Her development this season has been fantastic. Her transformation from the almost perfect girl in Series 7 who saves the Doctor by jumping into his time stream, who convinces him to save Gallifrey, to a more aggressive and bossy girl who is has her own flaws was really rewarding to watch. Her denial of the Doctor's regeneration in Deep Breath and her constant struggles with him have really allowed for some great character moments. As the Series progressed it became clear that she has developed an addiction to her life in the Tardis, and her constant fascination with being the Doctor proved that she no longer has a problem with being a bit ruthless herself. I mean I was totally amazed by the fact that she was going to kill Missy with her own hands, Yes KILL. She has really come a long way. Also her continual lying to Danny just added more depth and relatability to her character.
When watching that last scene in Death in Heaven, I have to say that what struck me the most was her choice of words.
"Doctor, travelling with you made me feel really special. Thank you for that."
Why would she say this? Of all the things she could have said, why this? These lines tell us what she must have been feeling. When she was with the Doctor she was someone really special, someone who was friends with the last of the Time lords, someone who was not bound by the constraints of a mundane and routine life like everybody else, someone important. This is the real tragedy, because the Clara we all know and have come to like really did sacrifice herself for the Doctor when she agreed to say goodbye albeit not in the most conventional sense.
The mid-credits scene however totally nullifies this conclusion. Well I have something to say about that too.
"It’s written in sections and it’s about dreaming – what is real and what is not. Also Father Christmas is there – played by Nick Frost!"
Now this is all good but I just don't like the idea of having Clara bow out in an episode which has jolly old Saint Nicholas in it. It just takes the punch out of the whole deal. Her character progression this season will all feel like a waste if we have a fairy tale-ish end to her story. We all have a lot of questions related to Clara that need to be addressed like why doesn't the TARDIS like her. How is she related to Orson Pink? Is she pregnant? Why didn't Clara just die when she entered the Doctor's time stream and How did River know that she wasn't going to get killed? There are probably more questions but these are the ones I would want answered.
Unfortunately I don't think the Christmas special will address even one of these. Judging by the Christmas special teaser and Moffat's previous Christmas offerings I think it's fairly safe to say that the story will have a fairy tale-esque quality to it. Also I think it will be a pretty straight forward standalone adventure with no timey whimey involved. Maybe Santa has some problems in the North Pole that need fixing. So keeping these things in mind I think that Clara's part in this episode is highly predictable. I say this because of one and only one reason alone and the reason is Orson Pink, because after they tell each other the truth the only possible reason for Clara to leave the Doctor would be her pregnancy. This pregnancy bit will nicely cover both Orson Pink as well as her reason to stop. Of Course the reveal would make for a joyous ending and both of them will part on a more uplifting tone but this ending is perhaps not the ending that I would prefer. It would all feel very ordinary given all that our impossible girl has gone through.
So unless Moffat has something very special cooked up for us on Christmas day, I think the conclusion to Clara's story will feel predictably contrived. In comparison, the ending we got in Death in heaven feels more suitable and fitting given the direction her character was headed this Series. It's hard to swallow that Clara's relationship with the Doctor comes to end because of a few lies but I don't think we have a better alternative. What do you think?