Clara wakes up in some kind of bizarro nightmare apartment where toothpaste is black and there’s a seahorse on the front page of the gibberish newspaper. She tries to get out but when she opens the door there’s just another door and ditto with the curtains. That’s because she’s trapped in a Zygon pod, as we learned last week! And much like the time her “I jumped into the Doctor’s time stream back before I was a real character” alternate self was turned into a Dalek but for some reason believed she was living in a space pod making souffles every day, she is hallucinating more spacious surroundings.
She does have slight access to reality through her hallucinated flatscreen where she hears Clara’s pre-rocket launching phone convo with the Doctor, and by shaking the TV she causes Zygon Clara to miss her shot. But she’s not able to manage it a second time and Zygon Clara blows up the Doctor’s plane and he dies. JK! He and Osgood had parachutes I guess and managed to jump before the explosion (but RIP everybody else on that plane).
Zygon Clara doesn’t know that yet though and is like “Mission Accomplished Part 1!” and moves on with Part 2 of her evil Zygon plan: forcing a poor unsuspecting Zygon to stop looking like a neurotic middle-aged white man and look like his true Zygon self instead, because the main thrust of this whole Zygon revolution thing is a whole “Free to be You and Me” deal where they should get to look like gross blobby things without getting murdered. Which, fair, but I don’t see why they have to murder everybody else to accomplish it!
So Osgood is confused as to why Zygon Clara missed the plane the first time and the Doctor is like “Clara 😦 ” because he thinks she is dead. Luckily at that moment the real Clara uses her mind powers to make Zygon Clara send the Doctor a text message that says “I’m awake” because she’s so strong that even unconscious in her Zygon pod she can still fight back.
Meanwhile Zygon Clara is on the hunt for the mysterious Osgood Box which allegedly can start the human/Zygon war, but all she finds is another video of the two Osgoods being like “You dummy, the box is not actually where we said it was in the other video lololol!” The deal with this box is sort of the crux of this whole episode so I’m going to float some theories as to what might be inside it until we get the answer.
The Doctor opens a video call with Zygon Clara to let her know he’s super not dead. She’s like “Fuck” and then Real Clara starts taking control of her face through her mental powers to make her start involuntarily winking at him. The Doctor of course is immediately like “Oh that must be Real Clara trying to communicate with me but bitch doesn’t know Morse Code so let me just take a stab in the dark and ask if maybe she is somewhere underground in London?” even though he was not a part of that “There are creepy elevator shenanigans” conversation last episode. Clara makes Zygon Clara wink excitedly so the Doctor is like “Excellent, on my way, P.S. your Zygon doppelganger is probs going to interrogate you about the location of the Osgood Box but stay strong!”
He hangs up and Osgood is like “You dummy, now Zygon Clara knows that Real Clara knows where my box is!” and the Doctor is like “EXACTLY!”
Zygon Clara hightails it over to the underground blob nest to have a psychic conversation with Real Clara about where to find the box. Clara is like
But Zygon Clara is like “We share the same heartbeat lamebrain, so you can’t lie to me.” Please don’t spend more than a second thinking about how much sense that makes. She gets Clara to tell her that the Osgood Box is in the Black Archive in the Tower of London (which you may remember from the 50th Anniversary Special) and that only Osgood, the Doctor and Clara herself have access. And since Zygon Clara has a Clara body right now she can totes get in. But Clara very mysteriously says that once she opens the box she’ll have some more questions so it would be a bad idea to kill her right now. At this point Zygon Clara is under the impression that the box contains a button that would change all hidden Zygons on Earth into their Zygon form, but I bet it’s actually this:
So at some point Zygon Clara uploaded a video of that forced Zygon transformation she did on that poor helpless dude earlier to Youtube and it’s all over the news, so the Doctor traces the cell phone to the place where it happened. He and Osgood find the Zygon hiding in a convenience store and he’s like “I just wanted to be a middle-aged dork I don’t want to be a Zygon people will hate me!” and then he incinerates himself. It’s a bummer.
The Doctor is like “Fuck” and then he runs into “Kate” and a couple of UNIT bros outside and they’re like “Come with us, we have the answers to all your problems!” The Doctor is like “I am 100% suspicious, but ok.”
They head to the Zygon-pod cave and find that Clara’s pod has been removed, because Zygon Clara felt the need to take it with her to the Black Archive. When she arrives she finds that it’s called an Osgood Box because there are TWO of them.
She calls the Doctor to be like “WTF bro?!?!” He says that one box unmasks the Zygons and the other kills them. So she drags Real Clara out of the pod and is like “I’m gonna murder her if you don’t tell me which is which.” The Doctor is like “In that case, it’s the blue one.” But then she opens them both and finds they both have two buttons, one that says “Truth” and one that says “Consequences.”
She tells Zygon Kate to bring the Doctor to her but guess what? Kate is actually not a Zygon, but has been impersonating one since she killed the Zygon cop in New Mexico! Shocking twist. Definitely didn’t see that one coming. She kills her Zygon buddies and asks the Doctor to confirm that one of the boxes has the anti-Zygon gas and the Doctor is like “Ugh stop asking me about that I’m not into genocide!”
So they all head over to the Black Archive for a nice chat with the Claras. Zygon Clara is like
and the Doctor reveals that actually there are four different scenarios, one for each button. One button kills all the Zygons, one button detonates a nuclear bomb under London, one button unmasks all the Zygons and one makes the Zygons incapable of changing back into Zygons.
So Kate and Zygon Clara are like “Let’s push some fucking buttons! 50/50 chance is ok by me!” but the Doctor gives a long impassioned speech about how war sux and when you fire the first shot it doesn’t matter if you’re right because who knows who’s going to end up dying and he forgives Zygon Clara for being an asshole but why don’t we all just stop this now and be friends?
It’s a very good speech and draws from his personal war experience and finally Zygon Clara has an epiphany and is like “So these boxes are both empty right?” The Doctor is like “Yup, welcome to the team!” He erases Kate’s memory because apparently she’s been on the verge of pushing one of the buttons 15 times now and can’t be trusted with the knowledge that they’re empty, but he lets Zygon Clara remember so she can learn a valuable lesson and stop the invasion.
Zygon Clara goes to the blobby Zygon control panel at the school and tells everybody to stand down and go back to obeying the cease-fire. The Doctor and Clara head back to the TARDIS with Osgood in tow, and the Doctor invites her to travel with them. She’s like “Much as the idea makes me pee my pants, I need to stay here and make sure everybody follows the rules.”
The Doctor asks her one more time if she’s human or Zygon and she’s like “FFS stop asking rude questions!” Then another Osgood strolls up and the Doctor is like “What the actual f?” Apparently despite the fact that less than 24 hours ago Zygon Clara was so pissed that she wanted to murder everybody, she is now so on board with the treaty/cease-fire thing that she has decided to become the new Osgood #2 so she can help keep the peace. Makes sense! The two Osgoods say goodbye and then in the TARDIS Clara needles the Doctor about how sad he must have been when he thought she was dead. He’s like “Don’t mock my sadness 😦 ” and they fly away.