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A Good Man Goes to War - Synopsis
Submitted by Geoffrey Dow on Fri, 2011-06-17 10:16
Spread the word!
A bit of a synopsis is in order. But you would do as well (or better) to visit Livejournal's Eviltigerlily for a more concise and probably funnier summary. Or, you could read both.
The first four minutes consist of Amy unaccountably engaging in a monologue to her baby while Eye-Patch Lady and her heavily-armed goons hang around and watch. Said monologue is a cheap cheat designed to make us believe (again!) that Amy is talking about the Doctor when in fact she is talking about Rory — now better known in "our world" as The Last Centurion (apparently). Speaking of Rory, he is busy destroying a whole lot of cybermen and (maybe) getting information as to Amy's whereabouts from the survivors. In any event, the cybermen do not make a reappearance, but we are to understand the Doctor is Serious because, well, a lot of stuff blows up.
Post-intro, we return to Demon's Run, where Amy is being held prisoner by Eye-Patch Lady. We are introduced to a the Knitting Marine, who encountered the Doctor as a child and so joined he Marines (who are out to destroy him) in hopes of meeting him. Or something like that. We also meet the Thin One and the Fat One, don't need names because, "We're the thin, fat, gay married Anglican marines. Why would we need names as well?" Not for the last time, Moffat breaks down the fourth wall for a self-referential joke. This one is actually moderately funny, but it makes no sense at all in the context of the story.
Then we cut to London in 1888 and "The Battle of Saruthstra" in 1437, where the Doctor recruits a Silurian/human lesbian crime-fighting couple and a Sontaran nurse, respectively. 10 minutes in Rory comes to recruit River Song, who is (once again; ha ha ha) breaking into prison, this time following a birthday date with the Doctor in 1814 London. And guess what? Stevie Wonder sang for them under London Bridge! "But you must never tell him!" This is funny because (nudge-nudge, wink-wink), Steve Wonder is blind! O! Steven Moffat, you slay me!)
Back to business. Rory says, "I've come from the Doctor too."
River is quick on the uptake and makes sure we don't get confused. "Yes, but at a different point in time." Because we've forgotten the Doctor is a time traveller. Thanks River!
But River can't go with Rory. She has to play the part of an oracle instead. The Doctor will "rise higher than ever before and then fall so much further." Why? "'Cause this it is. This is the day he finds out who I am."
15 minutes into the 50 minute episode, the Doctor has recruited an unwilling Fat Old Blue Guy and a Sontaran nurse, but still nothing has really happened beyond exposition and pontification.
Back at Demon's Run, a Serious Colonel is holding a pep rally for his troops. "The Doctor is a living, breathing man. And ... we're sure as hell going to fix that!" Cut to Amy's quarters, where the Knitting Marine, playing hooky, has somehow got past Amy's guards in orde to bring her a "prayer leaf". The women bond 'cause they've both met the Doctor.
20 minutes and we're back at the rally, where we find out that the Headless Monks (didn't I mention the Headless Monks? Well, no loss, they don't do anything important anyway) are ... headlesss! Oh! And one of them is actually the Doctor in disguise!
Music swelling, lights go out and bad guys start to shoot one another. The Colonel scrunches his craggy face, "Nooooo!" manages to get the Marines and the Monks to stop killing each other by disarming. "We are not fools," the Marines chant. Chant, Marines, Chant. (Oh Steven Moffat! Your irony slays me!)
Now that the bad guys are disarmed, squads of Judoon and Silurians show up to make prisoners of Marines and Monks alike. Yay for bloodless victories! And when the Colonel gloats that a distress call will go out, guess what! The Spitfires that took out the Dalek base last year show up and destroy the communications array! Array gone, hurray!
The Silurian lesbian, who obviously doesn't know about the daleks or rebooting the universe, pontificates (quoting River Song, so we know it's Important), "My friend, you have never risen higher."
The Doctor Preens, but meanwhile, Eye-Patch Lady, bosom heaving, explains her plan (it's all a clever trap for the Doctor, don'cha know), decides it's time to leave the base — with Amy's baby!
But! Knitting Marine was hanging around, listening. But! Rory shows up, all pants under his Roman skirt, says, "I haz pirates, Eye-Patch Lady!" And pirates there are, even Pirate Boy, who strikes a pose in lieu of actually doing anything. Meanwhile, the Sontaran nurse provides some much-needed expository dialogue, since it's been at least 40 seconds since we've had any.
Still full of himself, the Doctor humiliates the Colonel, though Eye-Patch Lady is still unaccountably smug. "Give the order, Colonel Runaway," she says.
The next few minutes are all hugs and kisses and baby back in Amy's arms (plus Sontaran offering, "Magnificent quantities of lactic fluid!" which, for a wonder, is actually funny). Doctor speaks Baby, brings out crib from his own childhood, then more hugs and Rory pretending jealousy. "Be aware, I do have a sword." O! Steven Moffat, you do so cleverly skewer the ways of men-kind!
But then more exposition, and Doctor wonders, "Why do they want the baby?" Silurian asks if baby is really human — smart Silurian lesbian is smart! Baby has Time Lord genes! Damn that Time Vortex anyway!
Meanwhile (were now around the 34 minute mark), the Sontaran and the Knitting Marine debate whether there is anyone else on the base. "The Headless Monks ... don't register as life-forms," quoth the Knitting Marine. That's right, the Judoon have messed up again, because guess who's sneaking up on a redshirt Silurian?
And meanwhile, Eye-Patch Lady (I forget how she escaped) makes a video-call to gloat — and to spill all her plans (how else can the Doctor figure out what's going on, if the villains don't tell him? Lazy plotting is lazy plotting, Steven Moffat!) "We haz kid, we is uze her againzt u, Doctor!"
Doctor is fist-banging mad! "The child ... IS NOT A WEAPON!" But Headless Monks are coming! Fat Old Blue Guy emotes, "Oh dear God! That's the attack prayer!" Monk then says he can deal with Monks, is cut-down off-screen. Eye-Patch Lady is somehow still gloating, even though no one would be the wiser if she hadn't told Doctor Amy's "baby" actually a changeling.
There is off-screen fighting while the Doctor runs to Amy and Eye-Patch Lady watches. River provides a bad poem in voice-over and the "baby" turns to Flesh goo. We return to the pointless battlefield where, presumably, the Headless Monks have been defeated.
More emoting, Knitting Marine gets her moment with the Doctor. The Doctor says that it's too late to save the Baby and asks the Silurian if she doesn't sometimes wish he would give up more often. Sadness all around.
Then River Song appears! More emoting, then the Grand Reveal. River is Amy's baby! Doctor is energized, rushes to TARDIS, tells River to get everyone home and ... th-th-th-that's all, folks!