Having spent the previous week building up a narrative packed full of Slitheen, Xyloks, child-snatching and the Pharos Institute, it was always going to be hard work to satisfyingly deal with all the elements. Building to a climactic finale, the 25-minute duration of the episode didn't serve the denouement well, as it's all wrapped up far too quickly and conveniently. It was reasonably predictable that Mr Smith would end up being 'reconditioned', as he's been such a vital plot function throughout the series and keeps the action flowing by rattling out quick explanations to events.
The Slitheen bizarrely drifted out of the narrative as the episode wore on, not even being given a proper farewell. Furthermore, even though we know that the green aliens posed as Luke's fake 'real' parents, in the eyes of the human authorities Sarah Jane had abducted the child. Bearing in mind the earlier news reports for the disappearance of 'Ashley' made it onto television, this is a national event and surely within the diegetic world of the narrative the police would investigate the background of Luke and not just turn a blind eye and allow him to wander back to Sarah Jane?
Nonetheless, if one doesn't probe too deep then several crowd-pleasing moments stand out. It was hard not to stand up and cheer when Sarah Jane whipped out her sonic lipstick and finished off a motorcyclist. But the outstanding moment came when K-9 trundled onto the scene to demonstrate he's far from a demonic computer's best friend. Not seen since a brief appearance in the Sarah Jane pilot, his appearance was certainly an unexpected twist. If only he could be a regular if/when the second series is made.
The very final scene, with the family unit restored, was fittingly heartwarming. Previous episodes have repeatedly addressed issues such as loss and loneliness, and after emotionally investing in the characters the ending elicited smiles all round. Fingers crossed that Alan doesn't hook back up with his inane ex Chrissie though!