Doctor Who: Face the Raven Will Bring Another Sad Goodbye

11/20/2015


Let me be brave. Let me be brave.
~ Clara

Once again I have lost sleep over this series and the episode hasn't even aired. Here it is, folks. We have come to the end of Clara Oswald. I'd much rather it was a joke or something she could come back from in the future for at least a brief time, but that's highly unlikely, I would think. I had hoped Jenna Coleman would finish out this season of 12 episodes, but Capaldi confirmed that "Face the Raven" will be her last. It will be followed up by "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent." Those are two intriguing titles. Obvious that it's another two-parter. I love those. Even though there's an overall arc to the season, as usual, and this is a series where characters grow and past events influence the future (or even vice versa), I do adore stories that take longer to resolve and delve deeper.

I wonder who or what is Heaven sent. Will it be the Doctor who is Hell bent? On revenge? On trying to get Clara back? He won't succeed if that's the case, so that's a devastating scenario right there. It's always sad to see a great companion go, and I keep reading that it certainly is not a happy time, but you only have to look at their eyes in the trailer to see how devastating it will be for both Clara and the Doctor. Whatever happens, I wouldn't be surprised if it matched the series high point of Twelve's ardent speech about war, which happened quite recently in "The Zygon Inversion." Can I dare hope that this mostly excellent season have another episode to remember? Bitter but still so sweet with the emotion that comes through from Capaldi and Coleman? Yes, I think I can.

Any time I think of ravens, I of course think of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." So, even if this sure to be devastator has no hint of inspiration from or tribute to that Gothic poem, I'm sure I'll feel a tug forevermore whenever I read it, hear mention of it, or watch that Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode. I'm not going to delve deeper in to any synopsis of the episode, because I'd like to go in as fresh as possible. I would rather have not even known which was Clara's exit, though I and everyone else knew for a long time that it was coming this season, but it just popped up in my Twitter notifications from @Superhero Feed yesterday afternoon and I just had to share a thought or two.

I don't doubt this will be a proper farewell for Clara. She was a highly enjoyable, smart, strong, capable companion, and I can't see the Doctor getting over her any time soon...or ever. She'll likely be mentioned now and then in passing for a while, then on down the road at random vulnerable moments for this Doctor or even the next. Theirs is a deep friendship, one that was strengthened immeasurably when Clara lost Danny, and she was so desperate to get him back she threatened the Doctor outright rather than take the chance that he would refuse. She didn't know if she could trust him to do something so massive for her, so outside the realm of possibility. She didn't really know his new incarnation at all, but Twelve cares for her so much that he forgave her betrayal without a second thought.

I can't see anything other than him being devastated by this, after everything they've been through together, and everything he's been though before, like when Amy and Rory were zapped to the past by Weeping Angels, when he had to wipe all of Donna's memories of him, when Rose was pulled into another dimension, and many other devastating things. He's lost everyone he's ever loved and that will only continue. Farewell to the Impossible Girl and I wish Jenna Coleman luck in her new role. If you'd like to say a few nice words, you can find her on Twitter, @Jenna_Coleman_.

Where to Watch

If you missed Sleep No More, The Zygon Inversion, or any other episode, you can buy them on Amazon and various other places, like iTunes, or stream them on AMC.com and BBC America's OnDemand cable channel. For more options, please see BBCAmerica.com. And don't forget to watch "Face the Raven" Saturday night at 9 PM Eastern.

P.S. Bring a box of tissues. We're losing a valued companion here, which would be a poignant enough moment on its own, but we also have to see the dawning realization on the Doctor's face and the brokenhearted aftermath of this parting of the ways, whether that be through distance or death. And this just after he finally started getting used to hugs, too.

Look at that smile. *swoon*

I hope this experience doesn't shut him down - not for too long anyway - but instead bolsters his insatiable love of life and makes him hold onto his relationships that much tighter. And not just the characters themselves. No matter how great they are, remember that these are two actual people that work closely together in intensely emotional scenes and seem also to have a lot of fun and enjoy each other, and now they're saying goodbye. The feelings and tears are always real and truly conveyed, because Capaldi and Coleman are consummate actors, but there will be an extra layer of palpable pain there.

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