Summary: OK Who’s gonna die to save the world from the Monks, The Doctor or Bill?

Plot: the Monks now rule the earth, and apparently have been with humanity from day one, or so everyone believes, but Bill and Nardole and the Doctor (with some help from Missy) find that there is a way to break this hold they have on humanity, but when the Doctor Bill and their band of Brothers plan fails, it looks like it will require someone to pay a fatal price, so who is going to pay it and free humanity? Or perhaps as the Doctor suggests it might be better to leave well enough alone.

———————————–

Writing: With the exception of the final resolution, which I think was weak, there is plenty of stuff to love here and a lot of guessing. I like the Doctor building a team, Nardole proving himself to Bill, the Whole, I gave you a chance bit are all very good, but the real star of the episode are the scenes with Missy which are so far above everything else that almost the entire episode that one might think it was all written specifically for that exchange.

Acting: In terms of acting this is Pearl’s Mackie’s best episode and to some degree Capaldi’s worst (he seems to be overacting a bit to me) Matt Lucas’ Nardole remains excellent but all of it is completely overshadowed by the performance of Michelle Gomez that is so above everyone else’s that you almost wonder if they should do a whole season of her.

Memorable Moments: swooch swooh, neck pinches, Raming speed, counting the bodies, I want a pony

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Bill’s Quest parallels Martha’s in the Last of the Time Lords (10th Doctor Martha) , Peter Capaldi’s “ramming Speed’ moment bring to mind Matt Smith’s 1st scene as the Doctor End of Time Part 2, and the monks continue to bring to mind the Silence (11th Doctor) , Missy’s demands mimic Matt Smith’s demands to Nixon (Impossible Astronaut 11th doctor)

Oddities: Since when can the Doctor start a regen sequence on his own?

Pet Peeves: I think the monks run away much to easy, furthermore if they can anticipate everything why didn’t they anticipate this?

Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Nardole: What are you doing? It’s me, Nardie!
Bill: No. Wait, wait. Shut up. Tell me something. That first time, with the Heather creature chasing us, where did we run away to?
Nardole: Australia.
Bill: What noise should spaceship doors make?
Nardole: Shuck-shuck, obviously.


The Doctor: Human society is stagnating. You’ve stopped moving forward. In fact, you’re regressing.
Bill: This isn’t exactly much better.
The Doctor: It’s safer.
Bill: Not so much for the people the Monks are killing.
The Doctor: The Romans killed people and saved billions more from disease, war, famine and barbarism.
Bill: No, wait. What about free will? You believe in free will. Your whole thing is. You made me write a three thousand word essay on free will.
The Doctor: Yes, well, I mean, you had free will, and look at what you did with it. Worse than that, you had history. History was saying to you, look, I’ve got some examples of fascism here for you to look at. No? Fundamentalism? No? Oh, okay, you carry on. I had to stop you, or at least not stand in the way of someone else who wanted to, because the guns were getting bigger, the stakes were getting higher, and any minute now it was going to be goodnight, Vienna. By the way, you never delivered that essay, anyway.
Bill: Because the world was invaded by zombie Monks!


Bill: But it’s, it’s just a woman. God, the way you and Nardole have been carrying on, I thought you had some kind of monster in here, or something!
The Doctor: I do. Missy, Bill. Bill, Missy, the other Last of the Time Lords.
Bill: Wait a sec. Why have you got a woman locked in a vault? Because even I think that’s weird, and I’ve been attacked by a puddle.


Bill: So when you defeated the Monks, that’s how you did it?
Missy: Well, at this point, all that was left of the bloodline was a wee girl, and I just pushed her into a volcano.
Bill: It’s me. The lynchpin is me.
Missy: Awkward.
Bill: So you’re saying I have to die.
Missy: No. If you were just to die, everyone’s false memories would have to fade, and that could take ages. It’s actually better if you keep breathing, if your brain just keeps transmitting, well, nothing. That would blot out the residue false memories.
Bill: What would be left of me?
Missy: You’d be a husk. Completely and irrevocably brain-dead. You couldn’t even get on Celebrity Love Island.
The Doctor: Even if that was the truth, the fact that you’re suggesting it shows there’s been no change, no hope, no point. We don’t sacrifice people. It’s wrong, because it’s easy.
Missy: You know, back in the day, I’d burn an entire city to the ground just to see the pretty shapes the smoke made. I’m sorry your plus one doesn’t get a happy ending, but, like it or not, I just saved this world because I want to change.Your version of good is not absolute. It’s vain, arrogant and sentimental. If you’re waiting for me to become all that, I’m going to be here for a long time yet.


Missy: I keep remembering all the people I’ve killed. Every day I think of more. Being bad, being bad drowned that out. I didn’t know I even knew their names. You didn’t tell me about this bit.
The Doctor: I’m sorry, but this is good.


Final Verdict: 4 1/2 stars Very Very good

Ranking of Season: 2nd of 8 Missy is the reason and it’s only the excellence of Extremis that keeps it from the top  It was a tough call between this one and Knock Knock but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt over the multi part business.

1st Extremis
2nd The Lie of the Land
3rd The Pyramid at the End of the World
4th Knock Knock
5th Oxygen
6th Thin Ice
7th Smile
8th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Doesn’t place, if there was more Missy it might have edged face the Raven

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th  Extremis
5th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
6th. The Girl who Died
7th. The Witch’s Familiar
8th. Hell Bent
9th. Mummy on the Orient Express
10th. Face the Raven

One of today’s great ironies is that the 24-hour news channels are usually at their worst when real news is breaking.

At best, the term “cable news” is a misnomer. Actual news coverage rarely exceeds 10% of a channel’s day. The rest of the time is devoted to opinions and arguments over current events. It takes a weak mind and strong stomach to view CNN or MSNBC for any length of time. Fox, of course, also has its limits.

But the inherent weakness of cable news was brought home — yet again — with Saturday’s coverage of the London terrorist attacks that left seven civilians dead and 48 wounded. The anchors knew something serious had happened, but they had no clue of its extent, let alone the motives behind the mayhem.

As a result, for hour after hour, TV screens were filled with stupefyingly boring video of parking emergency vehicles with lights flashing and of crowds milling aimlessly on the streets.

Meanwhile, the anchors, their voices dripping with concern, kept spewing the same meager set of facts over and over. Guest commentators, either on screen or on the phone, provided some backup, but they didn’t have any information to impart, either.

In short, the news crews were in an impossible situation. It’s like taking members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, throwing them onto the Second City stage and demanding they perform first-rate improv.

One way cable channels can avoid such embarrassments is by showing some discretion. Someone should have the guts to make the call when apparent terrorist attacks don’t deserve wall-to-wall coverage.

For openers, Saturday’s attacks didn’t happen in Boston, Detroit or Houston. There’s an ocean between America and London, so an atrocity there is no sign of terror activity here. Also to be considered  — at the risk of sounding callous — is the small number of casualties. Seven dead and 48 injured are a serious matter, but bus accidents in the U.S. that have had bigger tolls barely get mentioned on the national news.

For instance, the July 16, 2016, truck attack in Nice, France, was worthy of every moment of attention. Not only was the toll staggeringly high with 86 dead and 434 wounded, but it also was the debut of a new terrorist tactic. The truck smashing into crowds has been copied many times since.

It’s understandable why the channels stuck with their no-news coverage of London. Their audiences are not constant, so new viewers were always turning in to learn about ongoing developments.

But there should have been some breaks for real news while the crews waited for authorities to provide important information about the attacks.

Until that information was forthcoming, the channels would have served their audiences just as well if they had offered a screen saver with a news crawler at the bottom giving all the known facts. It would have saved everyone a lot of grief.

Caleb: There’s no virtue in dying, Leela.
Leela: That rather depends on what you do to avoid it.

Doctor Who: The Face of Evil 1977

The cycle has begun again, a bunch of Islamists slaughter a bunch of Brits and even as the blood is still flowing the media lashes out, not at those who are killing the innocent, but at those who would unapologetically name those who kill them while insisting that we must take into account the feelings of Muslims who had nothing to do with the carnage.

The most frustrating thing about the situation is it doesn’t seem to matter how many times a Pam Geller, or a Robert Spencer warn people about what’s happening, it doesn’t matter how many attacks from all over the world are listed by the Religion of Peace website (all documented) the greater public simply refuses to acknowledge the reality.

Furthermore the real problem in a sense is the so called “moderate” followers of Islam which supposedly outnumber the radicals by far, yet somehow they never seem inclined to purge this cancer from their religion or restrain their fellows. Furthermore they are not forthcoming concerning their fellows and terror, indeed there have been reports of people being advised not to corporate with the FBI and police investigating radicals within their midst.

Perhaps it’s a lost cause, but let me try one more time to explain the situation in a way our liberal friends might understand.

Moderate Muslims are the German baker in the 9th episode of Band of Brothers.

Let me set up the clip. A patrol from easy company is going through the woods the scene suddenly changes to Sgt. Perconte running into town has come across their first death camp.

Perconte: Major Wintes, sir…We found something out on patrol and…We came across this–
Major Winters: What? What? Frank? Frank what is it?
Perconte: I don’t know sir

They come to the camp, shocked what they see and when they question prisoners in the camp they discover what it’s about:

Joseph Liebgott: He says it’s a work camp for…”Unerwuenschter.” I’m not sure what the word means, sir. Uh, “unwanted,” “disliked,” maybe?
Cpt. Nixon: “Criminals?”
Joseph Liebgott: I don’t think “criminals,” sir. Verbrecher?
Camp prisoner: Verbrecher? Nein, nein.
Joseph Liebgott: No.
Camp prisoner: Ärzte, Musiker, Beamter, Bauern…
Joseph Liebgott: Doctors, musicians…
Camp prisoner: Schreiber, Schneider, Intellektuelle…
Joseph Liebgott: Tailors, clerks, farmers, intellectuals. I mean, normal people.
Camp prisoner: Juden. Juden. Juden.
Joseph Liebgott: [softly] They’re Jews.
Camp prisoner: Pole, Ziegeuner.
Joseph Liebgott: Poles and Gypsies.

The people in the camp are starving so the troops immediately head into town and start grabbing all the food they can carry and that is where we see the German Baker who is outraged that all of his wares that he worked so hard to bake are being taken but Pvt Webster is having none of it. Here is the text of their exchange:

David Webster: Shut up! I said, shut up, you Nazi fuck! [grabs baker]
German Baker: Ich-ich bin kein Nazi! (I’m not a Nazi)
David Webster: Oh, you’re not a Nazi? My mistake, you fat fucking prick. What about a human being? Are you one of those, or are you going to tell me that you never smelt the fucking stench? [of the nearby concentration camp]
German Baker: Toten sie mich nicht! Bitte toten sie mich nicht! (“Don’t kill me! Please don’t kill me!”)   Ich verstehe nicht was du da sagst! (I do not understand what you say)
Pvt. Joseph Lesniewski: Leave him alone, Web. He says he doesn’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
David Webster: Bullshit.

Naturally we as Americans are with Webster here and have nothing but disgust for the German Baker, but just for a moment consider the situation the Baker was in.

He is a German, living in a city of Germans, in a culture that has completely embraced the values of Nazism. We don’t know what he actually thinks about any of this stuff, so let’s ask the one basic question obvious question:

Even if the Baker had a moral objection to what was going on, was there any way, said Baker could, act on that objection to the what was being done at the camp without ending up either dead or in the camp himself?

Short answer: There isn’t!

There is a reason why we celebrate those who resisted the Nazi’s because it took a huge amount of moral courage to take a step the could die or (and many did). That kind of courage is not the norm, it’s the exception.

And that brings us to our “moderate Muslims” in the west and elsewhere.

The vast majority of said Muslims, particularly in Europe may be in the west, but have not assimilated. They remain within their enclaves, within a culture that still embraces Sharia, in which the values of radical Islam are openly expressed (in languages other than English of course) furthermore large portions of their families still live in the Arab world.

What happens if such a person sees some within that community preaching or embracing jihad and decide to talk?

Will such a person be rejected by their community, their family both here or in the old country? Will their family either at home or in the old country be subject to retaliation for talking? Will they fear for their lives? After all right now life is cheap in Libya, or Syria, or Iraq or elsewhere in the Arab world.

And if this is a risk in the west, multiply that risk by 100 back in the Arab world when something like the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt.

That’s the reality, we aren’t counting on the average Muslim to help us stop terror, we are counting on Muslims immersed in a different cultural norm to not only have our moral norm, but have the courage to act on those norms in the face of extraordinary risk.

For all the increased policing, better security or improved surveillance that’s the bottom line. Unless we consider one other thing about that German Baker.

He was ready to deny the Nazi’s when he was more afraid of the Americans than he was of his fellow Germans.

If you want to get the average unassimilated Muslim to take the risk necessary to stop terrorists within their community, they have to be less afraid of what their fellows will do if they talk then they are of what we will do if they remain silent.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

In recent months I’ve held my tongue regarding President Trump’s upcoming proposal for a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. While it goes against my firm beliefs in reining in the federal government and reducing budgets rather than increasing them, it’s premature to oppose it wholeheartedly. After all, his promise to make private investments the bulk of the funding may not turn out to be another “Mexico is going to pay for it” moment.

The Democrats aren’t waiting before condemning the initiative. They decided to double it with no pretense of shifting burden away from taxpayers. Their plan calls for $200 billion per year for a decade fully funded by the public.

Few would argue the infrastructure doesn’t need improvement and interstate travel falls squarely in line with the federal mandate which is why I’ve held my opposition to Trump’s proposal until we see it. With that said, I don’t need to see a single detail of the Democrats’ proposal beyond the price tag. $2 trillion is so far west of crazyville it’s insane more conservative blogs aren’t up in arms. Between the Paris accords and the London attack, it’s probably just so far down the news food chain. Besides, they couldn’t pull it off, could they?

Actually, yes. If the economy turns south in the next year, it’s very likely this proposal could become one of the rallying cries the Democrats use to gain control of the House and Senate. Dubbed the “21st Century New Deal for Jobs,” they hope to invoke the huge government expansion of FDR to drive support. Like President Obama’s stimulus, they’ll use it to promote the concept of “shovel-ready jobs” to help put Americans back to work.

Here’s the problem. Americans are going back to work already. The economy is looking so much stronger now than it did just a couple of years ago that the Democrats would have to hope for a near-collapse in order to make their case an important one for the 2018 elections. Granted, the economy isn’t as strong as public numbers show, but more people are working today than they were last year and if the GOP’s agenda pans out as expected, we can expect the jobs numbers to stay strong.

There are still many pitfalls the GOP needs to overcome in order to maintain their majorities. Obamacare repeal and tax reform are right there at the top. Jobs are the perennial concern, so if the GOP delivers, the Democrats will have to try to spook voters instead of winning them over with their New Deal. The further we can push away from FDR’s legacy of expansive government, the better.