Though Jenna Coleman won’t say whether or not she’s leaving at the end of the season of “Doctor Who,” the latest episode set up a definite beginning of the end.
“The Caretaker” saw Clara’s two worlds crashing into each other and when the Doctor went “deep undercover” in her school as a janitor. Honestly the plot, which involved an alien robot killing machine known as the Skovox Blitzer, was secondary to what was really happening in the episode. Clara’s two lives don’t really work together.
The episode opens showing her splitting her time between Danny and the Doctor, leaving her tired and lying keep it all afloat. However, with the Doctor in her school it’s impossible to avoid complications. Obviously, the Doctor is being his normal defiant self, while Danny is mostly confused by all that’s going on.
Once she finally explains her double life to Danny, he looked almost heartbroken. However, it was the Doctor whose reaction was the most shocking. He was angry at Clara and refused to accept Danny. When she admits she loves her boyfriend, the look on the Doctor’s face is priceless. While Clara has been holding out details of her universe-traveling lifestyle to Danny, the Doctor has clearly been in the dark about how serious her feelings are for Mr. Pink.
It’s not that the Doctor doesn’t like Danny, but he does put him through the paces to make sure he’s good enough for Clara. That’s when you see that he views himself almost as a father figure, watching his daughter grow up. Of course, Clara’s an adult but for the first time since her journey with the Doctor began, she’s advancing her personal life.
That personal life could lead her away from the Doctor eventually, which even the Time Lord recognizes himself. A throwaway joke to one of Clara’s students speaks volumes as he tells the schoolgirl he may soon have a “vacancy” on his ship.
As it stands, Danny doesn’t seem all that interested in taking part in Clara’s space travels. After his time in combat, he may be happy with a quiet and simple life. After all that Clara’s seen, perhaps she’ll start seeing things that way soon as well.
For what it’s worth, Missy and the promised land were back at the end of this week’s episode. You also met a colleague of hers, though who knows what role he’ll play when this story becomes clear. It’s all building to something, but good luck figuring out what that is.