Friday, March 29, 2013

Doctor Who review: The Angels Take Manhattan

I haven't seen any interesting news today, which is good so I can get right into the episode.

"The Angels Take Manhattan" had an ominous feel before it aired. The title alone is enough to strike fear even without the knowledge that this is the last episode with Amy and Rory. Then they give it a film noir feel with some haunting musical effects. The creepiness just permeated the episode.

In 1938, Private Investigator Sam Garner is sent to investigate moving statues by the rich, powerful, and mysterious Mr. Grayle. Garner goes to the apartment block, called Winter Quay, which is crawling with Weeping Angels. A girl in the window across from the apartments appears to be playing peek a boo with one of the angels out front. He is invisibly led to a room upstairs where he finds himself as an old man taking his last breaths, but not before warning him that they are coming for him to send him back in time. A heavy step grows closer. The angels chase him to the roof where he is met by the source of the heavy steps, the Statue of Liberty.

This was my 2nd favorite opening. The vortex was black and white, almost a negative effect, with lots of colored flashes in different colors and that strange electric web barrier to the vortex flashed again. At the titles the vortex was a beautiful black and kind of aqua colored and the titles held an image of the Statue of Liberty's crown.

The Doctor, Amy, and Rory in 2012 Central Park, New York. It's pretty, like all this series the episodes have looked magnificent. But I'm already feeling sad and worried. The Doctor reads aloud from a 1930's mystery novel written by Melody Malone. Couldn't have been too much clearer, could they? Amy is wearing glasses. The prequel to "Asylum of the Daleks", "Pond Life", showed her receiving the call about the glasses. Rory goes for coffee. The Doctor rips out the last page of the book, claiming to hate endings. He reads on, the story mirroring the actions of Rory. All bets are off as the Weeping Angels seem to have enlisted all the statues in the city. The Doctor is shocked to read that the character in the book is Rory, just after leaving them. In 1938 Rory faces River Song. They are taken to Mr. Grayle.

Amy is confused. the Doctor just says he found the book in his pocket. River says there are too many time distortions present for the TARDIS to land, she came by vortex manipulator. The Doctor tries and fails to reach them, being bounced back where they begin, or rather when. It's 2012 but they are in a cemetery. Amy asks why and The Doctor says they must be causally linked. The Doctor has worked it out they are dealing with the angels. As they leave we are shown a tombstone with Rory's name on it. Amy reads ahead, learning The Doctor must break something. He stops her, because now he must break something. Once you've read it it's fixed.

The Doctor travels to China, 221 BC to leave a message for River on a vase in the house that she mentions in the book. She texts the message to him so he can have "landing lights" to materialize. Grayle gives Rory to "the babies" cherubs that are in the cellar. They give him some matches for fun. Baby angels are scary as shit. I mean come on, that one blowing out the match as he turns? Needless to say Rory gets zapped away. Grayle has an angel in chains, and he tricks River close enough so when he turns the light out the angels grabs River's wrist.

The Doctor and Amy arrive and Grayle is knocked unconscious. River has been pardoned. It seems the person she killed no longer exists. And we get the question again when The Doctor asks wasn't she the woman who killed The Doctor, River answers, "Doctor who?" Oh, and she's Professor Song now. River song learns about the book she will write when she learns of Amy reading ahead, making it necessary for him to break River's wrist, which he doesn't. They need clues and come up with a plan where River leaves clues in the chapter titles, which I thought was clever. They see that Rory is in the cellar, but The Doctor also sees the title of the last chapter, "Amelia's Last Farewell." Oh the Doctor gets angry. He's read it. But River wrote it for him to read. He leaves her to get herself free.

They learn Rory is gone, but only zapped in space, not time. He is at Winter Quay. River broke her wrist to free herself but didn't tell The Doctor. She tells Amy to never let him see the damage or see her age. The Doctor repairs River's wrist with regenerative energy, angering River, who thought it a waste. Rory finds a room with his name outside. The Doctor, Amy and River aren't far behind. They are unnerved by a smiling angel. They find Rory. He is in a room and there is an old man in the bed, who calls out to Amy. It's Rory. He is so happy to see her. Then he dies. Everyone is shocked, Rory confused. They work out the building is a battery farm for the angels. They zap you back again and again into the room to live out your life and die in.

They are coming for Rory. Heavy steps begin. He will have to run forever, unless he creates a paradox and gets away, then the whole place unhappens. Rory and Amy avoid angels and end up on the roof, where we see the Statue of Liberty again. As Amy looks at it, Rory sees a way out and climbs onto the ledge. If he falls and dies, paradox. Amy pleads with him. he actually wants her to help by pushing and she can't. When she asks him if he could he said to save her he could do anything. Amy joins him on the ledge and tells him it's together or not at all. The Doctor and River find the roof just in time to see them jump together. The paradox is created, everything begins to break up.

They end up back in that cemetery again. Cute banter between River and The Doctor about painting the TARDIS and changing the bulb, which we saw him do in "Pond Life." It's decided to go down to the pub for a family outing. Rory sees the tombstone with his name and calls Amy over. She looks up at him just in time to see him vanish, revealing a Weeping Angel behind him with her finger pointed towards the spot he had just stood in. We finally got to see what actually happened when a Weeping Angel touched you, thank you Steven Moffat.  but they can't get to Rory. The tombstone now shows Rory's age at death. Another paradox would rip New York apart. Amy will take her chance that using the same angel will take her to Rory. A very sweet goodbye between Amy and Melody. Amy asks her to look after The Doctor. The Doctor is frantic, trying to reason with her, it will create a fixed point and he will never see her again. Staring at the angel Amy begins, "Raggedy man,,," and then turns her back to the angel, facing The Doctor in time to say one final word, "...goodbye" before disappearing forever. Her name and age join Rory's on the tombstone.

In the TARDIS, River warns The Doctor not to travel alone. He asks her to join him. River says whenever and wherever you want, but not all the time, one psychopath per TARDIS. HA. Good answer. River will have Amy write an afterword in the book. The Doctor returns to Central Park, where the last page and Amy's glasses are. Although I think he got them from her because she had them at Grayle's. Amy and Rory lived a happy life and they will always love The Doctor. She worries about him traveling alone.

In the end we had a question answered and bittersweet closure. Amy asked to go to the young Amelia, who was sitting and waiting for The Doctor. In "The Eleventh Hour" we saw her sitting there at the end of the episode and heard the TARDIS. It was The Doctor doing what Amy asked him to in the book. Telling young Amelia to be patient, and of the adventures she would have and the stories of Amy's days to come. She finished by saying that "This is the story of Amelia Pond, and this is how it ends."

Next in "The Snowmen" we meet The Doctor when he is on his own, sort of. And it's two in one. It's a Christmas episode AND a companion's first episode. Sort of.

19Hours 10Minutes 14Seconds until "The Bells of Saint John"

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