We gave it an A-
Missy, who has sonic-ed the elevator to keep it there, suggests they take it up to the bridge and get on the TARDIS. But the Doctor argues because of time dilation, the Cybermen will have thousands of years to work out how to stop them. So they’re only going to go up a few floors.
Speaking of our Cyber foes, a quick check-in reveals they don’t even need the lifts. They’ve learned to fly now. And they’re coming. Also, because they don’t feel fear, they’re using an alarm to announce their arrival and frighten the people they’re coming after. However what they don’t know (or maybe haven’t realized) is that these people are surrounded by technology under all this nature simulation. And Nardole’s clever self has programmed a lot of it to be weaponized, as we see with how he has one of their regular guns blow up a windmill and a bush. It’s a great reveal, because I must admit even I was a little fooled by the quaint country setting.
Elsewhere, Missy asks the Master, who’s trying on eyeliner, about using his TARDIS on the bottom of the ship. He argues that it’s his and that it’s in a city filled with Cybermen. Missy points out that it’s theirs, and the Cybermen are coming up. He then reveals that he blew the dematerializer. Luckily for him, Missy remembers a long time ago, when a scary woman threw her up against a wall and told her to always carry a spare. She then takes a spare dematerializer out of her pocket. The Master asks if it’s wrong he’s attracted to her. She says yes.
Meanwhile, people are preparing for the impending attack. The Doctor and Alit are using her toys to come up with a strategy, Hazran is hitting on Nardole (which is just Nar-LOL), and the Doctor gives Alit an apple to throw at the Cybermen on account of her ace throwing skills.
When the Doctor goes to speak to Missy and the Master, they want to know his plan. He says he’s going to get all the children to a solar farm a few floors above. They say the Cybermen will follow them there. He replies that it’s the best he can do. So he’s doing it. They then argue that he can’t win, leading him to deliver an amazing speech that not only reveals a lot about the Doctor — and especially Capaldi’s portrayal of him lately — but feels like Moffat’s thesis statement at the end of his run with this character:
“I’m not trying to win. I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone, because I hate someone, or because I want to blame someone. It’s not because it’s fun. God knows it’s not because it’s easy. It’s not even because it works because it hardly ever does. I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind! It’s just that… Just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight, some of them might live. Maybe not many, maybe not for long. Hey, you know, maybe there’s no point to any of this at all. But it’s the best I can do. So I’m going to do it. And I’m going to stand here doing it until it kills me. And you’re going to die too! Some day… And how will that be? Have you thought about it? What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.”
But despite what is a powerful moment from the Doctor, turns out the Master does not care or has not even been listening. The same can’t be said for Missy who is Missy-ty-eyed. The Doctor notices and acknowledges her change, but she says sorry and leaves.
But something he says has stuck because when the Master’s about to step in the lift, she calls him in for a hug and stabs him in the back (thus triggering his regeneration into her). She tells him that her standing with the Doctor is where their self was always headed in the end. He gets mad and blasts her in the back. He tells her not to bother regenerating because it was a full blast. He then heads back to his TARDIS to become her. Missy laughs as she lays there on the ground.
Back in the war, Alit’s apple turns out to be a grenade, thus triggering the Cybermen to go into a war campaign. At the house, the Doctor wants Nardole to lead the evacuation. He tries to argue, saying he’ll start a black market (among children?) and sell their ship back to them. But the Doctor says one of them has to stay here, the other has to be strong. This hits Nardole in the feels.
When he tries to take Bill with him she disagrees. She says she’s staying with the Doctor. She feels this is the end for her. We then get this exchange, which only makes the tears come harder and faster:
NARDOLE: “I don’t know what to say.”
BILL: “You’ll think of the right words later.”
NARDOLE: “You’re wrong you know. I’ll never be able to find the words.”
With that, he goes off to lead an evacuation, while the Doctor and Bill head out front. They say goodbye to each other after noting they need to stall just long enough to get all the kids in that one elevator. Bill takes the moment to remind the Doctor that she’s gay, and for a moment it seems like she’s going to declare her love for him anyway, but Moffat subverts the moment by having her reiterate that she is indeed a lesbian. LOL. She then goes round back so they can attack from two sides.
The Doctor faces his fate uttering the same words we saw him tell Missy as he prepared to “kill her” in “Extremis”: “Without hope. Without witness. Without reward.”
While Nardole is getting all the kids into the elevator for their one trip, the Doctor goes to war. Using his sonic, which has absorbed all of Nardole’s programming, he sets off a series of explosions. He declares that the Cybermen have failed each time they’ve gone up against him (Mondas, Telos, Earth/Canary Wharf, Planet 14, Marinus). But that’s when he gets shot in the back and the chest.
“Doctors are not required,” declares a Cyberman.
“I’m not a Doctor,” says a gravely injured Twelve. “I’m the Doctor.”
He starts regenerating but stops it. Instead, he uses his sonic to cause one big explosion. He whispers to himself, ‘No stars… I hoped there’d be stars.”