Spoiler Level: High
I enjoyed this episode enough as I was watching it, but even when Rich asked me "So what did you think?" after it ended, I wasn't sure what to answer. When I think back on the episode now, it feels like kind of a mess.
Darius is locked in an old, abandoned wardrobe by two incomprehensible hobos. But it's not just any old, abandoned wardrobe... this is the Old Abandoned Wardrobe... of FEAR!
Not only is the fear affecting all our lead characters, it's causing all of London to riot. K9, being a machine, doesn't feel fear and therefore is having trouble understanding what's going on. So of course, his friends try to take it on themselves to teach him how to feel.
On the more rational side, K9 does consult Professor Gryffen about altering his programming to be able to experience emotion, but then declines to go through with it when he realizes the full implication of how difficult having feelings would be. But when K9 enters the Old Abandoned Wardrobe of Fear, he finds himself feeling emotions after all, which at first puts him in danger but then saves his life.
Then Drake comes along and punches the Wardrobe and makes it go poof. A bit anti-climactic, really.
The concept of K9 experiencing emotions doesn't bother me in and of itself, but it's probably something done better in a story arc than crammed all in to one episode. While some aspects of it were handled well here, most of it was just... well, messy.
And since Drake's fear is aliens, he thinks there's an alien in the Wardrobe creating the fear, and since that's what the show was about I thought he was right, but no, he's wrong, there's just fear itself in the Wardrobe, just like the title says. Which is a good concept, but felt like it was carried out kind of... well, messy.
So how do you get rid of it? You can't just lock it up, it's fear incarnate f'r cryin' out loud, and besides, it's already reaching all of London from a warehouse. So the show wraps it up by having Drake punch it, of all things. Which is ridiculous all on its own, but also leaves me feeling like, "Gee, if he had just done that right away he would saved everyone a lot of trouble."
Although I did find it interesting that Drake turned out to be a cyborg. I noticed the whirring noises when he was grabbing Starkey (who still gets the best scenes), which was nice foreshadowing for the ending when he reveals his cyborg hands.
So it's a better episode than "Liberation," but certainly not up to par with the rest of the series to date.