"Boy, that guy has a big case of little man complex."
IN THIS ONE... Chrissie defeats the Sontaran before he drops our satellites on us, and Maria leaves the cast.
REVIEW: Saying goodbye to Maria means saying goodbye to Alan and Chrissie as well, so it's entirely appropriate and welcome that they'd play a big part in their daughter's final episode. Alan being in on it means Maria can call dad for help, so now it's Chrissie who has to stumble into Sarah Jane's attic. Though she's mostly been a comic foil for the rest of the cast, and still is, it's to her credit that she puts Maria first, accepts what's going on, and through a combination of actually remembering what was on Mr. Smith's screen and killer high heels (the latter usually an impediment in the Whoniverse), defeats Kaagh with one surprising move. In the process, she shows us the traits she shares with her daughter, whose genetic material up til now only seemed to come from Alan. She knows when Alan is lying and when to trust him absolutely, like a real couple, and plays along with her family's concussion story, but really remembers it all, and simply chooses not to make a big fuss. Our Chrissie is all grown up!
Obviously, Maria's is the biggest blow the cast has to endure - and it look like sad Lucy doesn't make the cut because she was a Sontaran double agent and probably doesn't remember much - which is especially tough on Luke, I should imagine, because he's literally ALWAYS known her. In his short life, she's been a constant more even than Sarah Jane, spending school and home hours with her. I imagine a future where they would have been married, y'know? Sarah apologizes for her standoffish attitude in Part 1, lamenting the family she's started to lose, and it's particularly interesting in the light of her Doctor-related abandonment issues. Had things stayed as they were in Part 1, it would have meant she'd treated Maria just like the Doctor had treated her. Of course, in this day and age, distance isn't enough to separate a group of friends, and Maria will make little cameos later in the series through the power of the Internet.
Another character that will return is Kaagh, but of course that's a story for another day. And that's fine. He's a distinctive-looking Sontaran (with his scar and all) and has a bone to pick with Sarah Jane and her half-forms. A militaristic villain is perhaps an odd fit for the group, which really has little to defend itself with aside from one (1) sonic lipstick, some wits, and a lot of heart, but they managed it this time. Usually with lots of dodging - nice dynamic sequence running through the woods, by the way - but with every day things in the Whovian manner as well. I don't just mean Chrissie's heels either. I was stoked to see the scene where Luke hacks into a Sontaran program by remembering they only have six fingers and so must use Base 6 in their mathematics. I have no idea how that plays to school kids today, but I remember having to learn Base 6 in 5th grade, AND it wasn't that long after that I'd read Battlefield: Earth where the aliens have 11 fingers and very complicated mathematics. It enlivened what would normally have been a dull old magic hacking scene of a type we've seen countless times.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - One last, delightful romp for the Jacksons.