Season 7 Episode 5 – Angels Take Manhattan

Goodbye Ponds

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This is goodbye to Rory and Amy. Amy had to choose one final time. In fact, she had to choose to be with Rory twice this episode. Thematically this episode covers a lot of old ground without covering anything new. The first half of this episode feels like a very typical time travel mystery with Rory and Amy as secondary characters. With all the hype surrounding this episode, expectations of some final revelation about these characters was expected but, dare I say it, not delivered. I wish I could tear out the last page and write my own ending.

I have more problems with this episode than any I’ve had so far this season. Why? It has a lot of live up to. Finales need to end leaving you feeling SOMETHING. This is the end result of the journey years in the making and it felt rushed. I wish last week’s episode was their final episode because it at least gave Rory and Amy a potential emotional ending.

Because I have more problems than praise, I’m going to start with the problems…

1. Rory’s Farewell. Rory’s final end didn’t do anything for the character. He seems just like a device of Amy’s. When he disappears, he leaves on a note of confusion. Not the most heroic end. His jump was heroic and felt like a good ending but then he comes back and…he appears to just disappear. In fact, the Doctor tried to convince Amy to just leave Rory and come with him in the Tardis (that’s how LITTLE the Doctor cares about Rory and for their relationship…in my opinion). I felt like his character got short changed but I’ve felt that way most of this season and off and on through his tenure. I feel terrible for his father Brian because this was just the sort of thing he feared would happen. I am just going to assume the first thing the Doctor does is tell him and then Amy’s parents. Maybe even pop in to Rory’s job and tell them he is never coming back… oh, and Amy’s friends.

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2. The way they went out. This was like a fireworks show where, after the finale, there are a few small explosions that leave you wanting more. The rooftop scene was done so well (albeit a little fast) that the graveyard (Back to the Future like gravestone scene) exit felt unnecessary and weird. How did the Angels know where to find them? Did the paradox not work? Are they stuck in one room for 60 years? If so, that’ s like a prison sentence!

3. Never to be parents. After hints this year I really thought that they would get to go back and raise River as a child before she regenerated and became their childhood friend. With as much attention this season on Amy and Rory wanting to be parents…why was it just dropped?

4. Choosing to save the world. Last episode took me to a place I didn’t think I would go after the beginning of this season. I was back on with the idea that Rory and Amy SHOULD be with the Doctor on his adventures. The problem was…I knew that this was their final episode. To me, that meant a lot had to be covered for the reversal to happen so quickly. it made it feel like last week’s resolution didn’t matter.

5. Mortality vs. the Doctor. A lot of hints were given this year on aging and the Doctor. This episode was rife with them! Between wrinkles, reading glasses, River’s warning to Amy about growing old, and Rory seen as an old man…what were we suppose to take from that? The Doctor never gets to see these two grow old. That is totally unresolved. The same goes for River. We know she is fated to never grow old. What were we suppose to take from that?

6. The Doctor can never go back to 1938. This reminds me of when the Doctor could never go to the dimension Rose got trapped on. THAT felt a little bit more permanent than this copy of an idea. What we are left with is the feeling that time is fixed…when it fits where they want to take the story. It’ s not fixed when they want to break it. I wanted there to be an emotional reason that they separated not a fakey science fiction reason.

I hate being negative but this had a lot of live up to. Rory and Amy are two of my favorite Doctor Who characters of all-time now and I had really high hopes for a finale AT LEAST as important or profound as the others of Moffat’s run. This didn’t feel like a finale. This felt like a quick and dirty ending to something that was forced to happen.

What I Liked:

1. 1930s Noir. The movie genre of the week concept done this season was fun! It’s something I love about the possibilities of Doctor Who. He go from the Old West, to a spaceship to 1930s New York and you love him for it. This private investigator novel angel was a great plot device that worked perfectly in a time travel story (even though reading a book to find the answers has been done by Moffat before). The opening to this setting really put me in that world and was expertly crafted.

2. The Weaping Angels. I felt like they redeemed in this last episode as true monsters important to the Doctor Who mythos. They will forever be on the Doctor’s radar now. In fact, he has more of an axe to grind with them now than the Daleks.

statue of liberty amy rory pond

3. River Song. The return of River makes a lot of sense with her parents leaving the show. She was around before Amy and Rory and, it seems, will be around after. When she watched Amy go towards the Angel…THAT was powerful.

4. Closure. I didn’t like how we got there and the implications but the scenes between Amy and Rory on the top of the building and then with Amy and the Doctor in the graveyard…POWERFUL. I wish those scenes were a bit more earned and meaningful in the grand scheme of the world and universe but they were really great moments between those characters. We got to see Amy choose possible death over life without Rory…one more time.

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My favorite quotes:

The Doctor: I always rip out the last page of a book. That way it doesn’t ave to end. I hate endings.

 

Doctor: Weren’t you the person who killed The Doctor?
River Song: Doctor Who?

 

Amy: Together or not at all.

 

River Song: One psychopath per Tardis, don’t you think?

 

River: Never let him see the damage. And never ever let him see you age. He doesn’t like endings.

I’ll end this from the episode where River died because I think it says a lot about this episode that came years later:

“”When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it’ll never end. But however hard you try you can’t run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call… everybody lives.”

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About

Short Box co-founder, Nick, is married to Sarah and their 1st child is on the way,
Nick uses terms like Comic Book Historian and Geekologist to describe himself but...those aren't real things...right?
Follow him - @NickBorelli

17 Responses.

  1. Stephanie says:

    Just watched it. I was very prepared for a very emotional ending but was left wanting. It seemed anti-climatic for the departure of two of the best companions. I still enjoyed the episode but I was just expecting so much more.

  2. Nick Borelli says:

    I know, right? My expectations were SOOO high. It felt like a regular episode with a shoehorned ending. There were PARTS that were powerful but I felt like I need a real resolution. Also, Karen said she doesn’t think she will come back even for a cameo. So…this is probably it.

  3. Mark says:

    Yeah, I think the problem was all the hype. If we didn’t know they were leaving, everything probably would have worked better. It’s difficult to be surprised by anything anymore with the way news works these days. It used to be you didn’t know an actor was leaving a show until they just stopped showing up and now we know about a year in advance and have plenty of time to speculate on our own endings and sometimes they just don’t live up. Excited to see where things go from here, at least.

  4. Nick Borelli says:

    I think the time is fixed now. Orrr you are time traveling?

  5. Mark says:

    Also, I certainly did not write that at 3:07 AM.

  6. Alyssa says:

    Honestly the entire story had me screaming at the TV. Even though the ending was predictable because in the beginning Rory’s name was on the gravestone, so no matter what you basically knew that he was going to be caught by the angel’s no matter what. I did feel a little emotional when Amy was making her choice. The doctor showed a side of himself that wasn’t normal. It showed selfishness, but he also did show how much he did love Amy (not like romance love). No matter the ending it was still sad that their journey was over, but at least they had the chance to live out their lives together.

  7. I have to agree with nearly everything you said, and “It felt like a regular episode with a shoehorned ending” being the crux of it in a nutshell. Altho’ there was one highpoint that you left out. As much as I was prepared to be a weeping basket case (ya like that?), the water works didn’t really start til we get to Amy’s afterword that is left for the Doctor to read. When she references her 5 yr old self and we see her waiting for her Raggedy Man, that totally got me – it was a beautiful way to end on a not-so-sad note and I love Moffat for that. The other high point for me was, even tho’ the dramatic moments were rushed and all that other stuff, the cast really managed to sell it and did the best with what they were given – particularly Matt Smith. We got to see him emote in ways that the Doctor is not usually called upon to do. When he is pleading with Amy not to succumb to the graveyard Angel, my heart broke for him, even tho’ the parts leading up to that made little sense, Smith delivered. At least I’m left with the hope that, much like Rose’s tragic departure did for #10, this will give Smith’s Doctor some further gravitas and some more depth in episodes to come.

  8. Valinda says:

    I like to party, not look arltcies up online. You made it happen.

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