8) The Cruelest and Kindest Reunion
After breaking our hearts wide open in the season 8 closer, leave it to Who to find a way to stomp on the pieces one last time before the story of Clara and Danny Pink is fully put to rest. In conjuring the ideal life that might tempt Clara into death, the dreamcrabs twist the knife for her and Who fans both. On a pure fan-service level, it’s great to see Samuel Anderson back on screen sans Cyberman gear, even if only briefly, and it’s a testament to just how good he was in the role that, aside from serving a necessary plot point, the entire scene is basically a graduate thesis reminding us that…
9) Danny Pink Is Awesome
I’ll go a step further: Danny Pink is one of the best Who companions in ages, and arguably even more interesting than Clara herself. We’d already seen him overcome Cyberman programming through sheer force of will and love for Clara, and this time around he manages to turn his role as dream bait into an extra bit of closure for Clara (and us as well). His request that she think about him five minutes a day — but only five minutes — was a beautiful concession to the fact that even the deepest grief must eventually begin to heal, and perfectly in character for the man who proved that “love is a promise.” As if that weren’t enough, Danny got to make plain the idea behind the episode’s title: that every Christmas is someone’s last, and so every Christmas with the people we love is a gift far greater than anything we’ll find underneath the tree. All in all, it proved a beautiful coda for one of our favorite Who characters in a long time — one for whom, sadly, this was the last Christmas.