A Town Called Mercy was definitely a triumph. Can we just start off with how visually stunning it was? The scorched, dusty landscape was just amazing and made it look like really authentic. (I would know, I've seen an entire TWO Western films)
The episode was fantastic! I loved the writing and a storyline about morality never gets old. In the Doctor's now 1200 or so years (I'm not sure how or why time jumped that fast), he has had so many life changing moments that of course his morality is going to altered by these experiences. It's always good to revisit it. It felt especially important in this part of the season as he is "weaning" himself off the Ponds, and vice versa. He needs a companion to keep him grounded. We've seen what happens when he doesn't (think the Waters of Mars etc) He needs Amy and Rory to be his moral anchors.
I also want to take back what I said about disliking the part in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship when the Doctor did not save Solomon. In combination with this episode, it seems a lot more...justified? I'm not too sure but it helped to reinforce that the Doctor needs a companion. Would he have perhaps saved Solomon if Amy was there?
Obviously the question of 'what would you do?' was put to us. Save Jex or let the Gunslinger have his justice. What would you have done?
Now that I've mentioned the Gunslinger, how cool was he?! Appearance-wise, at least. They did a really good job with him.
Also, Matt Smith's acting has to be applauded, it really does. I actually have no words for the jail scene and the scene where he pushes Kahler Jex outside the town's boundaries.
Let's delve into those a little. The jail scene was pretty powerful. Kahler Jex is one of those characters that mirrors the Doctor.
"In my culture we believe that when you die your spirit has to climb a mountain, carrying the souls of everyone you wronged in your lifetime. Imagine the weight I will have to lift. The monsters I created, the people I killed" - Jex.This seems to resonate within the Doctor. Imagine 1200 years of people he has wronged. Imagine the weight the Doctor will have to carry. Though he tries to act for the good of all, nobody is perfect.
There is also the part where Amy and Rory are discussing what they should do with Jex and the Doctor is off in the corner in his own inner conflict.
Then there is this scene. The Doctor actually holding and aiming a gun.
Not a single monster is as scary as the Doctor when he is angry like this.
(Brilliant, brilliant acting, Smithy)
Reflecting back on the episode now though, I feel as if it was kind of...forgettable. Don't get me wrong, the above scene will probably be ingrained in my memory for a while but apart from that, I don't really remember what else happened.
One last thing, have you all picked up on the recurring motifs from the last 3 episodes? The mention of Christmas and the flickering lights. Eggs seems to be another too. My guess is that the 'Christmas' references mean the new companion and the flickering lights are the Weeping Angels. Not too sure about the eggs thing though. What are your theories?
And, are you excited for the next episode? The Power of Three...sounds like the Doctor needs his companions more than ever!
(Note: None of the pictures/.gifs are mine, I found them on Tumblr :P)