The episode begins, not of course with the cliffhangers from last week, but three months later, but also ten minutes after that, and additionally a few hours after that: With Canton Delaware hunting down and shooting Amy and Rory, and running River out of a 50-floor warehouse. But then it turns out that none of them are dead, they were just kidding, and Delaware’s been working with them the whole time to… Figure out about the Silence?
The Silence: A host of invisible mind-suckers that’s been running things here on Earth since “fire” and “the wheel,” and apparently they are able to… Mind-control you into starting a Space Race with the Communists so that somebody will invent the spacesuit, which they then turn into this miraculous thing that runs on sunlight and dreams and has a function that calls the most powerful man on Earth whenever the person inside gets scared. Dumb and annoying, yes, but meaninglessly complex in a way that almost seems like coming home, at this point. Also, every time Nixon appears in the room, “Hail to the Chief” plays. For our benefit, presumably.
Tone-deaf grade school-level ignorance of basic s*** aside, it’s a fun episode. It has all the earmarks of a Moffatt, from the careless reuse of tropes and themes from fifty other episodes to the pointless jumps around in timeframe to random weird exciting images that could have been in any episode at all to the “did you see that inorganic and incomprehensible structural tweak that will make sense six episodes from now, because it was really subtle” stuff.