Saturday, September 14, 2013

50th Anniversary Countdown: Doctor Who 7.05: "The Angels Take Manhattan"

“By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone. So know that we lived well and were very happy. And above all else, know that we will love you always. Sometimes I do worry about you, though. I think once we’re gone you won’t be coming back here for a while and you might be alone. Which you should never be. Don’t be alone, Doctor.”
- Amy

We have come to the Ponds' final adventure with the Doctor. It’s emotional and yet a part of me thinks it was a good way to send them off. Jen would have preferred we have all of season 7 with a new companion and I can see the point of that. I did like how we left Amy and Rory at the end of season 6. But they get one final romp before we say goodbye.

We find ourselves following a private eye named Garner in 1930s New York as he takes a bizarre case about statutes that move when you aren’t looking (sound familiar?). He goes to investigate at an address and finds an old man who claims to be him and warns that he will be sent back in time. So at least it sounds like Moffat is going back to what the angels were supposed to be like in Blink. Garner is chased by angels up to the roof where he’s confronted with the Statue of Liberty. I think it’s kind of ridiculous that the Statue of Liberty could be an angel too but whatever. My guess is Garner is a goner.

We jump to present day New York where the Doctor and the Ponds are having a picnic in a park (Central Park maybe?). The Doctor is reading a detective novel aloud. It’s about a woman named Melody Malone and this is probably the most important book in the whole season. Rory pops off to get some coffees after the Doctor notes that Amy’s got lines around her eyes. Well she has been aging as they’ve travelled together. Rory starts walking back after getting the coffees and he’s going by all kinds of statues. As he walks, the Doctor and Amy read and it becomes clear that something is wonky. Rory ends up in the book and meets River. Well of course she’s Melody you moron. She was born Melody Pond. Anyway, as the Doctor and Amy head to the TARDIS, River explains that she knows Rory couldn’t have come in the TARDIS because there are too many time distortions and it would be like trying to land a plane in a blizzard. The Doctor’s not convinced it can’t be done and sets a course for April 3, 1938. The TARDIS goes all wonky and they end up back in 2012 in a grave yard. Meanwhile, Rory and River end up at the home of the crime boss Garner was working for.

The Doctor thinks he can get to 1938 if he has landing lights, a signal to lock on to. So he goes back to the Chin dynasty and gets a message to River. Of course, this is after Amy reads ahead and the Doctor freaks out because now it is written in stone. Interesting he says that as the camera pans to a grave marker that reads “in loving memory of Rory Arthur Williams”. Rory gets tossed in the cellar with some matches to be terrorized by “the babies”. Yeah I gotta say the little baby angels are far creepier than the bigger ones. These ones giggle and have little pitter patter sounds. The adults don’t. River starts making observations and spots the Doctor’s message, giving him something to lock on to. Unfortunately, the crime boss has an angel and it gets hold of River’s wrist. Something tells me we’re getting closer to the part Amy read. The Doctor has also figured out that Rory got nabbed by the angels. That is also going to come back to bite them.

We’ve come to the point where Amy read from the book. The Doctor comments on how tightly the angel is holding River’s wrist and she asks if whose wrist he’s going to break. Amy goes in search of Rory but can’t find him and then the Doctor has a thought. If River wrote the book, she’d give them hints and Amy suggests chapter titles. The Doctor sends Amy down to the cellar and then sees the final chapter and gets really angry (it says Amelia’s Last Farewell). He orders River to get her wrist out without breaking it so that the future can be changed before going to find Amy. Rory’s gone and it’s become clear the angels are screwing with them. River appears, wrist free, and says he’s been moved in space but not time. He’s at the same place Garner ended up. Which can’t be a good thing. And really, Rory. If doors start opening on their own and a creepy elevator appears. Don’t get on it!

The Doctor quickly realizes River’s wrist is broken and he heals it with some regeneration energy. This only pisses the Mrs. off and she storms out. Amy follows her and asks what is wrong. River tells Amy that the Doctor hates endings and that you can’t ever show the damage because it hurts him too much. It’s also why she lied to him about her wrist. The Doctor interrupts this family moment to alert the ladies that he’s found Rory. They race off in a stolen car and the crime boss wakes up to find his house overrun with angels. They’re going to take their revenge for him torturing the one that broke River’s wrist.

They get to the place where Rory is and find him in a room. They watch as Old Rory dies in a bed with young Amy by his side. And now it’s time for some exposition. Apparently Moffat assumed people forgot the way the angels work from Blink. So the Doctor tells his trio of companions that angels send you back in time and feed off the time energy. But he’s figured out that the angels have taken over Manhattan and can feed off energy repeatedly now with this place. Rory says he’ll just keep running, even though River suggests that if there were a paradox created it might kill all the angels and erase the place from existence. Amy and Rory take off (she’s not leaving her man) and they end up on the roof, cornered by the Statue of Liberty. Rory says he’s going to jump and maybe create the paradox but Amy won’t let him. Not alone anyway. If he’s going out, she’s going with him. The Doctor and River get to the roof but they’re too late to stop Amy and Rory from jumping. It would appear things are back to normal as they all end up in the graveyard again. They’re about to pop off to the pub for a family outing when Rory notices the grave stone. He and Amy check it out only moments before an angel appears and zaps Rory back in time again. Amy says a tearful goodbye to the Doctor and River because she knows she’ll never see them again. She tells River to be a good girl and look after the Doctor and the Doctor stands by, helpless as Amy lets herself get zapped back, too. Her name appears on the headstone. She chose Rory as she always has.

River tries to tell the Doctor not to be alone but that she’ll travel with him whenever he wants, just not full-time. And then she reminds him of the book. He’d ripped out the final page because he doesn’t like endings and he races through the park and finds it in the picnic basket. Amy has written him an Afterword basically telling him the same thing. That he shouldn’t be alone. And she is right. He travels alone too long and his age catches up with him. The enormity of who he is and all he’s done send him to a dark place and he’s really no good to anyone that way. So I guess now we’ll have to see where the Christmas special takes us.

Overall, I thought it was a good way to send off Amy and Rory. It was true to who the Ponds were and that Amy always chose Rory, even in death. And I wish they’d tacked on the “P.S.” video that floated around after this episode aired, to give Brian some finality, too. Farewell Amy and Rory. It’s been a fun ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment