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Doctor Who, 'Spyfall Part 2': And that's why you always read the terms of service
Hey, we always knew social media would be our downfall.
"Spyfall Part 2" lacks the Bond-ness of its predecessor but makes up for it in historical female heroes, the Master chewing up every bit of scenery he passes through, and Graham fancy dancing in his laser shoes.
This post contains spoilers for Doctor Who Season 12, Episode 2, "Spyfall Part 2."
We find our fam still mid-plane crash when Ryan, mysteriously (or not so mysteriously — we've all seen "Blink") finds plates with his name pointing him to a helpfully laminated page of instructions about how to land a plane without a cockpit. The Doctor then appears on the plane TV screens further instructing her friends what to do.
But it's clearly a Doctor of a different time, as our present Doc is still in the weird wire forest — and she's not alone. It's there she meets a 19th-century woman who believes the bright white figures, who we come to learn as are called the Kasaavin, are her guardians, as they've been part of her world since she was 13. That woman is Ada Lovelace (Sylvie Briggs), considered to be the first-ever computer programmer and the first person to see the potential in the machine that would eventually become what we now know as computers.
Ada grabs the Doctor's hand and pulls her through to 1834 London where Charles Babbage and other inventors are displaying their innovations. Until, of course, the Master shows up with some manner of shrink-ray thing, presumably the same one he used to tiny-fy the actual O whose appearance he inhabits (perhaps it's the reason the Doctor couldn't sense his presence until he flicks tiny O out of his pocket). Good ol' Ada shoots him in the leg. It's what he deserves.
She and Ada leap through the Kasaavin like estrogen-fueled Sam Becketts and make their way to WW2-era Paris where they meet Noor Inayat Khan (Aurora Marion), the first female radio operator to be sent into Nazi-occupied France and Britain's first Muslim war heroine. Noor hides Ada and the Doctor under the floorboards while Nazis — led by the Master using a perception filter — attempt to locate and destroy them. The Doctor and Ada survive and the Doctor finds her best frenemy via Morse code. They meet on the Eiffel Tower (complete with reference to Jodrell Bank and "Logopolis") where she learns the Master isn't exactly in charge of the Kasaavin and isn't entirely sure what they are. But he's still using them for his wicked deeds (he's never been especially good at foresight or risk assessment). More importantly, however, he tells the Doctor something massive: Gallifrey has been destroyed, utterly nuked, and everyone dead.
While all that is happening, we still have Yaz, Ryan, Graham, and the other villain, Daniel Barton, are... not especially important. They're fine. Graham wears laser shoes, it's awesome. Barton attempts to hack everyone's phones, Dark Knight style, and destroy humanity (because none of us read the terms of service and now our base are all belong to Facebook, Google, and Lenny Henry, great job, us) but it doesn't work because of the Doctor and her team of STEM queens (that's what the Kasaavin have been doing, seeking out everyone involved with the development of the computer to gather data in order to rewrite human DNA). It's fun but a bit lackluster.
But ultimately, that's all it needs to be. Because, as with "Spyfall Part 1," it's the end reveal that will shape the rest of the season. The Master (now cast away to the wire forest) was right — Gallifrey has been decimated. And he's the one who did it. Turns out, as ever, the Time Lords remain total d*cks, at least according to the Master. "They lied to us. Founding fathers of Gallifrey. Everything we were told was a lie. We’re not who we think, you or I. All existence of our species built on the lie of the Timeless Child."
The Timeless Child was first referenced last season in "The Ghost Monument," and along with the truth of the Time Lords, it seems to be this season's arc. And I'm into it. While last season was historic and well-written as individual one-off episodes, the connective tissue of previous seasons was woefully missed. There are now cracks in the optimism and hope of the Jodie Whittaker Doctor, who's all but ignored her past thus far. Now she has no choice but to face it — and it will be thrilling to see what that looks like.