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meta: The Bell Jar - The Crimson Horror

amy/tardislight fairytale
In which there is much riffing on the idea of the Bell Jar, both scientific and literary; some exploration of  Welsh Saints, mistletoe and Sir Gawain; some subversion of the way symbols have been used up until now; and those old favourites of a monster mirror, the x motif, the chair agenda and eye symbolism.

I'm going to go on less about the Monomyth in this particular meta, because I don't think this ep is so much about that - and also because I think in many ways we've reached a pause on the Heroic Journey. Clara's self knowledge of her nature has been denied to her by the Doctor who allowed her to forget what she had learned in Journey to the Centre of the Tardis. This is worrying to me and speaks of how stuck the Doctor is in his own issues at the moment. It's also got me stuck, and unable to see how she can progress in this journey until she discovers at least a little more. Plus, we literally see her placed in suspension in this ep, which bears out my thinking on it. But more of that shortly....


On the subject, first of all, of the Doctor and Clara's hidden identities and how it links into The Bell Jar...

The Bell Jar and the silence
Things that have been preserved are kept underneath Bell Jars in this episode. People preserved in the factory village are protected in that way, for the birth of the new age, and Mrs Gillyflower's room is also filled with decorative bell jars being used as dust covers. A bell jar is a scientific item used to create vacuums, purely decorative versions were widely used during the Victorian era, in order to display clocks and taxidermy, or as dust covers.



There's a link in to the whole idea of bells here which we've seen this series, and a link into the idea of sound and silence: We’ve heard the Cloister Bell twice now this series, and we also have the idea of The Bells of Saint Johns right from the first episode. There’s an interesting experiment that can be done relating to sound with the use of a bell jar vacuum. A ringing alarm clock is placed under a bell jar and the air is pumped out. As the air disappears, the ringing sound of the bell fades, due to the fact that sound waves need air in order to travel. It’s an interesting contradiction, place a ringing bell inside something that resembles a bell in order to silence it. Mrs Gillyflower also calls Mr Sweet her “silent partner.” Surely the links to “silence must fall when the question is asked”, the extensive use of bells and sounds, and now the bell jar is deliberate?

One other obvious link to the idea of the bell jar, that cannot be overlooked because it is so well known, is to be found in the name of the novel “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath. I expect most of us are familiar with the novel, but briefly, it describes the protagonists descent into depression. She describes the sensation of sinking into depression like being underneath a bell jar which is having all the air sucked out of it. There are a few famous interesting quotes from the story which link into some of the current themes of Who, the ideas of sound and silence, the fall of the 11th, juxtaposition of opposites and the World Tree.

The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

*


The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells, and all the tatty wreckage of my life.

*

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the end of every branch, like a fat pruple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked…I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree starving to death, because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and grow black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

*

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.

*


I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print, the way you crawl through a fence, and go to sleep under that beautiful green fig-tree.

*

The world seemed solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no further.


The thing about the book, is it is very much about questions of self-identity. The central character, Esther, doesn’t fit into or wish to fit into social norms of what is acceptable for a woman, and the pressure this places on her pushes her into depression. The book is Esther’s quest where she wrestles with this and struggles to establish her own identity. It’s interesting to me, therefore, that Clara is the one who ends up underneath the bell jar in this episode. I talked in my last meta, about how it concerned me that the Doctor currently seems to be denying Clara the ability to come to a place of self-knowledge. He has kept facts about her identity secret, and even when she found out in the last episode, he allowed her to forget them again - and he is in denial about it himself.

Doctor: (to Jenny and Vastra): I know who you think she is, but she isn’t. She can’t be.

 My argument is that this is because he is projecting onto her his own lack of ability to accept and acknowledge his own name/identity – the question of "Doctor Who?" runs directly parallel to the question of "Clara Who?" So, using the metaphor of the Bell Jar, external pressures which prevent the person from knowing and being their authentic self allow the bell jar to descend and the person to become trapped, forever stuck within it. That is, without self knowledge and the ability to be the authentic self, a life becomes frozen. Frozen like the shard of ice within the heart of someone. And if that someone is denying their own self knowledge by trying to conceal their own name...then oh dear.




So what does this mean for the Doctor? What if it’s not someone else denying you the ability to be your authentic identity, but you denying your own self? As we see, the Doctor can’t be preserved by the process, cannot be placed under the bell jar. He cannot completely deny the knowledge of who he is, so instead he becomes paralysed in a state between preservation/living. He is unable to fully move on. He becomes the Monster, stuck in the dark bits of himself in his attempt to deny them.



There’s a link here too to the idea of Ada gaining her own autonomy after she is told she is to be rejected from the New Jerusalem because she is imperfect. After losing her monster and then finding this out, she is left crying on the floor of the attic. The camera pans out and we see the sun slant through the slats of a round window behind her. This image cuts immediately to a shot of the Doctor staring through the slats of the round window to the chamber in which he has placed Clara in order to revive her.



There’s a clear link here between what has just happened to Ada on a symbolic level, and what is happening to Clara on a physical level as she is revived from her preserved state. Up until now, Ada’s self worth and identity has been based upon a lie, she believes that she is an integral part of her mother’s plans for after the apocalypse. and that there is a place for her in the new world. However, she discovers that her mother rejects her as she is. In that moment, the yoke of her mother is lifted from her neck, in losing both her monster and her chance at a new life – and presumably aware that she is facing death in the apocalypse - the bell jar is lifted and Ada is able to discovers her authentic self. In the scene immediately after, Clara is revived from her bell jar experience, and comes face to face - at least symbolically - with this secret the Doctor is keeping from her, as Vastra and Jenny recognise her.

However, as Mrs Gillyflower states at the moment she dies - Ada is her daughter, and is also a product of the gender roles of her era.

When Ada confronts her mother after learning that she deliberately experimented on her, she invokes negative mythic stereotypes of women as insults.

Ada: You hag! You perfidious hag, you virago, you harpy!!

The hag is a staple of fairy stories, usually as a goddess, fairy or witch taking on the form of a wizened old woman. Her role can range from that of shapeshifter to that of having evil intent. In Greek myth a harpy was winged spirit, sometimes a death spirit and was often an agent of punishment, but the word has become used to refer to a mean spirited woman.

Virago is an interesting one, considering the theme of pushing against gendered social norms that is found in the book the Bell Jar. A virago – a highly gendered term stemming from the concept that women cannot normally be as heroic or as virtuous as men - is a woman who embodies heroic qualities seen as usually beyond the scope of that gender. The word can be used perjoratively as Ada does here to suggest that in playing the role of the hero, the person is instead violating gender social norms. It’s a curious use of insult considering the idea of Ada breaking free of the yoke of her mother, and the links to the Bell Jar; but it places Ada very much in the Victorian era, as her mother's daughter, and still subject to the very rigid roles of gender as seen in the Victorian era.

For me, Mrs Gillyflower naming Ada as her daughter at the end when she refuses to foRgive, Ada's rightful anger and her use of these insults struck a bit of a dark note in the story of her character. Maybe this is appropriate as she is mirrored to the Doctor. There's a darkness in her.

Ada: You are all I have, monster. But all will be well. Imperfect as we are, there will be room for us in the new Jerusalem.





Welsh Saints, Arthurian myth and the Gillyflowers
Names are important.


Winifred Gillyflower – the meaning of the name Gilly is “Bright Promise.” The name is also a folk name for fragrant flowers and an archaic name for the Carnation. Winifred means holy, blessed, joy, peace. Winifred Gillyflower is very msch presented as a religious leader, who is trying to establish the New Jerusalem on earth for those she deems pure and perfect enough. There was a 7th Century Welsh saint called St Winifred, who is seen as the patron Saint of Virgins. Legend has it that an enraged suitor beheaded her when he learned she was to become a nun, and at the site where her severed head fell a spring welled up in the ground. She was later resurrected from the dead. There are three holy wells dedicated to her in the United Kingdom, with supposed healing powers. The main St Winifrede’s Well in Flintshire, is known as “the Lourdes of Wales, “ has a pool where pilgrims can immerse themselves in the water of the holy well, has been a site of pilgrimage since the 7th Century and has become associated with a number of historical stories. So, there's a well grown out of the blood of Winifred.



There’s a link here to the idea of blood, springs, purity and sainthood. That purity (in the sense of being physically perfect here, rather than in the sense of virginity) makes you fit for the New Jerusalem. That people being symbolically cleansed in the watered down version of the red poison purifies them for the new world - like a pilgrim being dipped in a spring that has welled up from the blood of the pure St Winifred. It’s truned somewhat on its head though. Gillyflower is the Saint, the one who will bring about the apocalypse which will cleanse the earth. She’s presenting herself as a bastion of Victorian values (of which purity was one). Her secret weapon is a vat of blood-red liquid.

The well of St Winifrede is mentioned in the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (which draws at least partially on Welsh myth), as one of the locations where Gawain spends the night before crossing the River Dee. It’s possible that the link was made between this well and the story of Gawain as both of them feature the concept of a magical beheading (also note, the story of Gawain is a Heroic Journey as well.) The interesting thing about this is that one of the (many) Christian interpretations of the story of Gawain and the Green Knight is that it is an apocalypse story. The Green Knight warned Gawain about the coming fall of Camelot; as he is judged worthy after being tested by the Green Knight, he escapes the fall of Camelot.

Gillyflower’s daughter, Ada (name meaning: nobility or adornment) is blind – supposedly blinded by her drunken husband, but in actual fact blinded by Gillyflower herself. Interestingly, she is the one who calls the Doctor “monster”, and even after he has been healed from his frozen state, she still calls him her monster. It’s as if her blindness lends her the ability to see in a different way, or see to the core of him, that there is a monster dwelling inside him. This feels very much linked in with the idea of the dark secret of his name – she seems able to see at the core what his friends cannot see. She can see that which he denies about himself. Mrs Gillyflower says this of her daughter's blindness:

Gillyflower: Her once beautiful eyes pale and white as mistletoe berries.



Mistletoe has many associations with myth and folklore. It features in Greek, Norse and Celtic mythology. In pagan Europe the plant was very much associated with fertility (hence the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas), and particularly with the idea of male fertility. In  Norse mythlogy, the blind God Hod is given a spear of mistletoe by Loki, which allows him to aim perfectly in order to kill the god Balder.

Perhaps most relevant, considering the links I’ve already pointed out in the ep to Saint Winifred of Wales and to the story of Gwain and the Green Knight, is the fact that the mistletoe plant was deeply sacred to the Druids, the priestly order of the Celts. Mistletoe found growing on oak trees was cut down with great ritual by the Druids in order to effect a cure for infertility, as a protection against evil and bad luck and as an antidote to all poisons. It is found as a motif in early Celtic artwork.

So considering that mythologically it is a both a spear used by the blind, and a cure for poisons, there is a link there to the girl with the mistletoe eyes and her walking cane which she uses to spear the parasite that generates the crimson poison. (immediately after Gillyflower’s words about her eyes being like mistletoe berries, we see her daughter use the walking cane to cross the stage.)






The subverting of usual symbols
The World Tree - The rocket is not directly the World Tree, rather it is a symbol of someone trying to artificially control the cycle of life and subvert the forces of nature. The flow of life, as embodied by the world tree in previous episodes is birth, life, death, rebirth/afterlife.

Mrs Gillflower will use a symbol of the World Tree to gain mastery over the natural cycle by carrying the blood that will being death up into the air and raining it down on people - while preserving those in stasis whom she deems perfect. She is trying to play God/dess. Her rocket is the symbol of her attempted control of the World Tree, where she sends this blood/poison to the “above” traditional the home of the Gods, in order to being about God’s new kingdom.



Music, sound and song - The World Tree isn’t the only symbol that is twisted in this episode, we also have the idea of the organ hiding the controls that will set the rocket off. Over and over again in series 7b, we have seen the idea of song saving people, the memory of songs invoking compassion, music guiding characters to the solution/resolution of problems. But in this episode, song and sound are not a good thing. The use of the Bell Jar to steal identity and feeze people links into the idea of a bell fading nito silence when placed in a vacuum. The song Jerusalem is sung after the people listening to Winifred Gillyflower are offered the chance of salvation and preservation against the coming apocalypse. The fake sounds of a working factory are played through a line of gramophones. In this case, sound is used to deceive people.



Mrs Gillyflower sings a line from a hymn just as she presses the lever which will release the rocket: I’ll labour night and day, to be a pilgrim.

And, importantly, the organ hides the tool by which the world will be brought into an apocalypse.



There’s a LOT of imagery in the shot of the organ as it reverses itself and becomes the tool which controls rocket, let’s take a look at it. On top of the organ we have 3 very potent symbols. The hourglass, the mirror and the snake.



The hourglass is a symbol of Time in motion, it's a symbol of the Doctor in so many ways.

The mirror is often used in Moffat’s who both physically and symbolically. We have mirroring in this episode, between Clara and Ada and between the Doctor and Ada.

I spoke in my last meta, and janie_aire did at length in her meta on the The Rings of Akhaten about the use of the Ouroboros as a symbol for the cycle of life/death/rebirth, a symbol for the natural cycle. The Ouroboros is always depicted as biting its own tail/disgorging itself from its own mouth, however here the tail and and the mouth of the snake are separated. Perhpas this is symbolic of how Mrs Gillyflower is trying to break the natural cycle of life.


What's interesting here though, is that the mirror stands inbetween the hourglass and the snake, when you pass through the mirror, one is found on the opposite side to the other.

 It seems a very deliberate use of the symbols to me. Maybe it's the Doctor and Clara on either side of the mirror - after all ,they are reflections of each other and they currently face the same core question of Docotr/Clara Who? that is running thruogh the show. The hourglass is the Timelord. Clara is the woman who seems to be self regenerating in the way that the Ouroboros is - though now the Doctor seems to have broken the cycle and kept her alive. The thing that they both rest upon, the thing that links and provides them with a common platform is the tool of melody and song. I've been speculating that Clara is a relative to the Doctor, due to the continual theme of family in the show at the moment. We have it here again of course, in the form of Mrs Gillyflower and her daughter (interestingly the last couple of familial relationships have been fractured - as fractured as i currently believe 11's and Clara's relationship is.) I would love it so much if Clara was related to both the Doctor and River, as their daughter or granddaughter.


Anyone have any thoughts on what this symbolism might mean, other than what I've said?

*

The Veil - We've seen the use of the veil before in Moffat era Who. The veil is a symbol of the veil that concealed the Holy of Holies in the temple at Jerusalem. The Holy of Holies was a scared room, which nobody could enter (apart from the temple High Priest once a year on the Day of Atonement) , and was believed to be a dwelling space of the presence of God. There has been a lot of Jewish and Christian imagery and themes this series. Both the mill and Gillyflower’s daughter are revealed from behind curtains, and the talk is very much a religious sermon, riffing on the traditional Victorian values of guarding against the devil and against sin.



We see the idea pf preservation and the opening of curtains again, when Vastra goes to visit the coroner, and he sweeps open a curtain to reveal things in jars that he has pickled and preserved.

The front door of the houses of Sweetville residents are covered by a cloth/veil. This seems significant, as there actually is a wooden door behind cloth hanging. The pulling back of the veil reveals the true nature of Mrs Gillyflower's factory.



*

Clara Who?
This is the first time we have seen Clara return home since the end of The Rings of Akhaten. As she walks through the door and looks at herself in the mirror, this happens:

Clara: The boss. Yep, that’s me!!



She is wearing a Tardis blue dress. A few seconds later she walks into the kitchen, touches a robot toy and says:

I am the boss.

There is a theory around at the moment that Clara could be the Tardis, in some way. There have been instances of mirroring between her and the Tardis, and we all know that they have a complex relationship. We also all know who is the boss in the relationship between the Tardis and the Doctor. It’s an interesting theory, and this particular little beat in the ep made me thihg of it – so I’ll just direct anyone who is interested over here to take a look at Elisi’s Clara theory,  where she draws together some of the evidence suggesting that Clara could be an aspect of the Tardis or a Tardis of some type. .

Anyways, I know earlier on I was talking about her inability to know herself due to what the Docotr knows of her being concealed of her....but in the last moment of the episode comes the revelation of the photo of Victorian Clara. So, maybe, in the next ep it's going to come back into the light again.

*

Random odds and ends:

Eyes
Eye symbolism is a fave in Moff era Who, and it's all over the place here, as are porthole style windows.



Doctor: Do you know the old Romany superstition Clara? That the eye of a dead person retains an image of the last thing it sees.





I’m reminded of the chambers which people were frozen inside in A Christmas Carol, their lives held in stasis There’s a reversal of that idea, with the Doctor stepping inside a very similar looking chamber in order to reverse the preservation process on himself, and later using it to reverse the process on Clara.
*

On the exterior of the church hall where Gillyflower is speaking, there is a poster advertising the circus being in town. We often seen clown/circus imagery tied in with the idea of the Doctor as the Trickster archetype  It also mentions ghosts and ghouls (ghosts/the dead being a key theme this series) and the overlaying of 2 posters make it look as if the word Tardis is being formed. Later, we see the posters again, and next to the circus poster is one about human wax works, a nod to the preserved humans under the bell jars.



*

Doctor (to Mrs Gillyflower when asking about the homes at the factory): Who lives here?
Mrs Gillyflower: Oh, names don’t matter here.

*

The X Motif
It's all over the place! The X motif usually represents some sort of mirroring, unification of poles, crossing thruogh the looking glass, moving from above to below. Basically, mirroring, transition, connection.


The lift, which casts the shadows of the X Motif onto the floor of the empty room filled with the fake sounds of the mill, is the means by which the minions take the crimson poison to the rocket.



Ada takes the Doctor a meal .They are mirrors of each other, she feels empathy for him due to both of them being rejects of a type, but she shares a hope that there will be a place for them both in the real world. There's reversal too: the monster- whose traditional place is below in the basement/Below/underworld, is instead kept above in the attic. The "monsters" of this story are the ones who will save the day, where Mrs Gillyflower who presents herself as a religious figure ultimately falls from the stair to the Below, where she dies. And, ah, hang on - that lights a little bit like an inverted bell jar, yeah?


*

The Chair Agenda. It's back .
From a previous meta of mine on The Bells of Saint John:

Is a chair just a chair?

Credit to janie_aire who originated the idea that in Who we see the symbol of the Chair or Throne used repeatedly. It’s usually seen in the context of some sort of Ascension. Sometimes this can be a literal death and rebirth into another state. . There’s the chair/throne that River sits on in the Library (we’ll come back to the Library as it’s very relevant to this ep.) There’s the chair that falls down behind Rory in the church in The Hungry Earth – before he dies and is eaten by the crack in Cold Blood, only to be reborn again as a Roman. There’s the chair Rory sits on before dying in the dream world of Upper Leadworth in Amy’s Choice, except he hasn’t really died and is “reborn” again in the second dream world, then in reality.

There’s Rosanna’s throne and the conversion chair in The Vampires of Venice. One of them an Underworld chair down in the depths of the palace, which causes humans to transition from one state to another. The other is the throne on the palace ground floor, with a direct link to the Upperworld and to the symbolic World Tree of the episode. There’s the throne in The Doctor the Widow and the Wardrobe, that Madge sits in in order to allow thousands of tree spirits to enter her, in order for them to transition from one state to another.

Have I convinced you yet?  We have the empty chair framed in front of Clara’s painting before the Doctor ascends up out of the monk's cell he is occupying. And there is the chair that Clara brings out to the Doctor and sits on reversed, while he sits on his normally (note also the leaves gathered around the base of the Tardis), and which they both stand empty shortly before an ascension up into the crashing plane.


From janie_aire's meta post, looking at the Chair as a symbol:

The Chair is a symbol of Ascension, which is likened to an experience of death and rebirth

Read that post by her. It explains in fab detail and at length the use of the Chair as a symbol. Why am I saying this? Because:
       

The Doctor smashes the bell jar Clara is preserved under with a chair.



Doctor: Hang on, hang on, I’ve got a sonic screwdriver.
Clara: Yeah? I’ve got a chair.




Clara smashes the machine which controls the rocket with a chair. After Mrs Gillyflower and Ada leave the room, the Doctor pulls the chair out of the machine, wields it and uses it to smash the window of the room.


Doctor: Chairs….are useful.



I know the latter half of this is a bit all over the place  but there is just so damn much in this show at the moment. So thank you very much if you stuck with it and read through :)

Comments

( 9 comments — speak to me, sweetie )
jackdavfan692
May. 10th, 2013 10:43 pm (UTC)
Regarding the presence of veils. What, if anything, did you make of the fact that for most of the episode, Madame Vastra hid her face behind a black veil? I think she only lifted it twice (and she didn't wear it at all during the climax of the ep, when they were trying to defeat Mrs. Gillyflower & derail her plan)--- once just before the brother of the police detective left, and again when she, Jenny, and I believe Clara & the Doctor visited the coroner.
boji
May. 10th, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
Am working backwards through meta for comments tonight:

On the bell Jars I read it as a nod to Victoriana, Dr. Joseph Bell (inspiration for Holmes) for there are oh so many nods to the original Holmes in this. As for Platt's novel, as symbolism, I wonder if it's a question of Clara not knowing who she is or if it's a question of the Doctor himself going through the dark night of the soul.

Ada and her monster is an obvious nod to Frankenstein and his bride, to my mind and I found that entire plot thread tragic and very well acted by both Smith and Stirling. I do rather wish he had healed her, even partially of her actual physical wounds. Then you have the Doctor imprisoned in a tower as male!Rapunzel saved by two women (Ada and Jenny) which is a lovely inverse.

I thank you for your comments on sound because I couldn't find the symbolism of the gramophones for all that I could see it was there.

As regards mirroring it's everywhere in this (Jenny-Clara, Doctor-Mme Vastra, Ada-Doctor, Clara-Ada and also in Madame Vastra versus Mrs Gillyflower. Each have disciples but one is a destroyer while the other is a nurturer. And the red leech has been a long-standing enemy. There's a lot being said obliquely about parenting this series.

In the episode tag, when Clara returns home her hair looks very different. I wonder if this is only to denote the passage of time.



Edited at 2013-05-10 11:49 pm (UTC)
rhoda_rants
May. 11th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
Ooooh, thank you for explaining "virago"--I couldn't work what she was saying there, and was totally lost. Well, not totally, I got the gendered insults bit, but I went, "Hang on, what was that middle one?"

Clara being the TARDIS is my favorite of the theories surrounding Clara--well, the one I most hope is true.

This was a very confusing episode for me, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Very much enjoyed this meta though. As I said before, you're brilliant, and I definitely learned something. The whole blood/well/purification thing behind the name "Winifred" is amazing.
goingbronco
May. 11th, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
The pictures in this one are so disturbing. I didn't find the episode disturbing, but just by themselves...creepy lol.
elisi
May. 11th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
I totally blame you and janie for - IMMEDIATELY - the moment he picked one up - thinking 'CHAIR AGENDA!'

Not that I don't like it, mind you. ;)

Thank you for pulling everything together (esp the Bell Jar stuff) my mind has been all over the place and the episode was just so much FUN that I found it very hard to delve beneath...

(Icon in honour of the ice in his heart... Made it myself, in a bit of a rush, hence the rubbish quality.)
janie_aire
May. 11th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC)
There's so much to love -- both in The Crimson Horror, and this here meta.

The bit I love the *most* are how you use the circular vent slats to tie the Doctor, Clara, and Ada into a beautiful hall of mirrors. Bravo, just, bravo! (I also noticed how there's a shot of the Doctor looking into the slats -- this is a repeat of the Doctor looking into Oswin's slats when she's a Dalek in the Asylum.) Anyways, the connections you draw here are just exquisite.

We are all monsters on the inside. Angels, too.

The other bits I loved are the exploration of the Bell Jar symbolism, and the implications of Winifred's name. The Well! Of course! And that actually goes back to The Witch In The Well, back in Hide. So the Crimson Well here is a metaphor for passing through to the Other Side.

And that makes the depictions of Monster-Doctor and Bell-Clara yet another take on Death, and what it's like to die and be reborn. Frozen stiffs, until they're revived in a Steam Cupboard, a union of Fire and Water. Great, great stuff.

Let's see, what else... how about the X Motif over the Rocket? Amantillado -- a sherry that's not a sherry because it isn't *sweet*. Mostly, though... it's the Chairs. I love the Chairs. I love this show!
a_phoenixdragon
May. 11th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
OMG, sheer brilliance. My brain is completely spinning with possibilities!! And I cannot wait to see how this eppie ties into Gaiman's and what will be revealed there, because they have OPENLY TIED THE TWO.

The Circus? The children? The past and future juxaposition? Yeah...this next meta will be just as enlightening and mind-bending as this one has been. Just...WOW. I do not see where you are 'all over the place' as this is just...wow!!

*HUGS*
lokifan
May. 13th, 2013 07:47 am (UTC)
This is fantastic!

Thinking about the mistletoe bit - mistletoe of course is a parasite. Which was part of its holiness for Celts (it had to be taken by Druids without touching the ground) and also why it became the tool for murdering Baldr - everything else on eareth had agreed not to harm this god of light, but no one asked the mistletoe because it was just a parasite. Underestimated. I can't quite fit it all together, but it seems like it might be part of the symbolism with Ada - her mistletoe eyes, her cane, the parasite-mother, and the way she is perhaps underestimated because she's disabled? Idk. It might also key into Ada being both sympathetic and quite dark/dangerous.
(Deleted comment)
( 9 comments — speak to me, sweetie )