This post contains major spoilers for the rebooted Doctor Who, through episode 7.5, “The Angels Take Manhattan.”
I wasn’t looking forward to last night episode of Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan.” Everyone in the fandom knew that it would be the swan song of the Doctor’s present companions, married couple Amelia Pond and Rory Williams. Over the course of their tenure on the show, Amy and Rory became my favorite companions of the Doctor, as Amy’s romantic relationship with Rory played well off her best-friend relationship with the Doctor. And they had the most timey-wimey story ever: grew up as best friends with their daughter, went on adventures with their future son-in-law, got married, had the daughter, daughter taken away and later found, and then eventually tried to settle into domesticity. And that’s the bare-bones version of the story, not even counting parts like the one in which Rory “dies,” comes back to life, and guards Amy for 2,000 years while she’s stuck in a box.
But the story of Amy and Rory had to end sometime, and showrunner Steven Moffat decided that the time was now. “The Angels Take Manhattan” was a slow-burning episode with a gut-wrenching finale. If I hadn’t known that tonight would be the farewell of the Ponds, I would have thought that everything would work out. Rory would die and come back to life again. The Doctor would take them on another series of fantastic adventures.
Unfortunately, we knew this wouldn’t happen. I correctly predicted what happened in “The Angels Take Manhattan” – it was pretty much was happened to Kathy in “Blink” – but that didn’t make it any easier to watch. But there is an important difference from “Blink,” and it all has to do with Amy’s choice.
Rory is doomed from the beginning in the episode since the Weeping Angels were after him. Rory and Amy take the situation into their own hands, jumping off a building together, hoping to come back to life by creating a paradox. Coming to life happened, but the paradox didn’t. As a lone Weeping Angel zaps Rory back into time, Amy faces a grueling choice: live out her life in the present but without Rory or give up the life she thought she’d have – including the Doctor – to be with Rory?
Given everything that the Ponds have been through, it takes no genius to guess that Amy chooses to stay with Rory. Though Amy makes a difficult and heartbreaking choice, it’s only fitting that she and Rory live out their lives together, a just end to their epic love story. Despite having been ripped from her intended timeline, in her final message to the Doctor, Amy insists that she and Rory lived a long and happy life. It’s sadly uplifting.
But there’s another tragic figure in all of this: the Doctor. Here’s a lonely man who happens upon friends every once in a while and bids them farewell one by one. Rose and Donna were torn from him against their will, and Martha left of her own accord. But Amy was faced in her departure with a tough choice – and chose to never see the Doctor again. Never ever.
For the Doctor, it’s worse than losing a friend. Since Amy and Rory are technically his parents-in-law, it’s akin to losing family. And he knows that he will never again see either of them. The Doctor hates endings, and this one hit him the hardest of all. Without his most beloved companions, he’s alone again. And that’s the tragedy of “The Angels Take Manhattan.”
What did you think of last night’s episode?
I had originally planned to post my next Discovery installment today, but I just had to write about Doctor Who. Expect the Discovery post soon!