The Doctor talks about how the Monks have been with humanity since the beginning, guiding Mankind throughout the ages, defending them from alien invaders.
A father, mother, and child are watching the Doctor's broadcast when troopers burst in and order them down to their knees at gunpoint. The soldiers tear up the place and the Group Commander comes in and informs the mother that she's charged with manufacturing and distributing propaganda designed to undermine the current government. The mother points out that the Monks have only been on Earth for a few months, but the Group Commander ignores her and sentences her to ten years in a labor camp. Bill watches from down the street as the soldiers take the mother away, and then continues walking.
The Doctor assures everyone that their future is taken care of.
At home, Bill drinks coffee and briefly basks in the truth of the Monk's rulership. She looks up to see her mother, and tells her that the Monks have only been there for six months and she can't remember how she escaped. Bill insists that everything that the Monks tell them is a lie, but no one's saying anything. She explains that she traveled with the Doctor and Nardole and she gave up Earth to the Monks to save them. Each day it's harder to remember what's real anymore.
On TV, the Doctor asks anyone who suspects a neighbor or friend member to turn them in to the authorities.
Bill insists that the Doctor has a plan, and one day he'll come back and save them all. Her mother disappears and someone fumbles at the door. Bill hides and then lunges out and finds Nardole. He insists that he's himself, and reveals the memories that she shares with her. Bill explains that he got contaminated by the bacteria and was laid up for six weeks. He wonders who she was talking to, and Bill explains that she made up an imaginary mother to talk to. She says that the Monks are doing something to them to make them think the Monks have been there forever, and wonders why they're going to the trouble of changing the past. Nardole figures that if people think it's always been that way, they won't fight back.
When Bill asks what Nardole has been doing for six weeks, Nardole explains that he's been looking for the Doctor. He admits that he's found him, and Bill figures that the Monks are forcing the Doctor to make the broadcasts. Nardole has a device that will track the source of the broadcasts and pinpoints his location on an old prison boat at sea. Every six weeks, a supply boat delivers food and fuel and the next delivery is in two days times off the coast of Scotland.
Nardole makes contact with the captain of the prison boat, whose son is serving ten years in a labor camp. He agrees to bring Bill and Nardole onboard and take them to the prison ship. Since that hasn't been much resistance, the Monks' security is geared primarily to keeping the Doctor in. When the boat arrives, the soldiers do a spot-check of their identity papers. As bill presents a fake ID, a Monk arrives and inspects the crew. Once he leaves, the soldiers tell the crew to get the supplies onboard.
Bill and Nardole slip aboard the prison ship and search for the Doctor. They find the Doctor in a chamber and go into greet him. He working at a desk and immediately calls the guards. The Doctor says that they shouldn't be there and now he has to talk to the Monks, and warns Bill and Nardole not to move or the soldiers will kill them. He calls the Monks and then tells his former companions that human society is regressing. The new society is safer for humanity. Bill asks about free will and how the Doctor believes in it, and he points out that humanity ruined everything when they had free will. The Doctor insists that he had to stand out of the way before humanity wiped itself out. He reminds Bill that she ignored him and they were lucky it was a benevolent race like the Monks rather than the Daleks.
When Bill gives the Doctor a coded message, he tells the soldiers what it means and orders them to lower their guns. She realizes that the Doctor is actually doing it and it's all real, and says that the last few months have been hard for her, but she's fought against it for the Doctor. Bill grabs a soldier's sidearm and aims it at the Doctor, and the Doctor says that it's not a trick: he's joined the Monks to save humanity from itself. Bill shoots him in the chest and the Doctor regenerates... and nothing happens.
The Doctor tells Bill that's a good girl, and he, Nardole, and the soldiers applaud. He then tells Bill that the Monks are using something to control the population, and they don't trust the Doctor. So he tricked Bill into shooting him to determine that she wasn't working for them. The Doctor has spent the last six months deprogramming the soldiers, and everyone had blanks. He called the kitchen, not the Monks, and Nardole was in on it. The Doctor stops her and says that now they need to get one other person to help them: the only person almost as smart as him.
Taking the direct approach, the Doctor and his allies sail the prison ship to London When they get to the university, the Monks are waiting for them. The Doctor and Bill sneak in to the cellar and the Doctor opens the vault and goes inside. Missy is at a piano inside of a smaller cell, and the Doctor introduces her to Bill. He explains that the Missy is going cold-turkey from being bad, and asks if she's encountered the Monks. Missy says that she has and she defeated them, but has some requests in return for her information. The Doctor points out that nice people don't usually bargain, and Missy points out that she could escape anytime she wants. Bill agrees to Missy's terms, and the Doctor explains how the Monks have been targeting the brain controlling memory perception. Missy finally says that the person who invited them formed a psychic link between the Monks and humanity, and the Monks' statues act as amplifiers. She tells him that all he has to do is kill the person who invited the Monks. The Monks have maintained control over planets for thousands of years because the link has been passed down through the bloodline.
Missy goes back to playing the piano, and Bill asks Missy how she defeated the Monks before. The prisoner says that she pushed the lynchpin into a volcano, and Bill admits that she's the lynchpin. Missy says that the best tactic is for Bill to keep leaving and her brain would transmit nothing, and then Bill would be a husk. The Doctor tells Missy that she hasn't changed, and that they don't sacrifice people. Missy says that she saved the world because she wanted to change, and the Doctor's version of good isn't absolute. It's vain and sentimental, and Missy will never change to become that.
The Doctor and Bill go back to the resistance. Bill tells them that there is a way to defeat the Monks, and the Doctor knew what it involved or he wouldn't have waited for Bill to come for him. She explains that she's the lynchpin, and Nardole suggests that they think of something else. The Doctor refuses to consider it, but Bill points out that since she's safe with the Doctor, that's why the Mons' plan works. Looking at the maps, the Doctor says that they have to break into the Monks' cathedral pyramid because they must have a machine in there that broadcasts their false history. They get in, he plugs himself in, and beams out the true history of the world. Nardole warns that it's highly dangerous, and the Doctor admits that his plan doesn't stand a chance.
The resistance group goes to the pyramid and confirm that there are apparently no Monks on guard. Bill realizes that the beam is stronger closer to the transmitter, and the Doctor warns that as they get even closer they'll want to turn around. He gives them protective headgear and then they approach the pyramid. The headphones play Bill's voice saying what the Monks are truly doing to overcome the false memory transmission.
The group enters the pyramid and two Monks attack them, killing several of the soldiers. As the resistance fighters return fire, one soldiers' recorder is destroyed and he runs after the Doctor and the group survivors. The soldier aims a gun at the Doctor's head, insisting that the Doctor tricked them. Nardole knocks him out with a neck pinch.
The group enters the central chamber and the Doctor explains that they aren't affected because they're in the metaphoric eye of the storm. There's an ancient Monk wired into the system, and the Doctor links into the system. The viewscreens show the Monks disappearing from the broadcast history, but the Doctor says that the Ancient Monk is fighting back. He braces himself and continues, but the Monks start coming back into the broadcast history.
The Doctor is knocked back and when he wakes up, he discovers that he's tied up. Bill says that she wanted to say goodbye first, and tells the Doctor that he couldn't find another way. She tells him goodbye, kisses him on the cheek, and says that it was all worth it. Bill hugs Nardole as the Doctor yells at her not to do it. Ignoring him, Bill touches the coronet just as the Doctor frees himself. The Doctor realizes that the Monks have infected her memories and are using them to reinforce their control.
Bill remembers her mother, and all of the pictures that the Doctor gave her fill the screens. The Doctor tells her that she has to keep thinking of the memory of her mother that she created because the Monks can't get near it. The incorruptible memory of Bill's mother fills the screens as she sends it to the world, and its memory onto the world without the Monks.
Across the world, people remember the true history of the world.
Later, the resistance group goes out and confirms that people are back to normal. The Doctor explains that the Monks will run when they realize who is in power.
Across the world, people attack the Monks. The pyramid lifts off and departs.
As the Doctor and Bill drink coffee, Bill figures that it's a turning point in history. The Doctor asks a passing woman what happened, and she doesn't remember. He tells Bill that the Monks have erased itself and humanity won't learn from its mistakes. The Doctor tells Bill to finish her essay on free will that he assigned her, and says that he puts up with humanity because among 7 billion people there are ones like Bill.
In the vault, the Doctor shows her photos of all of the people she killed. Missy cries as she tells the Doctor that she remembers all of them. When the Doctor apologies, Missy says that it's good.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 4, 2017