Back at the jailhouse Isaac fills in The Doctor and Company about how one morning three weeks back they found the borderline of rocks and sticks around the town and the Gunslinger, as they call him, started shooting the hats off the people trying to leave while also preventing food and supplies from entering. The Gunslinger has demanded the town turn over “the doctor”, which the Doctor cleverly deduces is not himself but an alien hiding in the jailhouse. And who should ever guess that The Doctor is wrong in his assumption when, lo and behold, there is a dude with a face tattoo hiding in the cell behind them. The man introduces himself as an alien known as Kahler-Jex, who had crashed on Earth about ten years earlier, and was rescued from his craft by the town. In return for the town saving him Jex has helped the town as their physician including sparing them from a cholera outbreak and providing the town with primitive electricity via his spaceship as the generator. However, the town’s food supplies are nearly empty, and while things have gotten a bit worse, the town is reluctant to hand over Jex.
To this The Doctor comes up with a rather straight forward answer, use his TARDIS to evacuate the townsfolk. Only problem is that the TARDIS is outside of the borderline. Nothing a Stetson hat and some sleight of hand can’t fix.
Amy is left to babysit Jex while Rory and Isaac go running about the country side disguised in Jex’s clothes in what I had hoped would be more buddy cop then just simple distraction. I mean, come on, British male nurse from the future and an American Civil War veteran turned Marshal taking on a cyborg alien gunslinger. That right there should have been the whole episode. Oh well.
The Doctor takes the preacher’s horse whose given name is Joshua but The Doctor speaks Horse and says that no, his name is Susan and he wants the preacher to respect its life choices. Did you feel that burn? I did. So The Doctor and Susan … wait, The Doctor and Susan? No, not like that. Almost. The Doctor and Susan ride off through the desert towards the TARDIS when they come upon the badly hidden, surprisingly undamaged, egg-like alien spaceship.He sonic opens the craft, setting off an alarm heard across the plains, and reviews Jex’s records discovering images and sound bites of people screaming and dying. The alarm also serves to save Rory and Isaac from the Predator-esque thermo vision targeting canon as the Gunslinger leaves to search for the eggship. The Gunslinger gets the drop on The Doctor where he realizes that the Gunslinger is one of Jex’s subjects and is looking for revenge. The Doctor convinces him to seek justice and not vengeance and the Gunslinger demands that Jex to be next person who steps over the borderline.
The Doctor returns to Mercy where Jex tries to apologize for his deception and explains that he’s not a murder just a scientist who had to do what needed to be done. In this case, turning people into Universal Soldiers against their will to stop a nine year war that was ravishing his homeworld, making him a war hero. Apperantly the Gunslinger was one such soldier who was to have been decommissioned but his damaged circuitry prevented a shut down and spurned him towards revenge killing those who made him.
The Doctor angrily drags Jex to the edge of town, followed by everybody, and with gun in hand forces him to cross the line. Amy pulls out a gun, fires a shot into the air and then two into the ground, and asserts that the Doctor has changed from months of travelling on his own. The Doctor says that he’s tired of giving the bad guy a chance, that too many lives get sacrificed and that he just wants it all to stop, but he relents when Amy reminds him that that’s not what the good guys do.
The Gunslinger arrives just as The Doctor calls him back over the line. Jex tries to beg for mercy but the Gunslinger, formerly Kahler-Tek, doesn’t care and is about to fire. Isaac pushes Jex out of the way just as the trigger is pulled. As Isaac lies dying he charges The Doctor with his last breath to save the town and protect Jex, giving him his marshal badge. The Gunslinger leaves, warning that he will return at noon tomorrow to collect Jex, even if it puts the townspeople at risk.
The Doctor’s first order of business as the new marshal is putting Jex back in the jailhouse and deputizing Amy. Later that night the towns men have been gathered and decide that their best representative is some fresh faced 18 year old boy ready to do some shooting if the good Doctor/marshal doesn’t go for a walk and leave the keys to the cell behind. The Doctor reassures the town that justice will be met, and that Isaac will be honored if they have faith in him and end the use-violence-to-end-violence mentality.