jencat: (dr who)
[personal profile] jencat
I don't even know... On one level there was major, major heartrendingness, and yet I never actually tipped over into crying.  

Well, ok, this is because River was still around, and that was such a rare bird this season that it actually outweighed the Ponds being... Angeled? So I cared, I really did, but we've been Ponded out for the past few eps, and seriously River-deprived, and it's not really any surprise where my heart really lies, so...

As much as I love Amy and Rory, we've had a really, really long time to get used to the idea of seeing them go.  Rory's died SO MANY TIMES already, and he's always come back. He did this time, too, and so did Amy, and (oh, nice Time Traveller's Wife shout-out in reverse there Moff, when elderly Rory sees young Amy again after waiting all this time.... With young!Rory standing right next to her for a twist. Very clever). So there was that whole lack of tension right there. Amy has to choose Rory every time, that's been the entire theme for this bit of the series, and that's fine, but it felt a bit like it was lacking a sense of... consequences?

There's not so much sense of the life the Ponds are giving up, yet again - aside from Brian, it goes without saying - because every other part of their lives has been dismissed and airbrushed out systematically everytime it's featured.  Amy's parents haven't even been mentioned I think since the wedding, Rory's mum has never had any screentime at all, and there's no 'say goodbye to them from me' from Amy at all in her little farewell. Parents do matter at some point, surely; even if you're not talking to them for some reason at the time, it tends to prey on your mind.  We do get River being her best self - which is to say, the Doctor's alternate; knowing when to let go while he is too busy acting out to even remember what she's losing. And has lost. And what Amy has already lost in her, and can't lose Rory too? Gah. Am missing the ironically slightly more hopeful days of A Good Man Goes To War right now...

Also: my brain was a little busy ticking over wondering why, even if the TARDIS can't go back to the exact time and space of where they were taken back to in NY 1938, then... what exactly is stopping the Doctor going slightly further away or later (like ANY POINT in the next 60 years?!) and just making his way there without the TARDIS? And obviously they aren't now stuck in the same room for all that time like Rory was threatened with? So what's stopping them travelling somewhere else and meeting up with him? I mean, Day of the Moon still happened in this reality didn't it; they were all running around the  States in the 60s, including NY surely? And how does River get the book to Amy anyhow - why is it only the Doctor they can never see again?! I get that there's a paradox involved but I can't figure out what the hell the parameters of the blasted paradox are, and it makes things so damn confusifying.

On a slightly less mindmelting note... It was so nice to have a Moffatt ep again, and to finally see the actual emotional follow-up to Wedding that we'd been waiting the past year for. There was all the angsting, and the squee and the gutwrenching sadness that this is never even going to work properly for any length of linear time because as River succinctly puts it, the TARDIS can't handle more than one psychopath at a time.  Bless her, but she hasn't really called him that to his face that I remember?

Oh, and the wrist. *dies*
More happily, the preening. And the many many times they keep addressing each other as husband and wife after the rest of the eps (minus one teeny tiny Moffatt mention of being married in the prequel to Asylum) where frankly River didn't even seem to exist (which she bizarrely apparently doesn't for any of the other DW writers.). There was a lot of good stuff, and a sense of everything being so inherently broken at the end that it can never be fixed.  It's not supposed to be fixed. Oh, and River's little telling heartbreaking comments which suggest she's been running this path with him for the longest time, and that as this is one of their rare linear meetings, you get to see the whole range of what she does to manage it. Everything she has to do - up to and including snapping her own wrist, because River has always been a hardcore BAMF - and keep from him. They also confirm she knows him better than Amy does; or at least she knows him more honestly.  

And the whole thing with the regeneration energy, which she reacted really, really badly to - because he's putting himself at risk to do it, and everything she does is to protect him (from himself or anyone else?). And they do seem to fit together in a slightly unhealthy way at this point, because he's acting out all over the place. And she's totally enabling it. River is always so terrified of losing him somehow, and we already know how ironic that is, even though she can't bring herself to stay with him even when it's made so important that he not be alone. 

We got some answers dammit. We got the definitive as to why River just doesn't take over as companion - because she honestly believes it's unwise - and what happened to her murder conviction when her supposed victim erased himself from history (harking back to the elusive pardon that drove her to the last Angels two-parter; part of a season that was all about erasing people from history in general). And she's the Professor she is in the Library episodes now; we're heading for the end-game. (although, Moffatt has fucked with the time line and the re-sets and the do-overs so very very badly for the last 10 eps that I can't even keep up. We still have an entire two centuries missing in the middle somewhere, and we know they definitely happened for the Doctor and somewhat for River - although at what point in her timeline it's impossible to say. Theoretically - if you go by the 'everything is in reverse!' claim, they should have happened prior to Wedding for her. Which has proved to be bullshit, as we very obviously saw the older River tonight, who genuinely did look like she'd been running with him on and off all this time, and it was wearing her down, and she was scared that it was freaking him out because Eleven has such a young face *sob*  (although as usual Matt Smith somehow makes him the definition of an old soul every second he's on screen)

Also: the slow-mo run back to grab the fateful last page that was a direct and deliberate re-enactment of Ten running for the sonic after River's death. Although running back to upload River actually had a point, and theoretically achieved something. All Eleven got from Amy was a note making everything fluffy (and there are lots of ways to leave notes through the years, if you think about it. Also ways to get another copy of a book. It wasn't necessarily the only chance to do that.). Let's just say, it made everything OK, which wasn't what happened with Rose, and Donna. Rose's original exit was the only one out of the lot that had me in tears, oddly enough, because it was so, so bleak. 

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Jennifer Howell

July 2015

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