Doctor Who 7.05 Recap – The Angels Take Manhattan

I hope everyone understands that this is being written amidst lots of shaking and ugly sobbing. While Amy and Rory aren’t my most favorite companion/s ever (that honor goes to Donna Noble), they’re at the top. They’ve been with us for a few years now, the longest of the new series companions, and they’re the first loss I’m going to experience live with the show. I thought I was ready for it. I realized yesterday that nope, I’ve been in denial for about a month now and was absolutely, 100% not ready. Unfortunately, the day has come to say goodbye to the Ponds, so here goes.

The episode opens with a man named Mr. Garner in New York, typing a story about moving statues on a typewriter. A man named Mr. Grayle is paying him good money to go to a building and investigate the statues. At Winter Quay, unaware that he’s being followed by angel statues, he finds a room upstairs with his name on it. Inside is an older version of Garner who says they’re coming for him, to send him back in time. Young Garner tries to escape, eventually having to run to the roof, where he turns around to face the Statue of Liberty, its mouth open in that familiar terrifying face. We’ve joked about it for years, and the show went and did it: the Statue of Liberty is a Weeping Angel.

We jump to 2012, where Amy, the Doctor, and Rory are sitting in Central Park relaxing. The Doctor is enjoying reading a book aloud written by and about Melody Malone. When Amy interrupts him, the Doctor asks if something’s changed about her. She thinks it’s the reading glasses she now has, but he says nope, it’s the lines around her eyes, implying she’s starting to show her age. Rory tries to run off to get coffee before he can get in trouble having to admit it, but Amy catches him and they have a sweet moment before he leaves. The Doctor borrows her reading glasses and continues to read to Amy, but first he rips the last page out of the book, saying he hates endings and that way the book would never end.

Rory keeps hearing sounds as he walks back, but he can’t find anything behind him. The Doctor pauses in his reading, freaking out when “the skinny guy” in the book says “I just went to get coffees for the Doctor and Amy. Hello, River.” We cut to Rory, who’s suddenly in New York at night, facing River Song. She’s dressed exactly like the cover of the Melody Malone novel, and she tells Rory he might want to put his hands up. The same mob thugs from the opening scene have come to find Melody Malone, who turns out to be River, and take her to Mr. Grayle.

Amy and the Doctor race to the TARDIS, wondering how Rory ended up in the book. They use it to figure out that this is happening on April 3, 1938, but then find out, according to River, that it will be impossible to land the TARDIS in New York because of the time distortion caused by the Weeping Angels. The Doctor and Amy instead land in a random cemetery. Amy wonders why they landed there, and the Doctor guesses somehow it’s causally linked with the angels. She continues to read the book, and reads something about how the Doctor is going to break something. He forces her to stop, because “once we know it’s coming, it’s written in stone.” If she were to read that Rory dies, then he dies. They go inside the TARDIS to try again, and the camera pans down to a tombstone that has Rory’s name on it. Since I’m an emotional person, this is all it takes to kickstart my crying.

Meanwhile, River and Rory have been taken to Mr. Grayle’s place. River and Mr. Grayle discuss some of the porcelain he has in his entryway, from the Chin dynasty. (Meanwhile, Amy and the Doctor use the book, and that discussion, to figure out they can go to China in 221 BC and send River a message.) He has one of his thugs take Rory down to the cellar, “to the babies,” so he can talk with Melody Malone. The thug leaves Rory a few cigarettes, saying he won’t last long without them. The babies giggle some more.

River spots the pottery the Doctor altered, smiles, and questions what Grayle is hiding behind a curtain. Turns out to be a weeping angel statue chained up. She texts the Doctor the coordinates on her vortex manipulator, which he immediately uses to try to land in New York again. Grayle wants River to tell him all about the angels, which he wants to collect. He flips off the lights for just a second, and when they come back on, the angel has a grip on River’s wrist, trapping her in place. In the cellar, Rory’s using the matches to try to keep the small, baby angel statues from getting at him, but they get close enough to blow the last one out themselves.

River and Grayle are talking about the angels when the building starts shaking — the TARDIS is coming! Before exiting the TARDIS, the Doctor fixes his hair and his bowtie and checks his breath, which is ADORABLE. Amy races upstairs calling after Rory while the Doctor finds River and apologizes for being late. He asks her how prison is, but she was pardoned ages ago, since there are no records of the Doctor ever existing. He’s started deleting himself ever since she accused him of getting too big. The Doctor says the angel statue is holding her too tight, that either her wrist or the angel’s wrist will have to be broken. He realizes this is what Amy read, and knows River’s will have to be broken. Amy comes back in and clearly feels guilty.

River confirms there’s no way they can read ahead anymore, they shouldn’t know anything about the future, but they all agree it’ll be ok to read the chapter titles. One of them implies Rory is in the cellar, so Amy races off with the sonic screwdriver to find him. The Doctor glances down to the final title, called “Amelia’s Last Farewell,” and absolutely throws a fit, before racing after Amy telling River to figure her own way out. Amy and the Doctor get inside the cellar, but all they find are the baby angels. Rory’s been transported to right outside the Winter Quay, the building Garner found his older self in the opening.

They meet back up with River in the foyer, where she uses one of her devices to figure out that Rory hasn’t been displaced in time, just in space. The Doctor’s impressed that she managed to get out, thrilled that she didn’t break it, because “you just changed the future!” She laughs and tells him, “It’s called marriage, honey.” He’s so excited that when she says Rory’s just a few blocks away, he grabs her hand to race out the door. She shrieks, he looks down, and discovers she did break her wrist after all.

The Doctor examines her wrist on the staircase, plainly disappointed that she lied and gave him hope. He uses some of his regeneration ability to heal her wrist, which angers River enough to slap him, because she thinks it’s a waste. Outside, Amy asks River why she lied. River tells her “never let him see the damage, and never let him see you age. He doesn’t like endings.” The device narrows down that Rory is at Winter Quay, so they steal a car to head there, leaving the door open behind them. The angels race into the building to get to Mr. Grayle.
Rory enters Winter Quay, rides the elevator and finds the hallway with people’s names on the door. He looks closely at one of the names before going inside, not noticing the angel in the hallway behind him. Amy, the Doctor, and River race inside as quickly as possible, finding him inside the room. The Doctor and River see an angel smiling in the hall, look at the R. Williams name on the door, and realize what’s happening. They try to get Amy and Rory out before they can see what’s inside, but it’s too late. The old man in the bed has spotted them, and they’ve spotted him. He calls out for Amy, and she walks to his side and holds his hand as he dies. Rory demands an explanation for what’s happening. The Doctor, face full of dread, tells him that he’s just died.

The Doctor figures out that the place was built by the angels as a sort of farm. They zap people into the building, never let them escape, and thus feed off their time energy. All of the statues in the city have been taken over by the angels. The angels are coming for Rory and will zap him back in time to spend the rest of his life in this building, alone. Rory questions why he just can’t run, and River decides it could possibly work. If he were to escape, it would create a paradox, causing the entire building to be undone. Amy refuses to allow them to take Rory, so they decide to run. River and the Doctor go to follow, but get momentarily cornered in the room by angels.

Angels force them onto the roof, where they also are confronted by the Statue of Liberty. Rory jokes that he’s always wanted to visit it, but she clearly got impatient. In desperation, he races to the side of the building to find a way out. He climbs up on the ledge, saying that if he dies now, the paradox will kill the angels. Amy begs him to come down, saying it will kill him too, but Rory says if the building will never have existed, he’ll just come back to life and reappear somewhere else because he’ll never have been able to come there. He tells her he has to, because he doesn’t want to die downstairs never having seen her again. She asks him if their situations were reversed, would he be able to do it. “To save you, I could do anything,” he responds. With that, she decisively climbs up there with him and tells him, “together, or not at all.” At this point, I’m crying so hard I can barely see.

The Doctor and River race to the roof, and he screams, “What the hell are you doing?!” Amy never looks away from Rory as she calmly answers, “Changing the future. It’s called marriage.”Amy and Rory fall off together, and as they fall, Murray Gold’s brilliant score kicks in, and the roof lights up. As the Doctor excitedly cries, “The paradox is working!” the screen goes completely white.

Amy and Rory jerk awake inside the same cemetery as earlier. The Doctor excitedly tells them they got lucky and hugs them, saying “Don’t ever do that again.” They’re all thrilled to be alive and together still, and everything is beautiful and happy and the music is swelling. Amy and Rory walk back to the TARDIS, but as everyone else goes inside, Rory gets distracted by the gravestone that has his name on it. As he points it out to Amy, an angel appears and zaps him into the past. IT WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

Amy screams for the Doctor, who’s realized this one lone angel has ruined everything. She begs to get back in the TARDIS, go fix it one more time, but he and River say it’ll break New York apart. She takes a step forward towards the angel, saying there’s room for one more name on Rory’s gravestone. She asks if the angel will send her back to the same time period as Rory. The Doctor doesn’t know, but Amy asks if it’s her best shot, and River adamantly tells her that yes, it’s her only chance. River understands that all Amy wants is to be with Rory, “like I should be.” Amy calls River by her birth name Melody, telling her to look after the Doctor and be a good girl. Desperate, the Doctor tells her she’s creating a fixed timeline, that he’ll never be able to see her again. He begs, saying, “Come along Pond, please.” In absolute tears, Amy says her final words: “Raggedy man, goodbye.” She turns around and disappears as the angel zaps her. The Doctor breaks down as the words “and his loving wife, Amelia Williams” appear below Rory’s name on the tombstone.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor apologizes to River, only just remembering that River’s just lost her parents. She brushes it aside, saying it doesn’t matter, all that matters is he doesn’t travel alone. He asks her to travel with him then, and she says she will whenever he wants, just not all the time. First, she has to write the book and send it to Amy to get it published. She promises to have Amy write an afterward for the Doctor. He realizes that it would be on the last page.

He races back to central park to grab the last page. As he reads the note while wearing her reading glasses (which causes me to ugly cry again), we hear Amy’s voice read the note aloud. She promises him that she and Rory will live well and love him always. She tells him to never be alone, and asks him to do one thing: to go to young Amelia Pond, 7 years old, waiting in the garden. “Tell her that if she’s patient, the days are coming which she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to sea and fight pirates, she’ll fall in love with a man who’ll wait two thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived, and save a whale in outer space. Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.” So when little Amelia Pond lifts her head and smiles in the sky waaaay back in The Eleventh Hour, what we didn’t know then, was that the Doctor was arriving to do just that. MOFFAT!

And with that, the Ponds are gone. But that doesn’t mean the story is over. We got three glimpses of the Christmas Special — a shot of the Doctor, a man, and of Jenna Louise-Coleman, our new companion. Will she be playing an earlier, pre-Dalek version of Oswin Oswald, or a different character? Who knows! We’ve got a few months before we find out, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll need all of them just to recover from this one episode.

 

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