The Zygon Inversion
Written by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat
Directed by Daniel Nettheim
“Humans cannot accept us the way we really are. If we cannot hide, we must fight. You’re going to be the first. You’re going to be the first to make the humans see.”
The future of planet Earth is sealed in a box in Unit’s back archive, and only the Doctor knows what’s inside. With Unit under Zygon control, and Clara lost, the Doctor and Osgood find themselves fugitives in a London where no one can be trusted – but the wily old Time Lord knows there is one last hope for peace. Because that box in the black archive isn’t any old box. It’s an Osgood Box!
Clara is in her apartment. Things seem strange. She opens the medicine cabinet to brush her teeth and the tube just says, “this is toothpaste.” She wanders the silence until she hears Bonnie and The Doctor speaking. “Clara’s dead”, she hears Bonnie say. Then the TV turns on. She is seeing what is happening through the eyes of Bonnie. She tilts the tv just as Bonnie fires the rocket launcher, causing her to miss. Bonnie loads a second rocket and resists Clara’s pull long enough to hit the plane. Clara watches as the plane explodes. She realizes she is locked in her own mind.
Next, a man is running out of a tunnel where a street cleaning crew is seen sweeping the remains of a Zygon kill off of the street. He is followed by Bonnie, who calmly pursues him into a building and tells him he will be the first. She places her hands on his head and it triggers a forced change back to Zygon form. She is trying to incite fear. She records him as he runs down the street, revealed to human onlookers. Clara pauses the TV to see two figures leaving the plane.
On a beach, The Doctor and Osgood have parachuted from the plane, escaping the explosion. The Doctor has a Union Jack parachute that he says is for camouflage because they are in Britain. The Doctor gets a text message and, looking at the phone, he notices it is from Clara. Osgood opens the message that reads, “I’m awake.” Osgood tells The Doctor her theory that Clara is alive in her pod and gaining control of the psychic link between her and Bonnie. This theory invigorates The Doctor to try and find the pod.
Bonnie has found the UNIT safe house where Osgood has revealed the box to be hidden. She enters the safe in the wall, covered by a picture of the first Doctor to find nothing but a laptop. On the laptop, is another video of the two Osgoods, explaining that if that video has been found that means she has been captured and interrogated and has revealed the location of the Osgood Box. There is only one problem with what she has revealed to the Zygons: she lied. The box is, in fact, hidden somewhere else and she will eventually find out why it is called the Osgood Box.
The Doctor and Osgood decide to call Bonnie and when she answers, The Doctor notices that she is winking. Taking this as a cue that Clara is able to listen and respond, he begins to ask her questions about where her pod is. Bonnie notices the Morse Code blinking in response, covers her eyes, and ends the call. She goes back into the nest where Clara’s body is being kept in a pod and approaches it. She capture’s Clara’s attention and, in the dream state, Clara sees Bonnie on the TV screen and they begin a conversation. She threatens to kill Clara if she does not tell her the truth about the Osgood Box. Clara scoffs, telling her she needs her alive to maintain her form and memories and that she is an excellent liar. When Bonnie hears this she reminds Clara that they are linked and places her fingers on her wrist to feel the pulse, explaining that she can feel her heart rate. This means that Clara, in fact, cannot lie to her. Bonnie asks her where she can find the Osgood Box and who has access. Because she can’t lie, Clara reveals that the box is locked in the Black Archive and that she has access through her body print. Bonnie smiles, and heads to UNIT HQ.
Meanwhile, Osgood tracks the location of where Clara sent the text from and they go to the building into which the revealed Zygon fled. They enter into a dark building to find the remains of humans crackling on the floor. They find the Zygon still trying to change back to his human form but to no avail. While they try to convince him that they can help, he kills himself, falling into a heap on the floor. Saddened by these events, the pair begins to leave the building when they see Kate, flanked by two UNIT soldiers, waiting for them near the exit. They, correctly, assume that these are all Zygons. Bonnie arrives at the Black Archive and enters to find not one, but two boxes on the table. Immediately, she calls The Doctor to demand that he tell her which box is the correct box. He tells her that one box will reveal all of the Zygons while one will kill all of them. She opens the boxes and discovers that they both have two buttons inside labeled Truth and Consequences. The Doctor tells her that if she is going to push the button, she has to be ready to deal with the consequences of that action. Just then, the two UNIT soldiers normalize and approach The Doctor and Osgood. Kate reveals herself as still human and shoots them both down. She makes the deduction that the red box contains the gas that Harry Sullivan produced, which will affect the atmosphere of the planet, turning Zygons inside out while not affecting humans, and rushes to the Black Archive.
When they arrive, Bonnie has released Clara from the pod and is getting ready to choose a button. The Doctor, Osgood, and Kate rush in, and Kate runs over to the red box, intent on pushing the button that she assumes will kill all of the Zygons. The Doctor explains that Kate’s box will either kill all of the Zygons or explode a nuclear warhead underneath the Black Archive. The box in front of Bonnie will either reveal all of the Zygons or lock them into their transformation so that they can’t ever normalize again. With Kate and Bonnie standing opposite each other, ready to begin a war, The Doctor begins trying to talk them down. Comparing Bonnie to a child throwing a tantrum, he asks her what it is that she wants. She responds by saying she wants a war. Again, saying she is throwing a tantrum, he makes her realize that she doesn’t really know what she wants because she hasn’t given any thought to what she will do when the world is exactly as she wants it. How will they live? How will she take care of the people like her? The troublemakers? She says they will win the next revolution and he tells her that she can only win for so long. He begins to explain that what will happen is they will throw themselves into war without knowing how many people will die and how much blood will be spilled before, just like with every other war in history, they are forced to do what they should have done in the first place and sit down and talk.
The Doctor then enters into an impassioned speech about war and how he feels about it. He asks them what he thinks war will be like and tells them that he fought in a war that was much bigger that anything they could imagine. He has done things that they wouldn’t believe and every time he closes his eyes he can hear the screams. He feels so much pain and regret for the lives he is responsible for ending that he vowed that no one, anywhere, would have to live like that. No one will have to feel that pain ever again. Not on his watch.
Kate closes the box, while Bonnie still seems hesitant. The Doctor explains to her that he once had an opportunity that she has now. He had a box with a big button. If he pressed that button, it would end the war. It would also kill everyone of his own kind. Men, women, and children alike. He was going to push that button until he did the same thing that Bonnie has done. He let Clara get into his head. After a moment, Bonnie closed her box as well. Kate told The Doctor that she knows him and there is no way that he would leave that kind of devastation power in their hands. He reveals that she is correct and he just wanted them to realize what it was that they were doing. She then asks what will prevent them from starting a war in the event that this ever happens again. He tells her that’s what she asked the last fifteen times and activated the memory wipe in the Black Archive.
The Doctor, Clara, and Osgood walk up to the TARDIS. Osgood asks The Doctor what TARDIS stands for. He tells her that he has heard many versions but that his favorite is “Totally And Radically Driving In Space”. He asks Clara to go inside the TARDIS so that he can speak with Osgood alone. He offers to bring her with him to travel all of time and space. She says she would love that more than anything but she has a world to protect. Boxes to keep track of. He asks her one last time whether she is the Human or the Zygon. She says one day she will answer that question. That day will be the day that the answer no longer matters. Just then, another Osgood walks out from behind her. The Doctor is surprised to see her until he realizes that Bonnie has taken up the mantle of Osgood #2. They explain that two Osgoods are needed for the plan to work. He says goodbye to them and enters the TARDIS. He and Clara get ready to take off to more adventures…