Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 7, Episode 10 of BBC America's "Doctor Who," titled "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS."
Our Doctor is rather stubborn, isn't he? Despite doing a very thorough background check on Clara a few weeks ago and questioning Emma the empathic last week, he still needs to ask Clara point-blank who she really is during this episode's climax. Well Doctor, I can assure you that we're as frustrated as you are with this Clara mystery, and since no one warned us about getting on a spaceship with a madman, we're stuck on this journey with you. I'm not sure about you guys, but I find myself counting down the weeks to the season finale because I NEED to KNOW who Clara is, other than being a "perfectly ordinary girl." Like anything is ordinary in this universe. Anyways, before I continue to rant, here's your recap:
Since Clara has now mentioned a few times that the TARDIS doesn't like her, the Doctor decided that she should pilot the ship while it was in basic mode so that the (current) women in his life could bond and get along. Since setting the TARDIS to basic also meant turning off all of the defensive shields, it provided the perfect opportunity for a salvage ship run by the Van Baalen brothers to magno-grab the TARDIS (it's ironic that a Time Lord has horrible timing, isn't it?). The magnetic field messed with the TARDIS's controls and resulted in small fires, malfunctions, Clara burning her hand on a seemingly random object and things blowing up as the TARDIS came to rest inside the salvage ship.
In all the chaos that ensued, the Doctor managed to land outside the TARDIS, and he convinced Bram, Gregor and their android Tricky to help him find Clara by offering them the "salvage of a lifetime." Since they weren't kidding when they say the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than it looks, Clara was lost somewhere in the infinite depths of the ship (which led to lots of exploring on her part and plenty of Easter eggs for the audience). While "helping" search for Clara, the Van Baalens couldn't shake off their entrepreneurial instincts and they tried to take the TARDIS apart. This forced the TARDIS to defend itself by creating rooms and a bigger maze for everyone to get lost in. Add to that the weird zombie creatures that were stalking the Doctor, Clara and their guests, and it seemed like the Doctor would never find Clara alive.
But since this isn't that kind of show, the Doctor saved Clara and they traveled with Tricky and Gregor to find the engine room, because the engine really was damaged and the TARDIS was leaking time all over the place. After they got surrounded by the zombie monsters, the Doctor revealed that those zombies were the future versions of themselves since they died aboard the ship. After a confrontation with zombie Gregor and Tricky, followed by the climactic "Who are you?" talk where the Doctor accepted that Clara is just Clara (as far as she knows), the two jumped into the engine room. There they discovered that the TARDIS had frozen the explosion as a temporary fix. After looking at Clara's burned hand, the Doctor found the moment they crashed and he traveled through the rift in time to throw past Doctor and Clara the "Big Friendly Button" that would reset the day. Presumably, the day never happened and Clara didn't remember any of the day's events.
I'm sure that I could write an entire thesis on what the Gregor/Bram/Tricky relationship was supposed to represent. As a basic explanation, Tricky was there to further prove the TARDIS' existence as a sentient being. For a more thorough discussion (that I won't get into), I'd argue that the brothers exemplify that secrets are never good.
But "Secrets protect us. Secrets keep us safe." (More like secrets make us want to throw things at our TV in frustration -- don't pretend like I'm the only one.) If there's a constant theme throughout the series it's that the Doctor can keep secrets from his companions for their safety, but the companions shouldn't keep secrets from him. It's a weird double-standard, which leads me to the next point ...
While Clara was in the library, she leafed through "The History of the Time War" and presumably found out the Doctor's real name, a major series mystery. She's supposed to forget this information due to the day reset, but with the season finale titled "The Name of the Doctor" and Steven Moffat teasing a big reveal about the Doctor that we never knew before, do you really think we'll finally learn this elusive piece of information?
"Doctor Who" airs Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET on BBC America.