I relished realizing that Blon Fel-Fotch Pasameer-Day Slithee/Margaret was still alive, because I enjoyed the Slitheen episode and was looking forward to more action. At first, I thought she may have turned a new leaf since she was active in local politics. As the seconds ticked by, it became apparent that she had darker plans for the nuclear plant, especially when she attempted to be nonchalant about the long list of ‘accidents’ involving committee members.

One thing the series does is to make the viewers question characters’ motives. Sure, the Slitheens did awful things, but Blon still missed her family. I was actually very touched when Blon/Margaret spared the journalist’s life upon learning of her pregnancy. The scene built up the suspense surrounding how she would deal with the pesky journalist, only to have it interrupted by nostalgia and sadness. Blon seemed very defeated when she just told the journalist to go ahead, even if she was planning to expose her. When she was genuinely miffed on behalf of her constituency and muttered about ‘going native’ after displaying some Welsh pride, I felt that perhaps she would show more of her good side in the episode.

Blon also made the protagonists question their own motives when she challenged them to look at her in the eye. This was intriguing, because the Doctor usually stamps his activities with his own brand of ‘vigilante’ justice, without caring about the consequences of his actions. He does try to be kind, but he can be cruel when he mets out punishments. I was thrown off, but also admired Blon for forcing the Doctor to self-reflect. She may have been evil herself, but then, imposing a death penalty on someone is rather grave. I think the moment, for the protagonists, made them remember that they were not on some sort of joy ride, and that they were dealing with a real and feeling person.

Interestingly, Blon receives a second chance, not because she actually became a better person, but because she accidentally looked into the eye of the TARDIS. This point is troublesome for me, because she did not earn her second stab at life. She was, in fact, about to precipitate another disaster! In real life, however, second chances can to work like this.

I also found the hidden powers of the TARDIS a bit ludicrous. I suppose that the series often throws up scientific ‘facts’ that we just have to accept, but this was ridiculous. It is as if the TARDIS’ hidden powers are sometimes used by the writers as a mechanism to fill in plot chasms. It is probably better though, for the TARDIS’ immense powers to be unaccessible except by accident, because then the Doctor would not have any problems.

Rose also had to face the consequences of her own actions regarding Mickey. In my mind, I considered this The Problem Of Mickey because in the previous episodes, I had difficulty telling whether or not Mickey was her boyfriend or not. This may have been because of my Asian perspective, because Western courtship appears to be more open and liberal. Even if Mickey and Rose were taped kissing and displaying other ‘symptoms’ of being a couple, she still fooled around with Jack and the Doctor. I actually cheered Mickey on when he left Rose, because I felt that she had been mistreating him.

This episode really dealt with facing the reality of your decisions. I enjoyed its story and how it made the characters uncomfortable with themselves. I personally envy Blon, because there are times when I wish I could look into the eye of a TARDIS and receive a second chance at life.

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