So yeah, I didn't dislike that part but it confused me a little; I'd like to know where she stands, and I won't be very happy if she is already being dishonest again, even in small things. She should be learning from this; she wanted to stop, with valid reasons, now she decided she wants to stay, also for valid reasons, but it's not going to be "let's go right back to making the initial mistakes!".)

Also, I was checking transcripts to clarify the end and:
DANNY [OC]: I love you, too.
CLARA: Huh. No accounting for taste.

♥ It makes me want to hug characters when they have unexpected moments of sounding unsure like that. (Well, I'm naturally drawn to the insecure.)

Edited at 2014-10-16 02:14 pm (UTC)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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