Forget where we left off? Check out our recap of last week’s episode right here!
This week, we find ourselves in Victorian Yorkshire, where a man’s brother has just died of a mysterious ailment: the Crimson Horror, a disease that turns the victim bright red. Naturally, the guy wants to figure out what happened to his brother, so who does he go to? Why, Madam Vastra and Jenny, of course! (Strax is also there, but he’s just playing with his grenades as usual).
They figure out that the man’s brother died at Sweetville, a strange compound whose mission is to protect people from the coming apocalypse. They also figure out that the last image he saw was the Doctor.
Jenny sneaks into Sweetville, which is run by the creepy Mrs. Gillyflower, her blind daughter Ada, and a mysterious guy called Mr. Sweet. After a little poking around, Jenny finds the Doctor in a cell. He’s completely red, like the victims of the Crimson Horror, but he’s still alive—kind of like an extra-sunburned zombie. Jenny sneaks him out and he’s able to turn himself back to normal.
Now they have to find Clara. The Doctor reveals that he and Clara also came to Sweetville to investigate the Crimson Horror. Basically, Mrs. Gillyflower only takes the best into her weird utopia. Everyone else? Yeah, she boils them in venom.
They find Clara, and Jenny’s like, “Wait, what? Didn’t she die last time you were here?” The Doctor, annoyingly, has no answers, but they revive Clara just as Madam Vastra and Strax show up. Madam Vastra has another surprise: The venom Mrs. Gillyflower uses to boil people is from millions of years ago, back when the dinosaurs were around.
Everyone’s a little stumped as to what’s going on, but Clara figures it out. Remember that apocalypse Mrs. Gillyflower was talking about? Turns out, she’s going to create it herself by releasing the venom into the air. The whole world will perish, but she and her followers will stay safe.
While Madam Vastra and Jenny try to steal the venom before it can be released, the Doctor and Clara join forces with Ada. They’re going to find out once and for all who this mysterious Mr. Sweet is. They corner Mrs. Gillyflower, who is preparing to launch the venom.
So who is Mr. Sweet? Mrs. Gillyflower reveals that he’s a prehistoric parasite leech who lives on her chest. GROSS. She also lets slip that she caused her daughter’s blindness by experimenting on her with the venom. Talk about bad parenting.
The Doctor and Clara can’t stop the venom-rocket from launching, but Madam Vastra and Jenny have stolen the venom itself! Mrs. Gillyflower’s plans are foiled, and Strax shoots her down and saves the day. Ada kills Mr. Sweet with her walking stick, which, to be honest, would be my first instinct, too.
So the world is safe once again! The Doctor takes Clara back to her own time. Unfortunately, it looks like the kids she nannies for have figured out that she’s a time traveler, and they want to come on adventures. Looks like the Doctor’s getting a few new companions next episode!