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02 October 2011 @ 07:06 pm
two sentences or so on the finale  
Not really up to a proper post, but two things:

1. There is a lot (a lot!) of stuff that I liked and even loved about the finale (like the fact that River kills the Doctor with a kiss, again; or that in all times and universes, Amy makes TARDIS figurines; and by the way, that noise the Doctor makes when he realizes that Amy actually remembers him evinces a pleasure that, frankly, borders on the scandalous, so tone it down, you young-old man; and I loved Amy's giddy happiness with him), but at the same time, the emotional payoff didn't seem big enough for a season-long arc about the Doctor's death ("Just kidding; I was a robot!" was kind of a let-down, although I loved all the forgiveness talk, and the Doctor's reason for inviting his friends). (As a resolution for a two-parter, I think I would have totally accepted it. But it didn't quite work for me as the answer to the season.)

2. I love each and every thing that the Pond family chooses to be, in every iteration. "We should have a drink sometime. And get married." And I can't even express how deeply I love that River just pops in on her mom and dad like that. (2a: Amy wearing Rory's old jacket. Love.)
viomisehuntviomisehunt on October 3rd, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, all of that. River sending out beacons and getting answers others think are sun spots, and the Doctor taking it all in. River's surrender to becoming a murderer. Amy not letting Eye Patch Witch off the the hook-- yeah.
tempestsarekind: amy and her boystempestsarekind on October 3rd, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
Their lives are so incredibly weird, and they handle those weird lives with such grace and strength and humor. They all make me very happy. :)
Constant Readerskirmish_of_wit on October 4th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
Yeeeesssssssss. PONDS.
tempestsarekind: rory and amytempestsarekind on October 4th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
I was really not expecting to love them all as much as I do! I have all of these crazy shippy feelings about Amy and Rory, which is not usually my style (I often like TV couples, but I don't usually flail about them), and then River just adds to the whole party.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on October 4th, 2011 07:21 am (UTC)
Have the to admit, the former Child's Advocate in me has a foot itching for the Doctor's behind. River is both victim and survivor. As Victim, River needs to hear that she is forgiven but I also expected to hear: because, you are totally without blame., followed by a clear, We're so sorry we were not able to stop those people from hurting you. Instead she gets called stupid and idiotic, and told that the man she loves is ashamed of her, because she doesn't want to become a murderer and has risked everything, because she can't accept that there is no other way to proceed but her committing this murder. It's tricky.
tempestsarekind: eleventempestsarekind on October 4th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
True--though I see where the Doctor is coming from regarding the second part: he's not ashamed because she doesn't want to become a murderer, but because she's putting her own pain ahead of the entire universe's.

I agree about the first part, though: it would have been so good to hear the Doctor say that he was sorry to River--not because it was his fault, but because he cares about her having to suffer.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on October 8th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
but because she's putting her own pain ahead of the entire universe's.
I didn't for one moment think he really was ashamed of her or her answer. It was an honest answer. But is an honest answer necessarily the true one? River was going to surrender to whatever he choose. He's the Doctor. Consider how the statement was staged. River built a beacon for help and she can hear all those voices on the other side willing, eager, and able to help her, and she realizes a couple of the solutions may literally mean her undoing. She wants the Doctor to listen to those voices, acknowledge them, there is help. He doesn't have to die, and most of all she doesn't have to kill him. Still, the Doctor steadfastly stands before a woman, who as a child has steadily cried out for help without help coming, and tells her, these offers are useless. There is no help. There is no course for her but to go on. The Silence wins. He dies, River is a murderer. She doesn't anyone to give her hell-- she's in hell.

I addressed River's unique position here

She's Judas here in the Jesus Christ Superstar Version of the tale.
"Don't Say I'm Damned for all times..."

Edited at 2011-10-08 09:42 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekind: eleven and amytempestsarekind on October 11th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Sure--except that, as we find out later, the Doctor isn't actually intending to die, which makes the whole thing much more complicated, to my mind. Because the thing that the Doctor ultimately whispers in River's ear is basically, "hey, I'm not really dead; you just shot a me-shaped robot." So what we have is a moment of the Doctor saying "you have to kill me," followed by the revelation, which she will always have, that she never did. I don't want to say that this seems fair, because there's a lot about River's story that is desperately unfair, but the Doctor's refusal to let River save him is one thing I don't have trouble with.

I also think that he might not say to her "you don't have to kill me" (though he does tell her that she ultimately doesn't), but when River says that there are so many stories about whether she's the person who marries the Doctor or kills him, the Doctor does make it so that she is both--that is, he chooses to marry her--which is its own sort of grace.

I think you're right that the fixed point seems to be more about River shooting "the Doctor" on that day; it's the thing she has to do to keep all of time from collapsing. The way that the episode is written, though, I don't think there's anything the Doctor could have done in that rooftop scene that could have made things much easier for River. Yes, there are offers of help--but we've already seen that when River doesn't shoot the Doctor, time falls apart. So there are tons of people out there who want to save the Doctor, and River wants him to know that--but she seems pretty clear on the fact that she can't actually save him with any of those offers, since trying to is what got them into the predicament they're in now; when the Doctor says that there isn't any other way, she says, "I didn't say there was, sweetie."

Which is not to say that Moffat couldn't have written it differently, because of course he could have, but given the setup of the episode, I don't see what else the Doctor could have done. He might have found another way of arguing with her, but not another argument.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on October 12th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
I like the way it was written and acted. Everything about River's story is unfair. I was not that much concerned with what the Doctor wanted, as much as, for a moment before I watched it a second time, I was furious that he didn't seem to understand how hard River was fighting against doing something wrong. There was nothing right about River being in that situation, nothing at all. The Doctor was not slated to die to save anyone. The Silence failed to get Melody to kill him the first time and they seemed to have picked the place and time After the Hitler incident. I think she wanted him to Stop her-- even if it meant she would cease to exist. I think he wanted her to know she was forgiven-- because she didn't believe it and she was frightened that her parents would never forgive him, and she couldn't forgive herself. There was lots going on.
tempestsarekind: eleven wears a fez nowtempestsarekind on October 12th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
The Doctor was not slated to die to save anyone

But he was; he had to die to save all of time. I think the Doctor could perhaps have chosen a different way to go about talking to River about the fact that she has to kill him (he could have stopped to acknowledge River's pain, but he was more focused on convincing her of what she needed to do), but if River doesn't kill him, then everything ceases to exist. So it's an impossible situation for both of them, and the Doctor has as little choice about it as River does.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on October 12th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
But he was; he had to die to save all of time. That's doesn't seem to be the reason the Silence Targeted him, and I'm looking at it from the Younger River's point of view. As far as she knows the Silence is just a bunch of wackos trying to manipulate history. If she kills the Doctor it's just a murder pure and simple, and a senseless one at that. He's still alive so that can't be quite it. From what I gathered the The Silence planned the perfect revenge murder by putting River in a place that would perserve time.
Question. I'm dying... who wants me dead?
The Silence.
What is the Silence? Why is it called that? What does it mean?
The Silence is not a species. It is a religious order, or movement. Their core belief is that silence will fall when the question is asked.

And then: DOCTOR:
And they want me dead.
No, not really. They just don't want you to remain alive.
That's OK. I was worried for a minute there.
You're a man with a long and dangerous past. But your future is infinitely more terrifying. The Silence believe it must be averted.
You know you could've told me all this, the last time we met.
It was a busy day and I got beheaded.
What's so dangerous about my future?
On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature could speak falsely, or fail to answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered.
The DOCTOR pulls out a small notebook and reads it.
Silence will fall when the question is asked...
Silence MUST fall would be a better translation. The Silence are determined the question will never be answered. That the Doctor will NEVER reach Trenzalore.

Edited at 2011-10-12 10:15 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekind: amy and her boystempestsarekind on October 12th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
Right. But by the time the Doctor and River are on the rooftop, the world is collapsing because River didn't kill the Doctor at Lake Silencio, because she was able to override the suit, and the only way to set it right again is to allow the events of Lake Silencio to play out as they already had. So my point was that in the rooftop scene, River and the Doctor don't have a choice. The Silence have chosen to have the Doctor killed for reasons of their own, and kidnapped Melody to make that happen; but on the rooftop, River has to kill the Doctor because her *not* killing him has unraveled the universe.

It makes perfect sense that at Lake Silencio, River would decide not to kill the Doctor if she could; as you point out, she has no reason to take the Silence's reasons as her own. But in continuing not to kill him, she's endangering the whole universe, and so the Doctor can't do anything except try his hardest to get her to "kill" him. That's all I was getting at.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on October 12th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, I agree that is where they were by the time they reached the roof. The point is, how sincere was the Doctor in his criticism of River? At this point, River doesn't understand or want to accept that the Doctor has to die at her or anyone's hand and she is desperately looking for forgivness or a way out. Unfortunately the Silence are witnesses and the Doctor can't just come out and say-- don't worry, "I won't die and you're not a murderer", or, I love you, for that matter. He can't tell her parents, "your daughter is not a wanton killer". Which gets me back to the "ashamed" statement. He could be telling Rory and Amy-- "Look at your duaghter, do you really This woman would murder someone in cold blood? The very thought hurts her so much, she's willing to risk the universe to hear she is forgiven." Is it possible that he IS telling them they should be proud of River-- who managed this level of decency in spite of what the Silence and Madame K tried to do to her. And also--they've seen their daughter kissy-kissy with this man-- River in a cage for him to take out at his whim. I think they needed some reaasurance in that department as well, or at least I hope they did. But that is how I've chosen to interpret the scene. :)
tempestsarekind: a sort of fairytaletempestsarekind on October 12th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I think the Doctor--and I'm basing this largely on the way Matt Smith tosses those lines out so quickly--is trying anything that will work, because he doesn't have the time to do it right and well. On a better day, he might be able to appeal to some other sides of everyone, or be kinder, but with the universe falling apart around his ears, he goes for harshness in the hope that it'll work where kindness might not. Because he's sharp with everyone, not just River: "I won't thank you for that, Amelia Pond." He doesn't seem to be having a ton of luck with the whole "all of time is collapsing" angle, so he heads for emotional manipulation, which is kind of his specialty: I'm disappointed in you, I won't thank you for this.

And, of all things, it makes me think of "Victory of the Daleks": because the Doctor's failure there, too, with the robotic Bracewell, is to fail to see that love and good memories can be far more effective than emotional pain and loss.

Also, in the light of what the Doctor tells her at Lake Silencio, that his very reason for bringing her there is to tell her that she is always and completely forgiven, I can't take his comments about being ashamed except in the light of a ploy, a desperate move.

Edited at 2011-10-12 11:14 pm (UTC)