This is a little bit about the ending still, but mostly it is about ROSE and DALEKS and THE DOCTOR'S HALF HUMANNESS.
I have a confession to make. Actually, I have several confessions to make but the others belong over at toobroadtoodeep. The one that's relevant here is that I don't actually rewatch a lot of New Who. I find that the episodes generally have things in them that are painful to watch knowing what's coming (basically: S1 - Nine never gets over his fail, S2 - Rose doesn't actually get any character development, S3 - Martha never really gets as much acknowledgement as she should and now S4 - OMGDONNA*criz*). When I've got a choice of what DVD to dig out I go for the old school or something else entirely. I actually most rewatch new school when I come across it on BBC3 or I ski[p to specific parts of episodes to check stuff for fic. But basically, of that list in the brackets there, S4 is on the top by a million miles now.
Short version: I still hate the ending. A lot.
Anyway, Rose. Overall, Rose's reappearance in these last few eps was good, apart from the weird voice thing in Turn Left that I assume we can put down to dental work given that she was fine after that (though, really, you can't do a bit of schedule juggling around something like that?). It's annoying that we never got an explicit mention of the viewscreen gubbins, but we can attribute that to her earlier attempts with the Dimension Cannon or something; I think I had swallowed a bit of fan theory that Rose was travelling in time from after the finale and wanted that to come true or something and was disappointed when it was less-thought-through than that, even though I should've known better with a Rusty script. And I was very, very glad that when she and Martha actually met they just got on with being awesomesauce.
But there were just a couple of moments in this ep where they were a bit faily. The surface text implies that the Dimension Cannon was built for purposes of finding the Doctor because the Daleks had succeeded in the alt-verse and the zed-neutrino beam was on its way, as presaged by all the stars going out, and so they thought the Doctor was their only hope (see rants passim on that score). But the way Billie and David play it (and can we blame the direction too?) there's a lot of "I was looking for you! Squee!" which left me feeling a bit uneasy. It's one thing to break down the walls of reality as a last ditch thing when the entire multiverse is under threat, it's another to be secretly thinking "YAY! I get to see my not-boyfriend again!" about it.
I also still really don't like Rose's resolution, the way they try and have it all ways, especially by not telling us what the Doctor was going to say. And londonkds is bang on about the issues around that "worst day of my life" line. But anyway.
So, Daleks. I should have cottoned on to this sonner given that I've burbled about it before AND we had Tom the policeman in the whole of this season, but the new series Daleks have always owed as much to the Cushing movies as anything from what we ridiculously call "canon". The big skirts, the architecture of their spaceship, "rels" ... And between the red Dalek and the claw-y Daleks in the Vault (the secret of which is: "it's actually a prison"? yeah, that's a bit fail on the overhype side isn't it) and the comedy pushing them around scene, that was Cushing movie heaven. Which is quite yay really, when it all comes down to it.
And finally, the half human thing. Be warned: my middle-schoolness is really going to start showing round about now. I cared about these debates at the time, dammit. (The most interesting thing about Loz Miles's blog this time round is finding out what his take on Sabbath was.) Anyway, I used to hate the half human thing because it seemed like an obvious American help-the-audience-identify-with-the-alie
Anyway, it is pretty hard to square what happened in last night's episode with almost any version of the half-human thing. The best we can do is go with is that the "metacrisis" technobabble gives us room to accept the "Eight's regeneration was all fucked up from the anaesthetic and he absorbed a bit of humanness from the bodies around him in the morgue" thing. But that means we have to put the "mother's side" thing down as a joke. And it still doesn't explain what's actually the biggest problem for the "la la la la la I can't hear you" brigade, the eyeball/Eye of Harmony thing and in particular the Master's dialogue around it. Yes, Apocalypse Element gives us an explanation for how come a human eyeball works, but it's clearly not the explanation the Master believes. Now, Eric Roberts Master is particularly bugfuck crazy, but it doesn't sound there like he's making shit up, it sounds like he has always known about the half human thing. Anyway, it's comprehensively Jossed now, especially given real!Ten's disgusted reaction to the idea. Unless that's all about his complicated self-loathing, I dunno; maybe he feels it was Eight's destructive human side that pushed the button on Gallifrey all those times and that's also why he has so much more of the "you guys are so destructive!" thing than he used to and the objection to guns and oh god I think I have just made up some new personal canon, haven't I?
I'm going to go and read comics with Shayde in them now so that I can write that overdue fic. Have I mentioned how much I love Shayde's intro? He gets all this build up about how dangerous he is and how he can get on board the TARDIS undetected and his last appearance in his first strip ends with standing impassively in the console room with the caption "... and he is waiting for the Doctor!" (you can practically hear the orchestral DUH-DUH-DUH sting)
And then next strip the Doctor turns up and Shayde's all "O HAI, I R SUPER HELPFUL MATRIX CONSTRUCT DUDE SENT BY RASSILON TO HELP U. CUP OV TEA y/n?"