Well, folks, Ashildr isn’t Romana, Susan, Jenny, River, Missy, the Rani, or any other Time Lady the Whovians have hypothesized she might be. She’s just an immortal Viking woman. Such is life.
The Doctor is traveling on his own this week; Clara is busy with her Tai Kwon Do (I really hope we get to see her skills in action some week). It’s completely by accident that he runs into Ashildr again; the last time he saw her, she was opening a leper colony. Now she is the Knightmare, the most wanted brigand in the land. It’s not that she needs the money; she does it for the adventure. After living for 800 years, life is basically a series of adventures for her.
At least, that is what she wants the Doctor to believe at first. But it isn’t long at all before the Doctor realizes this is not the sae brave girl who had a head full of stories. She no longer goes by the name Ashildr–in fact, she doesn’t even remember that name. She no longer goes by any name at all, simply calling herself Me. The lonely centuries have made her callous and self-centered. She no longer has any family, any love, or any hope.
The Doctor is saddened to discover how she has changed, but he will not take her aboard the TARDIS. Her disregard and disdain for life–she even claims the reason she never gave anyone the second Mire medical kit was that no one was good enough–go against everything he holds dear. Of course, Ashildr realizes by the end of the episode that she still does care about humanity…but, as evidenced in Clara’s photograph, she isn’t going to let the Doctor forget about her anytime soon.
What I would be most interested to learn is what happens to Sam Swift, the brigand she makes immortal to close the portal. Does he remain with Ashildr so they can be immortal together, or do they go their separate ways? Sam, I believe, would be good for Ashildr since he has not (yet) lost any enthusiasm or love for life. Perhaps she will remember the good in life and regain a small measure of happiness.
It’s obvious we haven’t seen the last of Ashildr…but next week, we’ll see the welcome return of Osgood!