Oh mercy me! A review of Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 3

Another Saturday means another episode of Doctor Who. This week we get cowboys! Everyone loves the old west and if they don’t they should. But deep down we all know we are getting closer to saying goodbye to the Ponds and that just makes us sad.

Post contains spoilers

Now like I said above, COWBOYS! I was looking forward to seeing this episode for one simple reason, Stetsons! Because Stetsons are cool. I really enjoyed this episode and I think it played a lot with actual mercy. The past two episodes have been dealing a lot with a darkness within the Doctor. It has been seen in the past that when he travels alone he starts to get a bit short with people and we have seen that in Asylum of the Daleks and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. That theme is heavy in this episode and I think it is something we will see for the rest of the Ponds stay.

While trying to take the Ponds to Mexico the Doctor misses and they end up in a town called Mercy. Now Mercy is a ghost town when they first get there. Something is clearly scaring these people. Things get really crazy when the Doctor introduces himself and the people of Mercy throw him out-of-town. He is then saved by the Marshal named Issac. Issac explains what is happening to them.

For the past three weeks Mercy has been held prisoner. No one has gotten in or out of the town thanks to the Gunslinger. The Gunslinger is an alien Cyborg demanding a ‘alien doctor’ Turns out that the Doctor is not the only alien in town. Kahler Jex has been in Mercy for a few years and has been incredibly helpful to the town. But like most characters in Doctor Who, there is more to him then he is saying. After some digging the Doctor uncovers that while Jex might have been a war hero on his home planet, he did horrible experiments on people. The result being the Gunslinger. This is where the Doctor’s mercy is put to the test.

Now like I said the Doctor has been acting darker than usually. I mean he has had the rage of Nine or an early Ten to him. While he still has adventures with the Ponds, he has been spending a good amount of time traveling by himself and it is starting to get to him. You have to think after all those years traveling and with the Time War, the Doctor is no stranger to death. Whether he pulled the trigger or not a lot of people have died in his name or in his wake. Now he might not be to blame for those deaths, but they still sit with him. He is also known for having mercy.

I talked about this in my review of the last episode. A lot of times Nine and Ten would offer the weeks villain or alien one chance to turn away and leave. After that he would stop them no matter what. But Eleven doesn’t always give them that options and it has been seen less and less as time has gone on. The Doctor was ready to hand over Jex to the Gunslinger until Amy brought him back.  The Doctor talks about how his mercy has always gotten people killed and he won’t have it anymore. Amy reminds him that if he thinks like that then he isn’t any better than them.

The Doctor regains his mercy and agrees that they can find another way but it might be too late. The Gunslinger is upon them. Issac pushes Jex out-of-the-way and the Gunslinger gives them one last chance to turn over Jex and leaves. With Issac dead, charge of the town is handed over to the Doctor and honoring Issac’s dying wish he will find a way to save Jex. However in the end, Jex chooses his own fate. The Doctor had made a plan to let Jex escape Earth but Jex knew the Gunslinger would follow and this would not end to until one of them was dead. Jex faces his crimes and self-destructs his ship. Now with no purpose, the Gunslinger plans on blowing himself up. But after a talk with the Doctor, he stays to watch over the town and keep her safe.

While this episode might not have had the heart-break of Oswin or the laughs from Brian Williams it did have something equally as great. It showed the Doctor on a possible road to recovery. Amy and Rory have always been some of my favorite companions but this season they have been going above and beyond. Amy has been damn near flawless these past two episodes. I hope we see the Doctor ease up a little bit after the Ponds leave. A darker Doctor breaks my heart and I just wish he could have fun loving adventures sometimes.

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