No One Leaves Home Unless Home is the Mouth of a Shark
Today's penultimate episode of Class was unique from all the others, and I will get to that below, but first I want to talk about a line of dialog from Miss Quill quoting from the poem Home by Warsan Shire. "No one leaves home," she says, "Unless home is the mouth of a shark." I try not to get too political on this blog, although I make no bones about the fact that I am a card-carrying bleeding-heart liberal. Researching this poem, it absolutely speaks one of the biggest issues plaguing my own country today. Please follow that link and read the entire poem, it speaks to the refugee experience. Her in the United States we currently have a xenophobic president who seems hell-bent on stirring up fear and hatred against immigrants, describing them as rapists and murderers while begrudgingly admitting that some of them might be nice people. It is horrifying. We can be better. We can have immigration policies that maintain security without dehumanizing immigrants, or ripping children away from families and locking them in kennels. "I want to go home," says Shire, "but home is the mouth of a shark, home is the barrel of a gun, and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore..."
The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
This episode opens and closes identically to the previous one, with Miss Quill locking the students in detention and then returning at the end with her brain parasite removed and the scars to show for it. Aside from that opening and closing, the students do not appear at all as we find out (as the title says) what Quill did. In a nutshell, Headmaster Dorothea, representative of the mysterious Governors, uses the titular Metaphysical Engine in order to take Quill and guest character Ballon to a series of not-real-but-totally-real locations with the end goal of removing Quill's parasite.
Ballon is a shape-shifter trapped in an in-between physical state, who is on a quest to gain back his shifting abilities. He is also the surgeon who will be able to remove the parasite, once he can at least shape-shift his hands to perform the surgery. The trio travels to the parasite's heaven, Ballon's hell, Quill's people's original nest, and then finally inside Prince Charlie's Lamp of Souls. Along the way Quill and Ballon form a deep relationship, and then of course are forced to battle each other to the death because that's the kind of thing the Governors do. It is no surprise at all that in the end Quill has her parasite removed and in the process gets a wicked facial scar. Given that the previous episode ended with that, it's not supposed to be a surprise. This story is all about Quill's emotional journey.
I enjoyed it quite a bit. The idea of using WhateverTechnology in order to travel to places that exist not in a physical sense but instead only because people believe in them -- well, that's totally a Doctor Who concept. I mean, that is totally what the Second Doctor story The Mind Robber was all about. The story also really digs into what makes Miss Quill tick, and gives her a bit more depth and nuance than what she has been allowed before.
Most importantly, it leaves her with her own free will in place for the first time in the series.
So this leaves me with only one more story to watch. After that I have the Thirteenth Doctor's first season to watch, but I've already seen it (just not while on the treadmill). That means that after tomorrow, I will have seen every single Doctor Who related story ever broadcast on television. I still have a few other bits and bobs to view, like the two Peter Cushing movies, a couple of animated web productions, and some not-quite official non-BBC stuff. But in terms of official Who broadcast stories, tomorrow is it.
Companion(s): Miss Quill
Episode(s): The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did
Steps Walked: 7,759 today, 4,381,348 total
Distance Walked: 4.31 miles today, 2,293.68 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 10,600 total
Sit-ups Completed: 200 today, 5,065 total
Weight: 263.78 lbs (five day moving average), net change -43.52 lbs